So for the sixth year running we ventured north to the Dorset Inn http://www.dorsetinn.com/
I randomly found the place searching for historic inns and we are so lucky to have stumbled upon it. Ohh and they have a Groupon/LivingSocial a lot of the time too, so it helps with the expense (though I take any value away from the coupon when I eat/drink the savings!).
This is the type of place you can just park the car and have a cozy, lazy all about the Inn weekend. Yes, there are plenty of things to do around the way: hiking, skiing, Manchester outlets, fishing and all the other Vermont outdoors type things but we like to slow down and enjoy the Inn.
We love it here for many reasons including:
Amazing staff – we have to give a special shout out to Christine at the front desk, Patrick at the bar and the lovely ladies who waitress breakfast and are always super cheery. Nonie is also a fixture at the Inn. Everyone you cross at the inn is professional, polite and full of charm.
Dingo-friendly (though I think the pet “fee” for the room went up A LOT….a little miffed about that). With bowls, treats and a bed all set up in the room when you arrive! There is also a great trail up the way off of Peace Street that is a great little loop if you need some doggy run time. http://www.dorsetvt.org/Cutler&Pinnacle.php
Outstanding restaurant – we have never had a bad meal at the Inn. It is FAT KID HEAVEN, especially for breakfast. Their eggs Benedict are out of this world and the omelettes are huge. All the breakfast meats are made locally and you can taste the Vermont purity. Dinner and lunch are always on point with lots of variety on the menu. There is a small kitchen, but the chefs produce big, bold and filling meals. Better take that hike with the dog or hit the slopes in order to earn this dinner! If you are food porn addict like me you’ll love their Instagram and be sure to take pictures before you gobble down the food. I can always recommend the pasta special and the steaks for dinner. We usually have an order of mussels at some point over our stay. We prefer to sit in the warm bar area with the fire place going. The dining rooms is much more refined and requires reservations. This place is always busy so if you want to eat a certain time be sure to make a resy. If you are whiskey/scotch person Patrick at bar can set up with someone will love and they have a great and reasonably priced wine list.
Quiet, clean and cozy…all the things you want in an Inn (be sure to get a room NOT on the road side if you are light sleeper). You can relax in the two rooms downstairs by the fire, play some board games or read. They are updating all the rooms and the decorations are interesting but not overdone. We stayed in the Fenton room this year…I love the decor.
Part of the reason we go to Vermont is my “roots” are still there (1986 to 1993 I lived in a tiny town called Benson, Vermont). We go and visit friends for lunch in Poultney while we are there. It’s a lovely 40 minute drive from Dorset through the rolling valley. We eat at Taps Tavern. http://tapstavern.com/ . Awesome beer list and real cooking…this is a happy place. Also, check out their dishes, custom made by a local potter, just another great touch. Green Mountain College is in town so it has a kinda hippy, college vibe mixed with good Vermont soul. They have a good live music line up if that your bag.
I hit a new spot this year the Dorset Rising https://www.dorsetrising.com/
Walking into a warm shop full of sweet smells and brewing coffee after a cold dog walk was heaven. You can walk from the Inn but I drove over after the trail walk, there is lots of parking. I wish I spent more time here just sipping a latte and feeling cozy with a book or morning paper. We had the Maple Roasted coffee that was bliss on a Sunday morning with muffins and coffee cake. Every pastry or bagel you could ever want is available.
I hope we continue our tradition of visiting the Dorset Inn.
Some other places we usually hit while in Dorset:
https://www.dorsetunionstore.com/ – pick up your snacks, provisions and Vermont “stuff” at this great little market (dog friendly too!). We make sure to grab extra waters, mid-night snacks and some Vermont knick-knack each year.
https://jkadams.com/ – if you cook or just love “kitchen stuff” this place will be heaven. Besides the beautiful house made cutting boards and wood products (not cheap but totally worth it) they have every kitchen gadget you ever want. If you are dishes/glasses person they have an amazing selection. We also usually stop by on our way to out of town on Sundays and they have an awesome inside Farmer’s Market with local products and produce. The store is beautiful and worth just a walk around to see the shop.