Saturday, June 28, 2014

Vermont Cheese Makers Festival in Shelburne, VT

It all started hundreds of years ago when many farmers in Vermont had their own cows and made their own butter and cheese. Factories eventually came on the scene to commercially distribute products, which was originally only cheddar cheese. Many Vermont cheese makers highly honor the farmhouse activity of cheese making and because of the dedication to this lifestyle and a standard of taste of quality like none other our state continuously produces award-winning farmstead and artisan cheeses.

It is this deep-rooted passion and tradition that led to the formation of the Vermont Cheese Makers Festival. Fodor’sTravel, a top online travel site included this Vermont event in their list of the top ten best U.S. summer food festivals. Taking place on July 20, 2014 from 10am to 4pm at the coach barn at Shelburne Farms, this will be the sixth year for this very popular event. Considered to be New England’s premier cheese festival, you will have the opportunity to mingle among the best of Vermont’s artisan cheese makers, taste their products, sample fine foods and local wines and ultimately expand your own knowledge of how each cheese is made and the passion behind it all. The historic Shelburne Farms along lake Champlain is the perfect setting for this summer festival.

Highlights of the festival:

Local Wine, Craft Beer and Spirits Producers
Over 40 award winning cheese makers
Vermont Artisan Food Producers
Cheese maker demonstrations
Cooking demonstrations
“Meet the cheese makers” workshops
Over 200 Cheeses, wines & food products to sample and purchase at the open market

Make a weekend out of this great festival and spend your nights at Swift House Inn in Middlebury, VT. Full of rich tradition as well, our home away from home is the perfect retreat to relax during your time here. We are the only local accommodation where full breakfast is included and our comfortable rooms have all of the modern amenities you love at home. Contact us today at (866) 388-9925 for more information.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Shelburne Farms: A Local Treasure With a Mission

We are blessed by having amazing people, places and businesses all around Swift House Inn in Middlebury, VT that care about our community and the beauty that surrounds us. Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT is one special place in particular that is worth highlighting whether you live here or will be visiting us soon! This incredible place is actually a 1,400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain. They care about the sustainability, the quality of life on earth and making sure our young people have hope for the future.

There is so much going on at the farm all year but summer is a great time to take in some specific activities and events. If you are up for some outdoor adventures, you can explore over 10 miles of walking trails that are open year-round. There are fantastic activities and programs all throughout the year on farming, natural resources, historic preservation and more. The following are just a few of the highlights this summer should you be in the area and are looking for a great place to visit!

Tea & Formal Gardens Tour – On various dates throughout the summer, get a special inside peek at the luxurious cottage-style gardens and then enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea complete with delicious sweets and other goodies in the tea room.

Edible Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry Workshop with Eric Toensmeier – This is a unique two-day event on June 28-29, 2014.

Vermont Symphony Festival Tour – This spectacular group of musicians makes a stop at the farm on July 4, 2014 for an evening titled “Let’s Dance!” Picnic on the lawn and then get ready for some toe-tapping music, which will then finish off with a fantastic fireworks display.

Sun to Cheese Tour – This will be an extremely interesting behind the scenes look into cheese making. After the tour will be some tastings with the cheese makers themselves.  Taking place July 9, 2014.

Shore Explore – On July 19, 2014 you can wade along the shoreline of the farm with two expert naturalists who will teach you about the geological story of the Champlain Valley.

Farm to Table Dinners – Meet new friends in your community during this unique outdoor, family-style dinner. Executive chef David Hugo will create an unforgettable meal and you will learn how to creatively get food from your farm to the table—July 26, 2014.

18th Annual Vermont Fresh Network Forum – On August 3, 2014, over 20 of Vermont’s finest chefs along with local farmers will put on a dinner like no other featuring local products grown and raised—this is one sensational meal you won’t want to miss!

You can find more details about all of these events on their website. If you will be visiting our beautiful area, we would love to see you at Swift House Inn—our bed and breakfast in Middlebury, VT is just over a half-hour away from Shelburne Farms. After a day of eating, playing, tea, music or workshops you can come “home” to our classic and elegant country inn. Whether you are here for one night, a weekend getaway or longer we can find a place to suit your needs. View our accommodations online, pick your favorite and call us today at (866) 388-9925 for reservation information. See you soon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pocock Rocks Music Festival and Fair 2014– Bristol, VT

As soon as summer hits, there is a host of fun activities going on near Swift House Inn in Middlebury, VT. Shopping, hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, swimming, picnicking—pick your favorite and you will find a great place to do it. There are also many special events that pop up and one of the summer favorites is coming up on June 21, 2014. It is the Pocock Rocks Music Festival and Street Fair and it takes place down on Main Street in Bristol, VT.

