Summer Menus are in full swing
Chef Greg and Zak are busy searching for the freshest catch of the day along with the abundance of produce now available from the local farms. Just this week our menu features Island creek oysters, carrot and ginger soup, slow-baked narragansett bay striped bass with shrimp and crispy crab cakes. You can keep up with our latest offerings by checking our dinner menu on our website.
Chefs Greg & Zak Announce
‘Tavern Tid Bits’
35 year FC veteran Chef Parks works his magic in concert with 15 year Sous Chef Zak Clayton. In addition to his significant contributions to The Four Columns dinner menu, Zak is using his special talent to create our new Tavern Tid-Bits menus, which include items like Bruschetta with toasts, Chicken, shrimp or beef kabobs with trio of sauces, Raw Oysters with mignonette, and a Vermont cheese sampler. We will be adding other delightful items as the summer progresses. Try them with our new selection of favorite New England beers and wines by the glass from around the world
Relaxing in the Tavern
Before you head off to the dining room for dinner you can enjoy one of Head Waiter Bob’s famous martinis, or one of our wines by the glass featuring selections from around the world. The Tavern was refurbished in 2008 to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Sink into one of our leather club chairs while you sip on a seasonal favorite, or while away the afternoon outdoors on the Tavern Deck!
More Wines by the Glass and a new selection of New England Beers
Nothing complements great company and an exceptional menu like a selection of artisan beer and wines by the glass. We have extended our selection of wines by the glass, featuring wines from the US and around the world. New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and Oregon Pinot Noirs rank among our favorites. We try to keep our wines special, meaning you generally won’t find these offerings at just any ol’ local grocery store. We now also have a selection of draft and bottled beers from New England including some of our favorites like Switchback. Selections change so come on by and taste our latest pours!
Nestled between southern Vermont’s mountains and streams are hosts of farms and orchards producing a variety of fresh Produce that can be shopped or picked fresh from the field. Shown here is Walker Farm Stand, only 10 minutes away on Route 5 between Brattleboro and Putney, Vermont.
If you want to take a little taste of the country home with you we will direct you to the many farms, orchards, farm stands and farmer’s markets nearby. Just down the road on Route 30 is Dutton Farm Stand.
Actually, this is more than a farm stand. Fresh baked pies and breads, along with jams and jelly line the counter. Often the aroma of the latest creation fills the room. The Dutton family has been growing fresh produce throughout southern Vermont for decades.
Scott’s Farm and Orchard and Dwight Miller Orchards also grow an extensive array of farm fresh products.
Every Saturday morning in the summer the Brattleboro Farmer’s Market is in full swing. You can also buy local farm products at the Brattleboro Food Co-op and the Putney Food Co-op.
Take a day to visit the local farms, farm-stands, orchards and Co-ops. Better yet, put on your jeans, wander the fields and pick your own…get in touch with your inner farmer!
Here is a seasonal listing of some favorite farm fresh products from the area:
March / April
Vermont’s famous Maple Syrup can be found in sugar houses throughout the area. Visit and watch the wood fire stove distill this golden harvest into the sweet amber syrup known throughout the world.
Spinach, Rhubarb, Ramps, Asparagus, Fiddlehead Ferns, Wild Mushrooms and Eggs
Cherries, English peas, Strawberries, Sugar snap peas, fillet beans, lettuces, rhubarb, apple blossom honey (a specialty of Dwight Miller)
Blueberries Raspberries Peaches, Plums, Peppers, Eggplants, Zucchini & Summer Squash, Herbs
Tomatoes, Blueberry and Peach peak season. (Many peach varieties become available) Currants, Blackberries, Watermelon Lopes, Dews, Nectarines, Legumes and Potatoes
Apples (Cortland, McIntosh, Gala, Honey Crisp, Macouns, Twenty Ounce, Empire, Wolf River. (Pick your own!) Pumpkins, Squash, Bartlett Pears, Magnes Pears, and Bosc Pears, Fall Raspberries. Table Grapes. It’s Cider Season!
More Apples! (Golden Delicious, Baldwins, Northern Spy, Blue Pearmain, Pound Sweet, Empires, Cortlands, Bancroft, Crandle) Pears, Pumpkins for pie, Pumpkins for carving, and Squash.
