Friday, December 16, 2011

Hidden charms of Hudson, NY

While reading one of the many blogs I follow this summer, I came across a link for the very charming Hudson Merchant House in Hudson, NY. We'd been talking about doing a weekend getaway upstate during the Fall so I shared the link with the boy and minutes later we were booked! Neither of us had ever been there before nor had really even heard of this town along the Hudson River. As I had a few months to prepare, I began researching the town and planning our escape. Everything I read made me excited for the upcoming adventure.
Design & Antique stores line Warren Street
Over the past few decades Hudson has experienced a renaissance of sorts, evolving from a somewhat rundown riverside town just north of the ultra chic Rhinebeck (Chelsea Clinton's wedding site) to a trendy, yet still bohemian, village. Where Rhinebeck exudes the allure of the West Village, Hudson proffers SoHo style galleries, antique stores, and restaurants.

From everything I'd read, it appeared that Hudson was quite manageable on foot so we opted for the less stressful Amtrak train from Penn Station to Hudson, avoiding the traffic crush of a Friday night. We jumped aboard, grabbed ourselves a happy hour beer and settled in for the lovely sunset ride along the Hudson River. Upon arrival, we walked two blocks to our cozy bed and breakfast where one of our hosts, Roy, was waiting for us at the door with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and his darling black lab circling excitedly at his heels. What service!

Charming facade typical of many Hudson Homes
Mike and his partner, Roy, quickly acquainted us with the house and it's amenities. Breakfast was served in the morning at a communal table shared by the guests - and without getting too far ahead, it was scrumptious! Mike is a fabulous cook! Our room, The Newport Room, was perfectly appointed with a patio overlooking the backyard. After washing up, we decided to head up Warren Street (for all intents and purposes THE main drag of Hudson) and settled on the perfect venue for dinner, American Glory BBQ. The glory wasn't in the food, but it certainly was in the atmosphere with a charming bartender, easily assessed basic menu, and good cocktails. Perfect for the early Friday night we needed.


We awoke Saturday morning snuggled in our comfy bed to forecasts of snow and the smell of a home cooked meal wafting up the staircase. Following our delectable breakfast, we set out to take advantage of the day. A slight chill in the overcast sky, we ventured first to the park overlooking the river snapping a few photos and exerting our inner children on the swings! Invigorated, we spent the day exploring the town with several highlight stops. One was our brief reprieve at The Spotty Dog Books & Ale where we savored craft brews and browsed their literary selection. Another was our late lunch at Cafe Le Perche, a recently opened French Bistro & Bakery on Warren Street. While savoring our squash soup and spicy Syrah, the first snow of the season descended on the town of Hudson. It was magically romantic.

Onslaught of the first snow.

Exhausted from our explorations (and another long NYC week), we decided to relax in the Newport Room before heading to our highly anticipated dinner at Swoon Kitchen Bar. With the snow quietly accumulating outside our B&B, we enjoyed some late afternoon movies and a quick nap (we're getting old, you know...) Dinner, relative to our meals at the Hudson Merchant House,  La Perche, and our Sunday lunch at Ca'Mea was wildly disappointing given the reviews I'd read here and here, but you can't always win. The company was blissful nonetheless.

The aftermath.

Snow blanketed the town and glimmered in the sun as we awoke Sunday morning. Such a treat! We walked about town kicking around the snow and enjoying the smell of freshly fallen snowflakes and winter fall (this was October still.). Always the competitive one, I'd brought with me my pack of UNO cards suggesting we cap off the trip with some friendly rivalry. We sidled up to a comfy corner at Le Gamin Country with some escargots and two Sancerres and, well, I obviously creamed him. What a great way to finish a fantastic weekend!!!! The boy is still trying to win back his pride....

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