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Massachusetts Travel Blog

Between Horse and Car

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Deerfield, MAAs you perhaps know, the inn opened its doors in July 1884 with all sorts of drama in the Valley – a plague of locusts, a drought, but visitors came and stayed nevertheless. It seems that business was so promising that George Arms, a local builder, was invited the next year to extend the property to the north. Old photos on the walls in Champney’s show there was a porch that ran all around that side. Another photo we found that showed the original placement of the front desk meant we could return it to where it has always been. We call it the Harry Potter room because it is a small space and under the stairs!

Recently we discovered that the stables and carriage house were built a year before the inn was opened. It makes sense, really – that there had to be somewhere for the horses to be stabled and the carriages to be stowed away.

Rather charmingly, the names of horses are on a long support beam that runs above where the stalls used to be. These might have been the horses that worked the fields around here, or perhaps one or two of them would be harnessed up to make the run to the train station to pick up guests and their luggage.

Their names were Fanny, Bonnie, Patsy, Donald, Frank, Harry, Pilot, Tom, Kate, and, fancifully compared to the others – Dinamint.

One of my favorite photographs in Champney’s is hanging to the left of the fireplace. It shows the transition between motorized and horse-drawn conveyance. Two cars are out on the street in front of the inn, and two are down to its south side on the driveway. Seated guests are looking out from the front porch, but at the back of inn, behind the rather splendid cars, you can see an unharnessed horse being groomed just by the stables and the carriage house. Lovely.

Join us at Deerfield Inn and see the amazing history of our property!

Visit Deerfield’s Arts & Crafts Movement!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Old Deerfield Painting Group
Did you know that the Arts & Crafts Movement was really significant in Deerfield and its history? From the last quarter of the nineteenth century in particular, women in Deerfield, both permanent residents and summer visitors, were drawn into the arts and crafts movement, many of them looking for a way to express themselves in paint, silks, copper, silver, and clay. You can see an exhibition all about that when you visit.

Also open for viewing at the Flynt Center of Historic Deerfield is an exhibition of  gorgeous craftwork pieces from their extensive collections.

As an addition to the  metalware, (more…)

Free Fun Friday!

Friday, August 8th, 2014

hd free friday

The Highland Street Foundation has enabled 67 museums and cultural venues to be visited with no admission charge on every Friday throughout the summer. Under their generous auspices, Historic Deerfield and Memorial Hall museums will be open absolutely free to all-comers on Friday, August 15th!

From 9:30-4:30, visitors will have the opportunity to experience everything from period re-enactors, the first floor of the museum houses, historic trades and handicrafts, and artifacts and (more…)

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

“‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘What’s the first thing you say to yourself?’

“‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’

“‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.

“Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”

A country breakfast is part of your stay at our Deerfield bed and breakfast- 7:30-10:00 – so no need to jump out of bed at crack of dawn. Sit, sip, relax, enjoy…

Check out our summer midweek special rate and the 130th birthday rate in July!

 

Come and Celebrate in July!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

A writer for Harper’s Magazine came to visit Deerfield and wrote, “Old Deerfield …is one of the most beautiful rural towns in New England…Its spacious street stretches along the terrace and a bowery aisle of magnificent elms, under which the houses stand, separate, with gardens and grassy banks, in neighborly seclusion…Back of the town rises the Deerfield mountain, and on all the other sides are the unfenced fertile meadows far beyond which lie gracefully rounded hills of various outline, waving along the horizon, and rich with the verdure of oaks and maples, beeches and chestnuts. The scenery has a friendly and gentle character, not too bold, or harsh, or inaccessible, but amenable everywhere to human culture and habitation. It has a fullness and tenderness and finish that must often have recalled to the early settlers much of the landscape of Mother England who had driven them away.”

The bit about the elms and Mother England gives it away, but this was written in 1875, and could be describing this village pretty much as a visitor can experience it in 2014.

This was written just seven years before the inn’s carriage house and stables were built, and nine years before the inn, restaurant, and guest rooms followed with a quiet opening in July.

We can’t offer “a double room with running water – $3.00” as promised in a brochure from the 20′s, but we can offer a good number of rooms starting at $130 – midweek or weekend – during the month of July to celebrate our 130th birthday.

Make sure to mention JULY when you call to get this special price.

Afternoon tea and cookies, a country inn breakfast, and three-month membership to the museum houses and exhibition center of Historic Deerfield will all be included in your stay.

July 130th Birthday special

130th Birthday This July

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
Summer in Deerfield

Fireworks added!

Make your plans now to avoid disappointment! The Deerfield Inn will be 130 years old this summer, so we have some rooms available in July as a gift to you for just $130! Afternoon tea and cookies, a full country inn breakfast, and free passes to the museum houses of Historic Deerfield are all part of your stay.

Summers in Deerfield are a delight. The days can be filled with hiking, biking, antiquing, reading and chatting outside on an Adirondack chair or in a cozy air conditioned nook inside. The iced tea pitcher is bottomless, we have bikes you can rent for a spin, we have rooms for families, rooms for dogs, and a Relaxing Room for a soothing massage.  Call us at 413-774-5587 and ask if we have a birthday room open to you. (PS Not available with any other discount deals.)

Yankee Editors’ Pick

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

yankeeCover

Unexpected and a very delightful surprise! Here is the press release: Historic Deerfield, MA – Newly re-opened for just over a year, the Deerfield Inn has bounced back from an 18-month renovation after a five-foot wall of water took out much of the first floor during Hurricane Irene. So astounding was the come-back that the editors of Yankee Magazine, the only magazine devoted to New England travel, home, food and feature stories, have named the Deerfield Inn a 2014 Best of New England Editors’ Choice, designating it as the “Best 19th Century Inn.” Deerfield Inn is in good company in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide (on newsstands now) which features more than 300 Best of New England Editors’ Choice winners.