Root vegetables, Parsnips, Carrots, Gilfeather Turnips, Horseradish and assorted Turnips
Summer is underway… We’re off! A full house of happy guests just checked out today. This Memorial Day weekend we had guests celebrating anniversaries and graduations, weekend ‘quick escape artists’, just looking for time to decompress, and several very active outdoor enthusiasts getting the season off to an active start. After sketchy forecasts the weather blessed us with cool sunny days and brisk evenings. This lively group experienced a nice variety of some of the area attractions. There is a lot of summer ahead! Grab your partner, lover or fuzzy friend and come visit. Don’t forget our weekly Monday Morning Specials. You can see them on our website, or get first crack by signing up for our weekly email. Just send us and email with ‘Monday morning special’ in the subject. Here’s a sample of what awaits!
Canoe trips at BattenKill Canoe Some of the most beautiful areas of southern Vermont can be experienced from a canoe or kayak. At BattenKill Canoe you are escorted to the river and picked up at a pre-determined location downstream
Bike rides and rentals from West Hill Bikes With a broad variety of bikes and routes to suit your ambition and ability. We have a large selection of paved and unpaved routes to give you a choice of short leisurely tours, or more demanding itineraries. We can direct you to scenic routes with light traffic to maximize your enjoyment of biking through the back roads of southern Vermont.
(Very brisk) dips in our just-opened pool These intrepid souls were under 12, which explains how this was accomplished. However, with warm sunny days now at hand basking on the deck entertaining thoughts of taking a cold dip isn’t too bad.
Golf at Stratton, Mt Snow, Haystack and more Also nearby are Brattleboro Country Club, and Okemo’s Tater Hill. Most of these locations offer summer golf school sessions which some of our guests will be attending later this summer. Escape to a golf outing here in the beautiful green hills and valleys of southern Vermont.
Lounging by our stream, ponds and gardens We believe we witnessed major headway by our guests on books and newspapers out by the pool and the Adirondack chairs we have placed here and there throughout the grounds and next to the stream.
Shopping at Dutton’s Farm Stand With farms throughout southern Vermont, Dutton’s Farm Stand always has a nice selection of local produce and fresh baked pies. Greg and Zak frequently make runs to Dutton’s when they are preparing the evening’s dinner menu. Having a cocktail in the Tavern or on the porch served by our experienced (and very accommodating) wait staff
Head Waiter Bob Leavitt has been a Four Columns feature in the dining room for over 12 years and knows how to make a mean martini brim full to the top of the glass…just like you’re supposed to. (…and he never spills the drink) Better yet, he and the rest of the wait staff have a reputation for warm and professional dining service.
Enjoying Chef Greg and Zak’s summer menus
Here Sous Chef Zak Clayton works his magic. Items on our menus change daily, with seasonal favorites introduced frequently. This weekend items included Crispy Soft Shell Crab with lemon caper tarragon mayonnaise, Local Wild Leek Soup with Fresh Morels, and Baked Halibut and lobster with slow-baked tomato, olive oil, rosemary and garlic.
Hiking to the summit of Stratton Mountain and the Fire Tower
Actually, the weather was so beautiful we did this hike with Toby, our Golden Retriever and our legs are still all tingly. But if you want a good work-out and a great view this is the hike for you. The final climb to the top of the fire tower to see the surrounding mountains and lakes, and to feel the wind is well worth the effort!
Glass Blowing exhibition at Taft Hill Gift Store and Gallery
This past weekend visitors were able to watch Robert DuGrenier and Zachary Wickhaman demonstrate their craft as they worked on a commissioned Tiffany sculpture for a store opening in Seattle. But you can visit any time to see these beautiful works of art and other fun items from the Taft Hill Gift Store
Retreating to one of our guest rooms for a good night’s sleep before enjoying a hearty country breakfast and finding the next adventure for the day ahead.
Jamaica State Park
Pet friendly Four Columns Inn is the home of Toby, our robust, lovable and energetic Golden. If not taking a snooze Toby likes nothing more than escaping with his masters through the hills of Vermont, or touring to other places where he always seems to get attention and lots of pats.
One of Toby’s favorite Vermont hikes is beautiful Jamaica State Park, just up the road from The Four Columns. An old railroad bed from the 1800s manicured for hiking parallels the West River and makes a wonderful 2 ½ mile tour to the crest of the Bald Mountain Dam The trail is generally flat, and wide, perfect for a quiet stroll and conversation.
Less than a mile into the hide a picnic table is situated on a platform overlooking the river. This is one of many great spots for a picnic. Before you take off for your hike you can grab a sandwich just across the street from The Four Columns at The Newfane General Store, or The Newfane Creamery.
