The Lakeside Blog is happily written by Michelle Bruck at the Interlaken Inn, Lakeville, CT. She writes about what there is to do at Interlaken and why you should come stay with us, fun local events, great places to visit and cool things to do – in and around Lakeville & Salisbury Connecticut.
Comments? Email me at Michelle@InterlakenInn.com
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Let's talk Food!
It seems like it has been awhile that I've blogged about one of my favorite things, and that is food. No matter your reason for visiting Interlaken, we've got any and all areas of food covered for you.
Staying with us mid-week? join Brenda for fresh omelets and other deluxe continental breakfast items complimentary from 6:30am to 9:30am.
Invited to a Summer wedding? Start with a local sweet watermelon salad with feta, pinenuts and balsamico followed by your choice of Swordfish with Summer Fruit Relish or Chicken stuffed with Ricotta and wild mushrooms with a lemon thyme sauce or Grilled Filet Mignon.
Your wife is turning 50? Celebrate with our Chef's Tasting Menu! Exclusive six course Chef's 'farm to table' tasting menu for dinner in Morgan's Restaurant. On your day of arrival Chef Scimeca will customize a private menu based on the bounty of the Berkshires.
Arriving late? No worries! Sign up for our late night snack option: Turkey Club sandwich, with chips, pickle, bottled water and homemade cookie delivered to your room prior to arrival.
You've heard our restaurant is "amazingly good"? Make a reservation in Morgan's and choose one of our entrees from Crisp Homemade Gnocchi, Spring Peas, Pea Shoots, Ramps, Parmesan Cream to Grilled King Salmon, Marinated Cucumbers & Leeks, Saffron Yogurt, Lemon Confit to Roasted Natural Half Chicken, Baby Arugula, Roasted Potatoes, Spring Herb Oil.
You're taking your kids away on vacation? Surprise them with a cookie basket! A basket of homemade cookies (suitable for two people) delivered to your room prior to arrival.
Proposing? Arrange for Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Champagne on Ice to be in your room after she says yes.
Joining us for dessert after seeing a movie at the Moviehouse? Try our Double Chocolate Ganache Torte with Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Desiring a lakeside picnic? Sign up for our "Instant Romance Package" where a picnic lunch is included in your package.
Looking to take your corporate staff away for some teambuilding? Our Culinary Challenge is made to bring your team together using their culinary expertise!
Kicking off your wedding weekend with a rehearsal dinner? Arrange for a bonfire held lakeside complete with s'mores and hot chocolate!
Reuniting the Family this summer? Gather round our red and white checked tables and Let our Chef grill flat iron steaks, hot dogs and burgers at a Four-Star Barbecue complete with corn on the cob and fresh strawberry shortcake!
Yes, I am OPEN!
It was a very long winter. I was empty and cold for so long, but now I am full once again and at a warm 76 degrees. Normally I open up on Memorial Day weekend, but to accommodate a special group this month Tom took the time and opened me up sooner. The trees and flowers have blossomed around me, the lounge chairs are ready for sitting and the umbrellas will protect my happy Guests from the hot sun. Please make sure you spend an afternoon with me keeping me company this summer!
A clean contribution
As I was in our housekeeping supply area checking out the new delivery of 300 thread count sheets and pillowcases, I couldn't help but notice this bin:
This is proof we collect our gently used Guestroom soap after each check-out and then send it off to the Clean the World organization so that they can reprocess and then distribute it to countries in need. Looks like we need to get it boxed up and out of here! Although Interlaken signed on to this program as one of the first in Connecticut in 2009, there are now thousands of hotel properties across the country supporting this wonderful program. Here is more information about Clean the World!
ABOUT Clean the World
Clean the World Foundation, Inc. was founded in February 2009 by two individuals, Shawn Seipler and Paul Till. Clean the World is a Florida not-for-profit corporation under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Clean the World has a two-part mission:
- Collect and recycle soap and shampoo products discarded by the hospitality industry every day.
- Through the distribution of these and other donated hygiene products to impoverished people, prevent the millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses every day.
Clean the World implements its mission through
- Collecting, sorting and processing discarded soap, shampoo conditioner and lotion product donations from participating hospitality partners
- Collection of donated hygiene products from manufacturers
- Recycling these product donations at its facilities in Orlando, Florida
- Delivering these recycled product donations to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries suffering from high death rates due to acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease.
