Our First Dinner at The Croff House

The Croff House Dining Room

Our first Dinner at The Croff House event was a huge success.  On Saturday, January 13 three couples who were staying with us enjoyed a 5-course dinner, freshly prepared at the Inn.  Outside the temperatures dipped into the single digits and a light sheet of ice seemed to be coating every surface.  Inside, however, the crackle of the Living Room fireplace and the camaraderie of the guests started the evening off with the warmth of hospitality for which The Croff House is well known.

Dinner @ The Croff House place setting

The Dining Room was closed off to set the tables with gleaming sterling silver place settings and sparkling Waterford crystal, both adding a touch of elegance to the comfort of the room.  The Dinner started off with Hudson-Chatham Winery Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine paired with warm Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Tartines in the Living Room.

Dinner @ The Croff House place setting

A short while later guests were invited into the Dining Room to continue their Dinner.  The meal ended with a White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Poached Cherries, Quinta do Noval “Black” Port, and freshly brewed coffee and tea.  All in all it was a lovely evening and we are so happy to have been able to share it with such a wonderful group of guests.

Place setting

Perfect in Winter

Looking for a getaway spot – The Croff House is perfect in Winter!

The Croff House just participated in the first Hudson Historic House Tour.  It was a wonderful day – the weather was perfect: snow gently falling to create just the right Holiday mood.  We brewed up a batch of fresh mulled cider and a whole bunch of Duncan’s famous “Snickerduncans”.  Tour participants had the opportunity to visit 5 different historic homes that are currently being operated as bed and breakfasts/inns.  The afternoon event took place from 2:00-5:00 followed by a reception at a 6th location.

Upon entering The Croff House everyone commented on the festive holiday smells: the scent of the wood burning in the fireplaces, the spices coming from the mulled cider and the rich aroma of the cookies.  People commented how the inn looked perfect in winter – all dressed up for the season – and remarked at the beauty of the 1870’s details throughout the house.  Warming themselves by the fires, guests also had the chance to view several of Duncan’s handmade needlepoint Santas, which were displayed in all the Library, the Living Room and the Dining Room.   Some actually thought the pieces were paintings until they got a close look and marveled at the detail of each.  It was truly a highlight for many visitors.

Before long it was time for each tour guest to move on to the next property.  We wished them Merry Christmas and that we hoped to see them back again, next time as guests.  Almost all agreed that The Croff House was just perfect in winter!

NEW SERVICE: In-house Massage

In house massage

 

We’ve just made a stay at The Croff House even MORE relaxing: Beginning in January 2018 The Croff House will be offering the convenience of in-house massage therapy sessions.  We’re happy to introduce the services of LMT Kristen Wahl, who will be offering 60- and 90-minute sessions in the privacy of the Inn’s Library.  Kristen is amazingly talented and offers clients several modalities to best suit the needs of the individual.  In order to ensure availability guests must book the service no less than one week prior to arrival.  Due to the limitation of space in the Library couples may book sessions in sequence not in tandem.

Please contact us at the Inn for more information, pricing or to book a session.  We’re so pleased to be able to offer guests in-house massage, which is sure to enhance any stay at The Croff House.

Dinner at The Croff House

For 9 years breakfast has been a hallmark of a stay at The Croff House, but guests have often asked “Why not Dinner at The Croff House?”  We’ve thought about it and are excited to announce that we will be offering our first Dinner @ The Croff House event on Saturday, January 13 (Martin Luther King Day weekend).  Guests staying with us that weekend will offered the opportunity to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a 5-Course candlelit dinner.  The menu (available at our website, under the Specials tab) will be freshly prepared in-house and include complimentary wine pairing with each course.  The dinner is available exclusively to those guests staying at The Croff House.

So if you’ve ever wanted to enjoy dinner at The Croff House, here’s your chance!  For more information and reservations visit our availability link located on the home page of The Croff House website.

A Holiday Walking Tour through History

On December 9th, the Hudson Lodging Association is hosting a Hudson Holiday House Tour featuring 5 historic houses, all within walking distance of Warren Street and each other. Sojourners can buy tickets, carry their “passport” to gain entry to the participating homes, then get a brief tour by a host or docent. Advance tickets are $20.00 each, available at www.HudsonHolidayHouseTour.com.

Hudson is well known as an architectural jewel box, with hundreds of properties either listed or eligible to be listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. And in those historic homes included on the tour, ticket holders will certainly enjoy a close up view of some of the architectural details that make this city so distinctive. What will be less obvious, but just as fascinating, is the history that surrounded these buildings in their early days.