A bit further is the Overlook loop trail. A little climb and worth the effort for the birds’ eye view of the surrounding hillsides. Another option on up the main trail is the Hamilton Falls trail. This is about a mile climb to see this beautiful waterfall and pool tucked into a deep crevasse in a beautiful wooded area.
Continuing on the trail next to the river brings you to a beaver pond at the base of Bald Mountain Dam. Here Toby likes to take a swim before we climb the switch-back trail to the top. Once you reach the top of the dam, views of Stratton Mountain can be enjoyed. Fresh stiff breezes always make this an exciting vista. Twice a year the gates of the dam open wide to the delight of whitewater kayakers from around New England. The trip to the dam and back is roughly 3 hours or more depending upon your pace. This is a hike we find rewarding in all seasons. Don’t forget your snowshoes or cross country skis in the winter!
Rock River Artists announce the 2009 studio tour
Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19
Take advantage of the 3-Day weekend Super Saver or other Packages and combine your tour with the dining and hospitality of the quintessentially New England Four Columns Inn
The self-guided tour begins in picturesque South Newfane, Vermont.
Maps to individual artists’ studios will be available at The Four Columns and at The Old Schoolhouse in South Newfane.
The 17th Rock River Studio Tour offers a quintessential Vermont summer getaway. Anyone who has done Rock River knows the tour is different every time, and many people regularly plan their summer travels around the July event
The breathtaking art produced in this valley burgeons in the fertile fields of a sublime landscape. Within minutes of beginning the tour, one may see a sunny pasture overcome with daylilies, a cool forest fragrant with fallen hemlock needles, a 200-year-old barn still in use on a family farm, a dirt road that winds up a steep slope through a quaint old wood, and a covered bridge that crosses a clattery, shimmering river. It’s worth coming to Rock River just for the chance to take the many roads less traveled by.
But for most visitors, the draw of Rock River is the unique alchemy that results when you have 15 world-class artists showing their work within a 12-mile radius. When these artists open their homes, gardens and studios to the public for the weekend, the experience is comfortably intimate. Though this is a tour, participants are not treated like tourists: everyone is invited in as a back-door neighbor. And while the tour includes many artists whose works regularly appear in big-name galleries and museum collections, that is not the point here. A museum visit resembles Rock River the way a display of stuffed lions resembles a safari. The art in its native habitat, much of it in progress, still pulses with the ideas, emotions and other mysterious forces that originally called it into being.
For more information about the tour visit the Rock River Artist website.
What a Spring!
This is turning out to be a long luxurious spring! Continuing cool days and cool evenings are giving this season a nice long window. Mia loaded the gardens with tulips last fall and they have been adding color to every corner of the grounds…a true garden of Eden on a New England village green! Daffodils have been equally gorgeous, and now the red buds, apple lilacs and other flowering trees are beginning to burst. The beauty of the Four Columns gardens is they have been lovingly nurtured for years, so almost every week brings a new surprise with some unexpected color…so stay tuned!
No wonder this is a favorite location for Vermont weddings. Take a relaxing trip to our southern Vermont Inn and relax by the stream or just take a stroll and enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of this colorful season.
Extraordinary Friesians of Majesty
Stately beautiful jet-black Show Horses
Activities abound! When you escape to our romantic country inn here in southern Vermont, you may want to see some of the amazing sights that can be found in the area.
Just 15 minutes from The Four Columns resides Friesians of Majesty, a breed of jet-black horses that originated in the Netherlands. Owner Robert Labrie proudly displays his line of extraordinary horses at his 650 acre farm, recognized as one of the best Friesian facilities in North America. Here is champion Othello at his finest!
Visitors may schedule private riding or carriage lessons…
These gentle horses are approachable and a delight to ride. The staff is prepared to instruct beginners or experienced riders. Younger children are ‘double teamed’ by the instructors to give them an extraordinary and safe ride on top of elegance and grace.
Enjoy an elegant carriage ride on the grounds
A romantic ride around the farm will rekindle the magic of any relationship, and there is no better way to add a touch of drama and class to your Vermont wedding! We can arrange to have a Friesian-drawn carriage at your wedding, an elegant way to arrive and depart.
Interact with the beautiful horses (and colts) in a guided tour of the European style barns…
Watch the Friesian team perform in one of the regularly scheduled performances This is a captivating show as the drill team performs to music. Dressage freestyle is exhibited, driving is demonstrated, and a majestic Friesian runs at liberty (click here to see the schedule)…
Winter Sleigh Rides have been a Four Columns guest favorite
In the winter, take a journey back in time with a Friesian –drawn sleigh ride. Whether you would like to enjoy the bright sun bouncing off the sparkling snow or the brilliant moon reflecting on the snowy fields, the picturesque farm surrounded by majestic mountains is the perfect backdrop for that special sleigh ride.
