A good place to spend the night, interesting choices for meals, absorbing or entertaining things to do—these are the three basics we all seek when we travel. Here are some itineraries where the “threes” are wild.
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Like many towns in Connecticut, Woodbury manages to blend New England charm with contemporary sophistication, providing a destination in the scenic Litchfield Hills that is a true triple play—a number of great places to stay, an abundance of excellent restaurants and enough antiques dealers to proudly call itself “The Antiques Capital of Connecticut.” It also is very accessible and visitor-friendly—here there are no large crowds to endure, no tangle of busy roads to navigate, just Main Street (Route 6), which bisects the town and is home to the majority of dining venues and things to do.
Main Street is also where you will find accommodations, including the venerable Curtis House. Billed as “Connecticut’s Oldest Inn” as it opened in 1754, Curtis House offers 14 guest rooms, each with a canopied bed; eight of the rooms also have a private bath and air conditioning, while the refurbished carriage house has another four rooms. The inn is open for lunch and dinner, and serves traditional Yankee fare—think pot roast and turkey, prime rib and baked stuffed shrimp.
Down the road is the slightly younger (built in 1789) Longwood Country Inn, which has five guest rooms and an award-winning restaurant, their Sunday brunch having been honored as the best in the area—although the rest of their Zagat-rated menu serves well, ranging from seafood crepes del mar to Long Island crescent duck bigarade to herb-encrusted filet mignon.
One of the draws of Woodbury, however, is its diverse roster of quality eating establishments all within a short distance of one another, so any foodie worth his or her salt will make the rounds. Renowned chef Carole Peck cooks up her internationally acclaimed Modern American cuisine at the Good News Cafe, featuring such creative (and delicious) seasonal items as sea bass fillet with horseradish crust on spinach and beet slices, or Toulouse-style cassoulet with duck confit and lamb and garlic pork sausage. Across the street at Carmen Anthony Fishhouse, delicacies from the sea grace the plates, including swordfish maître d’hôtel and fillet of sole Florentine, as well as the “best” crab cakes and clam chowder as voted repeatedly by Connecticut Magazine readers. Over at John’s Café, you can sample New American cuisine with Mediterranean flair—dishes like sautéed pork Milanese and grilled center-cut veal chop. Practically next door is Carlito’s, with excellent dinner specials and the most convivial bar in town. And don’t forget Dottie’s Diner (formerly Phillip’s), where exemplary fresh-made donuts, donut bread pudding and chicken pie can be found.
Speaking of finding things, people come from all over to search Woodbury for whatever treasures they’re seeking. According to the Woodbury Antiques Dealer Association, the town got its start as an antiques mecca about 50 years ago when a number of renowned dealers moved their operations to the unassuming little town, settling in the historic homes and shops. From there, the local antiques business has grown to where now over 30 dealers can be found here, covering nearly every category, style and period of antiques imaginable. And even better, with the shops in various and sundry bunches along Main Street, it’s easy to explore many in a single afternoon as you try to find that special treasure that will serve as a lasting memento of your trip to Woodbury.
For more info on Woodbury, visit woodburyct.org or antiqueswoodbury.com.