With a getaway car (preferably something classic that requires driving gloves), you can make out like a robber baron in the colorful hillocks two hours north of the city.
Eats, Loafs, Leaves
Built in 1912 by fancy-pants architect Addison Mizner, Rock Hall offers all the pomp and circumstance of the excessively wealthy without the excessive price. Think fireside cocktail service, an authentic 1926 Brunswick arcade pool table, handmade Syrian backgammon sets, and a cozy screening room stocked with popcorn and film noir.
Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the synthetic grass tennis court and ball machine, on-site apple picking, and romantic bike rides. But the leaves, you say, the leaves! Book a horse-drawn carriage ride (with bubbly, bien sûr!) and stop in for French fare at Pastorale in nearby Lakeville, Connecticut.
Ventfort Hall Mansion was one of 75 country estates constructed in the resort town of Lenox, Massachusetts, during the late 19th century. It now houses the popular Gilded Age Museum, which offers a year-round selection of quaint exhibits and events (200 Years of Berkshire Brides, Victorian tea), along with picnics on the expansive porch overlooking the great lawn.
Golf was a favorite sport during the Gilded Age, and the 380-acre opulence of Cranwell is a historical place to tee off. The eighteen-hole championship golf course has incomparable views of the foliage and a perky staff of PGA pros on hand for lessons.
Follow up a round with a bucolic thirty-minute drive to Mepal Manor and Spa, which has a full salon with hair, nail, waxing, and massage services and results-orientated treatments like the Monticelli mud wrap. Contemplate the changing leaves (and your improving epidermis) in the outdoor hot tub.
A gilded gal has to eat, and Blantyre is the place to make up for all those nights of Ramen. Dinner guests are greeted by staff in lace pinafores in front of a stoked fire, stocked bar, and fancy finger food, before being escorted into a gastronomic wonderland reimagined seasonally by celebrated chef Christopher Brooks.
Because sometimes life tastes better on a silver spoon — even if it’s a demitasse and not a ladle.
Keep on truckin’. For more road trip ideas, go to dailycandy.com/guides.
Daily Candy NY has a nice entry today about a Gilded Age road trip, including stops at Ventfort Hall in Lenox (www.gildedage.org), Cranwell, and Blantyre (www.blantyre.com). Nice! Uncredited, but 3 out of 5 photos on the article are by Kevin Sprague. Branding the Berkshires? Underway, thanks….