You can’t go wrong with chocolate. That’s what Nick Monte, chocolatier and co-owner of the Village Peddler in East Arlington, Vt., and the Village Chocolate Shoppe in Bennington, Vt., believes.
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Yes, sweet things from Northampton, Mass. ovens help people power up for the rigors of their days, just as they do at early-bird bakeries across UpCountry communities. To be sure, the scratch baking scene isn’t Northampton’s most-played card. But for me, when it comes to this college town’s culinary map, morning treats put the longing in longitude. And the choices are expanding.
November and December are months filled with traditions, religious and otherwise. In the Berkshires and Southern Vermont, you can set your clock to certain arts institutions’ offerings, too.
Violin-making is a rare craft. There are fewer than 300 makers in the United States, and Berkshire County has been favored with one such artisan, Francis Morris. Morris studied for a career as a cellist but was introduced to instrument-making while still in high school. He knew right away that the combination of making instruments and music was perfect for him.
Look no further than the Berkshires, where the Champagne Salon by Dom Pérignon, at Blantyre, is the only place this is possible in North America.
Berkshire County’s most famous manipulator of metal is digging around the disheveled entryway to his blacksmith shop in Sheffield, Mass., trying to find an object that marked the turning point in his career.
One visit to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield, Mass.; one soft landing of a monarch butterfly on your shoulder, and you’ll be transported to an ideal summer day.
The artwork of author-illustrator Tasha Tudor has inspired a passion in people who collect her work to schedule “bucket list” trips to Vermont to visit her homestead in Marlboro, Vt. “My husband thinks I am cuckoo,” said Barbara Techel, who lives in Wisconsin and recently traveled to Southern Vermont to nourish her Tasha Tudor infatuation. “I have a picture of her in every room in my house and I have all her books.”
Of all the menu items at Roadside Store and Cafe — a cozy, one-room eatery on Route 23 in Monterey, Mass. — there’s one that manager Francie Leventhal is particularly proud of and intimidated by: the pancakes.