Just twenty minutes away is the picturesque town of Woodstock, Vermont. We drove through the Quechee Gorge on the way there and this weekend it was abuzz with tourists even though it was a rainy, soft day here in the Upper Valley. After a quick stop to take in the lush views of rock, leaves and water we drove into Woodstock and parked near Middle Bridge – one of the hardy covered bridges that give this part of Vermont and New Hampshire such character.
“Woodstock, Vermont, is a picture-book New England village with something for the outdoorsman, the antiquer, the shopper, the foodie — even the layabout. Think of it as a one-town-fits-all destination,” wrote Fan Winston for Martha Stewart.
It is indeed, it is close to the Suicide Six ski area and Billings Farm & Museum. There is plenty of shopping to do up and down the main drag. I couldn’t resist Danforth Pewter and left there with a bit less green in my pocket book. However, I found the antique stores to be stuffed with some interesting inventory but they were significantly overpriced.
The Ottauquechee River winds through the town and is flanked by historic homes on either side. The town green is lined with grand buildings displaying Federal, Georgian and Greek Revival architecture. It has always been a village of means.
First settled in 1768 by James Sanderson and his family, Woodstock grew into a spirited industrial mill town producing woolens, guns, furniture, wooden wares, window sashes, blinds, scythes and axes and carding machines, as well as carriages and all the equipment needed to ride horses and travel by coach. Today, the village thrives on tourism. A very popular and pricey resort – the Woodstock Inn sits directly on the Green and it is where the Red Rooster restaurant resides in which I had a lovely lunch.
The restaurant is contemporary, bright and full of light. In the center of the room a clutch of birch trees grow upward. The American cuisine menu is on the pricey side but it has something for everyone – including children. The potato leek soup was a warm complement to the moody, wet, cold day. The turkey club wrap with avocado was equally satisfying. The New England Clam chowder diverged from tradition but it tasted good if you could get over your original expectations. My girls enjoyed the burger, fries and grilled cheese too. While the food was good, the service was a bit slow and scattered and the atmosphere was not anything special. It felt like a generic sort of place instead of a place where locals might gather.
OK, that’s my review – now, why don’t you come visit and we can compare notes!