Last weekend a few friends and I took a trip upstate a couple hours to recharge in the heart of the Hudson Valley. With the help of a little fresh country air, we managed to pack the weekend full of some of our favorite things: vintage shopping, farm-to-table dining and of course, a little house touring.
After we checked into our Hudson apartment rental, we made our way to a brunch spot called Le Gamin Country. This original NYC offshoot is French inspired with a traditional French bistro styled breakfast menu of crêpes and eggs. Atmosphere was great. Lemon crêpes were delicious. Overall, we left the place happy customers ready to take on the insane amount of shops that lined the main street of Hudson.
Hudson is antique central. Almost every store has something unique to offer…
White Whale Limited (exotica, Americana), Hudson Super Market (vintage furnishings) and LOOK (clothing, jewelry) were amongst a few noteworthy shops but Neven+Neven Moderne was definitely a must-see for any mid-century enthusiast.
The George Nakashima floating shelf (above) and the teak Danish planter (below) were a couple stand out pieces that were on display.
Another great hidden gem was a small shop aptly name Larry’s Back Room. Tucked away at the back of Mark’s Antiques, the place was jam-packed with old industrial tools, primitives and home furnishings from the Victorian era.
An unexpected discovery was the artwork of Earl Swanigan. His paintings are everywhere in Hudson. Earl is a bit of a town celebrity so you bet we were a tad star struck when we spotted him guarding his paintings on a Warren street sidewalk. Yes, Earl’s artwork is a sort of enigma to us all but you can’t deny that they have an unusual ability to put a smile on your face!
“Mostly, I paint dogs and cats and chickens doing things like human beings would do,” – Earl Swanigan
That evening we tried what is claimed to be the first true farm-to-table direct restaurant called Grazin’. The burgers are made from pasture raised grassfed cows… Animal Welfare Approved! The burgers were clean, the brews were local and the diner atmosphere, spot on!
The next morning we planned a house tour at The Vanderbilt Mansion located about an hour from the town of Hudson.
Now a National Historic site, the 54-room mansion was built in the 1890s and the Vanderbilts occupied the home and surrounding 211 acres until the 1930s. At the time the house cost about $2 million to build and furnish.
The Vanderbilts, like many new wealthy industrialists, commissioned European artists and Beaux-Arts architects to imitate the palaces of European royalty. Their bedrooms were even inspired by Louis IVI and Marie Antoinette’s bedchambers at the Palace of Versailles.
The mansion was a seasonal home where the Vanderbilts would retreat during the Spring and Fall months. After the tour we strolled through the grounds and river valley. We ended the trip with the perfect view of the Hudson River!
Special thanks to Aimee, Sujin and Natty for photographs and late night navigation!