I have made an annual New England pilgrimage six out of the past seven years in the pursuit of fresh powder and delicious aprés ski cocktails. A couple of years ago, my friend and college mentor purchased a home built in 1790, in Francestown, New Hampshire. He is an architect and an interior designer who has slowly been renovating this beautiful old home himself. It has all the charms you hope for in an old New England farmhouse, exposed beams in almost every room, massive hearths, and the most charming old barn. His incredible home happens to be 14 miles from the only Barbour clearance center in the country and five miles from Crotched Mountain, home of the fastest ski lift in New England!
Last year we flew into Boston and got a rental car, but this year we decided to drive when we realized it would only result in two more hours of travel time thanks to the layover and the drive time from Boston to Francestown. We drove all of Thursday night, took a power nap Friday morning and hit the slopes for afternoon/ night skiing. One of the best things about going so far north to ski is how much more affordable it all becomes. For lift tickets and rentals from 2:30-9pm we came in around $60 each! After a few hours of the best skiing of my life, we popped into the lodge for a Snow Bunny (minty spiked hot cocoa) before heading back to the house. We came home to a roaring fire, cheese platter and a delicious bottle of red. For dinner, I made my favorite Tuscan stew and some warm cocktails to sip while we caught up in front of the fire until the wee hours of the morning.
We slept in on day two and before taking our time over a lazy Valentine’s Day themed brunch. My dear friend and New Hampshire native Diane (you may remember her from my summer trip to New York), joined us for the day and we started the afternoon curled up in a chair reminiscing over our European adventures. Jerry casually mentioned the Barbour outlet and that it was quite close to the butcher they were heading to grab steaks for dinner. I almost didn’t go. The fire was so warm and I was so content. Clare, who knows me best of all, looked me square in the eyes and said-“you better come or you will regret it.” She couldn’t have been more right. It was a Mecca of amazing deals on all things Barbour ( I bet Andrew learned his lesson and won’t skip out for a nap again next year). When we four girls descended on the red tag section with hungry eyes the amazing staff kindly brought us our own rolling rack to hang all our finds. All six of us ended up with a healthy bag (or two) of great deals! The clearance center is a must for your next trip to New Hampshire and officially part of our annual tradition!
*Beautiful paper goods brought to you by Hooray Party co.
As may not surprise you, I look forward to the drinks by the fire, lazy pre-ski brunches and the warm company as much as I do hitting the slopes. We split the remainder of our long weekend between playing outside in the snow and sipping by the fire and it was everything. I am already counting the days till next year’s trip! Thank you, Jerry, for the perfect New England weekend.