Hudson Valley, NY (running from Yonkers to Albany/Troy) is the perfect place for a quick getaway from New York City. This area is especially pleasant in the fall when the leaves are changing and the temperature is just right for a light jacket and a glass of red wine by a fireplace.
After a few long nights out in NYC and some excursions around Brooklyn, a night in the Hudson Valley was a welcomed reprieve. My boyfriend and I came across a lovely bed and breakfast, Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast in Salisbury Mills, NY ( https://www.caldwellhouse.com/) located about 45 minutes from NYC. We booked one night in their Caldwell Room located in the main house of the property. We arrived around 2pm on a lovely October day and were excited to encounter a large Revolutionary style home with green shutters and massive white pillars aligning the porch. We parked in the front, rang the large door bell, and walked inside the old home entering into the narrow the hallway leading to the staircase.
We waited about five minutes with another couple for a member of the staff to arrive who showed us around the house. On the first level, there was a sitting room to the right with an old fireplace, a couch and chairs and two large, ornate dining rooms, one to our immediate left and one past the sitting room. They also showed us a small butler’s pantry to be used by the guests and large kitchen for use by employees only. There were also a number of pamphlets and brochures available, highlighting things to do in Hudson
Valley. A young woman then took us up two flights of stairs to our room which included a queen size bed, flat screen tv, small electric fireplace, and a fairly large bathroom with an updated large jacuzzi tub and small sink in one room and a toilet and shower in the other room. The woman told us all the televisions came with Direct TV, Hulu and Netflix; an added bonus! We asked her what time breakfast was and she told us, 9am sharp in the carriage house.
Unsure of what to do combined with the fact that we can never simply relax, our host suggested we check out Brotherhood Winery located about 5 minutes by car from the B&B. Once we arrived at the winery, the very prominent sign in the front proclaims: “OLDEST WINERY IN THE USA!” The winery is built on a large piece of property which includes a tasting room, a restaurant, outdoor seating, a gift shop, the actual bottling center, a mansion and, most importantly, friendly and knowledgeable staff. They conduct tours and tastings but we opted to just do the tasting which consisted of six wines featuring red and white, grown locally and from Chile. Glenn, our incredibly friendly and knowledgeable host, reviewed each of the 3 options available per each tasting and poured whichever wine we were interested in tasting. Glenn also gave us some inside information on his own personal tastes and the best wines in the store. I imagine this winery must get very crowded on the weekends as there were 3 tasting bars available. Luckily our group of less than 10 was small enough to fit at one bar. The white wines were my favorite, including the Hampton Bay White, which is highly recommended! (http://www.brotherhood-winery.com/)
After this winery we drove to Palaia Winery in Highland Mills which was about a 20 minute drive. This winery has a fun Woodstock like/hippie feel to it and makes you feel right at home the second you walk inside. We did the tasting menu here and grabbed some melted brie cheese with walnuts which was delightful. They featured a number of wines but this was more of a bar than a tasting room for some NYC wine snobs! I have nothing against bars at all; I’ll be sure to come back and check them out on the weekends as they have live entertainment and festivals that run from May until November. (http://www.palaiavineyards.com/)
Being away in the tranquil Hudson Valley, in a romantic old house with a jacuzzi and fireplace, away from the hustle of NYC and the pressure of work, following all that drinking my boyfriend gave me a wink and ‘the look’…it was time for dinner. We asked our host and some people at the winery where to eat and both recommended, II’ Cena Colo in Newburgh, NY, a 20 minute drive from the B&B (http://ilcenacolorestaurant.com/ . The restaurant was really cute and immediately made me feel like I was in Tuscany. The waiter was amazing and knew the menu as if he was the head chef coming up with ideas and preparing the dishes; he rattled off 20+ specials (without notes) with such passion and intimate descriptions like I have never experienced before! We decided to try a number of appetizers and split them. We tried the stuffed mushrooms, scallops and burrata cheese with mushrooms to start. They were extremely accommodating here and happy to make entrees into appetizers and omit certain ingredients if requested. For dinner we went with their red snapper, prepared with shrimp, mussels and clams in a red sauce and a side of truffle mashed potatoes.
After dinner we came home to relax, watch some tv and use the bathtub jacuzzi. Considering how small bathrooms are in NYC, one can truly appreciate a nice soak in a large tub.
The next day we slept in late and walked over to their carriage house to eat breakfast with the other guests. We sat down next to two other couples and chatted a bit while we were served a baked peach with butter and maple syrup and homemade chocolate muffins to start. Then we had a ‘quiche like’ dish with salsa, potatoes and some fresh fruit on the side along with tea and coffee.
Only a few hours out of NYC helps to recharge the batteries. If you are interested in visiting Hudson Valley for an overnight or a few days, most places have maps of the wineries and other hot spots to try. If you are willing to drive a little, it is a great experience (especially in the Fall) that is sure to keep you relaxed.