Our guests have been delighted with visits to see Robert and this special place…
Just recently we visited with friends and were able to schedule riding lessons for the kids followed by a special performance and tour. The tour included a visit to some frisky new members of the Friesian family. Here Briana in her riding regale is escorted through some of the basics.
Robert put his prize stallion, Othello through the paces in a stunning performance of high steps and tight maneuvers. A beautiful sight.
Robert then escorted us to meet more of the Friesian family. Each of these little guys has the personal care and attention of Robert. From the day they arrive they are often lulled to sleep in Robert’s arms. As they mature, training and learning the ways of a champion is facilitated by the close relationship between the horse and his master. It shows in the performance and the character of these beautiful horses.
To learn more about Friesians of majesty visit the website by clicking here.
Southern Vermont is renowned for the rich arts community and in the summer the sounds of music can be heard here in the Southeast corner of the state. Following are a few of this year’s events. Take advantage of our 3 Day Weekend Super Saver and save 50% on one night’s stay while you relax for a long weekend of music, dining and soaking up the summer!
Independence Day weekend
Enjoy a picnic under the stars and a performance by The Vermont Symphony Orchestra, capped by a fireworks display
Friday July 3, 7:30 pm (gates open at 5:30)
If you are looking for a great 4th of July weekend, come visit us and enjoy inspiring music, a picnic dinner complete with candles, a magnificent setting, and spectacular fireworks. On Friday, July 3, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra will perform the annual Independence Eve concert at nearby Grafton Ponds to benefit the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.
With advance reservations we are offering our guests tickets, a picnic dinner complete with candles and blanket, along with wine or other beverage. Click here for details
Marlboro Music Festival
Many of our guests return year after year to enjoy the acclaimed performances of musicians from around the globe as they perform a series of concerts at the Marlboro College Music Festival.
Experience the unique and exciting music making that emanates from this international chamber music center. For over five decades, Marlboro has presented generations of the world’s musical leaders in collaborative performances on the hilltop campus of Marlboro College in rural southeastern Vermont, just minutes away from the Four Columns. The New York Times calls the concerts, ‘Extraordinary…rising stars and musical legends play side by side.’
Weekend concerts begin July 19 and run for five weekends through August 16. Order tickets online and see details on the Marlboro Music website
Yellow Barn Music School and Festival
Yellow Barn offers an inspiring five-week study and performance experience for advanced students and young professionals each summer during July and early August, and an intensive workshop for younger students in June. Public concerts are presented from mid-June through early August. Yellow Barn is centered in lovely rural Putney, Vermont, a mecca for the arts in the southeastern corner of the state and just minutes away from the Four Columns.
This year, Yellow Barn marks its 40th year. Performances begin Thursday, June 19. Visit the Yellow Barn Website for the summer concert schedule and ticket information.
Guests Tessa and Randy recently completed the first ‘Inn to Inn Experience’ package, enjoying the hospitality and dining of three exceptional area inns.
They began their journey at
the beautiful DeerHill Inn in West Dover, Vermont, with a wonderful dinner prepared by Chef Michael Allen. Tessa and Randy chose to bike from inn to inn, so they awoke the next morning and began the journey to our Four Columns Inn. They stormed the somewhat challenging fifteen miles through Williamsville and on to Newfane, biking the distance in an amazing two hours. Tessa is training for the Triathlon and was kind enough to check frequently on husband Randy, usually not too far behind. Appetites in place they were ready to enjoy dinner on their second evening, prepared by Chef Greg Parks. After another restful night in the country and a hearty breakfast it was on to The Old Tavern Inn in the picturesque village of Grafton. Once again covering the fifteen mile distance in two hours they had the rest of the day to unwind in the serenity of a Vermont summer. Another well-earned dinner prepared by Chef Dave Smith completed the quest.
Three days, three evenings, three inns, three chefs and a great workout. Not a bad way to spend a few days away in the Vermont countryside.
After an incredible snow season this winter, the gardens have returned with a vengence! Mia Sheffey is our gardener extrodianire, and when not creating works of art on canvas, works her magic through her green thumb around the grounds. The initial burst of flowering trees, daffodils and tulips have run thier course, and now we are enjoying iris of all colors along with the constantly changing pallet of summer garden colors.