Berkshire Beauty

Recently, I visited one of my favorite places, The Berkshires, with two of my favorite people, my parents, Bev and Tom. My sister, Joanna, and her wonderful family also joined in on the fun. If you have not visited the Berkshires, it is well worth a trip.  Rolling green hills, hydrangeas in bloom everywhere, stately homes, lots of ladies wearing linen. How can one go wrong?

The reason for our trip was to hear John Williams conduct his music at Tanglewood. Founded in 1940, Tanglewood is the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer time home and a place where talented young performers come to study with the best.  It’s also a fabulous concert venue with an incredible season. Only at Tanglewood can you get your honky-tonk on with Dolly Parton and then sit in awe as Yuja Wang plays Rapsody in Blue.

Oh yes, and then there’s Wheatleigh…

Welcome to Wheatleigh…where all your dreams come true.

Henry H. Cook built Wheatleigh in 1893 as a wedding present for his daughter, Georgie, who married a Spanish Count (in Girl World that’s called winning). Inspired by a 16th century Florentine palazzo most of Wheatleigh’s materials and many of the craftsmen came from Italy.  The verdant exteriors of Wheatleigh were designed by none other than Frederick Law Olmsted. Georgie and her Spanish Count spent six weeks a year there, living in luxury, cared for by a staff of forty.

Today, a royal pedigree is not required to visit Wheatleigh.  Even commoners can enjoy Wheatleigh’s fabulous restaurant, spectacular hotel, and gorgeous grounds (in The CCC’s world that’s called winning).

Wheatleigh awaits you.

I first discovered Wheatleigh over a decade ago with my good friend, Kiki. I have many happy memories there.  I was thrilled to create some new ones with Bev and Tom and my niece, Claire. We enjoyed a sumptuous lunch at The Library.  If you don’t have a lot of time lunch at The Library is a perfect way to enjoy the property and pretend you are a lady of the Gilded Age.

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A girl never forgets her first cheese plate. Claire enjoys a triple-cream.

All God’s creatures love Wheatleigh.
The CCC schooling Claire in the finer things… (Photo by Bev)

After lunch it was time to head back to the real world and dinner! We met up with Joanna, her husband, Drew, and my nephew, Jason at Bistro Zinc. This is a lovely French bistro with true “Berkshire buzz”.  You never who you’ll meet at Bistro Zinc: artists, musicians, singers, ladies in linen???

Jason and Claire enjoying the buzz at Bistro Zinc.
The Black Swan Inn on Laurel Lake. Our home away from home.

After dinner we headed to our hotel, The Black Swan Inn.  The Inn, located in Lee, is five minutes away from Tanglewood and downtown Lenox. It’s a very comfortable hotel with super nice staff.  Joanna, Drew, and Jason stayed a bit down the road at the adorable LakeHouse Inn. Both hotels are perfect places to rest up before you get your Tanglewood groove on.

Drew, Joanna, Bev, & Tom (l to r) enjoying our picnic supplied by Tanglewood and Guido’s Fresh Marketplace – an incredible grocery store well worth a stop. (You can rent chairs at Tanglewood if you need to.)

While you can purchase tickets for seats inside the concert hall, picnicking on the lawn pre-concert is a perfect way to enjoy the Berkshire beauty and each other.

A proud auntie with her wonderful nephew, Jason.  How did I get so lucky to have such delightful nephews and nieces?
The grounds at Tanglewood are never so crowded one can’t enjoy a game of catch.
Shhhh….it’s time for the music (and magic) to begin.

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