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Sep 8, 2008 08:43 AM

VT road trip provisions

Hello all,

My husband and I are getting ready to take a weekend road trip up into Vermont -- will be staying in Montpelier and exploring the larger region while there.

I'd like to make plans to stop someplace on the way up to Montpelier, to pick up a few delicious somethings to take with us to a park of some kind for a picnic. Fine dining at Hen of the Wood later that day, so a chance to enjoy some natural beauty over lunch is our goal.

Not knowing the area but having some googling skills, I thought a possible combination would be something like pastries and made to order sandwiches at the Woodstock Farmer's Market store -- then a drive over to Quechee State Park for our picnic setting. Would this be a good choice?

Any other ideas you might have? Our route will be I-91 north from Brattleboro but then we'll want to get off of the interstate and take something like Rte. 12/12A or Rte. 100 north at a leisurely pace. So -- any suggestions say between Chester or Londonderry up to Northfield or Warren (looking at a wide rural swath west of the interstate) would work for us. And if you know of a great picnic spot near great food, all the better! Thanks!

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  1. Hi nuthatches, I don't do the drive much down I-91, so can't contribute there. If you are going up on 12A, you may consider taking Warren Mountain Road (west), it turns into Rocky Mountain Road and leads you into the historical town of Warren. The road goes over the mountain and if I recall correctly closed in the winter.

    In the town of Warren, you can grab some great sandwiches (and cookies) from the Warren Store. They have some outdoor seatign that over looks a small river. Across the street is The Pitcher Inn... stunning decor and food. They have a high-end restaurant, as well as an elegant pub. My two favs are Hen of the Wood and The Pitcher Inn.

    Depending on the time of day at you are arriving, you may consider grabbing something from the Warren Store and heading over to the Warren Sugarbush Airport. I know that sounds odd, but you can watch to glider plane there. Or even schedule a flight.

    Route 100 from Warrent through Waitsfield and then 100B (very scenic) to Route 2 to Montpelier is the way I would suggest. The river runs along 100B, and there is a stop-off where you can park you car, and sit along the rocks.

    At the intersection of 100B and Route 2, if you make a left... go just a bit, you will find Red Hen Baking - wonderful artisan bread (served at Hen of the Wood).

    Once in Montpelier, you can grab sandwiches and amazing desserts at Gesine. She's the sister to Sandra Bollock, and opened her bakery on the edge of Montpelier not that long along. Macaroons are so good. You can buy a picnic lunch there and head up to the park, which has a stunning view of Montpelier.

    Have a great time in VT.

    12 Replies
    1. re: travelames

      Just being really clear for folks who might not have caught this, Red Hen is no longer on 100 (whichever 100 it was on, I can never remember), they've moved to Route 2, in Middlesex, near the Middlesex general store, where Camp Meade used to be (which are the directions travelames gave). I hadn't realized it at first and was wandering around looking for Red Hen where they used to be but found the new location. Just wanted to point this up. :) They have a nice new location, a great cafe, and lots of parking now. :)

      1. re: Morganna

        Thanks Morganna. Forgot to clarify that. I was bummed when they moved, as I was closer to their old location, but they are worth the drive. :-)

        1. re: travelames

          Absolutely, I adore their long seeded baguette. I love to just eat it with butter OM NOM NOM!!

      2. re: travelames

        Can someone give me a better idea as to where Gesine's is? I've been to Montpelier several times now and can't seem to find it. I never actually looked up the address but drove up and down the two main streets and never saw it. What is it near? I'm a sucker for macaroons, but only the original kind, not the coconut ones. So would love to see if she makes the almond ones and what other goodies I can try.

        p.s. there is a market in Montpelier that I just love...The Uncommon Market. It truly is. I still haven't been able to find the tandoori marinade they carry anywhere else. And the fish market is great. They did really piss me off one time though, because they closed the fish market for an entire Sat afternoon for some meeting. I told them I had driven from Putney and all they could say was "sorry." I thought it ridiculous that they would close a deli/fish market on a Saturday during retail hours.

        1. re: Bri

          Gesine is at 279 Elm Street ( From the Uncommon Market (School & Elm), it's only a 1/2 mile North on Elm Street.

          If you are looking for a fish market, as I was... I got some recommendations from the chowhounds. The market in Stowe is great.

          1. re: travelames

            Aha! That's why I never found it. It's pretty off the beaten path. I know where it's at now. Thanks!

          2. re: Bri

            Thanks for the information on the mkt in town, Bri. The name itself is a draw.

          3. re: travelames

            Hi travelames, thanks for the tips -- definitely ideas I never would have gotten from standard research on the area and I really appreciate that fact! I have heard that Gesine has the best coffee/espresso in Montpelier, so we're definitely making a beeline there. And I love watching planes at airports of all sizes, so I really hear you on that rec. In Southbridge MA there is a municipal airport and a diner that sits very close to the runway -- "Jim's Flyin' Diner" -- just a greasy spoon with standard unhealthy American breakfasts, but worth it because of its setting....

            1. re: nuthatches

              My husband is a pilot, and there's a term for going to those places... getting a "$100 Hamburger"

              Not sure about the hours at Sugarbush Soaring, but you can reach them at Enjoy your Vermont... bring a sweater, it has cooled down a bit in the last two days.

              1. re: travelames

                LOL re: $100 Hamburger, I love it!
                Thanks for your well wishes -- we're out the door tomorrow a.m.
                Cheers --

                1. re: nuthatches

                  I love your idea of getting prepared food at the Framer's Market - it's one of my favorites. Another very good option is Allechante in Woodstock. They make the best sandwiches and their selection of cheeses is top shelf. they are the best bakery in the Upper Valley area and their breads and pastries could make you cry. You could pack your lunch and hike to the top of Mt Tom for one of the best views of Woodstock.

                  1. re: greenstate

                    Wow, thank you -- Allechante sounds just great. We love great cheeses and want to build in as much of doing the "local products" thing as we can fit -- so that sounds perfect. Thx!!