Seyon Lodge in Groton, VT
- Morganna Feb 8, 2010 05:44 AM
I recently had the extreme pleasure of spending two nights at Seyon Lodge in Groton, VT (http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/seyon...). I'd organized a weekend retreat for knitters, crocheters, and spinners, and we spent that time at the lodge. It was WONDERFUL!
There aren't any real restaurants nearby (though there is the ubiquitous general store near the junction of 302 and 232), so we were very pleased that they can provide full meals (for an extra fee) with your lodging, though continental breakfast does come with the lodging. :)
We had Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Sunday breakfast there. Several people had food allergies/limitations which made things a little complicated, but Jessie Mae and Emmet were able to accommodate them with delicious options that didn't make them feel at all deprived.
Friday night dinner was baked ziti, all vegetarian, with some sans cheese for lactose intolerant folks (I THINK that might have been vegan, as well, but I'm not completely sure). For the gluten free folks there was polenta with a rich pesto-based sauce. Emmet had baked fresh bread that day, and the salad was fresh, crisp, and utterly delightful. I can't remember what they gave the diabetic folks. They offered four different dressings they made in house. Some were gluten/dairy/sugar free so everyone got to enjoy a wonderful meal. For dessert that night they served a fantastic maple custard that was gluten free, and a egg and dairy free chocolate cake. Dessert for diabetics is ALWAYS a problem, so she couldn't really do much for them, and she was very apologetic, but she did offer some plain yogurt and fruit if they wanted it (I think they chose not to have dessert or at things they'd brought to snack on). Everyone declared the food absolutely wonderful. All of the dishes had been prepared carefully and with great attention to detail, and the tone for the weekend had been set! :)
We opted for just doing the continental breakfast each morning, instead of upgrading to a full breakfast (though next year I think we'll upgrade to full breakfast). There were fresh-baked raspberry oat muffins (still warm) that were dairy free, plain yogurt (local VT yogurt, it was awesome), granola they'd made (pecans, cranberries, oats... it was wonderful), dry cereal if you wanted, a choice between soy and regular milk for the cereal, melon and grapes, fair trade Vermont Coffee Roasters coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice (or if it wasn't, it sure TASTED fresh squeezed, but I could be wrong about that, I'm not a fresh juice connoisseur), and a wide array of teas to choose from. The granola mixed with the yogurt and eaten with some fruit was just delightful. :)
For lunch they made quesadillas (some with corn tortillas rice and beans for the gluten free and diabetic folks), there was another fantastic salad with their awesome dressings, and chips and salsa (and local sour cream). The chips were, IIRC, local organic corn chips (not like Tostitos). The quesadillas were soooo damn good. One batch of them had zucchini in 'em and I didn't care, they were that good. :) One of the dressings was a sesame tahini dressing with loads of garlic that I ADORED. :) Dessert was chocolate chip cookies (plus some gluten free ones for those folks, the gluten free ones had been purchased, but the others were baked on premises).
Dinner Saturday night was the absolute peak of pleasure, though. They made brown rice (which I usually dislike a lot, but this time it tasted wonderful all by ITSELF!!), and served a chicken stir fry (local VT chicken) with braised kale and carrots on the side. Oh... my... god. It was just... see I've used up all my adjectives on previous meals! I'm not normally very effusive about Asian cuisine, and I'm normally lukewarm to cold on brown rice, and I have always disliked kale. And yet, they managed to convert me with this one meal. The kale was brilliant. It wasn't overly bitter (probably harvested post-frost), and it had a very light sesame dressing tossed with it. The carrot strips were firm to the bite, not mushy, and the whole thing was just lightly braised. I ate more than I'd have expected of the kale salad, and there was NONE left over. We ALL ate our kale that night. :) The stir fry, coupled with the brown rice, was brilliant. The sauce for the stir fry wasn't overpowering, and it was just very slightly spicy, perhaps from a touch of thai chili maybe? She used chicken thighs, so the meat was perfectly tender and not at all tough, and the veggies in the stir fry were all delightfully al dente, not the least bit overcooked. Dessert was a choice between ice cream with a rich homemade fudge sauce, or lemon sorbet.
Seyon Lodge offers meals to the public on Thursday nights, reservations recommended. The meals are a gourmet experience, from all I've read, and I highly recommend checking them out.
Lodging there is reasonably priced, as well ($65/pp/pn) and includes continental breakfast, but you can upgrade for various amounts depending on what you'd like to have (typical breakfast upgrade is $5). You can also purchase meals with your stay there, and prices vary depending on how fancy you want the meal to be. They will cook to order and come up with creative recipes to address dietary concerns but they do need a little notice if you've got dietary issues you want them to accommodate. They are, in short, AWEsome to work with.
The lodge itself is in a lovely remote area. There's a wonderful sitting room with a fireplace that we kept going the whole weekend, and there's trails and a pond. Several folks went out snowshoeing/hiking on the trails Saturday during the day. There's fishing in the pond during the summer, as well. And the innkeepers are very up on what is available in the area for outdoor activities.
It is -rustic-. This is not a five star accommodation. You do share bathrooms with other guests (if there are other guests when you're there). But this is a definite gem. The innkeepers are simply delightful people, very kind, warm, and welcoming. Happy to make your stay as perfect as possible.
This B&B, by the way, is owned and operated by the Vermont State Parks system. It used to be the hunting lodge of one of Vermont's prominent families (the Noyes family, Seyon-Noyes, get it?), and it is situated on a beautiful pond and surrounded by some huge number of acres. It was later donated to the state park system, and has been turned into a B&B and conference center.
I'm going to be holding my 20th wedding anniversary/vow renewal there this coming October. :) I'm very very excited about this.
If you're looking for a night out on a Thursday night, I HIGHLY recommend going to their Thursday night dinner!
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The Groton state forest area is great for camping - thanks to Morganna for the review of Seyon (we hope to stay there sometime soon). I've stayed at various state campgrounds there over the years and am always amazed by the quiet (other than the loons, which are awesome).