We had dinner at the Sloane Tavern, Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort. The dinner was not very special (Bob had a hot dog and I had a vegetable fritto misto) but the place was very interesting. In the early 1900’s Lenox became known as the “Inland Newport” where millionaires spent summers including John Sloane of W & J Sloane (relative of the Vanderbilts) . In 1893 he bought the Tudor-style cottage (cottage defined as a secondary residence with a minimum of 30 rooms and 20 acres) for $50,000. Frederick Olmstead (landscape architect of Central Park) designed the lawn and garden. Edward Cranwell bought the house in 1920 and then he deeded to a private school. Today it is owned by private investors.
There were very few staying the night but they served a full breakfast of juice, eggs, sausage, fruit, toast bagels etc. which was quite civilized!
Today the temperature is in the mid-70’s, 20 degrees warmer than yesterday and very humid! We walked the town of Lenox which is charming. Many large well-groomed estates surrounding a village with artisan shops.
It was a short drive to Stockbridge (passing Tanglewood which we have previously visited) to the Norman Rockwell Museum that we love. Lots of tour buses but still manageable. A guide provided a brief history of both Rockwell and the museum which we had not had before. I didn’t recall that Rockwell was the editor of the BSA magazine, Boy’s Life, at 17. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit, walked the grounds and ate our picnic before heading off to Rhinebeck. Threatening rain and even more humid as we drove south on the Taconic Parkway.
We are camped at Interlake RV which is quite a large forested, hilly place. Our site is not easy to access but is flat which cannot be said for many others. We had a 4:00 tour of the CIA followed by dinner at 6:15. We needed to change clothes and drive 20 miles south. About then we realized Bob left his credit card at Cranwell! We barely made it in time for our tour but it was well worth it. We learned lots including the fact that a toque has 109 lines representing the number of ways to cook an egg! Most cooking schools are expensive including the CIA. ($40,000 per year). Most students get both their culinary science with concentration along with a business-related degree in 4 years. 30% of the students come from abroad and of those many are Korean. Our tour guide, Pascal, was a sophomore from Nigeria specializing in pastries and baking.
Our dinner at American Bounty (farm to table) was eclectic e.g. beef heart tartar! I started with octopus with black rice salad, smoked mussels, black garlic and sesame seeds. Bob started with duck terrine, pickles, cornbread, bourbon-cherry compote. Bob had lamb barbacoa, orange-braised cranberry beans, dandelion greens, radish salad. I had duck breast confit, swiss chard, wheat berries in a stone fruit reduction. Bob had the apple fritter for dessert. 2014 Charles Krug Generation red wine which was extraordinary!
We barely made it to the car before the down pour. Got badly needed gas and then to camp. By the time we arrived the rain had subsided. Thank goodness as I had to guide Bob backing into our site between 2 trees in the dark!