Ways for Festive Feasting

The holiday season has a lot of heart-warming elements, but one of the most important is the feasting. Whether it is a couple's getaway for some rare us-time, or a large gathering of family and friends, the many wonderful farms and restaurants along the Adirondack Coast will provide some lovely touches to the festivities.

At home

Get some special ingredients for that upcoming gathering by visiting The Hub on the HIll. From produce to cutting boards, they will have those holiday needs covered.

This unique community resource is a store, a cafe, and a catering company. They know how to celebrate Lake Champlain all year.

Local goods, from the tasty to the tasteful, at Hub on the Hill.

With its emphasis on freshness, homemade products, and the dedication of their kitchen team, The Hub on the Hill has become a popular takeout place in Essex. 

Assemble a gift basket containing the best from local farms, crafts, and food producers — this will tell gift recipients how special they are.

Last minute gift ideas for The Hub on the Hill.

Another great place to visit this time of year is Gunnison's Orchards. Explore this popular source of apples, pies, and gifts right on the orchard grounds.

On the go

Try the craft selections at Ledge Hill Brewing Co.for a special treat made with love.

Ledge Hill Brewing Co is a great stop for a relaxation break.

Their goal for their small-batch beer is to craft brews that are "approachable, delicious and unpretentious." Their winter hours are Thursday through Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m.

For coffee and a bakery treat, there's Dogwood Bread Company. Specialty wood-fired pizza and bread, soups and sandwiches, and fresh coffee make this a warm place all year.

Dogwood Bread Company also has coffee: for here, to go, and later.

Since I don't believe in deprivation, also try Libby's Bakery and Cafe. This artisanal restaurant was named for the owner's grandmother, and serves breakfast and lunch from a charming location in downtown Ticonderoga. There's a full espresso bar with housemade flavoring syrups.

Dining out

A great place for gatherings is the dining room of the Westport Hotel and Tavern. This cozy spot is a classic Adirondack Inn with its own restaurant and views of the lake. I love the Old World charm of this place, a favorite spot for lunch when I visit friends in the area.

The Westport Hotel offers dining for many group sizes, with a beautiful downtown location.

For more of that turn-of-the-century hospitality consider the Essex Inn, 200 years old and newly renovated. There's a tavern for fireside dining. The Deer's Head Inn (seen in the header photo, above) is proud of offering anything from a simple beer to aged bourbon, and a tempting menu with a lot of locally sourced ingredients. There are also four newly renovated rooms in the inn upstairs.

Turtle Island Cafe is a gourmet dining spot along the shores of the Boquet River. It is in the old Willsboro Pharmacy, which still has the original tin ceiling and hardwood paneling from 1886.

Turtle Island Cafe is a delightful gourmet spot in charming Willsboro.

Along with the atmosphere, there's the devotion of the chef and owner. He delights in creating one-of-a-kind dishes from his eco-gastronomy approach, this includes a recognition of the strong connection between plate and planet. This is the inspiration for menu items like maple soy sauce, an eggs Benedict special with local ham, and a rotating lineup of craft beers from local breweries. Turtle Island Cafe is local, eco-conscious, and delicious. There's also live music most Fridays.

Holiday events and specials

The Deer's Head Inn restaurant will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The annual Caroling Night on Dec. 21 will be at 7 p.m. and the annual New Year's Eve celebration will have dinner from 6-10 p.m. and a champagne toast at midnight.

The Essex Inn will be serving a five-course holiday feast on Christmas Eve at $75 per person. Their New Year's Eve celebration is another such dinner, with music and dancing in Stone Church.

Dogwood Bread Company will be observing their regular Thursday/Friday/Saturday hours over the holidays and will feature a holiday bread. They have lots of great stuff for stocking stuffers.

During the hectic holiday season, remember there isn't any pressure in the Adirondacks. This has been a place to relax for a couple of centuries. No matter what season it is.

Stay at a delightful inn or bed and breakfast. Enjoy the distinctive shopping. Here's how to get here.

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