“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”
I apologize for starting yet another (and I know it won’t be the last) post with the sentence “So I bought a Groupon for.” So I bought a Groupon for a B&B with my boyfriend, the Catskill B&B in Stamford, NY. After looking through Groupons, I realized that I’d never been to a Bed & Breakfast before and since it was only a little over an hour away from the Capital Region we bought it with the private bathroom option. Before we even got there, I was happy with how accommodating Lewis and his wife Lilly were to us. The day we were to travel to the Catskills was projected to be one of the worst snow storms this Winter and when I called to ask about the weather conditions, Lewis told me that I could change my reservations if I felt more comfortable coming another weekend and I would not be charged for the change. We decided to just bare the potentially awful weather and long story short, the storm wasn’t that bad and obviously made it there safely.
When we arrived, we called Lewis and he met us at the door. After showing us to our room, we got a tour of the house and since at the time we were the only guests, had the opportunity to chat with Lewis a bit. He’s a very interesting guy if you have the time to talk to him. He does enjoy to talk so if that’s not the experience you’re looking for, I would make it known up front. We though enjoyed the conversation. We talked about a huge range of topics from art to game theory to radio to his books to other services offered at the Catskill B&B. We were only given one dinner inside of the house so on Friday night we went out into the snow storm to find food. This Bed & Breakfast was in a great part of town, only one block from Main St and is completely walkable. In case you forgot anything for your stay, there is a Rite Aid around the corner so though Stamford is a smaller town, you find yourself right in the middle of it.
For dinner, we stopped at Gabrielle’s Restaurant (60 Main Street, Stamford) which was probably more of the fancier locations but the prices were still reasonable. I ordered penne a la vodka with a glass of wine. I’m not a trained chef and though I love to cook, most of my training is from the Food Network. One thing, a pet peeve if you will, that bothers me about food is when the outside of the plate is decorated and in this case with shredded cheese. They gave me extra cheese in a small container, I’m not going to take it from the outside of the plate where the waitress may have touched it and put it into my food. In my opinion, it’s useless and just looks slipshod and messy. Other than my picky pet peeve, the dish was delicious. The sauce a perfect consistency, the pasta cooked beautifully and I overall really enjoyed it. Since there were no TVs or internet inside the B&B, we spent the rest of the night playing cards and watching Netflix on a phone. I find myself so taken over by technology sometimes, it was nice to play cards and have the time to talk without distraction, even if the TV was on in the background.
The next day we were welcomed with breakfast prepared for us by Lewis that we shared with another couple that was staying there for the weekend. Lewis made us a fruit salad, waffles and brought out tea, coffee and orange juice. He was very accommodating. After breakfast, we decided to head out to Windham Mountain which was about a half hour drive away. We don’t ski nor do we snowboard but I love hanging out in that atmosphere. I would take the time to learn but it ends up being way more money that I intend to spend on a sport. After walking around and checking out the surroundings, we took a shuttle over to the Adventure Park across the street. I don’t downhill ski but it’s so difficult to live in this area and not participate in anything Winter so I usually cross-country ski or ice skate. Ice skating was closed because of the snow but there was the option to ski, snowshoe or tube. To rent and use the area, cross-country skiing was $25/pp but there is no time limit and the path is beautiful. They told us to follow the pink tags but going through the woods was challenging because of the fallen branches hidden under the recent snow. It was a great workout and added a mix of hills and flat land for an enjoyable dynamic. For lunch, we went to the Adventure Park lodge and shared some chicken fingers and french fries and I enjoyed a well-needed hot chocolate.
That night at the Bed & Breakfast, Lewis made a fantastic vegetarian dinner paired with a sumac drink he made, I believe it was. We started out with a mediterranean platter that had falafel, grape leaves and hummus. The main course was a vegetable lasagna that tasted like there was meat but better. I really enjoyed the food he prepared for us along with the pancakes he made for breakfast the next morning. He didn’t eat with us but did sit at the table to chat while we were eating all meals to get to know us a little better. The whole environment of the Bed & Breakfast is very social. There is one TV in the house and if you’d like to watch movies, it becomes a household event. There was only one other couple but I would be curious what it would be like with more people. I can imagine an even more stirring conversation and a very interesting experience.
Our room was comfortable. The shower was challenging because there was no holder for the shower head and it’s been awhile since I’ve had to maneuver the shower head as well as pay attention to what I’m doing. Overall, we really enjoyed our time there. Everyone was very welcoming and the town of Stamford was very quaint. The Bed & Breakfast also offers wellness packages including massages, stress management, etc and all the information can be found on their website if that’s more the experience you’re looking for.