Blueberry Hill Inn – Goshen, Vermont
Blueberry Hill Inn
Not many of us have ever heard of Goshen, Vermont. If you remember the bible, there was a Goshen in a region of ancient Egypt on the eastern delta of the Nile River. It is here where the Israelites lived from the time of Jacob until the Exodus.
How then did Goshen become a town located in central Vermont? One explanation – in order to attract settlers to New England, many towns carried connotations of rich and fertile lands. Unfortunately, however, the early settlers, who arrived in 1782, were disappointed, as Goshen Vermont was certainly not the biblical Goshen with its rich fertile land.
What it did have is its magnificent location perched high in the Moosalmoo Region of Vermont at an altitude of 1,136 feet. It is also home to Romance Mountain, located in the Green Mountain National Forest, and identified by the Wilderness Society in 2000 as one of the top ten spots across the USA for romantic activities. A place where cell phones, television and all of the other paraphernalia of modern technology can be left at home.
Goshen is also where one of the most romantic inns in Vermont, Blueberry Hill Inn, is situated, and one that certainly merits recognition as one of the centerpieces of this idyllic town. The inn’s history dates back to 1813, when it was initially established as a lodging establishment for loggers.
Although you may have the feeling of being isolated, the inn is a mere ten miles from the historic town of Brandon, as well as ten miles from Middlebury. When you drive along the six-mile unpaved winding road through the Green Mountains to reach the inn, you will surely holler – ah, wilderness, the perfect place for lovers!
Surrounded by 22,000 acres of forest, woodlands, trails, lakes, ponds and alpine terrain, you can literally escape from everyone, and enjoy those precious romantic moments that we all crave. How about renting a canoe with your loved one, and paddle into the middle of one of the many thousands of lakes in the area, enjoying lunch with a glass of wine? Perhaps, skinny-dipping far away from prying eyes in one of the many streams and brooks in the area, where the water is about the cleanest in the State of Vermont.
For those who enjoy walking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, hiking or cross-country skiing, the inn offers forty miles of forest and walking trails, as well as more than seventy-five kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails. In fact, during the winter, the inn’s cross-country ski center offers some of the finest Nordic skiing in the entire state.
If you enjoy blueberries, very close to the inn is Hogback Mountain that not only provides you with breathtaking views, but also the opportunity to enjoy the most delicious wild blueberries that Mother Nature can produce.
What makes Blueberry Hill Inn so delightful, however, is the friendliness that greets you as soon as you step into the front door.
When we visited the inn, we immediately had good vibes – this was a happy place to visit. Val, one of the front office employees, beckoned us to step into the living room and with her “bubbly” smile reminded us of actress, Goldie Hawn.
Within minutes we were whisked around the eleven tastefully decorated rooms of the inn, all with private baths.
We also walked through a picturesque enclosed common passageway that serves as a greenhouse, with its many windows and brick flooring.
No matter how the climate is outside, you can still curl up on a chair in this section of the inn and enjoy the numerous plants, while reading a book or enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Don’t forget to try innkeeper Tony Clark’s famous chocolate chip cookies that are available throughout the day and evening along with the tea and coffee. You can even purchase a box full of them to bring home with you.
Another larger Greenhouse is located a few steps from the inn supplying the kitchen with year-round herbs. Apparently, there are more than fifty culinary and twenty-five medicinal herbal varieties, that are grown outdoors and indoors in the Greenhouse when Mother Nature does not co-operate in the cold winter months.
Not only are the herbs used for meal preparation, but also for the Inn’s line of herbal bath salts and body lotions.
Blueberry Hill Inn also specializes in unique and unusual wedding celebrations, and they are true to their word when they say “we can make your wedding planning as simple as possible without sacrificing creativity or quality.”
I must admit it certainly is creative when you have a bride and groom hiking the Long Trail, suddenly to appear, while their guests are biting their nails wondering if they would ever show up!
When we were visiting the inn, innkeeper Tony and his crew were in the midst of preparing for a wedding, where the couple would be exchanging vows on top of Hogback Mountain with its stunning views, while the bride’s mother would be officiating.
It was quite exciting to watch how well organized the inn’s crew were in setting up the wedding.
In order to accomplish this feat, we were informed that one of the requirements is that the wedding party books the entire inn for Friday and Saturday night with a minimum of twenty-four guests per night. In this way, the celebration becomes the focus of the inn, and you can be confident that your guests will receive that special touch. Weddings are limited to three hundred people, and all groups have a choice between a sit down reception or a buffet.
The inn’s chef, Timothy Cheevers, who is an acclaimed Master Chef of Great Britain, uses only local game, free-range fowl and the finest cuts of meats. Chef Tim will tailor the meal around the bride and groom’s tastes and wishes.
Incidentally, Chef Cheever’s culinary expertise is beyond description. Guests do relish Tim’s artfully prepared dinners – and they are truly an unforgettable experience.
Expertly prepared fresh fish and meats are delicately flavored with the inn’s home-grown herbs designed to only enhance the natural flavor of the dishes.
Dishes range from truite Antoine, lobster & crab ravioli with roasted garlic cream sauce, beef tenderloin with Irish whiskey sauce and soufflé roll with chicken béchamel filling and roasted red pepper coulis.
To end “la grande bouffe” is Tim’s home-made desserts that are a delight to the eye and palate.
In every aspect, Blueberry Hill Inn provides a true Vermont country experience that focuses on a casual, relaxed and homey atmosphere, where the personal needs and comfort of its guests are considered to be of the utmost importance.
In return, the inn can boast that guests refer to the inn as a special place, situated in an unassuming forest service road, where they were warmly welcomed, and where its flawless service will always be remembered.