Built in 1792 as a manor house by pioneer industrialist John Prall Jr., whose mill is nearby, this engaging B&B is on ten bucolic acres – where curious black-faced sheep may mosey up nearly to your car from a field next to the parking area. Its location off a country road, atop a hill away from the river, assures a quiet night.
Three energetic ex-Chicagoans infused the inn with personality and pampering touches. They also upgraded the existing accommodations and added five luxury cottage rooms. “We want this to be welcoming and to capitalize on our rural, farm setting,” said Carolyn McGavin, whose original partners left to become inn consultants. She was joined in 2004 by local businessman Bob Haas.
Featherbeds, Egyptian cotton sheets and more comfortable sitting areas were added to the eight bedrooms in the main house. Plush towels, luxurious micro-fiber robes, fresh flowers and bedside chocolates are among the amenities. Letitia’s Suite, made from two rooms that shared a bath, claims a fireplace, a jacuzzi tub and a two-person steam shower. Amelia’s Suite also has a fireplace, whirlpool tub and two-person shower, and Caroline’s Balustrade has a whirlpool tub with a rain shower and a private balcony.
Two former guest rooms in the Carriage House are now
The most sumptuous and private accommodations are in two rear “cottages” – built to look like rustic barns, a re-creation of the farm outbuildings historically on the property. Each contains two ground-floor guest suites with kingsize featherbeds, gas fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, porches or patios, Bose wave radios and telephones, but no TVs. We liked the woodsy feel of the Hunterdon, topped by a twenty-foot-high cupola for overhead lighting. Its split-level bathroom has a double jacuzzi raised for a view of the fireplace through an opening over the rough-hewn timbered bed. Travel is the theme in the two-level Sojourn Loft. The downstairs contains the bed and sitting area and a multi-tiered fireplace faced in Venetian plaster with Persian motifs. The loft holds another fireplace, a jacuzzi and shower for two, and a long hammock for two, from which some occupants temporarily shun any further travel.
The main inn’s large and elegant living room is where afternoon refreshments are offered.
The dining room is the scene of elaborate breakfasts, served from to 10. A quiche of onions, apples, Canadian bacon and gruyère cheese was featured at one of our visits, along with homemade muffins and “pineapple upside-up” cake. Vegetable frittata with homemade turkey sausage and grand marnier french toast are among the possibilities. A fruit dish of apple-blueberry streusel baked in parchment paper is a favorite starter.
As you depart, the inn’s four friendly sheep – Betty, Pâté, Rita and Lois – might amble up to the fence to bid farewell.
(609) 397-0802 or (888) 264-6648. Fax (609) 397-4936. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information: www.woolvertoninn.com.
Material excerpted from Getaways for Gourmets in the Northeast, by Nancy and Richard Woodworth. Copyright 2006.
Wood Pond Press
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