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Massachusetts Travel Blog

Duties of Innkeepers, 1810

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

innkeeper broadsheet from 1810Historic Deerfield Inc recently acquired a broadsheet from about 1810, issued by the state of Massachusetts, entitled Duties of Innkeepers.

We are in dereliction of quite a few of these duties – we fail on the no dice and cards about the house, we definitely allow dancing and revelry, and we are sorry, but there is quite a bit of drinking and playing on the Lord’s Day.

We do well in not suffering minors to drink, and we can’t abide disorder and misrule.

We are all in favor of no hostility and violence, but we fall short on providing hay and provender – although the 1883 stables are still in good order!

This broadsheet will eventually be on view in the Barnard Tavern, one of Historic Deerfield’s museum houses, once that restoration-in-progress has been completed.

While we may veer from these traditional “duties of innkeepers” at our Deerfield bed and breakfast, we like to think these changes leave a little more room for fun! Experience the best of historic Deerfield, MA and join us!

Practical Housekeeping :: Tips from 1883

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Here are some rather charming housekeeping hints from a book called Practical Housekeeping, Buckeye Publishing Co., 1883 that I picked up at one of the super secondhand bookshops around here. These hints seem as good now in 2016 as they were in the year before our Deerfield bed and breakfast was built.

And read on down the best way to preserve a husband and children. Very dear!

Practical Housekeeping Hints

  • To prevent cupboard door hinges from creaking, rub with a feather dipped in oil.
  • A copper tea kettle may be kept looking bright and new by washing in sour milk followed by clear water.
  • To clean a coffee pot: put a mixture of wood ashes and water in pot bring to gradual boil and let stand till water cools. Then scrub in hot water and soap, then scald 2 or 3 times. When wood ashes are lacking substitute baking soda. Rub bad stains with sand or brick dust.
  • To toughen new glassware, place in cold water, bringing it gradually to a boil and boil for 4 hours. Allow to cool slowly in the water. Hot water will never subsequently crack it.
  • To remove old tea and coffee stains, wet spot with cold water; cover with glycerine and let stand.
  • Pieces of gum camphor placed near books on shelves will protect them from mice.
  • To brighten silk hose, when washing add a tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse water.
  • To prevent rust on garden tools, wipe off with a rag soaked in coal oil.
  • To remove iron rust from delicate fabrics, cover the spot thickly with cream of tartar, then twist the cloth to keep cream of tartar over the spot. Place in a saucepan of cold water and heat the water to boiling point.
  • To clean pie tins and remove rust scour with raw potato dipped in cleanser.
  • Silverware, when set away, keeps best wrapped in blue tissue paper.
  • Brick tiles can be cleaned with a vegetable or small paint brush dipped in white vinegar then sponged off.

How to preserve a husband
Be careful in your selections. Do not choose one too young and take only such varieties as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere. When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain forever settled and give your entire thoughts to preparation for domestic care.

Some insist on keeping them in a pickle, while others are constantly getting them in hot water. Even poor varieties may be sweet, tender and good by garnishing them with patience, well-sweetened with smiles, and flavored with kisses to taste. Wrap well in a mantle of charity. Keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion and serve with peaches and cream. When thus prepared they will keep for years!

How to preserve children
Take 1 large grassy field, 1/2 dozen children, 2 or 3 small dogs, a rippling brook and some pebbles. Mix the children and dogs well together and put them in a field, stirring constantly. Pour the brook over the pebbles and sprinkle the field with a variety of flowers. Spread over all a deep blue sky and bake in the hot sun. When golden brown remove and set away to cool in a bath tub.

Bring Something to the Table :: A Community Support Initiative

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Support local nonprofits in Massachusetts and be entered into our raffle

The Deerfield Inn and Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern are bringing back the Bring Something to the Table initiative that we rolled out in December to invite guests who come here to enjoy a meal to leave a donation of any amount in an envelope for members of our community who are in need of our kindness. Obviously folks do not just need help during a single fund-raiser and on high days and holidays, so through the spring and summer, starting in May, we will be supporting four different and extraordinarily valuable organizations that do so much good for those who need our help.

Come by Champney’s on a Sunday in May to August, gather with friends; with family; bring a date; and slip something in the envelope in the check holder. Every single dollar helps, and if you can bring more than that to the table, then good for you!

At the end of every month we will draw out a donor name and give someone an overnight stay at our Massachusetts bed and breakfast along with a $50 VIP card to spend in Champney’s when you come for your sleepover. Afternoon tea and Kathleen’s cookies, a full country breakfast, free Wi-fi, $4 off each adult museum ticket, and 10% off in the store as well.

You can come by as often as you want on any Sunday you please, leave some more for those in need of a hand up, and enter the raffle again.

May – New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, NELCWIT, to assist the safe house ad its carers, and protect, feed, clothe, and help the residents through their transitions. Women and children find a haven here where they can be given safe passage, warmth, kindness, and a respite from aggression and fear while they rebuild their life.

JuneFranklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter run by the upbeat Deputy Colucci and her compassionate staff and volunteers. Unwanted dogs, lost dogs, the shelter cares for them all with medical care, good food, walks, and strokes of love. Sheriff Donelan’s office can provide only a stipend, and this shelter is kept going by the hard work and endeavors of the Friends, and more aid is always needed. We need to keep this shelter here because so many people finding a lost dog are reluctant to go all those miles down to the shelter in Springfield, and many dogs will not find the safe and fostering way station they need until they are found or adopted.

July – The Franklin County Community Meals Program. We think you agree that it is just not right that people in our neighborhood do not have enough to fill their tummies. It is especially not right that many children go to bed hungry. FCCMP serves over 20,000 meals a year and they need our continued help to keep this level of sustenance and support going.

AugustThe Literacy Project – with its commitment and outreach to teach adults and young people, 16 and up, to read, to grow existing skills, to gain a GED, in safe, non-judgmental, caring classes with the knowledge that being literate and having the basic building blocks of education, give one the empowerment to engage in society, to find employment, to gain inner confidence and to find a positive voice.

So please share the bounty with the county and help spread the joy of a good meal, a safe haven, a more positive future, and a forever home. We appreciate you and we look forward to you being the one who might get a gift (beyond the gift of giving) and will win the monthly raffle.

Inn Guests Give Back and Enjoy Living Nativity

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Deerfield Inn Gives Back
Thank you to the kind and generous guests in Champney’s (our on-site restaurant) who brought something to the table and shared the bounty with the county. They donated to others and helped spread the joy of a good meal while they had one themselves.

Deerfield Live nativity

On Christmas Eve we collected money to help buy food to feed the hungry. The village held its 39th living manger in the stables behind the inn, and after viewing the tableau folks came in to the Terrace where we gave them local mulled cider and festive cookies.

We received more cash donations and filled a box with non-perishables. It was wonderful of you all, and we thank you on behalf of those in need for the hand up you have given.

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.

No Longer Pet Friendly :: Deerfield, MA Lodging

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Deerfield Bed and Breakfast

We are so sorry to say, that even though we all love dogs, we can no longer accept dogs here at the Deerfield Inn. Anybody who has an existing reservation to bring their dog may do so, of course, but we cannot take any new reservations as of September 1st.

We are very sad that having dogs stay is not working for us, as most of us here at the inn like to travel with our dogs, but the repair and replacement has become too high: scrabbled wallpaper, chewed bureau edges, ripped upholstery, pee-stained dust ruffles… and one fitted carpet that had to be replaced!

Of course there are many good dogparents who use the bowls, towels, and bed we provide (not the ice bucket, the bath towels, and the pillows), and crate their pet when they are away from the room so it doesn’t attack the housekeepers or damage the space in its being-elsewhere anxiety; so we thank you for your understanding and are so sorry it has come to this.

If you are a guest at Champney’s, your dog may still join you on the dining porch if the weather is agreeable.

Thank you for understanding, and again, we are so sorry it has come to this.

Lead with Kindness :: Love & Accept One Another

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Romantic Getaway in Deerfield, MA

Locks of love

We had a jaw-dropping incident here recently where some dinner guests used racial epithets towards one of our wonderful servers.  Appalled guests at nearby tables apologized to him. (We did not know about this at that moment as we were having supper here ourselves with family and friends to celebrate love and friendship.) In 28 years we had yet to see people like this come in here. No – hang on, 27 years. In our first year as innkeepers I received a special unsigned letter that wondered if I had wet my finger and stuck it into an open electrical socket. Remember big 80’s hair?!

The Deerfield Inn is a place where we lead with kindness, care, and warmth. Your happiness is important to us and we care about you, but we have no tolerance for intolerance. This is not a place for prejudice. If you are the kind of person who has cruel and unkind thoughts and words about the people you see around you, you may not express them here. If you do, we will be glad to show you the door. We welcome everybody of any gender, ethnicity, and creed, but haters will never be welcome in this building.

