Make It a Weekend
Continue discovering the Quechee area’s artisanal tradition at the galleries of furniture maker Charles Shackleton and potter Miranda Thomas, located in The Mill in Bridgewater, Vermont.
Charles’s timeless designs combine simple grace and solid presence, as in an 18th-century-inspired cherry triple kitchen dresser with glass doors ($14,700) and a 90-by-44-inch cherry dining table with hand-carved dentil molding ($5,700). Meticulous planing, sanding, and waxing by hand all give Charles’s pieces a gorgeous silky finish.
Miranda’s pottery similarly matches elegance and heft. It is characterized by carved or freely drawn birds and animals, subtly outlined against backgrounds of deep greens and warm beige. A chunky 8-ounce barrel mug ($45) would nicely launch a Miranda Thomas collection, which might grow to include a 9-inch jug ($190) or a 9-by-4-inch serving bowl ($165). Both artists welcome visitors to their on-site workshops.
The region’s grandest example of sublime workmanship belongs to the Ottauquechee River, which carved the dramatic 165-foot-deep Quechee Gorge just outside Quechee Village. A 1-1⁄2-mile round-trip hike into the gorge begins at the recreation area adjacent to the Route 4 bridge.
Lodging and dining options include the 25-room Quechee Inn, whose main building dates from 1793. The inn is headquarters for Wilderness Trails, which focuses on fly-fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and mountain biking (rentals available). The dining room, open to the public, offers a range of entrées from crab-stuffed haddock to roast rack of lamb.
For lunch or dinner in a cozy pub setting, try Fire Stones, where a big woodburning oven turns out crisp flatbread pizzas (other choices include Grand Marnier chicken, veal Marsala, and heroic half-pound burgers).