bees + booch near burlington

August 6, 2017

Vermont's always been on my list of top states to visit - it's promises of maple syrup abundance + natural food/skincare proprietors luring me in. So I'd been looking forward to adding it to our road trip's route for quite some time! Let me tell you now - it was a dream come true. 


We decided to stick around the Burlington/Middlebury area, so when we first arrived in Middlebury we swung by Thai @ Home, a small "food truck" (really a super cute trailer) in the parking lot of a health club. The food itself didn't feel authentically Thai - more a tame version for us Americans - but it's warming/comfort food qualities were exactly what we needed since it had been raining all day and was actually a little chilly too. I stuck with my go-to green curry and Jason got the pad Thai (extra spicy) - both solid choices.


From there, we parked in an open lot and walked in and out of some of the cute shops in downtown Middlebury, mostly to stretch our legs after the drive, which was only about 3 hours. We ended up at the Marble Works District, consisting of a few large buildings that obviously had an industrial purpose in a past life, but now are housing for offices, shops and a couple restaurants.


We stopped in for a refresher at Stone Leaf Teahouse, a cute Asian-inspired tea shop that serves very good, authentic tea from around the world. I stuck with a caffeine-free rooibos iced tea while Jason got an iced maple matcha latte. While mine was great and just was I was hoping for, Jason's was so tasty that I would absolutely get it if we would go back! 

After our pit stop, we moseyed on over to the bed + breakfast we had booked at Golden Well Farm + Apiaries in New Haven, about a 15 minute drive from Middlebury. It was CSA pickup day, so it was a bit busy, but we were greeted right away by Nicole, who owns the farm with her partner Ryan, and their sweet girl Miela. Not only is the farm picturesque with beautiful produce + flowers growing right near the house and barn on the property, but the farmhouse itself is amazing. Nicole's eye for design shines through and is impressively reflected in every corner of their home.


After chatting for a bit and dropping our things in our room - a Moroccan- themed space with a daybed perfect for our dog, Jack, and big, bright windows overlooking the creek that runs alongside the house - we went back into Middlebury for a super delicious dinner at American Flatbread which was recommended to us at least three times (and which also had awesome gluten-free flatbreads - bonus!). After dinner we had to make a quick stop for something sweet, so we hopped into LuLu for ice cream in the cute town of Bristol before heading back to the house. The ice cream was very good and they had creative flavors, like the Midsummer Night Dream with cherries + chocolate chunks we chose.


The next day we planned to spend in Burlington, so we ate breakfast with the farm's WWOOFers and left for the day. On the way to Burlington we took a detour and hiked a short trail in Mount Philo state park, and though it was busy, the views at the top were great and it was a relaxing spot to hang out for a minute until we went on our merry way to the city. 


We reached Burlington as it was creeping closer to lunchtime, so we stopped at City Market at Onion River Co-op for a few prepared items to bring down to Lake Champlain. We walked down to the waterfront and enjoyed our lunch, followed by a visit to Foam Brewers - a brewery with a dog-friendly patio where we met some other pup friends and enjoyed a drink (me a sparkling water/him a local brew). The weather was so nice and sunny that afterwards we enjoyed a stroll down Burlington's downtown promenade where shops were having a sidewalk sale, so we browsed a bit and mostly just took in the city vibes.


By the time we left downtown quite some time had passed since we last ate so we drove over to Citizen Cider, whose trucks we had seen all over town in both Burlington and Middlebury, so we knew it was a big deal. We opted for a flight of all ten ciders to share, which turned out to be a couple sips for each of us - the perfect amount. We also noshed on a (gluten-free!!) corn dog + fries with cider ketchup and a side of pickled veggies. Just about everything we had were winners, but the favorites were the Stan Up, Jam On + Northern Spy ciders. They also sell kombucha, which is something we saw at many places around Vermont!


Honorable mention
ArtsRiot on Fridays for Truck Stop, which brings food trucks, tasty drinks and a fun atmosphere - all located right next door to Citizen Cider. 


We packed in a lot of good eats + drinks in Burlington, so by the time we head back to Golden Well we were sleepy and hit the hay early. When we woke the next day, though, we made sure to pick up some goodies in the farmstand, including maple syrup for my parents + some of their homemade kombucha which is some of my favorite booch I've tried! Their brand, Apis Kombucha, has fun, inventive flavors like strawberry-rosemary and pineapple-coriander (SO good!) and is made with honey from their bees so the sweetness is more subtle and the nutrients are more dense. 


We had about a 5 1/2 hour drive ahead of us to Maine so we got an early start after making some coffee and grabbing breakfast for the road. It'd be an understatement to say that I was sad to leave Golden Well Farm and its beauty, but we had friends waiting for us at our next stop so it was time to hit the road! If we have the chance I would go back in a flash and absolutely recommend it to anyone else who will be in the area. 


Honorable mention
Vergennes Laundry in Vergennes, a quick drive from where we stayed. We were dying to go there for a celebratory engagement dinner, however they weren't open in the evening when we were in town. We've heard great things about the place, though, and they are open in the AM for coffee + pastries! 


On our way through Vermont, we made one last stop at the farmer's market in Waitsfield, which is located near Mad River skiing area in the Green Mountains. The market was fantastic! I would have to say it was probably one of the best farmer's markets I've been to on the east coast, and everyone was so friendly (a common trend we found throughout Vermont). It was the perfect send-off and the best spot to pick up some delicious provisions for the folks we were on our way to see in Maine! 



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