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The Pioneer Valley and Birders Go Together

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Snowy owl on Deerfield farm farrowThe Pioneer Valley is a hot spot for birders. Fans gather every year in the spring for  hawk watching, especially along the ridge line at Mount Tom in Easthampton, and the muddy road down to the south meadows in Deerfield was clogged when a young snowy owl landed up here for a few weeks. The blue herons that come down to Broughton Pond are like something from a medieval tapestry in their stylized elegance.

When our children were in elementary school, we would always volunteer to be on any field trip that meant we could listen to Tom Ricardi, a wildlife rehabilitator who runs the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab Center from his home in Conway, Massachusetts. He spent more than thirty years as a Fish and Wildlife Game Warden, and has always been especially interested in birds of prey. His stories of rescuing birds that have been victims of the dangers of man and machine are compelling. He has rescued a golden eagle shot in the eye by a hunter, an eastern screech owl from a barbed wire fence, and his center is a labor of love. Some of these birds he is able to rehabilitate entirely, and others that can no longer fend in the wild help with breeding programs. I remember Tom saying he would put mirrors all around the nest of new fledglings and feed them with an oven glove that looked like an eagle’s head so there was never any human imprinting. He has helped introduce strong chicks into the nests of bald eagles in Barton’s Cove when DDT build-up caused the adults to lay thin-shelled eggs that cracked before their own chicks could hatch. Love those kind of success stories!

You can also get up close to some of these majestic birds in a hands-on program with Chris Davis, master falconer, at New England Falconry in nearby Hadley. Experience the handling and flying of a trained Harris hawk while learning about the special adaptations of raptors and the need for their conservation – hawking glove provided! Something quite different that one or two members of your family can do, while the others can be non-participants but still get a sense of the majesty and thrill of these awe-inspiring birds.

For more information about birding at the Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, click here.

See other bird-watching programs at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment here.

Let our Deerfield bed and breakfast be your home-base for your birding adventure. We’re located in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, just a short drive from these exciting encounters.

Fly Fishing the Deerfield River

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Fly Fishing on the Deerfield RiverSome of the finest fly fishing for trout found in the northeast is right outside our back door. Flowing from Vermont, and with bottom releases from hydropower dams, the Deerfield is perfectly cool even in the summer months. In addition to the resident fish population, Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game stocks rainbow and brown trout throughout the river. This gently flowing, tree-lined river is one of the most charming and scenic in the region. Along with our traditional 1884 inn and farm-to-fork tavern, it makes for the perfect setting for the fly fishing enthusiast or those traveling with one.

If you have always wanted the chance to learn how to fly fish on one of the most beautiful and perfect rivers, your time has come! We have two packages for you from April to August. Get 20% off your room of choice and add on a 4-hour afternoon fly fishing trip with all you need to get started. You will come back knowing how to roll cast and overhead cast and how to get your fish in the net. If you are an intermediate angler, you can enhance your skill knowledge.

And another fun way to experience the river is by a float trip. Cast out a line and let the drifting do some of the work! Bring in rainbows, browns, and brookies to the net.

The Deerfield River is one of the most productive trout rivers in New England, and these packages offer an excellent opportunity for the novice or the more advanced angler to learn the many miles of heavily populated trout water using the strategies and correct imitative flies that fish are keying in on during the spring and summer.
Pristine waters, bubbling plunge pools, narrow runs and riffles make for a conveyor belt of beautiful trout hungry for the hatching insects floating within the edge of the seam!

Your expert guides – Mike and Jonathan, have been on the rivers around here as soon as they could walk. They know the pocket water, rapids, riffles, and deep pools, every bend, every eddy. They know what fish are out and about and when. They have patience and sharp eyes. Being out on the river is one of the happiest and most serene places they know. From beginner to expert – if you have a question about their domain, they will have the answer.

They also tie flies, nymphs, and streamers for luring the right fish; flies with delightful names like woolly bugger, crickhopper, and hothead. There is even a specific Deerfield fly that you can see on the wall in a frame as you enter Champney’s, tied for us by a local angler – but that’s another story!

For these packages, you will need a 2016 MA fishing license, and don’t forget to bring in your suitcase when you come to stay at Deerfield Inn:

  • extra set warm clothing
  • waterproof jacket
  • hat
  • polarized sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • water
  • snacks
  • camera

Flamenco Dance Troupe :: Exclusive Deerfield Performance

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

flamenco dancersOn Sunday, October 25th, while on a tour, we are lucky to have a flamenco troupe of one singer, one musician, and two dancers from the language and flamenco school Carmen de las Cuevas in the heart of the Albaícin, Granada, Spain coming to perform here at the Inn from 7-9 pm.

