Friends tell me they get the January blues, sunlight deprivation, depression. I think I found the cure...not on a tropical beach, or a sun simulation lamp. It's the Red Clover - a romantic Inn in Mendon, Vermont just minutes from the slopes of Pico and Killington. The Red Clover is an 1840 Vermont farmhouse, set in a pretty field just off busy Route 4 but seemingly far far away.
After a day of exploring Killington's vast ski slopes across six mountains, retreating to the Inn brought me an immediate sense of peace and pampering. From our lovely Suite in the Carriage House, complete with fireplace and jacuzzi, we were just steps to the outdoor hot tub and to the Inn for drinks and dinner. Our first stop, after checking emails, was the gazebo covered hot tub. After a few minutes soak, I hopped in the snow to make a snow angel - another cure for mid-winter blues. It was blissful to get back into the 104F water. The view from the gazebo of Pico Mountain is stunning, where we would ski the next day.
As we returned to the warm inviting Inn for dinner, the gracious innkeeper offered us a choice of the formal dining room, the cozy wood beam tavern bar or the couch by the field stone fireplace with a real burning fire (don't real fireplaces seem like such a novelty these days?). As we enjoyed cocktails, made from Vermont crafted liquors, by the crackling fire we perused Chef Colin's creative menu. Our dinners, served by candlelight, were long-roasted and lovingly prepared, Vermont short ribs served on homemade gnocchi, grilled steak topped with a fresh farm egg and duck fat fries...these are a few of Chef' s unique, incredibly fresh and local, nightly offerings. By far the best cuisine in the Killington area we have encountered, perfectly paired and presented, and an ideal ending to a day on the ski slopes.
Confession, we typically like to stay on mountain, but at the Red Clover Inn there was no clomping of ski boots, no churn of groomers or spray of snow guns, just tranquility, and a delicious home cooked breakfast by the Chef, croissants, frittata and smoked Vermont bacon, before we drove the few short miles to Pico's ski slopes. How could you possibly be blue with all this Green Mountain beauty blanketed in white, and a such lovely overnight setting at the Red Clover?
By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke