Monday, January 10, 2011

The Inn at East Hill Farm

As y'all  know, I'm very bossy and like to tell you where you should take your families for day trips or vacations. Prepare to be bossed right now. Because I simply must tell you about the pinch-me-is-this-for-real weekend we spent in Troy, New Hampshire at the Inn at East Hill Farm.

Unfortunately, not only am I bossy, but I'm also a bloomin' idjit. Can you believe I left my camera battery charging happily away at my parents' house in Massachusetts while we drove up to New Hampshire for two days?

Fortunately, the nice folks at the Inn agreed to let me lift a few photos from their Facebook page. Also, I took photos with my phone, which should no doubt win some travel photography awards.

We arrived New Year's Day, right in time to catch the second half of the Inn's special New Year's Weekend for families (they have lots of Special Weekends for Families). And when I say "we," I mean the Professor, myself, the three little wanderers (ages 10, 7 and 5) and my brother and his wife. Here's what we did during the first 24 hours:

1. Eat (all meals were included in our room rate)
2. Make food sculptures (an organized activity for the girls' age group)
3. Drink hot chocolate and eat homemade doughnuts at a campfire in the woods.
4. Dip candles
5. Feed the goats, sheep and pigs with bags of day-old bread
6. Eat
7. Learn to contra dance -- yes, the whole family. My brother is currently down on his knees thanking the good Lord that that camera battery was AWOL the whole weekend. (But I loved how eager guests of all ages plunged into these activities!)
8. Play board games borrowed from the front desk
9. Sleep
10. Eat
11. Check for eggs in the henhouse
12. Enter a snowman-building contest (the boy)
13. Ride ponies (the girls)
14. Eat
15. Milk the cows and goats
16. Try snowshoeing in the woods with rented equipment, until the familiar yowls began: "My legs hurt ... Can we go baaaaaaack?" Kids these days.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, every single other guest left the premises. One minute they were there, filling the dining room with boisterous life, and then the next minute, it was just us, rattling around with the innkeepers. Innkeeper Sherri very nicely upgraded us for free to a deluxe suite of rooms where we had our own fireplace. Now, we're not really that hard to please? But let me tell you: We were very, very pleased.

We spent the next 24 hours or so continuing to eat -- alone in the huge dining room with our friendly servers -- and swim a little in the indoor pool, but otherwise hanging out by the fireplace, reading books, and playing board games. It felt like a family retreat: no distractions from chores, Internet, cell phones (limited service up there in the woods) -- just us cozied up in a room with the pleasure of one another's company. I think the memory of that time, and the perfect balance of wholesome, low-tech activity and warm repose will certainly endure.

Note #1: My grandmother took my family to this Inn when I was about nine years old. My brother and I were gratified to find that the important things (fritters at mealtime, for example) hadn't changed. Now my kids will have their own set of delicious memories, and they're already clamoring to return!

Note #2: This was not a sponsored trip. We were just regular guests, paying our own way, and no one at the Inn asked me to review the place. Just so we're clear. Over and out.


Raji P. said...

And next time you go you will surely take all your loyal blog readers with you, right?

What a dreamy weekend, the stuff memories are made of. Happy New Year!

Kristin said...

Love this place, so glad to read your post! We go in the Spring and it is wonderful then too! Baby animals abound! ;-) Love your blog!

Becca D said...

Thank you for telling the world how East Hill Farm is amazing! I'm so glad you got to go back after visiting as a child. The memories will last forever. If you thought the activities were fun in the winter you should go up in the summer there so much more fun things to do. My Family has been going for a week every summer for the last 16 years!(I'm only 18) I have grown up going there. We now have dear friends from all over the east cost because we met them at "the farm". They all come the same week we do for just as long.
Thank you for loving East Hill Farm!

Sharon Liljedahl said...

Hello, Loved your blog about The Inn we have gone there for the past 11 yrs every Thanksgiving and once in the spring as well it is the best place our three kids have also grown up there. We hope one day to be able to also take our next generation there as well, and yes Sherry is terrific.

Anonymous said...

Also DOG friendly!!!!

Vanessa said...

awesome! Me thinks I need to visit the farm.

Vanessa said...

p.s. glad there is a picture of you. it's about time!

Ann said...
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Ann said...
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Ann said...

Spending time at the inn in the 50's,60's, and 70's was the best time of my life. At that time the Inn was owned by my Uncle Parker and Auntie Annel. My grandfather, who grew up in the main house, had built a house down the road off Perkins Pond by this time. My Aunt Judy and Uncle Bob now live in Grampa's house. They are the ones who do the coffee and donuts in the winte! a couple of special nuts!!
When we were young, we used to go help with meals, ride the horses, gather eggs, square dance, so many wonderful memories.
Your article perfectly depicts the memories I have of The Inn at East Hill Farm. I hope you can go back when the weather is nice and climb Mt. Monadnock! That is an amazing climb. I took my first climb when I was 4!
Thank you for sharing your experience so that others may take the opportunity to step back into the past for a bit and "live" on a working farm for a few days, as well as experience the hospitality that is found in Dave and Sally!

Stephanie said...

Say what you want about the photos from your phone, but I think the one of your daughter is quite striking.