The Editors’ Choice Award singles out a select group of choice lodging, dining, shopping, attractions destinations and events throughout New England each year. “Reading the special Travel Guide section of Yankee and the Editors’ Choice winners is as close to sitting down with a Yankee editor and getting us to spill our favorite places as one can get,” shared Yankee Editor, Mel Allen. Freelance travel writers, David Lyons and Patricia Harris, contributed to the decision making, sharing their personal nominations for Editors’ Choices from Massachusetts.

“Just into the second year after our renovation, we couldn’t be more delighted to receive a Yankee 2014 Best of New England Editors’ Choice Award,” commented Jane Howard, co-innkeeper with her husband Karl Sabo, at the Deerfield Inn. “The affirmation of excellence from Yankee editors and freelance travel writers is a great gift, and testimony to the historic significance of the Deerfield Inn,” finished Howard.

Located in historic Deerfield, the Deerfield Inn and Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern re-opened in April, 2013 after a post-Hurricane Irene total transformation. Offering 24 versatile guest rooms, with handicapped accessible, pet-friendly and family-friendly options, the historic theme of the Deerfield Inn has been beautifully captured with period wallpapers and paint. Yet, the modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, complimentary wi-fi, a guest computer work-station, and a decidedly eco-friendly approach are very much there for today’s plugged in traveler. Additionally the “new” Champney’s takes a nano-local approach to cuisine. Foods are butchered, baked, kneaded, sliced and diced in-house. The restaurant stalwartly supports local growers, foragers, and producers. Good and fresh food is prepared with respect and creativity. Innovative renditions of classic favorites, comfort foods, and some eclecticism take advantage of what the farmers bring to the kitchen door. A wide selection of craft beers and creative and fun cocktails round out the mix. Open seven days a week, year round for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll gather at a fine New England table when you visit Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern and the Deerfield Inn.

Yankee Magazine is based in Dublin, NH. Founded in 1935, Yankee is the preeminent magazine devoted to travel, home, food and feature stories exclusively focused on New England.

For more information or to book a reservation at New England’s “Best 19th Century Inn,” please visit www.DeerfieldInn.com or call 413-774-5587.

On Your Bike!

Monday, April 28th, 2014

country bikes to rent

Thanks to our friend Henry – our Champney’s equivalent of Cheers’ cerebral Frasier Crane – we have two extraordinary and special country bikes that guests can rent. These bikes have big fat tires and a high gear, so you can sail up Eaglebrook hill like a Tour de France pro.

Recall the joy and wonder of the first day you (successfully) balanced and navigated a two wheeler? Well, our new ‘Large-Tire Country Bikes’ are guaranteed to replicate those feelings exponentially. We affirm this from personal experience!

These bicycles are as simple, stable, and maneuverable as they are fun. They have all terrain tires for sand, mud, slush, and easy road riding. A rental from morning to noon or noon to sunset is $39 for the pair; $25 for just one bike for a half day. We have a lock and key for you, as well as go-faster racing green bike helmets.

Ride them in confidence and comfort as you savor fresh country air and enjoy one of the most beautiful historic regions of New England.

The Inn will provide you with a custom-drawn map and a choice of some fascinating self-directed half day bicycle tours. And, for a nominal cost, picnic lunches are available for your bike baskets.

What a fun way to explore the area! You can put a sandwich and a bottle of water in the basket on your way to West Deerfield with a stop by the Deerfield River for a paddle and a bite to eat, before riding onward to Clarkdale Fruit Farm to fill the basket with apples and peaches for the downhill back. Or, if you prefer, just pedal about Historic Deerfield and the meadows at your leisure.

This is far and away the best and most memorable way to experience the rich history of Old Deerfield. Come ride with us!

Deerfield Inn Brochure from the Mid-1920s

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

A lovely gift from a friend of the Deerfield Inn who found this brochure in one of the boxes his grandmother had stored in her attic.  You can’t see the car on the front very well, but peering through a jeweler’s loupe, a car guy we know dated it to the early 1920s. It shows the  influence of the art deco period,  he said, when cars had become  accepted as a normal part of everyday life. “This beautiful piece of machinery probably belonged to someone who could afford a bit more than the basics, and for whom it meant not only the adventure and anticipation of  travel, but was also an endorsement of the   influence of the exciting new themes sweeping art and design.”

A room back then could cost  $6  ‘with bath or with running water,’ which is rather mysterious wording, and a dinner in the Old Prints Dining Room cost $1!

Still “Truly a delightful, friendly place to visit…” with rooms that are “quite charming and comfortable!”

1920's Brochure

 

 

Wine and Canvas – a Couple’s Night for Valentine’s!

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Wine and Canvas was a west coast fun night phenomenon that has now come to western Massachusetts and the Deerfield Inn, amongst other venues.  It is a painting class with cocktails! Last night a professional artist led a group of couples in painting a canvas that joined up to make one large picture when they were done.

Some arrived dubious with their date, saying they had no talent, no idea how to hold a brush, had never painted anything, but Keely, Wine and Canvas art entertainer,  reassuringly gave them their canvas, brushes, and palette blobbed with paint and set them up at their easel. We offered a drink from the bar and a bite to eat, and the nailbiters began to be less anxious. Within minutes of making the first strokes they all began to relax and have fun! It was marvelous to see how the blank canvas turned into something you could hang with pride, and the date night couple’s picture was a wonderful idea. Look out for the next event near you by going to www.wineandcanvas.com