The Style and Grace of the Gilded Age

One of my favorite motivations for travel is the opportunity to live in someone else’s shoes.

The exciting part about this travel tactic is that it has no limit. There is always a new culture, cuisine, or point in history to explore. A few weeks ago, when I spent a weekend at Blantyre, a country house hotel in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, this wish was granted. For a weekend I stepped back to the Gilded Ages, to the pleasures of this indulgent era leading up to World War I. A businessman and art collector named Robert Paterson built Blantyre, and now thanks to the vision of Ann Fitzpatrick Brown, guests today can once again delve into the traditions of this lifestyle.

Winter Wonderland – Blantyre

This week my article for Luxury Travel Magazine on Blantyre was published. Here’s a little sneaky paragraph from the larger feature article:

With the strike of a match, the wood-burning fireplace in our suite leapt to life. A knock on the door delivered decadent hot chocolate to accompany the crackling fire. This was the perfect way to end a day of country pleasures at Blantyre, a summer home turned Relais & Châteaux hotel in the Berkshires. This Tudor manor is bringing back the style and grace of the Gilded Age, and after only a few hours, I was enchanted. Blantyre offers a rare opportunity to engage with the past and become immersed in the delights of a bygone era.

Staying in the Paterson suite, our room was complete with an intimate sitting room that contained a wood-burning fireplace and writing desk tucked into the bay window. While the grandeur of a four-poster bed was fit for a king in the main room of the suite, this nook was an intimate place to retreat to after a fantastic meal. I could almost picture Mrs Paterson enjoying the warmth of a fire of a room like this, perhaps after a meal in her lovely dining room.

Private winter dining at Blantyre

Everyone has their own favorites when it comes to luxury travel, but one of mine is two bathrooms. The grand bathroom had a soaking tub, elegant dressing table, and sofa to lounge on. The second bathroom had a steam shower and endless piles of fluffy towels. While I loved the Potting Shed spa too, between the two bathrooms it was almost like having a spa right inside the suite.

I’m not the only one that has plenty of praise for Blantyre. If you’re interested in the wine dinners that Blantyre throws, check out this post from travel writer Melanie Nayer. For more details about the pleasures of all the seasons at Blantyre, check out this post by luxury travel enthusiast Tiffany.

With just one glance at the guest book, it is easy to see that Blantyre touches the lives of every guest that crosses the threshold. Whether they arrive for culinary travel, to reconnect with a loved one, or just to breathe the fresh air and sit down with a good book, this country house hotel is one that Patersons would be quite proud of.

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