Visit: A Sheep Farm in New Zealand

It was stupid of me to wear open-toed shoes when I visited Cape Campbell Farm, a windy, mountainous property on the Pacific coast of New Zealand’s South Island. More stupid, perhaps, to volunteer to sort, or draft, the farm’s sheep, a tough, semi-wild breed that came up to my waist, but Rob Peter, the farm’s owner, had made it look so easy. I found myself standing next to a narrow channel of sheep with my hands on different gates, ready to direct them into distinct pens. They were marked with colored chalk—”Orange to your left, blue to your right, unmarked straight ahead,” Rob explained. “And careful of your fingers; they’ve got very hard heads and will be running very fast.” Then he unpinned the sheep and set the dogs barking. Large, scared, jumpy animals that they are, the sheep stumbled over each other, scrambling to get out through the narrow passage, as I tried and failed to keep up. At least my toes didn’t get trampled! 
Originally published on SAVEUR.com

Stay: La Verrière, Crestet, France

When I visited the Chêne Bleu estate in June 2013, I was deeply impressed by the care and precision that had gone into every aspect of restoring the property, including the house and its surroundings. Visitors to the area can actually rent out rooms or the entire house for periods of time (a weekly minimum during high season) for a relaxing, elegant, and deeply restorative experience, high above Provence.

TO STAY

La Verrière
Available for rent by room or for the entire house
Chemin de La Verrière, Crestet, France
33-4/90-10-06-30

New Year’s Sparklers

Possibly one of my favorite New Year’s Eve memories is a house party in Brooklyn with dear friends, fancy outfits, even fancier food, and Champagne — in fact, a bottle of Champagne, not Prosecco or Cava or any other sparkler, was your ticket in. What started as a tasting exercise (and way to obliterate the memory of the lobster that just would not die) turned into a raucous good time in the early hours of 2010. Continue reading

I LOVERMONT: Ice Cream and Whoopie Pies

I spent this past weekend in Greensboro, Vermont in a beautiful turn-of-the-century wood cabin on the lake, in the middle of the woods, blissfully disconnected from civilization (otherwise known as out of cell and internet range). What did I do to celebrate these facts? I indulged my sweet tooth.

A few highlights:

 Craving inspired by SAVEUR: a delicious Whoopie Pie

As discerning connoisseurs of sweet, Anna and I selected the whoopie pie from Connie’s Kitchen, instead of one of the other options, since Connie’s had about 10 ingredients rather than 35. We also picked up some of her delectable traditional doughnuts and ginger cookies, all on sale at the Willey’s General Store in town.

Sweet Cream and Cookies, only available the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Scoop Shop.

This bit of deliciousness was a cookie-heavy twist on one of my all-time favorite flavors. Even though I went to college in Middlebury, I never once made it up to the factory for a visit. So, on our way to a concert in Burlington, Anna and I stopped in for a treat. Although there was no time for a tour, there was plenty of time for a snack. And yes, this was a single scoop.

Really happy.