Sunday, August 10, 2008

Special Wine Dinner at Le Chambord

This 1863 Georgian mansion is on everybody's list of favorites for special occasion dining, for its elegant and romantic decor that includes crystal chandeliers and opulent gilded picture frames, plus gourmet food, and an expansive wine cellar. It makes Le Chambord in Hopewell Junction, a popular and picturesque destination for weddings, of course.

Once again, this tasty reason to visit the Hudson Valley is hosting its special and spectacular Wine Dinners, featuring special pairings of food and wine. The first dinner, on Saturday, August 23 is a five-course extravaganza based on Spanish and Portuguese themes of both food and wine.

The food is under the direction of award-winning chef Lenny Mott, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in nearby Hyde Park. The wine is under the direction of noted wine educator Ron Ross. And everything at Le Chambord is supervised by owner Roy Benich, who seems to be everywhere, all the time, making sure every detail is perfect.

The dinner is $99 per person, plus tax and gratuities. To make it a truly special event, stay overnight in this historic bed and breakfast -- and dinner. The overnight package for you and your significant other is $369, and includes cocktails, the wine dinner, room and breakfast. There's a $10 per person discount coupon on the Le Chambord website.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

German Alps Festival at Hunter Mountain This Weekend

Beer, bratwurst and more. So grab your lederhosen and head for the annual German Alps Festival at Hunter Mountain the weekend of August 9-10.

Entertainment includes 16-time Grammy award winner Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra, plus bands from Bavaria, like the Enzian Band pictured here, plus performers of the famous folk dance Schuhplattler. The festival also features German-American food -- and beer -- and plenty of vendors offering more than just cuckoo clocks, plus activities for the entire familly.

There's also the chance to win two round-trip tickets to Germany courtesy of Air Berlin, and fireworks on Sunday evening. And, of course, you can take the chair lift to the top of the mountain for picture postcard views of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains.

Okay, I admit it. I have a special fondness for Hunter Mountain, where I learned to ski and have hiked with and without a backpack, and for Bavaria, where my mother was born.
But I also love Scotland and bagpipes and Tartan plaids and single malts. And that's later in August, the weekend of the 16-17 -- for Hunter Mountain's International Celtic Festival.

Summer festivals are a great reason to visit the Hudson Valley!