BLANTYRE and Café BOULUD – The Berkshires
When you visit some places, you are greeted with endless possibilities in splurging and spoils for the senses and the soul. The Berkshires region can be counted among them, as this area is spectacular in scenery all by itself, with its old rustic barns and silos, rough non-manicured landscapes, its pretty sunrises and sunsets, all seemingly sprinkled with fairy dust at every turn.
Located in Western Massachusetts and originally an exclusive playground for the affluent New York City dwellers during the Gilded Age, this region is comprised of 32 separate towns, which now open up their magical doors in welcoming all who choose to travel here. From the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (most temporarily virtual), the Norman Rockwell Museum, MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) and more, there are endless things to do and places to see, stocked with historic landmarks, museums and performing arts venues. Perhaps do an antiquing crawl throughout the region or enjoy their treasure trove of culture, a variety of top quality dining spots or maybe chance upon a piece of untouched land and have a delightful impromptu picnic at the dozens of picturesque parks and gardens here.
Enter Blantyre Country Estate, the first United States hotel to become a member of Relais & Châteaux. This sprawling estate is set amidst 110 acres of lush lawns and woods. Arrive and take in this Tudor Style House built in 1902, transporting you to an era of grandeur and opulence. Blantyre’s 24 elegant accommodations are located in the Manor House, the Carriage House and four charming, well-appointed cottages. Featuring New England’s most extensive wine cellar with a private tasting room and thousands of bottles of wine, this in itself beckons an unparalleled visit, while The Spa at Blantyre- the Potting Shed, provides a calming respite for those who seek rejuvenation, itself featuring 5 treatment rooms, including a water suite and a private shower, guests can relax and indulge in a sauna or a Eucalyptus steam room, a peaceful relaxation lounge, a vitality bar, a fitness center and a spa cuisine menu. Services include massage, facial and body treatment therapies (Temporarily closed due to COVID 19 restrictions). A heated pool, tennis courts and manicured croquet lawns along with impeccably decorated rooms warmed up by luxury fabrics and wallpapering, fresh flowers, antique appointments and endless shelves of books beckon you back to centuries past, if even for a stolen moment in time.
This Relais & Châteaux Forbes Five Star resort has refreshed New England travel with brand new offerings and exclusive guest amenities, including the region’s premier dining experience, Café Boulud at Blantyre.
Café Boulud at Blantyre
Since its debut in July of 2020, and under the helm of Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud, Café Boulud New York at Blantyre has established itself as the area’s most sought after and treasured dining destination. This pop-up offers the flavors of the original award-winning Café Boulud on New York’s Upper East Side to the Berkshires, featuring inventive seasonal French cuisine, enjoyed in a more comfortable and casual café vibe. Using fresh and local ingredients in an impeccably authentic farm to table manner, French classics are featured with a whimsical freshness, a distinct Boulud signature seen woven throughout each menu.
For perfect pairings, Blantyre’s wine collection provides endless premier and rare bottles of wine, and has enjoyed distinction and international acclaim such as the much revered Wine Spectator Grand Award. Their wine-by-the-glass list, allows for tasting and creative pairing throughout the meal. Beer is graciously offered as well. House Cocktails such as the Ernest at Sea; Hendricks’s gin, fresh grapefruit and hibiscus syrup, or the Cooler than Yesterday; Elijah Craig bourbon, Szechuan peppercorn, Fino sherry, lemon, plum compote and apple cider among other mixology masterpieces, add sparkle and celebration to the meal.
Starters such as the pumpkin soup with a rich gruyère espuma, spiced croutons and lingonberry or the popular Spanish octopus with sunchoke skordalia, pickled ahi-dulce peppers, marcona almond and nasturtium whet the appetite, and the Scottish sea trout gravlax with marinated beets, horseradish crème fraîche, pumpernickel also entice. A favorite, duck pâté en croûte with dried figs, gem lettuce and a whole grain mustard Chantilly is consistently divine. Main courses such as the Branzino “Cha Cha” with vermicelli noodles, turmeric, scallions, peanuts, fish sauce and lime seasoning satisfies discerning palates. The grilled lobster tail with littleneck clams, fingerling potatoes, bacon, celery root and chowder sauce is a hit for seafood lovers. The Crescent Farm duck breast with wild rice, quince, fennel, duck leg pastilla and anise scented jus is both classic and refreshed. For lighter fare, the Frenchie Burger with confit pork belly, morbier cheese, tomato, onion jam, cornichon, pommes frites, mesclun salad and sides such as sautéed spinach, garlic and fried shallots or roasted cauliflower vadvouvan yogurt, parsley, make for a perfectly rounded meal.
Meal service throughout the property is offered in complete compliance with state and CDC
Requests for private events and intimate celebrations will also be accommodated. Guests of Blantyre can enjoy topnotch culinary moments throughout the estate, including gilded-age picnics amidst the 110-acre grounds.
Dinner service Wednesday through Sunday, weekend brunch and private parties at Blantyre, this Relais and Châteaux property.
John Adams Farmhouse
Since 1990, chef and owner Dan Smith, has been offering farm-to-table dining experience, long before it was in vogue. Since then he has continued to delight guests, from local regulars to travelers far and wide.
Built in the late 1700s, this rustic farmhouse remains surrounded by beautifully landscaped perennial gardens along with panoramic views of its sprawling natural forest backdrop, including an old icehouse built along with the original farmstead.
Enter and find a sprawling bar on your right, perfect for an après touring cocktail. Be seated in the cozy dining room to the left, encompassing several beautifully appointed rooms in the house and granting a comfortable at home feel. Enjoy the candle lit white tablecloth dining, casual and elegant all at once. On chillier days or evenings, take in the crackling fireplace while you dine, providing the perfect ambiance. Al fresco dining is available on the terrace as well, providing an ideal outdoor dining experience.
Chef Dan Smith as always, develops his menu around regional producers and is inspired by what’s fresh and current in seasonal produce and all ingredients. In addition to his work with farmers in the region, Chef Dan created his own garden on the property, which supplies additional produce for the restaurant.
The appetizers here such as the fried oyster salad with mesclun, caesar vinaigrette and parmesan crisps is a well-known signature dish and for good reason. The oysters are plentiful, plump and just the right amount of crispy, giving texture and balance when on the palate. The P.E.I. mussel in coconut milk with lime, chili and scallion is exotic, flavorful and satisfying. Casual fare such as fiery duck wings with blue cheese and celery, offers a unique spin on the standard Buffalo wings appetizer. Main dishes such as the seared duck breast, crisp leg confit, mashed potatoes, balsamic and maple syrup is classic while at the same time amplified by the fresh maple syrup flavor while the seared diver scallops with cauliflower-pancetta ‘risotto’, garlic, spinach, with red quinoa, leeks, roast mushrooms and braised greens offers a delightful seafood selection. Enjoy an extensive wine list, a full cocktail bar and a bar menu for lighter fare.
The John Andrews Farmhouse and Chef Dan Smith, have achieved high accolades from The Daily Meal, is a Lonely Planet Top Choice and has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.