A few weeks ago I decided I needed an escape from the brutal, blistering cold of NYC’s concrete winter jungle. Sure I had made a seemingly attainable goal for 2018 to stay put in NYC for the month of January for a few reasons but I simply couldn’t bare it any longer. I craved a getaway. That’s my vice. Traveling, trips, exploring. Upstate seemed too far, the Northfork in January? No thank you, not this go. And then I remembered my December visit to Gray Barns with One Kings Lane – just an hour and change north of the city. Perfect. Praying that they had availability – note, they only have six king suites on the entire property – I gave them a call. I was in luck. They had one suite remaining for that Friday.
Friday seemingly came at the speed of light. Weekender packed, camera charged, a solid Spotify playlist ready, Waze connected and we loaded ourselves into a sleek Lexus IS300.
From NYC Gray Barns can be anywhere between an hour and fifteen-minute drive or if you hit traffic max two hours – either way, well worth the time. The an hour and a half that it took us to get to Gray Barns was easy, we left midday morning, put cruise control on our Lexus (as a PSA – this car drives like a dream) and were even able to put the sun roof back for a little while as the weather was so enjoyable.
Down the tree lined winding roads we went, weaving around beautiful homes in suburbia CT until we pulled up to a large barn and a massive white house tucked away next to the Silvermine river. Entering into Gray Barns you immediately feel a sense of calmness coming over you. A cozy sitting area with a burning fire place and a warm welcome by the inn keeper just remind you that you’re exactly where you need to be.
The inn keeper gave us a quick tour of the inn before we settled into our room, the Townsend, which was stocked with wine, beer and snacks from local shops including local goat cheese, fresh fruit and treats. Happy hour started in the lobby at 4 so we fixed a snack spread and got cozy next to the fire in our room.
In that moment, I knew this would forever be my new weekend escape. I had just found my own sanctuary complete with a bustling fireplace, a snack spread, a glass of red – not to mention the rest of our suite was stocked with Frette linens and robes (yes they are just as luxurious as they sound), a footed Victoria + Albert soaking tub, heated bathroom floors and a view of the river through French doors that opened right in front of the massive canopy bed. Heavenly.
Where to eat?
For dinner no question – the Silvermine Tavern. Walk out of your room, go 50 feet into the tavern. That Friday it was packed as I have been told it always is. Since there are only six rooms it is filled with locals. A large bar with enough bourbon and rose options for days. Reservations open one month in advance and I highly recommend you snag one before you head up.
You find yourself in a rustic yet incredibly chic dining room complete with a fireplace and sheepskin throws on the backs of the chairs. On the menu? Farm-to-table dishes like rotisserie chicken with local greens, a burger that is to-die-for, oysters Rockefeller and that’s just what we enjoyed.
Enjoy breakfast in your room. Gray Barns has ensured every aspect of your stay is as enjoyable as possible. Pop out of your room to nosh of fresh baked treats from a local bakery, yogurt made in CT and homemade jams. Coffee? Yes, each room has a Nespresso maker to caffeinate you up.
Where to drink?
Your room or the cozy entry lobby during happy hour where you can mix up your own concoction. Post dinner scoot over to the bar at the Tavern, even if you can’t grab a seat enjoy a custom cocktail – I was partially fond of the bourbon cocktail that the bartender whipped up!
Gray Barns has a history unlike any other – a former artist outpost, stagecoach stop, textile factory, a prohibition-era speakeasy turned classic country inn with deep Old Hollywood roots. The dames of the 50s and 60s, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor frequently visited the inn back in the day. Ms Taylor honeymooned there for one of her “few” honeymoons over the years.
**This post was done in partnership with Lexus USA, all opinions are my own**