The Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont, right over the New Hampshire border, may not be kid receptive, kids meaning kids up to 14, but it’s still very family friendly, families being all other kinds of family configurations. Many newlyweds come to share the classically lovely inn with friends and family, long-lost relatives gather here to get reacquainted, and parents with adult children hungry for a chance to get together under the same roof show up at Rabbit Hill.
It’s just that there’s little for little ones to do here, and Leslie and Brian Mulcahy, Rabbit Hill Inn’s much-touted, well-reviewed innkeepers, want people to be happy at their place. And the families that come, keep coming back. Rabbit Hill is one those rare destinations with hundreds of reviews and not one that doesn’t give the place outstanding ratings. Mobil has given it Four Diamonds, and Rabbit Hill belongs to the cluster of “Select Registry” inns.
OK, so what? Well, so plenty.
|From From Kaleel|
Image credit: Wendie Hansen (1 Min Video Review, below)
The bucolic setting (compete with white-steepled church across the small village lane) and lovely gardens matter only if the innkeepers care about their guests and show it. Many New England inns enjoy this kind of classic setting, but few inns have a Leslie and Brian who are there for their guests, and are not absentee innkeepers. The couple never even stayed at an inn when they stumbled on Rabbit Hill some ten or so years ago. It was love at first sight, so much so, they apprenticed to original owners and, in the way of Kismet, became the inn’s owners a few years later
Each of the 19 rooms is special in the New England tradition. Some have fireplaces, some have porches, some look out over the flowers and gardens, some have canopied beds whirlpool baths. All have some rabbit motif worked in, of course.
There’s an afternoon tea, drinks at the bar at 5:30 and a nearly cult following of the maddening, elegant Stave Puzzles that keep the guests engaged. Some of them have asked Stave to design a “proposal puzzle,” so when the pieces are all in place, it reads, “Will You Marry Me?”
|From From Kaleel|
Breakfasts and dinners at Rabbit Hill come from fresh, local farms. We visited one and talked a bit with farmer Bill who told us about Rabbit Hill Inn’s chef, Matt, and his preferences for local produce: eggs, parsnips, cheese, spinach, tomatoes. As vegetarians we passed on the meat meals but enjoyed the the Wolf Fish and fresh vegetable lasagna with homemade bread and all the fresh herbs of the season.
The region around Rabbit Hill Inn, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, is spectacular with the White Mountains, but unemployment has hit some of the towns hard. You can see it in closed shops and dispirited town centers. But Vermonters are still working artisans, cheese makers, winery and creamery owners, craftspeople. St. Johnsbury, the nearest big town, has a couple of interesting, cool museums, The Fairbanks, and the historic Atheneum, and some interesting musical events.
So, if you’re traveling with kids under 14 and under, you’ll have to defer your visit. Otherwise, go say hi to the Mulcahy’s and very likely become a fan of Rabbit Hill inn.
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