See that photo at the top of this blog of that inviting inn? It's the Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, VT, and having just returned I can truly attest that the inn is every bit as welcoming as that photo depicts. The Rabbit Hill Inn is one of those fabulous inns which combine amenity-filled rooms with ample common area and genuinely lovely innkeepers who mean it when they offer a welcome. It's an historic inn, with plenty of modern amenities, and having been singled out as one of the most romantic inns in the country, it lives up to its reputation. Ironically, a recent article in Travel & Leisure warned single Valentines not to come here given the haute romance they'd miss out on while all alone. The message there is if you're looking for a great romantic getaway, be sure to include Rabbit Hill Inn on the list.
Yet, while romance rules here just like the rabbits (which are found throughout the inn, as guests have sent them over the years), food is the other highlight here. About a year ago, Matthew Secich, formerly with Charlie Trotters in Chicago and the Inn at Little Washington among others, joined the Rabbit Hill Inn as Chef. He says he doesn't like the term "Executive Chef", but that's really what he is. I got the chance to talk to Matthew and learned all about his philosophy for providing the freshest cuisine, more often than not, right from the pasture or nearby farms. According to Matthew, there is nothing greater than having a relationship with a farmer, and he has plenty of them. During the summer months, guests will join Matthew at the nearby Farmer's Markets, and learn all about how to choose the freshest of produce. Cooking classes are also a very popular package at Rabbit Hill Inn, and there are plenty scheduled throughout 2009. The food Matthew serves is nothing short of exquisite. I enjoyed a Bar-b-q Wolf Fish appetizer and the Rabbit entree, topped off by the most delicious goat's milk ice cream I've ever tried. In between the prix fixe dinner courses came little surprises, including a bite of fried liver with a red onion accompaniment, which I just loved. And probably like you, I'm not one who usually likes liver. If you're not coming for the romance, come for the fabulous food. Breakfast was simply delicious too, with a cheddar and apple omelette accompanied by fingerling potatoes and a wonderful spinach salad, fresh squeezed orange juice and a selection of fresh fruits and muffins (don't miss the donut muffins -- they're the real deal).
The Snooty Fox Pub is wonderful, filled with a wide assortment of puzzles and games, and an equally wide assortment of spirits from a very affordable wine list to Vermont brews on tap and top shelf liquors. The parlors are welcoming, with fireplaces and locally famous Stave puzzles, hand cut and gorgeous works of art as much as they are entertaining. While the parlors and dining room are beautifully decorated and appealing, the real reason you'd come is to enjoy the guest rooms -- 19 of them in all. Each guest room offers a santuary from the rest of the world -- comfortable king and queen beds, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, and more. You might even find a few hidden doors to surprise you. You'll be off the radar screen here too -- no TVs (unless you ask, then TVs with DVD units can be added to your room) and no cell service. So bring your phone card, your sense of adventure to explore the Northeast Kingdom and by all means, your significant other. You'll be delighted you did.