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Sunday, June 19, 2011
A couple of weekends ago we had the pleasure of going to a fabulous wedding in Connecticut. Our super good friends here in London were getting married back home, and you bet we weren't going to miss a good party! The rehearsal dinner was at the grooms parents summer house and the ceremony was in the charming little town of Ridgefield. The weather was perfect, the bride was stunning, and the reception - o.m.g.
We had been looking forward to going to this wedding for a long time for a couple of reasons -
1. It meant that we were going back home (REAL home, not fake London home)
2. We were over the moon happy for our friends (and I couldn't help but keep reminiscing about my own wedding day last June).
3. The reception venue was amazing. We booked our cottage the minute the reservation lines opened (good thing our friends followed through with an actual invite to their wedding!).
Did you notice I didn't say room - I said cottage?
Do me a favor - before you read on, check out Winvian on the world wide web.
Ok, done? Welcome back.
Now do you understand why we were so freakin' pumped??
Basically, this place is a super fancy summer camp for adults. There are nineteen individual cottages and each one has a different theme. Every cottage is so thoughtfully and tastefully decorated and you instantly feel at home in every one of them. The decor of each cottage completely embodies its theme, with small touches like a wooden chess set in the "Beaver Lodge", an easel and paints in "Artist" and a real live helicopter in "Helicopter" (ok, maybe that last one isn't a "small" detail). You could spend a weekend in each cottage and not discover all of the little treasures that each one holds.
Each cottage comes with two bikes for its guests to use during their stay to ride around the grounds (don't worry, they are labeled with your cottage name so you don't get yours mixed up with anyone elses). The FIRST thing we did after checking in was ride our bikes all over the entire property to check out all of the cottages and get the lay of the land.
I think these bikes were one of the best things about this place - we used them all weekend (including riding back to our cabin after the wedding reception after-party...that was interesting, to say the least!) and they made for some GREAT group photos...
Being married to a guy who went to a merchant marine academy we obviously stayed in the Maritime cottage. The interior was so bright and airy with a soft, clean color palette and had those little details that made it perfect.
The Gordon Brown house was the main building which housed the front desk, game area and restaurant. The staff was incredibly accommodating and welcoming - no request was too small and they were on hand at all times to help you however they could. A few of us stayed a second night and had the place virtually to ourselves. The restaurant is open to the public and that night we dined in a small, intimate room with a handful of other couples. The food did not disappoint - from the wedding appetizers to the main meal, to the breakfast the next morning and tasting menu at dinner the following night - all of the food that we had was incredible. There is a farm on site where they grow most of their own vegetables and herbs, and the rest of the food is as locally sourced as possible.
If you are looking for a weekend get-away and live in the NY/NJ/CT area I HIGHLY recommend Winvian. Your stay can either be a la carte or all inclusive. The a la carte include the room rate and breakfast, while the all inclusive includes pretty much you could ever hope and dream for. I'm not going to lie, this place isn't cheap. But it would be a great treat for an anniversary or other special occasion. And besides, if you don't have to fly there the cost should even out. Just keep telling yourself that as you pay the final bill.