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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Breakfast Delights at the Inn at Sweet Water Farm, Great Barrington, MA.

Breakfast Delights at the Inn at Sweet Water Farm, Great Barrington, MA.

There’s something about the changing seasons that makes me want to shout out ROAD TRIP.

So I was game when my bestie from Boston suggested that we find a scenic spot with rural, winding roads and some really great eats, midway between Boston and coastal CT.

We landed in THE perfect spot called The Inn at Sweet Water Farm in Great Barrington, MA, just down the road a piece from Tanglewood,  the Berkshires Botanical Gardens, and Chesterwood (the country home, studio, gardens and deep woods that were a retreat for Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the statue of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC). Kripalu and Canyon Ranch are in that neck of the woods, too.

Ever the culinary researcher and planner, I began by checking out innkeeper Lynda Fisher’s site to see what she had to say about her lovingly restored inn, built in 1804.

It was two thumbs up as I quickly discovered that she and husband, Andrei Vankov, are super eco-conscious, source ingredients from local farmers whenever possible,  pluck fresh eggs from the chickens wandering freely outside of their backyard coop and dry bedsheets on the backyard clothesline. They even give a discount to guests who drive hybrid cars. Lists of local farmers, restaurants that support them, and favorite hikes are all on the site for guests to peruse before arriving.

Fisher’s background is an interesting one and between rolling the fragrant dough for freshly baked croissants (served warm with chocolate oozing), greeting guests, receiving local product delivered to the back door and hanging those sheets out to dry, she shared her story with me.

But the best part of staying two nights at the Inn at Sweet Water was the creative and ample breakfasts served with attention, joy and pride by Fisher herself. We had arrived on the weekend of the Autumnal Equinox,  a marker that reminds Fisher to honor the rhythm of the seasons and the ingredients that are available.

We  dug into Buckwheat Crepes (new on the fall menu and meant to replace the French toast with fresh fruit) folded over smoked gouda and  topped with apples.  We hung out with Fisher by her old black stove as she ladled the batter into her sizzling pan, alternating raw, prettily sliced apples with others that had been gently sautéed and lightly seasoned with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger.

The mildly smoky gouda (from just up the road in Grafton, VT), hearty buckwheat and snap of fresh apples was just what we needed after having climbed Baldwin Hill and taking our time enjoying the wide open, 360 degrees views at the top. I even had my first walk through a corn field, where the stalks were as “high as an elephant’s eye” and surprisingly dense and fragrant of soil.

After our 3.5 mile walk we didn’t hesitate to order more.

Two soft cooked eggs, just plucked from the coop out back, were sunny yellow and richly flavored.  We mopped up every bit with toast “soldiers”.

The next morning we opted for the Plain and Simple Ruski, a deconstructed peasant omelet gently folded into steamed potatoes, moistened with sour cream and mixed with just snipped dill and garlic chive blossoms from the herb bed out back. Russian salmon caviar was a great bonus.

Lemon Ginger muffins, glazed in tangy freshly squeezed  lemon juice, warm, perfectly flaky croissants,  buttery vegetable tarts with the last of the summer squash, were all offered on the sideboard for early risers, along with freshly brewed coffee and a healthy hunk o’ camembert with local honey.

Pre-breakfast or breakfast number one before the post-hike sit-down? Yes, please and thank you very much.

For vegetarians, or those loving local, veg centric eats, check out this lovely six bedroom inn with the passionate, energetic and attentive Lynda Fisher at the helm.  And don’t forget to spend some time perusing her enormous cookbook collection, spanning 10 feet of  floor to ceiling shelves.  Her collection covers every subject imaginable.

It lines an entire wall of the cozy sitting room where the fireplace crackles and removes the chill along with some help from  Andrei’s selection of ports and nips.

Interestingly, Fisher told me that she learned to bake bread from Andrei’s Mom. “Bread is the boss of you” she explained to me. “It is a mystical, living thing. You wait for it to rise, and never try to rush it. Oh, I hear something calling from the kitchen…..”

And off she skipped, to punch it down and give it a turn for the lucky guests who would eat it the next morning.

Lynda gladly shared her most requested recipe with me. These  perfectly textured and not too sweet scones are truly out of this world. Look at how creative you can get by adding morsels of dried fruit and maybe even chocolate, if you’re that kind of breakfast eater, ahem.

14 Comments

  1. OHMYOHMY Breakfast is my favorite and I am reading this first thing in he morning and already drooling. Those muffins are a MUST MAKE THIS WEEKEND. All in all everything at this place looks good, it is a drive away for me and it’s already on my bucket list of places to travel. NICE.

    • Avital, it is so meaningful to me that you are following me from Israel. I hope my adventures and recommendations take you on a little journey each week! Next up: best eats if you are kosher like me and traveling along Newport Coast, CA. Wait until you see the views along the magnificent Pacific Ocean!

  2. Daily Bread bakery closed in Stockbridge and Barrington.The scones were wonderful, best ever. Are you familiar with this product and its secret.
    I have been testing recipes but no success. I was told at some point that yogurt was used, may not be accurate.
    Since you make your scones, any answers? Appreciate a response from your baker. Tks

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