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Historic Vermont hotel expands legendary food offerings

Down winding dirt roads and through the forests that line the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains, a culinary experience awaits. Twin Farms has been a luxurious retreat for those looking to break away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives for the past thirty years, and now they’re ready for their next big moment.


Executive Chef Nathan Rich is meticulous when it comes to food and beverage at the Relais & Chateaux and the hotel, with every detail carefully thought out to provide guests with the most unique New England experience. From working with local artisans on dinnerware to sourcing local ingredients for your dishes, the dining experience at the hotel is the definition of farm-to-table. That’s why, during the pandemic, the team envisioned a new dining experience that would expand on what they’ve offered for years in an effort to strengthen their food program. With the launch of Twiggs earlier this month, they now offer a relaxed atmosphere with hearty and delicious dishes.


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“We have people who come and stay for four or five days and we wanted to give them more options to choose from,” Rich said. “At Twiggs, it’s much more rustic and casual, but stays true to the best of Vermont.”


Courtesy of Twin Farms

In the main house, which has been the center of the hotel’s culinary offerings since it opened in 1993, the dining experience is unique as there is no set menu. It is a rotating tasting that changes daily so that guests are surprised by something new every night. Some of the ingredients are grown on site, and those that aren’t usually come from a few miles away. But as Rich pointed out, sometimes guests just want something homey and not necessarily a multi-course meal. With Twiggs, there’s an a la carte menu that makes it easy for guests to grab and go, with robust staples like homemade pastas, casseroles, soups, and individual cakes, which are rotated each month.


“When you’re traveling all day, whether you’re coming from New York or Los Angeles, you may not want to unpack and then sit down to a six- or seven-course tasting menu,” Rich said. “So you can come here and have a hamburger or grilled fish, something to help you relax.”


The 54-seat restaurant was reimagined by interior designer Michaelis Boyd and architectural firm TruexCullins with surprises at every turn, from monkeys hiding in the wallpaper to bright pops of color. There are nods to nature throughout, with plenty of earth tones and windows surrounding the space that look out onto manicured gardens and woodland. The space is located in what was once the parlor and has been nearly doubled in size to include a state-of-the-art kitchen. But one of the top priorities for Rich and his team was the opportunity to interact with guests while they were in the kitchen. “I want people to feel like they can stop by the kitchen to say hi or see what we’re working on,” Rich said.


To highlight that interplay, the team opted not to include doors leading into the kitchen. In addition, they installed a series of windows facing the kitchen from the outdoor patio walkway so guests can get an inside look at what to expect when dining in the restaurant. “It’s a bit of theatrics,” Rich said.


Claude Simon Langlois

The 14-seat bar plays on that idea, with seats that fully encompass the space. It sits partially inside the old enclosed porch that overlooks a lily pad covered pond, but it’s what’s behind the bar that’s really intriguing. While the staff will continue to serve wines from the hotel’s extensive collection, the main focus is on whiskey and gin: the hotel has partnered with Barr Hill Gin to create its own barrel that is distilled with honey from its private hive. The idea is to lean on pairings that complement your meal that aren’t necessarily wine, and both whiskey and gin have dynamic flavor profiles that do just that.


“One thing that’s important to us as a hotel is that we always try to be capricious,” Rich explained. “Wherever you go at the hotel and everything you do, we try to keep it fun and exciting.”


And I think they have succeeded. From organized picnics spread across the 300-acre property with stunning views to cocktails made with their own gin, fly-fishing lessons on the lake and yoga by the pond, the team clearly strives to bring out the fun in everyone.


“It’s like summer camp for adults,” said one guest. ‘You are surrounded by nature, you have many activities to choose from and then you can end the day with great food and great drink.’

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