My husband and I have always loved Vermont. We soak in the mountain air and dive into the lakes. We love the small towns and craft breweries. I have a little saying about Vermont: Vermont is the only state I know where you can stop at a gas station to fill the car and stop in for a snack and pick up a homemade granola bar that is the best snack you have ever had.
When it comes to resort vacations, you often have to sacrifice good food for a great selection of activities. I was recently invited to Basin Harbor to experience one of Vermont’s cornerstone resorts that has been a destination for vacationers since almost a century before the times of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. There are aspects that take you back to the gilded age and other that take you back to the late 50’s summer holiday vibe. Luckily the dining experience of that era had been left behind and you will not need to sneak into the city for a decent bite.
At Basin Harbor, you don’t get bored with the daily schedule or the meal options. I was invited to check out Basin Harbor in June as their guest. As always, all opinions are my own and when it comes to food I have a lot of them.
When you stay at Basin Harbor, you don’t have to leave the beautiful, lakeside property in order to have a good meal. You can have breakfast on your deck overlooking the lake or take a walk over to one of the many seating areas on the property to enjoy a coffee a simple bowl of cereal, a pastry from a nearby bakery, or you can enjoy a full breakfast at Ardelia’s.
There is every station you might want. A favourite of ours was the one with yoghurt, berries and a granola that had my travel companions roaming the entire state to find a bag of that same granola to bring homs. (Basin Harbor whisper it in my ear so I can surprise them with a bag of it!).
Some mornings I just want toast and some eggs. The omelet guy was excellent and greeted guests young and younger with, “Can I make you the usual?” to which they nodded with full confidence that their exact preferences were known by the omelet guy. (His name is Josh, and he’s a nice guy who knows how to make eggs.) He has all the fixings to add to your eggs or you can have them plain and simple. There are even hard boiled eggs if that’s your thing.
I could not resist the giant bowl of blueberries which I topped with a drizzle of warm Vermont maple syrup. The blueberry bread was also delicious.
I’m a bit of a coffee snob and I loved the rich dark smoothness of their coffee. If you are an early riser and just want to go for a stroll and grab a coffee or sit on the lawn with your cup of coffee and the paper or a book, there is a coffee station (with tea too) on the porch. They really have thought of everything.
Lunch is really the most perfect lunch you could ever think of. There are tables of beautiful salads, with dressings of every kind. There are fixings for sandwiches, as well as a soup station. In addition to that, you can enjoy a burger from the grill or whatever the hot special of the day is. Choose wisely though, because you will definitely want room for dessert.
If the kids are squiggling in their seats and you just sat down with a hot cup of coffee and a cookie, you can send them on their way. The Ranger Room overlooks the pool and lawn games area. The kids will relish the freedom and you can do the same with your cup of coffee in peace and quiet.
There are several options for cocktail hour and dinner. For cocktail hour you can grab a drink al fresco by the beach at Burgee Bar. There is a bar in the main lodge where you feel like you have stepped back in time. Sometimes I like to stop by the snack shop and pick up a few cold beers and some cheese and crackers to bring back to the cottage and sit on my porch and unwind. Another option is to have friends over in the evening. Sit in the living room of your cottage around the fireplace before walking over to dinner. You can also stop in at any of the restaurant bars for a drink before dinner.
Dinner options at many vacation spots are limited to one or at most two. At Basin Harbor there are several options. You have beach side dining outdoors at the North Dock with a casual, festive family friendly vibe on the Homestead Lawn. This is where your cookout, bbq, and lobster bake fare is usually served with a side of activities like a bouncy castle and lawn games.
For an evening of fine dining, Ardelia’s has a scrumptious menu. A French chef at the helm means plenty of local ingredients served with unctuous sauces that bring out all the flavours of the season.
You can go more casual and just as delicious over at The Red Mill which used to be just a staff hangout but the guests were jealous of the casual fun vibe over at the mill and since no one wants FOMO on vacation, it is now a fun dining spot for all.