Rain or shine, Main Street will be hoppin’ and rockin’ with spectacular music, great food and a ton of fun. This is the 6th year for this annual event and each year it just gets better and better. A little fun fact is that the name of the festival comes from what the town was originally named in 1792. Pocock was an 18th century British Admiral and it wasn’t until the 1780s that the town’s name was changed to Bristol. There will be no shortage of activities to enjoy at this year’s festival. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Silent auction
  • Live music and entertainment
  • Outside dining
  • Vermont cider and beer tastings, plus Whistle Pig Whiskey
  • Kids activities—bounce house and pitching/batting booths
  • Street dancing
  • Live demonstrations
  • Specials and events in the local shops 

Musical Lineup

Lynda Malzac
Sign language kids
Patrick Fitzsimmons
Waylon Speed
Abby Jenne
Gang of Thieves

It will all take place from 3pm-8pm—visit the event website if you need more information and for a fantastic place to stay for the night or the whole weekend, join us at Swift House Inn. Relaxing at our classic, Vermont country inn, with all of the amenities to make you feel like you are home. Contact us today at (866) 388-9925 for reservation information. Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A little about Dan's Paddling Adventure in his own words

Jeff and I paddled into Ft Kent Sunday at noon, a couple of days ahead of schedule, with Michele and Susie there waiting for us! What a great reception!! Michele and I stayed the night in Bangor then drove home yesterday; Ft Kent is a long way up there!

I'm not sure how to describe the trip. It was fantastic, beautiful, amazing, challenging, difficult, wet, cold, hot, fun and sometimes not so fun. The paddling was great, the portages and carries were challenges, the rain and wind added to the fun. Our canoe was a great choice and handled all waters. We saw so many beautiful rivers and lakes, and were continuously amazed at the beauty. There were many eagles, loons, geese, ducks, beavers, black flies, mosquitoes, a few deer and moose, and a bear. Did I say Black flies? We went through small quaint towns, large lakes, small ponds, streams, big rivers, some down stream and to many up stream. We camped most of the time but there were some nights in small motels, an Adirondack rustic hotel, cabins and with friends.

I know many of you watched the Spot positions and I'm sure at times you would wonder what we were doing, particularly when it stopped moving. There are many stories associated with those Spot positions! It was fun for us knowing that you all were following us. I will try to type up my journal and add some of the 400 pictures and make it available so you can see what the trip was like.

Thank you for your interest, for following us on Spot, and your support to Jeff and I, and particularly your support to Michele. I could not go on these adventures if it were not for Michele's support and her running the Inn. I know that when I am gone she works harder and longer than I do. When I return she is more tired than I am!! I truly understand how lucky I am!

I have to thank Jeff for sharing in the adventure. He is a great friend and we were able to keep each other's spirits up! His constant stroking in the bow and strength in the carries was amazing. Always take someone along who is stronger than you, and I did!

It's time to get back to work.............and start thinking what adventure will be next.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Vermont Gran Fondo Ride Coming June 14, 2014

Every once in a while an event comes along that if you have the true grit to take on the challenge, you will come away with memories that will last a lifetime. The Vermont Gran Fondo is one of those amazing events that is coming up June 14, 2014 in Hancock, VT. This premier cycling experience will truly test the skill, determination and fitness of each rider as it takes you up challenging ascents, down rushing hills and through breathtaking green valleys across the Green Mountains.

This race, which has been heralded as the best road biking experience in New England is not only put on to give cycling enthusiasts a great event to participate in but proceeds also got toward supporting bicycling in Addison County through programs, education, infrastructure and/or equipment. “Gran Fondo” is Italian and it refers to great endurance or long distance. Imagine if you will that this event is comparable to a marathon for running. It is a non-competitive ride in which the challenge is purely personal. It is you and the road against the clock. Whether you want to battle against the clock and push your pace or simply glide over the line within the allotted time, the choice is yours.

The Gran Fondo offers three ride options that cover four gaps: Lincoln, Appalachian, Middlebury and Brandon. Each one brings its own set of challenges, is well marked and offers breathtaking scenery. A little fun fact is that the Lincoln Gap provides riders with the steepest paved mile in the United States. Your three choices include:

Gran Fondo: 104 miles, 10,700’ feet of climbing (all four gaps)
Medio Fondo: 69 miles, 7,300’ feet of climbing (Lincoln & App gaps)
Piccolo Fondo: 46 miles, 3,100’ feet of climbing (Brandon & Middlebury gaps)

For all the details about this fantastic cycling opportunity visit the event website. If you will be coming into the area for the ride, make your time here extra special by staying with us at Swift House Inn. Our bed and breakfast in Middlebury, VT is just a half-hour from the starting line. Our classic Vermont country inn is a comfortable, relaxing home away from home. So, grab your bike and contact us today at (866) 388-9925 for reservation information.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Update on Dan and Jeff's Adventure

Michele received a surprise message from Dan on Thursday-they are TWO days ahead of schedule! This means that she and Susie will drive to Fort Kent, Maine on Sunday to meet Dan and Jeff. It will be a wonderful celebration of their accomplishment.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dan called on Sunday night from Jackman, Maine. This is the last motel in which they will stay and the last cell phone coverage they will have for the duration of their trip. On Saturday they completed the most difficult portion of the trip: an upstream paddle/carry/walk the canoe through Spencer Stream. Dan said they haven’t seen the black flies, yet, but that the mosquitoes are “wicked”. There are two more stores along their route—one on Monday and one on Wednesday. Other than that, they will see only water and trees and sky (hopefully, blue!).The expected pick-up date in Fort Kent is June 10!