A New Kind of Guest – Yuccies in Deerfield

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Hipster travelWe were recently cited in BedandBreakfast.com as two among a group of twenty innkeepers who have been in business twenty or more years. We have met all kinds of folk here from all over the US and the world – a fantastic mix of young and old and in-between with all sorts of different careers and interests past and present. We hear so many great stories. We have so many to tell. When we started here as innkeepers we used to be the age that more and more of our guests are now. We see so many late twenties and young thirties who are brilliant helping me with some of the more baffling aspects of Pinterest and Instagram. I thought these young people were uniformly called millennials, but within that group of twenty-somethings I am learning of sub-groups that are proud to hashtag themselves as yuccies.

This is a hipster/yuppie crossbreed – the Labradoodle of social stereotypes, who apparently aspire to be successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. They are fluent in emoji, and pleased to be recognized by BuzzFeed as people who FaceTime their pets, and selfie stick like mad even from places as un-hip-happening as Deerfield. They care about well-being and are delighted with the eat local philosophy of Champney’s, because they place emphasis on food and how you are what you eat. They seem to be all about food, fitness, and fashion. They are quirky and cute, and tell me I just have to watch Game of Thrones and Aziz Ansari. The time has gone by so fast!

Induction into TripAdvisor Hall of Fame :: Certificate of Excellence

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Certificate of Excellence

Heads up before service

Huzzah! Thank you to our lovely supportive guests and friends of the inn. The Deerfield Inn has been inducted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for five-time Certificate of Excellence winners.

The Certificate of Excellence is only given to establishments that consistently receive great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and the “Hall of Fame” was created to honor those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years. To qualify, a property must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, and have a minimum number of reviews.

This is such a source of pride and pleasure for all of us here. We are so delighted that what we work for every day has brought happiness to our guests, and we thank them so much for being so kind as to take the time to comment in a review about their experience. There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by our guests, and this vote of confidence inspires us to continue with our commitment to doing our very best to make sure our guests enjoy their time with us and leave happy.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years is a remarkable feat. TripAdvisor is pleased to induct five-time award winners into the ‘Hall of Fame’,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on consistently delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive an improvement to hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

Thank you to the wonderful people who work here with us whose commitment, attention to customer happiness, and team loyalty in both back and front of the house from dishwasher to housekeeper, from bartender to runner to front desk, from maintenance man to restaurant manager to events planner, who have all made this possible. (And Jack our marketing manager)

Hall of Fame in Trip Advisor

Jack and Sasha

Ghosts of Massachusetts :: Deerfield Inn Visitors

Friday, May 8th, 2015
Chocolate Cupcake Recipes

IF we have ghosts, they are just marshmallow puffs!

Ghosts of Massachusetts –

They say we have had a passel of ghosts here at the Deerfield Inn for hundreds of years. At least two of them are pretty active still. One is a bit bossy and inquisitive, one is mischievous and gets excited when children are staying. No doubt a load of cobblers, but we do have people who stay here, people who work here, who are very sensitive to energy and auras, and the same activities keep repeating themselves from time to time – tissues on the floor, pinch on the bottom, tug on the pillows, things being moved from one spot to another, a knock on the door late at night…

We are not saying what has been happening these past weeks has anything to do with anything, but it is odd. Things that have been in one place one minute have gone the next. We wait a bit and that object is suddenly back again. The sign for the front desk, for example, that has a little owl on it and says “Owl be right back”: It hangs on a brad right where we can snag it and put it out on the desk if we have to step away. Carrie put it out, went to help with a TV problem, returned, put the sign back. It is a routine reflex. Then she got another call later at night, reached out for the sign – and it was gone. When she came back – bingo, there it was hanging where it should have been. This little tease has been going on for a fortnight now.

That is perhaps not as strange as a whole series of oddities just the other day – Champney’s Assistant Manager Nikki is no newbie at service. She very seldom makes an error, and she certainly has never tipped an entire bowl of soup towards herself as she was placing it on a table! Eric went to get a replacement, joking to Nikki it must be Herschel, and as he approached the table he felt his serving arm being flipped up towards him….

Nobody hurt, consternation mixed with amusement all around. You are probably thinking we were just being clumsy. One server maybe, but not two of our very, very best!

Eric then felt for his pad where he keeps it in his back pocket to take an order. It wasn’t there, so he relied on memory. As he went into the server pantry to replace his pad with another, he found his pad back in his pocket…. Huh. He filled his plastic water beaker, placed it on the coffee station counter, and pushed it towards the back. Matt called, “Service!” and Eric went to pick up. As he went by the counter, he and Matt saw, out of the corner of their eyes, the beaker slide from the back to the front of the counter, and splash to the floor.

All very strange. Who knows?