The earliest home included shows up on a deed dated 1709. At that time, other than the river, Hudson didn’t exist. Instead, river traffic identified this part of the world as Claverack Landing. Claverack means “field of white clover” – a reference to lands at the east end of present day Hudson that were purchased from native Mohicans by the Dutch. Early visitors to this house would surely have come from the river and, other than a dirt track heading east towards the Claverack we know today, the landscape would have been mostly wooded. In fact, at that time, Front Street would have been the outskirts of town.

By 1792, when another house on the tour was built, Hudson was the 24th largest city in the U.S. River traffic had become a major source of commerce and the main street in town, Warren Street, was also a significant East/West route for pioneers eager to head to the territories west – with a ferry moving them to Athens and beyond. Hudson was chartered as a city in 1785 and, surprisingly, lost the vote to become capital of New York State by only one vote in 1797.

In the aftermath of each of these events, inhabitants went on about their business – doing the day-to-day tasks that benefitted their families and the community. This innate drive to make things better is why Hudson exists today. And why the Hudson Holiday House Tour is such an important way to celebrate these early residents.

Other participating properties will be featured in future articles. For more information about the December 9th House Tour, and to purchase tickets, go to www.HudsonHolidayHouseTour.com. It is a benefit for the Hudson Children’s Book Festival.

 

Painting a “Painted Lady”

According to Wikipedia, the term “Painted Lady” was coined in 1978 by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book Painted Ladies – San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians.  The post continues, “The best-known groups of ‘Painted Ladies’ is the row of Victorian houses at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square park, in San Francisco. It is sometimes known as ‘Postcard Row’.”  Hudson has it’s own row of “Painted Ladies” on Willard Place and one of them, The Croff House at 5 Willard Place, is about to get a makeover.  Just prior to the inn being sold in 2008 the owner at the time contracted to have the house repainted from the all-over white to more closely stay in keeping with the style of the houses of the period and with the inn’s next door neighbor.  The house at 4 Willard Place, having been completely renovated, had been painted in an elaborate Painted Lady style.  But while the painting at #5 was completed quickly, the quality of the work was not especially good and the years and weather took its toll.

Beginning in March contractors began scraping the old paint away, beginning the process of the house’s exterior makeover.  During the scraping patches of wood repair on the 1875 clapboard siding also were completed, and now the painting can begin in earnest.  The biggest challenge in the execution of the Painted Lady style is the selection of proper colors that work together to highlight the intricate details of the woodwork and carving details of the exterior, an important feature of the Second Empire Victorian style.

The color palette that has been selected for the re-painting is not a large divergence from the current color scheme.  While The Croff House is currently painted using three colors (green, rust and tan), the new color scheme includes five colors (see photo below)

Curious to know what the “new” inn will look like?  Stay tuned!

Food, glorious food!

Warren Street at Night

As the years go by Hudson becomes more and more of a foodie destination, attracting visitors seeking the perfect blend of farm-to-table cuisine and fresh, local ingredients.  At The Croff House guests are always asking us for our recommendations, which can be found here.  For us the challenge is to stay on top of all the new and most noteworthy openings and, as often as possible, to visit those restaurants ourselves to be able to provide a true personal recommendation (or sometimes – not!).  We’ve added two new eateries to The Croff House’s list of recommended places: Aeble and Wunderbar.  But first, a note.

As Hudson’s popularity continues to rise and the number of visitors to Hudson continues to rise, so too do the prices in Hudson’s restaurants.  While most guests on vacation are willing to splurge for that special occasion or once-in-a-while meal out, we recognize while many of them are looking for excellent food they are also looking for fair value.  As such, we have reconfigured our recommendations on The Croff House website accordingly.

Aeble is the newest addition to Hudson’s vast restaurant offerings.  As described on the restaurant’s website the chef, “lets the seasons inform his dishes and sources almost exclusively from the regional bounty of the Hudson Valley”.  It doesn’t get much more farm-to-table than that.  Menus change monthly and daily specials reflect the freshest of what’s available in the Hudson area including produce, meats and seafood.  The cuisine is simple, fresh and beautifully presented without a lot of fussiness or pretense.  The cocktail and wine selection, like everything else at Aeble is well thought out and uncomplicated.  The decor, too, reflect the owner’s approach to dining out: clean simple lines with a Danish/Scandinavian ambience; not distracting from the restaurant’s purpose – the food!  We’re thrilled to be able to recommend Aeble to our guests.  Quite frankly we think they’re going to be seeing a lot of us, too!