Since its inception, Clean the World has been steadily increasing its services and operations to accommodate rapidly expanding community needs, awareness and donations, and has accepted in-kind donations of more than $2,000,000. In the process, Clean the World has put over 11 million soap bars and 325,000 pounds of shampoo and conditioner back into human use, simultaneously eliminating over 750 tons of waste.
Clean the World is supported by the generous contributions of individuals and organizations worldwide, through Hospitality Recycling Program fees, in-kind donations, and fundraising events. Over 95% of our cash donations and program fees go directly into program operations
Far Away Places
With the abundant interest and popularity of last May's Perella Mixed Media Workshop, this year brings two events to the Interlaken: a "3-Day Workshop and Idea Fest" with Lynne Perella and Michelle Ward. The first event was held last weekend and the positive comments are already coming!
As part of the Lynne Perrella/Michelle Ward Mixed Media workshop, I had a wonderful experience at the Interlaken. Everyone I came across who worked there was very pleasant and helpful. The two gentlemen who got the door open from the conference room directly into the sink area were our heroes!
My stay with all of you was wonderful and I look forward to coming back next year should Michelle Ward and Lynne Perrella be teaching together again. Your staff goes one step beyond to ensure the guest's stay is all it should be. Thank you so much.
The second event starts tomorrow, and I can't wait to see the tables full of paint and supplies and color and the room full of creative ideas! Many times I would peek into the conference room and see this
but only to find all the particpants huddled in the far left corner taking wonderful instruction from Lynne and Michelle.
Looking forward to another fun weekend and more positive feedback from this weekend's participants!
"Mayday, Mayday! I need help getting back inside to my office!"
If you were anywhere in New England today then you know how scrumptious the weather was and can understand my cry for help! With the temperature being 10 degrees warmer than the average for early May, it was a gorgeous day that certainly called for one being outdoors, including myself. Fortunately there was a wedding on-site and that required me to head out and see what the families and friends were up to, and of course how they chose to decorate our wedding pavilion. (get used to blogs like this now that wedding season is finally here!). So let me start with this distant photo of the pavilion as I stepped outside into one of the most spectacular days in 2013:
The pavilion, freshly mulched with pops of spring flowers and bursts of colors from the wonderful spring tree blossoms. Although the pavilion sides remained on, the deck sides were removed so the inside could fill in with the nice warm air.
As I stood there, I was able to meet and chat with the Father of the Groom as he returned from golfing right next door at the Hotchkiss Golf Course. After wishing him well I moved along and snapped a shot of these Wedding Guests playing some catch on the lawn area between the pavilion and the Townhouse Suites, with some tunes playing in the background.
The bridal party decided to all stay in this building we call Sunnyside. With 11 rooms and one Suite, it is the perfect house for all of the ladies to gather and get ready in. I am sure the bride looked stunning as she headed down the winding staircase...
And the perfect spot for photos to be taken on the wraparound porch...
Ahh, the ceremony site. The lakefront is not the only spot for the wedding ceremony! There is a private beautiful field behind the Sunnyside building, perfect for those wanting a meadow-type feel for their service.
Although certainly not needed today, a special touch!
The cocktail hour on the lawn....
Everytime I walk into the pavilion on wedding day it seems like the first time as each couple/family personalizes it in their own special way. I love the way this couple chose to decorate, and I heard they had a fun time hanging the lanterns as well!
I love the way each table is a different color...
As my photo op and outdoor time was coming to an end I did snap one last picture of the groomsmen (complete with converse sneakers) as they waited for the big event to begin!
Introducing William Kent
Today we took a field trip out of the Litchfield Hills and over to Durham, CT. On the way I saw such beauty: the rich green grass, the bright yellow forsythia bushes, red tulips and deep pink azaleas, and the flowering dogwood trees - all took my breath away. Upon reaching our destination, I saw more of Mother Nature represented, this time in wood sculptures created by Artist William Kent. I was able to visit the studio where William created all of his wood sculptures, all made out of different types of wood, and most from single pieces. The word "amazing" was said often as I admired each piece, from the crushed can to the safety pin to the light bulb to his incredible self-portrait.
