Travel Diaries: Old Stone Farm, Staatsburg, NY

Sometimes, one of the very best things about living in New York City, is that it's a wonderfully easy city to escape from. A quick train ride or a short drive in just about any direction, and you're worlds away.

This past weekend, Eugene and I took advantage of this very thing, and drove up to the Old Stone Farm in Staatsburg, NY, for a couple days of country living.

Less than two hours from the city, Old Stone Farm is a recently-opened horse farm, spa, and wellness center located on a bucolic 236-acre horse farm in the heart of Duchess County.

The restored 200-year-old property features a 10-room inn, library, yoga barn, outdoor dining pavilion, horse barn, indoor and outdoor riding rings, as well as a full-service spa including massage, wet rooms, and steam sauna cabinets.

And it is GORGEOUS!

As Eugene and I drove up the gravel entry path, we were absolutely stunned by the seemingly endless rolling hills and woods that surrounded us.

At the top of it all, sat the inn--a cluster of restored antique barns and stone farm houses that became our home for the weekend.

Our stay began at Pop's Kitchen--a lovely country house with a series of dining rooms that served as the hub for the weekend--where we were warmly greeted by staff members Jenn and Renzo.

The two helped us with our luggage, valeted our car, and led us to our bedroom, located on the second floor of a gorgeous renovated barn.

The room was incredible (I'm mad that I didn't take any photos of it!). Big and airy with high ceilings, original pale wood beams, and a large bed covered in silky Frette linens.

After a quick rest, we walked down to the pavilion to join the inn's owner and the other weekend guests for wine and hors d'oeuvres of latkes topped with an herb cream and smoked salmon. (Eugene ate at least six of these.)

We introduced ourselves--the group that weekend included two psychotherapists, a producer, an energy worker, and a journalist--and then chatted until it was time to ring the dinner bell.

Our first dinner, prepared by their resident chef (and genius!), Chef Matt, was incredible. I instantly relaxed knowing that I would be well fed all weekend long.

(Fun fact about me: few things stress me out more than mediocre food--something which was NOT an issue here.)

That night, we started with a chopped salad of local vegetables (updated beyond the classic with a touch of bitter radicchio), followed by an entree of seared cilantro-marinated halibut served seared over a local sweet corn hash and red pepper cream.

For dessert, we had a dark almost-flourless chocolate raspberry cake with homemade local raspberry sorbet. It was so good that I basically tuned out of the conversation, entering into a little chocolate-induced reverie.

[Note: I took photos of this meal, and then proceeded to accidentally delete them all, so my prose will have to suffice.]

The next morning, Eugene and I walked along a lovely dew-covered path back to Pop's Kitchen to check out the breakfast offerings.

We were happy to learn that breakfast was served family style (my favorite!) with a selection of fresh, chewy bagels, whipped cream cheese, and a platter piled with lox, local tomatoes, and red onions.

For those with a sweet tooth, there was also a large bowl of Chef Matt's homemade granola, yogurt, local milk, and berries.

Naturally, Eugene and I helped ourselves to a little bit of everything...

After breakfast, the owner, Sherry, invited us to hop onto a golf cart for a drive down to the horse barn located on the opposite end of the property.

Her dog, a charming Wheaton Terrier named Buddha, led the way.

We met and fed a few of the horses, and then entered the barn where we each took turns riding around the inside track.

After horseback riding, we were ready for lunch, which we ate at a little table on the sunny porch overlooking the property.

We started off with a sweet and creamy (albeit dairy-free!) local corn soup topped off with queso fresco and an avocado, corn, and tomato salsa.

It was so good and filling that I honestly thought that was the whole meal, and would have been perfectly happy if it had been.

Just as I was wondering if I should get up to go, they set down another stunning plate: coleslaw topped with a veggie burger made of mushrooms, cashews, and bulgar wheat, with a spicy bbq sauce, pickled red onions, and tomato arugula salad.

It was one of those "you don't even miss the meat!" kind of vegetarian dishes.

For dessert, we had homemade ginger ice cream in a local blueberry soup.

I literally had to stop myself from licking this plate clean.

(And Eugene had to stop himself from taking the dessert of the lady sitting behind him who didn't eat dairy or sugar; restraint we both later ended up regretting.)

Feeling deliciously satisfied, Eugene and I skipped yoga, and drove 10 minutes to nearby Rhinebeck for a little shopping and exploring (my preferred form of exercise).

It was a tiny little town filled with shops and restaurants; very cute, but we covered the entire two-block town in about 15 minutes, and decided to just go back to the farm for a little reading in the sun.

(Had we not just eaten, I probably would have loved to check out one of the local restaurants.)

(Although really, we were just killing time until dinner.)

While walking back to the dining room for dinner, we bumped into a new couple who arrived that evening.

They were about our age, which Eugene and I were SUPER excited about as the other guests, while really lovely, were all a few decades older. It was nice to have some new friends our own age to play with.

The four of us grabbed a table together, and quickly fell into loud and lively conversation about everything from wine tasting in Sonoma to Tara Reid's spectacular performance in Sharknado.

After another amazing meal (arugula salad with marcona almonds, braised chicken over polenta, and homemade strawberry sorbet over macerated berries), we took a bottle of wine and some blankets outside, and settled onto a cluster of Adirondack chairs to watch the sun set and look out for shooting stars, satellites, and potential space ships.

On Sunday, I woke up excited for more bagels (so chewy and delicious!) and lox, but was thrilled to learn that there also were huevos rancheros on the menu.

(Please note the "also.")

In typical Alejandra style, I had a little bit of each.

Actually, I just had a full portion of each (for research and photography purposes).

After breakfast, Eugene sprayed himself with OFF! and went for a "hike/aggressive walk" in the woods, while I settled down onto a rocking chair in the sun like the lazy lady that I am.

(I'm not into things like excessive nature.)

He soon joined me, and we did some reading, followed by a walk along the (non woody) parts of the property.

At noon, we headed back up to our sunny table and sat down to wait for lunch, which was probably one of my favorite meals.

We started off with a watermelon and feta salad (Eugene was fascinated by the yellow watermelon even though I have totally purchased it and served it at home in the past).

The main was the coolest vegetarian dish I've ever had in my life: all-veggie reubens!

Toasted multi-grain bread, homemade thousand island dressing, melty swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and a slaw of shredded carrots and parsnips.

It was so weird and delicious; we devoured it in seconds.

For dessert, they brought out a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip pecan cookies. Eugene, who claims to not like nuts in his baked goods, loved his.

And when they offered us a couple more, we quickly accepted.

After exchanging emails with some of the other guests, we reluctantly checked out and headed back home feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead.

If you're looking for a luxurious weekend trip near New York City, this is definitely the place to go. We were so impressed by the attention to detail evident in every corner of that home, and look forward to returning soon!

Old Stone Farm is a wonderful place to visit if you're looking for an escape from city life.  In addition to standard lodgings (rates start at $295), the inn also offers a number of personal development workshops and retreats, daily yoga classes, riding, guided hikes/nature walks, and spa and wellness treatments. Old Stone Farm is also available for weddings and other gatherings. All meals are included in the price of your stay.

For more information visit Old Stone Farm's website, or call 845-876-3977.

Old Stone Farm
2434 State Route 9G
Stattsburg, NY 12580

Phone:  845-876-3977

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Note: Our stay at Old Stone Farm was graciously provided to us at no charge as part of a press preview. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions are (of course!) my own.

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