As autumn approaches, we have accumulated another year’s worth of features on Cheddar & Gin. We find it truly inspiring to realize how many creatives, visionaries, and hardworking people live in our little state. Each person we meet has a backstory which resonates with both us and our readers on various levels. The food, artistry, and dedication we’ve witnessed this year has been incredible. Our experiences through this blog have undoubtedly led us to the belief that Vermont’s status as a gastronomic, creative, and agricultural hub is not only here to stay, but will also continue to grow. As we did around this time last year, we are rounding up a few of our very favorite posts. Perhaps we will inspire you to delve into a few of these Vermont gems yourself!
writer & photographer for the inn’s blog
- Longest Acres Farm – There’s a reason why farmers Nick and Kate have such a lovely farm and family. They are incredibly beautiful people, inside and out. And this shows in their treatment of both land and animals. Nick and Kate have heightened the standard of living and environmental quality in which their animals exist. In doing so, they raise 100% grassfed livestock and commit to an Animal Welfare Approved certification – one of the most rigorous standards in use by any U.S. farm program. Their timber-frame home, large rustic barn, on-site yurt, and AirBnB guest house have a front-row seat to the bucolic pastures that make up Longest Acres Farm. This, along with their beautiful Devon cows and Icelandic sheep, make for the absolutely perfect pastoral scene. You can peruse Longest Acres’ farm products here.
- Wild Roots – The new kid on the block, Wild Roots is quite possibly my new favorite restaurant in the area. Ideal for a date night, special occasion, or simply a delicious dinner out, chef Peter has created a menu to reflect the area’s weekly harvest. Local food is accompanied by a well-curated wine list selected by the smiley, kind, sommelier/owner Jayne. Sit back and indulge in a memorable meal under the roof of this restored 200-year-old building. I guarantee you’ll be just as hooked once you’ve dined here.
- Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company – Yes, I love their cheese. That is a given. It’s local, it’s delicious, it’s award-winning. However, I fell in love with Vermont Farmstead once I visited their farm. The cows are undoubtedly “happy cows.” I know this sounds trite, but I truly don’t believe I’ve ever seen animals this happy on a dairy farm. Cows have the run of the fields, while baby calves are happy and curious in their respective shelters. In addition, we here at the Jackson House Inn have a running joke that the cattle of Vermont tend to have the best views out of any of us. Vermont Farmstead sits atop one of the highest hills in South Woodstock, overlooking vast mountain tops and sprawling fields. This, I would say, epitomizes Vermont. Call to tour the farm itself.
- Cloudland Farm – Ever since moving here, Cloudland has always been (and always will be) one of my absolutely favorite restaurants. First, you can’t beat the location. Situated at the very top of Cloudland Road, you have a view of faraway mountaintops from the back porch. Cocktail hour never looked so good. Proceed onto dinner and feast your eyes on dishes made from Cloudland’s very own gardens and pasture. Pork, beef, chicken, and turkey – I doubt you’ve had meat this fresh and delicious before.
innkeeper & breakfast fanatic
- Braeburn Siberians – The winter crowd will want to jump on this one, as these tours book up fast! You will not want to miss the chance to experience a real, authentic dogsled ride. Beyond the cute and fluffy pups, it’s the stillness of nature that stays with me. We once partook in a special night run under the full moon. I’ll never forget the brisk winter air, cold white snow, and the sound of silence. You can’t make this stuff up!
- Foley Brothers – These guys are making great beer. It’s a product of the entire family’s effort. That’s the cool thing about it. Beyond the delicious brew, Foley Brothers has a killer atmosphere. Warm weather brings about a whole new excuse to enjoy their beer garden and outdoor pizza oven. Check their Facebook page for updates on these events.
- SoLo Farm & Table – This post is an oldie but goodie. It’s worth mentioning again and again and again…because it’s that good. Refined farm-to-table is the name of the game here. Take a drive and visit our friends Wes and Chloe, revel in the white table cloth service, and indulge in some crispy braised octopus for us!
- Homestyle Hostel – Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails. We love the bar scene Justin and Eliza have thought up at their hostel. It’s all about the casual vibe and good times. Plus, their small plate food is absolutely delicious (their farmer’s market toast makes us drool). We always walk out of Homestyle with a big smile on our faces. It’s simply a good energy in there – one that is unique to this very special place.
innkeeper & kind face to greet you
- Spring Brook Farm – It’s the mission that made me fall in love with Spring Brook Farm. Their Farms for City Kids Foundation provides a unique 1,000-acre outdoor classroom for urban youth from New York City. This program wholeheartedly contributes to the farm’s daily practice, including its cheesemaking process! What Spring Brook does for kids takes me back to my teaching days. The afternoon we spent with the counselors and children here was an incredibly memorable one for me. You can taste a sampling of this farm’s award-winning cheese at many of our local markets!
- The Jackson House Inn Through the Years – This is our story! Our inn is very rich in history and meaning within the community. From our wooden staircase to the portraits hanging in our halls, there is a story behind pretty much every detail in the Jackson House Inn. Rick and I are so proud to contribute to this inn’s vibrant history. We also love sharing its story with our guests!
- Billings Farm & Museum – Of course, you’d be hard-pressed to visit Woodstock and not at least peek into Billings Farm. Their adorable Jersey cows will draw you in, and from there, you can learn about the agricultural history of our town. In fact, Billings played a major role in today’s modern farming practices. The farm has a continual slew of events happening on their grounds. Be sure to check their events schedule to see what’s going on daily!
(all of today’s photos c/o Kelby Cushman)