William Kent, a self-taught artist, was well-known publicly earlier in his career for his huge slate blackboard carvings, but spent the last 50 years of his life sculpting man-sized wood pieces in this studio in Durham and keeping his creations right there with him. The piece he was carving and the tools he was using just two days before his death at age 93 remains on his workbench. The textures, the colors of the wood, the fluidity - you can only appreciate these pieces in person, and that is exactly what I did, and you can too when you visit the Interlaken. We have brought some of these pieces to the Interlaken, both in our lobby and our dining room, where they are for sale as part of The William Kent Charitable Foundation, created by William prior to his death to help other starving artists. We are proud to showcase the the talent of this man, hidden for the last 50 years, at our property.
It's Easy Being Green
As the world celebrates Earth Day today, it is just a normal day here at Interlaken. Being the only certified "Connecticut Green Lodging" property in Northwest Connecticut means we honor the Earth every day. It's a beautiful Earth, why not take care of it?
What does being a certified "Connecticut Green Lodging" property mean? Let me share:
- Recycle bins are in each Guestroom, as well as large recycling units around the property
- Installation of an ozone machine in our laundry room to guarantee that our towels and sheets achieve the whitest and safest clean technology without throwing harsh chemicals into the earth
- Our Chefs continue to add food scraps (such as from fruits and veggies) to the composting bins. The organic matter is then used in the new raised herb beds that will grace your plate in Morgan's restaurant
- New plantings from Salisbury Garden Center are low maintenance, hardy and of native varieties. The gardens around the property are populated with grasses and perenniels, and annuals that require significant water and fertilizer are limited
- The amenities in our Guestrooms come in Biodegradable bottles
- Use of green cleaning products in all Guestrooms and public areas
- All rooms have 2.0 GPM (gallons per minute) aerators on bathroom sink faucets
- Purchase at least 30% of food from local farmers (in season) for Morgan's, such as Skyfarms greens and lettuce, Fleisher organic meats, fruits and veggies from Farm Girl Farm, among many others
- Automatic light sensor shut-offs for meeting rooms and office space
- Participation in the Clean the World program, where remaining soap bars from Guestrooms are collected, recycled and redistributed to poverish countries around the globe.
With one more year left until recertification, we will continue to work be green and be proud of it!
A New Beginning
Spring is definitely the time for new beginnings, and what could be more of a new beginning than a couple saying "I do" on a beautiful spring afternoon?
The sky was a deep blue, the sun was a bright yellow and the temperatures were over 60, a perfect day for a lakeside ceremony followed by the cocktail hour on the lawn and then the wedding reception under the wedding pavilion. Besides the wonderful sights of Spring (flowers popping up, buds on the trees, green grass) the scents of Spring are always so delightful! As soon as you entered the wedding pavilion your senses were tickled with the intense smells of stargazer lilies, tulips and hyacinths, and this is the reason why:
Kamilla of Kamilla's Floral Boutique in Millerton, NY is the one responsible for bringing Spring indoors to each table! (On a side note, Kamilla had her beginning in the United States right here at Interlaken one summer many years ago!)
Now I can rarely walk past the sweet part of the celebration without snapping a photo. Cupcake tree provided by Piece of Cake.
Congratulations Emily and Randy!
Updating our Vineyard
Did you know there is a Vineyard at Interlaken? OK, maybe not as in "a plantation of grape-bearing vines" but rather a generously sized banquet room that we call The Vineyard and that serves many purposes, including the location of the complimentary mid-week continental breakfast, an indoor wedding ceremony site, and many private dining functions. For those of you that have seen the room do know there isn't anything "Vineyard-like" about it, so how did it get its name anyway? For those Guests that have been coming to Interlaken for over 25 years you'll remember the plastic "Anthony's Vineyard" sign with the big arrow, the orange and purple decor and grapes hanging on the walls and in the trees. I looked to see if I had any photos of this to share but no luck. What I can do is share the latest photos of this newly decorated room that has westward views of Lake Wononscopomuc peaking through the trees. Now mind you this picture doesn't do the new look justice - you must see the interesting wallpaper in person. This room is primarily used for our continental breakfast and we promise to get your day started in a bright happy room with bright sunny service!
Our mid-week deluxe complimentary breakfast is available from 6:30am to 9:30am.
Four short weeks ago we said bye-bye to our 1st floor bathrooms and now we can say a happy hello to our new look!
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