If you have never experienced the fire of flamenco, this is your chance. And if you know what this music and dance is like, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get that emotional, physical rush!

The price is $12 which includes the show and authentic tapas, and tickets are available now at BrownPaperTickets

(If we have space at the Inn, tickets on the night will be $20.)

Here is the word on three of the performers:

“My name is Paco Fernández. I am from Granada and I began to dance when I was very little. My people don’t like flamenco, but I wanted to dance and to tour Japan, France, Germany, and the US. Currently I dance at the flamenco caves and pubs in my city. People say that I have an aggressive dance-style. Therefore they call me ‘The Savage.'”

Born in Almería, Spain, Jorge has shared a passion for guitar since age nine. Thanks to his father’s love for music, he grew up listening to famous Andalusian guitarists such as Paco de Lucía and Manolo Sanlucar. After years of training, he began his artistic career in Granada, Spain, accompanying a diverse range of singers and dancers from all parts of Spain and from many other countries such as France, Italy, Russia, Germany and Egypt. Despite being a flamenco guitarist, throughout his career he has played several “fusion” show with musicians of Jazz, Rock and other genres. Today he works as a flamenco guitar teacher at the renowned flamenco school, Carmen de las Cuevas, in Granada.

“My name is Sandra Santiesteban. I was born in Granada. A love for flamenco was born in me when I was very young. It was difficult for me to pursue this passion for flamenco because no one in my family was a flamenco performer. I currently work at various flamenco bars and caves in Granada.”

Sandra took her first steps of flamenco dance in Algeciras, Cádiz, the town in which she was born. After several years of flamenco dance studies, she moved to Granada, passing the entrance exams for the Mario Maya International Center for Performing Arts. There she completed her training with Mario Maya and other flamenco masters including Belén Maya, Rafaela Carrasco, Manuel Liñan and Antonio Canales. Upon completing her studies she began to dance at flamenco caves and clubs in Granada, at festivals and in international tours. She currently teaches flamenco at Carmen de las Cuevas in Granada, Spain.

Business Trip Accommodations :: Deerfield Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

select registry properties

We went to a Select Registry conference recently. Select Registry is a marketing group consisting of a portfolio of more than 300 quality-assured premier bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels throughout North America. Some are rustic, some are the height of elegance, and some are in-between like the Deerfield Inn, but they all get secretly inspected to be validated into the group. We all believe that people deserve exceptional and unique experiences in their lives: one-of-a-kind settings, authenticity, local connections and flavors, and innkeepers and crew who are genuinely honored to take great care of you, and who appreciate that you chose us over cookie-cutter accommodations.

We reconnected with friends in the business and were reminded of things we should never forget – love what you do, keep a sense of humor, and always keep an eye on the guest to interpret the need.

We learned new things in the industry at various classes as well:

We know glamping, we know poshtel, but now we understand there is bleisure. Ha! We can do that! We have desks in rooms (and in the Beehive Parlor if you really need to spread out), free Wi-fi, a special midweek rate for area businesses, air printer, fax, speaker phone, LCD projector, screen, flip-charts, and meeting spaces. For the family, friends, and partner who have come along for the ride on the leisure part rather than the b part, there is golf, zip lining, shopping, antiquing, galleries, hiking, (babysitting), and cool area activities for children as well.

Then you can all gather at our New England table, Champney’s, for fresh, local fare from our kitchen, with mock-tails and a kid’s menu for the smalls.

Think of us the next time the idea of a bleisure trip comes up! Call 413-774-5587 to reserve rooms or email agraves@deerfieldinn.com for one-stop shopping for your business meeting needs.

Exciting Summer Activities in Deerfield, MA!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Summer activities in Deerfield, MA

A ravishing jacket by Marlene Housner

Plan ahead for your summer! We have family-friendly rooms, but call well ahead as these rooms sell fast.

For artisan arts and crafts lovers, there is the spectacular Berkshires Arts Festival, now in its 14th year in Great Barrington on July 3-6. An hour and a bit from us, but a pretty and an easy ride, and so worth it! Jewelry, glass, mixed media, sculpture, wood, wearable art, leather, ceramics, fiber, photography… They have food, music, workshops and demos. The festival starts at 10am, and it is truly a beauty.

