The day dawned bright and sunny after some tremendous thunder storms during the night. Luckily those beds are so comfy you fall back asleep immediately. Went to breakfast in the main Inn where all the wedding party were enjoying the start to their day. I smiled at the menu which states ‘Our eggs are from happy Vermont chickens’ I guess they were, because those things were HUGE! I hate to go on about the food, but believe me, everything that they served was so fresh and such high quality that you could talk about it for weeks, and I intend to.
Breakfast is served in a small informal dining area that overlooks the Old Barn and the outdoor seating area, it is bright and cheerful, and the coffee keeps coming!
We decided to play tourist for a while as the wedding was not until 4pm. So we gathered some information about the local sights and took a walk through Grafton to enjoy the day. For some pix visit their page . The cheese shop is right by the Inn and you can go on a 3 day Vermont Cheese Tour package organized by the Inn. www.graftonvillagecheese.com for details, or of course the Old Tavern website. I don’t have much to say about cheese, as I don’t eat it. But hubby tried quite a few and liked the 1 year old cheddar in particular. I bought some ginger and rhubarb jam and some pineapple and habanero salsa, both yummy.
But I digress. After exploring for a while, hubby volunteered to take me to the Simon Pearce gallery to see some glass blowing. We went to the one in Windsor VT they have glassblowers working from 10am to 5pm in an area which features a public viewing gallery. You literally walk through the doors onto an area within the production floor from where you can watch all the steps in the process. Two glassblowers were working at producing some clear glass jugs, sorry Pitchers, and it was fabulous to watch how deftly they worked together and with the orange-hot glass that seemed to be an amorphous blob one minute and the beautiful pitcher in the image below. The two men were very informative and managed to chat to us while they worked. We were the only ones there, so it was very relaxed. It really is an amazing process, and the skill and talent of the blowers became quickly apparent. I could watch them for hours, particularly when they attached the handle to the pitcher and used gravity to shape it. The blower who was making these particular pieces had been plying his trade for 12 years.
Upstairs they had a showroom full of beautiful things, but mostly they are not items that I would purchase for my own home use. As gifts, yes. The pitcher is $135.00. Considering the skill that goes into making it, a fair price. But I am not known for handling things gently. I would break it in about a week. So I would rather buy one for $10.00 and then I don’t feel so bad when it hits the floor.
Right behind the Simon Pearce Gallery is paradise for hubby. Otherwise known as the Harpoon Brewery. We actually didn’t know it was there, but as soon as we saw the sign it took me a lot of persuasion to get to the Gallery first! Finally I persuaded him that they may have some nice glasses to put the beer IN, at the gallery. The brewery features a beer garden and serves food, so it was quite busy there as we arrived around lunchtime.
We went inside and I noticed that there were hourly brewery tours on offer and it was 12:04, so I asked if we had missed it, and we had not. Score! Again we were the only people on the tour, and we had two guides, so it was another almost personal tour. It only costs five dollars and you get a personal tasting glass to keep, and of course beer tasting. After being given a history of the brewery and being allowed to taste the ingredients such as barley, wheat and the various malted versions of them, we were guided around the brewery. At each step of the process the tour guide explained what was going on and made it very interesting by explaining the science behind the process. Facts and figures were given at all levels and it was very informative. After seeing the process we were allowed to taste the ‘green’ beer that was not yet ready for bottling, and then to taste the same beer once it had completed it’s brewing process. We tasted the IPA as it is the most well known and popular of their brews. Also one of my favourites so another score! We were shown the bottling process which is actually more involved than I had imagined and I was given an unused crown cap. That will shortly be transformed into a fridge magnet.
At the end of the tour we went back to the little bar area and were allowed to sample any of the beers on tap that we asked for. Hubby found a new favourite in the Leviathan series – Imperial IPA, and I sampled their cider, very nice. Not too sweet. Armed with our Harpoon Tour glasses we left to go back to Grafton, about an hours drive.
En route we stopped in at the Vermont Country Store and bought a cat toy and some candy, of course, what else? Then time was running out and I wanted to get back to the Inn, check on my couple and then get ready for the main event. It seemed like a pretty exciting day, and the ceremony hadn’t even happened yet!