Wunderbar Bistro has been a Hudson staple for years, but we recently just discovered it.  Boasting a relatively new chef, the menu offers everything from Chicken Caprese to homemade Fish and Chips to an unbeatable Meatloaf.  Daily specials make choosing even harder.  Wunderbar is a local favorite, and the bar is usually filled with Hudsonians catching up on the latest town gossip, but what keeps people coming back again and again is the fresh and flavorful food.  The full bar offers a full range of martini’s, mixed drinks, wine and beer at very reasonable prices.  If you’re just looking for a quick bite Wunderbar’s amazing chicken wings will hit the spot, or how can you go wrong with bacon-wrapped shrimp?  Wunderbar is our personal “go to” place for a perfect night out.

Thanks Hudson Valley Magazine – “Forget AirBnB…”

“Forget Airbnb, these eight homes away from home are the real deal — with a real meal.”

Thanks Hudson Valley Magazine for the fantastic piece on The Croff House in the July 2017 edition, one of 8 Bed and Breakfasts in the Hudson Valley worthy of note not only for the inn’s splendid architecture but for the equally splendid breakfasts as well.  The article highlights the many features that make a stay at the inn memorable.  Visitors to Hudson have a wonderful selection of bed and breakfasts from which to choose, all of them unique in their own special way.  Now, with the continued growth of AirBnB, legitimate properties like ours are under further pressure to differentiate themselves to the traveling public.  Almost all, if not all, AirBnB properties only provide lodging and minimal, if any, interaction with either the owner or a manager.  Certainly no breakfast is provided, and guests choosing to stay at one of these properties may be under the impression that the low price tag still provides them with the same amenities and personalized service they might receive at a real bed and breakfast.  This article demonstrates all that our guests receive when booking a stay at The Croff House – from our beds and guest room amenities, to common rooms, to our three-course freshly prepared breakfast.

So as the article points out staying at The Croff House is “the real deal”  – don’t be fooled by cheaper imitators!

In A New York State of Wine

hudsonchathamwinery

The Hudson Chatham Winery is located just a short drive from The Croff House

Wine Enthusiast is out with the latest scores for New York State wines.  Hudson Chatham Winery received some terrific scores for several of their outstanding wines.  New York State wines are often overlooked by most consumers either at wine shops or restaurants, which is unfortunate because wines from the Empire State can be quite good as evidenced by the WE scores.  The Finger Lakes region has long been known for excellent wines like reisling and other colder climate varietals.  Long Island has a tradition of wine making that dates back centuries.  The Hudson Valley, long known for excellent farming (many of the top restaurants in New York City get their fresh produce delivered from farms just a few hours north), is becoming more and more well known for high quality wines.   Each year/vintage gives the winemakers opportunities to hone their creations and each year more and more of these wineries are being recognized by wine critics and enthusiasts from all over the world.

If you haven’t had the chance to sample New York State wines there are several within a short drive from The Croff House that offer complimentary tastings.  We’re convinced that once you try them you will, like us – and Wine Enthusiast – , agree they are quite delicious!

What’s in a name?

Hudson Opera House

Exterior of the Hudson Opera House

Visitors to Hudson enjoy walking up and down our main street, Warren Street, which boasts beautiful and historic architecture throughout.  One of the more significant buildings is the Hudson Opera House and the history of the building’s use is rather noteworthy.

Built in 1855, the building was designed by local architect Peter Avery. For more than a century, it housed various civic offices, including the Post Office and Police Station, and was home to the Franklin Library and the First National Bank of Hudson.  Shortly after City Hall moved further up Warren Street in 1962, the building was sold to an out-of-town developer.  For nearly thirty years it sat vacant, decaying and accumulating debris. During this time, lower Warren Street was virtually abandoned and considered by many to be a lost cause.

Today the building is undergoing the final phase of full restoration.   When complete, the performance hall will be

Hudson Opera House

Interior performance space at the Hudson Opera House

adapted for modern use, creating a unique, intimate and flexible 300-seat theater to provide contemporary programming reflective of today’s audiences.  For the first time in the building’s history, the performance hall will be accessible to all, including those who, because of age or disability, are unable to use the historic staircase.  he character of the historical building will be retained. The current proscenium arch and raked wooden floor stage were late 19th century additions, and will be preserved.  The historic fabric will also be retained, and new elements will be sensitively incorporated to retain the overall historic character of the spaces.

A “new” facility deserves a new name and, as such, the Hudson Opera House has added Center for the Arts to it’s title, expanding the scope of the programming being offered.  When you are next in Hudson the renovations will be complete.  Make it a destination while exploring Warren Street.