Get Out, On and Down

What do we mean by Get Out, On and Down?  Read on.

Get out get on get down“Get Out”: Thanks to the Hudson Development Corporation, Hudson now boasts a 5 Self Guided Historic Walking Tours which can be found by downloading the Geotourist app and searching by “Hudson History Tours”.  Once installed visitors can select from one of the following GPS guided tours to, in the words of the designers “help you become a true Hudson insider”.  The tours include: Hudson’s Early Days, Hudson’s Firehouses, Cedar Park Cemetery, Churches of Hudson and Hudson’s Insiders Tour.  Each tour takes between 60-90 minutes and can be started and stopped at any point.  Best of all the app and the tours are free and once downloaded can be accessed at any time.

Get Out Get on Get down“Get On”: Don’t feel like walking?  Well Steiner’s Sports Ski and Bike offers guests of The Croff House special rates for bike rentals so you can get out AND get on a bike.  Bikes can be rented for the day or the weekend; secure space is available for guests to store the bikes at the inn overnight.  Guests can bike the tours instead of walking them.  For those adventurous types looking for a more strenuous ride plenty of outdoor areas offer bike trails including the Columbia Land Conservancy and the Olana State Historic site.

Get Out Get On Get down“Get Down”: Once you get out and get on there’s only one thing left to do: get down.  After all that walking/biking folks just might like to kick back with a local brew.  Hudson Brewing Company is offering guests of The Croff House complimentary tastings of the many amazing local beers and ales HBC produces.  This is a great opportunity to taste unusual and one of a kind beverages produced “from grains and hops that come directly from local farms”.

We’re all still recovering from the Winter that would never end and encourage you to Get Out, Get On and Get Down in Hudson style.

Eating Outdoors

Eating oEating outdoorsutdoors is a summertime favorite: enjoying the beautiful weather while enjoying equally beautiful (if not more so!) food “al fresco”. Of all the bed and breakfasts and inns in town The Croff House has the unique amenity of lovely exterior spaces which guests can enjoy almost year round.  Since the inn opened in 2009 guests wondered if they could have their breakfast served outside and, up until now, the answer was almost always “no”.  That has now changed!  The Croff House is pleased to introduce our outdoor dining space.

Eating outdoorsWe’ve moved the four Adirondack chairs that were placed around the fountain to more shaded areas in the back yard.  In their place we have installed bistro tables and chairs and created the perfect spot for eating outdoors; tables for two provide privacy for those that want it and personal space for those guests that aren’t “morning people”.  The Croff House breakfast will remain a freshly prepared three-course gourmet feast.

Naturally those guests that choose to have their breakfast inside in the Dining Room are most welcome to do so, but those that want the option of breakfasting “al fresco” now have that opportunity as well, weather permitting.

Outdoor seatingAs for the fate of the Adirondack chairs, they were placed in pairs under two of the very large trees with new side tables between them.  The shaded areas will stay cool in the summer and allow our guests the opportunity to relax with a good book, good conversation, a glass of wine or refreshing beverage or simply take a nap.  The sounds of the fountain provide ideal background sounds for all to enjoy.

Naturally the covered rear porch is still available for guests to use and they can enjoy breakfast on these table as well.

We’re very excited about our new outdoor dining area and believe it is a unique amenity available exclusively to guests of the inn that they won’t find anywhere else in Hudson.  Eating outdoors just became a reality at The Croff House and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Top Events in Columbia County in May

Now that the weather seems to have finally turned and Winter 2018 is in our rear view mirror we thought that it’s time to look ahead to all the fantastic events taking place in and around Hudson.  To see the full list click here.

Some of the most popular events we are excited about include:

Event: Hudson Children's Book FestivalThe Hudson Children’s Book Festival: Over 75 children’s and young adult authors and illustrators, hundreds of books to browse, author and illustrator presentations, arts & crafts and workshops.  This is one of those events that appeals to kids of all ages.

 

Event: Basilica F&FBasilica Farm and Flea Spring Market: In collaboration with Hudson River Exchange. With more than 60-90 vendors, the marketplace consists of a diverse group of regional makers, farmers and vintage collectors. Visitors can browse vintage and artisanal goods and eat locally sourced farm-fresh food. One of Hudson’s events that draws visitors from near and far.

Event: Our Town“Our Town”: The Ghent Playhouse is thrilled to present Edward Albee’s definitive version of Our Town: Set in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, Thornton Wilder’s masterpiece is narrated by a Stage Manager and performed with minimal props and sets, as the audience follows the Webb and Gibbs families, as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually – in one of the most famous scenes in American theater history – die.

Event: Food festivalThe 6th Annual Hudson-Berkshire Wine and Food Festival: Featuring the five beverage trail members plus other regional wineries, distilleries, cideries and craft beverages. There will also be delicious foods for sale and sampling including gourmet cheeses and creameries, baked goods, grass fed meat producers and more! Throughout the weekend there will be special guest appearances and book signings, seminars of wine and food pairings, home brewing, and cheese making by some of the region’s foremost experts.  Culinary events like these are becoming more and more popular!

Event: Artisanal Beverage TourComing in June don’t miss the Columbia County Artisanal Beverage Tour!

With all this and more going on in the area there are so many reasons why you should be making a trip up to Hudson this May!  Make sure to book your stay at The Croff House for the perfect Hudson Valley getaway.

Custom Picnic Baskets

Picnic Hudson NY

photo by Andre Baranowski

Custom Picnic Baskets are the most recent addition to The Croff House’s Specials and Packages.  Partnering with Talbott and Arding – Hudson’s premier purveyor of prepared foods, cheeses and desserts – beginning May 1 we will be offering guests the opportunity to pre-order custom “picnic baskets” created from a selection of the chefs’ daily creations.  In a recent article Plan the Perfect Hudson Valley Picnic in Hudson Valley Magazine Mona Talbott, one of the shop’s chef owners, is quoted:

“Picnics are so much about the senses; you have the beautiful sunlight, the wind in the trees…you don’t want to just chow down on a sandwich.”

Mona offers suggestions for items she believes are just the thing to create the perfect outdoor meal from cheeses and pates to chocolates and cookies (“a piece of cake would be too clumsy”).  Talbott and Arding changes their offerings daily and can put together a delicious collection sure to suit a wide range of tastes; everything prepared using fresh, local ingredients and inspired by the flavors of France, Italy and North America.

If guests want we are also able to arrange wine or champagne to add to their al fresco feast through Hudson Wine Merchants.  We wish we could also arrange music and great weather, but some things are out of our control.

The Croff House is pleased to be able to offer this wonderful service to enhance our guests’ experience in Hudson.

For more information please contact The Croff House at 518.828.1688

Reservations for The Croff House can be made online by clicking here.

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.

 

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.

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.