We have tickets here for $2 off admission, and the first four to make a reservation to stay with us will get complimentary tickets for the Festival! Call us at 413-774-5587, or make a reservation online, putting Arts Festival into the comments line.

Into horses? June 25-27 brings the Arabian Horse Show of New England to The Big E, with the Championship Arabian Horse Show on July 8-11, the Appaloosa Horse Show on July 24-26, the Summer Classic Horse Show on July 30-August 8, and Friesian Championships on August 27-30. Erin, who is one of our team leaders, can make her horse smile on command! FaceBook!

Being the most rural region of Massachusetts, we celebrate farming and farmers around here. July brings sheep shows to West Springfield in July, and there are kennel club dog shows aplenty in July and August.

Check out www.TheBigE.com for the listing of events and discount advance tickets. An easy shot from the inn down I-91 to exit 13B, one mile farther on rte 147.

See you this summer at the Deerfield Inn!

Spring Activities :: Hampshire County, MA

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Massachusetts Pottery Studios

With thanks to visithampshirecounty.com, this blog is to let you know about a couple of activities that you and your family might find fun in Hampshire County this spring. We have family-friendly connecting rooms, and there is still space available on crisp April nights before the May Commencement and Parent Weekends.

Bees, Butterflies, and Bugs: Starting April 7, you can explore The Art of Eric Carle: Bees, Butterflies, and Other Bugs at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (April 7 through August 30). As a child, Carle became very interested in small animals, a curiosity sparked by his father, who would take him on walks in the woods and fields, exploring the tiny creatures that lived there. Carle says “I remember the excitement of lifting stones or peeling back the bark of dead trees to discover the living things that crawled, crept and scurried about there.” The exhibition celebrates the wings, stings, and crawling things that have appeared throughout Carle’s work, ranging from allergy tab advertisements he created in the late 1960’s to perennial picture book favorites including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug.
Bowls: Nine western Massachusetts pottery studios open their doors to visitors on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, for the 11th Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. This free, self-guided springtime event showcases both the work and the work spaces of a group of nationally-known local potters, along with 12 guest potters from around New England and as far away as Oregon State. In barns, reclaimed factory buildings, and even a converted Airstream trailer, visitors will find much more than bowls along the trail: tableware, garden sculpture, architectural tile, and decorative pieces in a range of styles and prices. All nine studios will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with work for sale, and several of the studios will offer demonstrations during the weekend. This is one of the most gorgeous and interesting trails ever.

Another Reason to Visit Deerfield – Memorial Hall Museum

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The oldest museum association in the country is opening again for the season. Located right here in Deerfield on Memorial Street, this three-story building, founded in 1870, in the original 1798 Deerfield Academy building, is filled with remarkable objects relating directly to Deerfield and its immediate environs. The native Pocumtuck people, Eastern European immigrants, and the African American experience are interpreted and presented here. Deerfield’s Arts & Crafts Movement, quilts, Hadley chests, paintings, photographs, tombstones, the famous 1704 hatchet-scarred door from the Sheldon house, as well as Bangwell Putt, the oldest-known rag doll in America who survived for so long partly because she was handled very gently by the little blind Clarissa Field who owned her, are just some of the things here to tell their stories. The impact of the continuum of history is very real and engaging in this special place which so lovingly preserves and documents Deerfield’s past. We invite you to stay with us at the Deerfield Inn when you visit this remarkable piece of history.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays, June through October (closed Mondays).

Hours: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for ages 6-21, and the little museum shop has some special pieces by area artisans.

And of course set aside plenty of time to visit Historic Deerfield and its absorbing exhibitions in the Flynt Center.

Memorial Hall Museum

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.)

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.

Our Greenfield, MA area 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!

The Scenter of the Universe

Monday, November 4th, 2013

The holidays are close, we have a midweek room rate special at our Deerfield MA bed and breakfast, so if you have flexibility in your life, consider coming to stay with us to enjoy a farm-to-fork blissful dinner, maybe a local draught, and a blissful night of quiet sleep, and a visit to Yankee Candle’s headquarters just five miles down the road.

Yankee Candle is not just candles – you will also find unusual home goods, unique toys and games, children’s books, candies of yesteryear and today, things for the kitchen shop, and an old-fashioned dry goods store. The centerpiece is a Bavarian village with gently falling snow, authentic nutcracker figures, and baskets and barrels and bins of holiday ornaments and baubles.

It is beautiful when it is all lit up at night, and you might get to meet Mr and Mrs Claus!

Give yourself the gift of a Deerfield MA getaway, and someone you love a gift from Yankee!