Things are cooking at the Bernerhof Inn

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Cooking can seem remote and inaccessible when you’re young. Which is why we’re grateful to the Bernerhof Inn for the pasta cooking class  we recently participated in. We learned just how easy it is to make pasta! If you’re like us and you just pick up pasta at the store to boil it later, this would’ve been like a revelation. First, we made the dough with eggs, semolina, and flour, (did you know that semolina is so important to pasta? I didn’t!) then we got to shaping it into raviolis, which we’d filled with mushroom and mozzarella.

Best of all, the whole time we talked with the chefs like old friends, making it feel like a lovely afternoon cooking together. They even served us cheesecake! This class was fun and full of camaraderie, and most importantly, it’s a good way to see that cooking isn’t as “impastable” as you might think.

The Taste of the Mountains Cooking School at Bernerhof Inn has new spring classes coming soon. For more information visit Bernerhof Inn.

Advertisements

An exciting update for Mountain Top Music Center

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Mountain Top Music Center is renovating and revitalizing the historic Bolduc Block in downtown Conway Village!

We recently took a tour of the facility and it looks like things are really shaping up! A five-year fundraising effort has raised the dollars needed to create new quarters for the Mountain Top Music School, make the building’s four storefronts available for tenants, and return the Majestic Theatre to a usable condition.

For those of you who don’t know, Mountain Top Music is a music school that provides lessons for people of all ages. Typically, they’ve hosted concerts in the homes of sympathetic valley residents, but that’s about to change with this new building.


As it is the former Majestic theater, (built in 1931) it will feature a space perfect for live performances. This new location will also feature upstairs classrooms, and it’ll even be handicap-accessible.

We look forward to seeing what these bold steps forward do for both Mountain Top Music 𝘢𝘯𝘥 Conway Village.

It’s worth a visit to Veno’s Specialty Foods & Meats

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

We just stopped by Veno’s out of curiosity, and we’ve come to one conclusion: if there’s 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 we’d like to go to pick up some quality meat for dinner, Veno’s is near the top of the list! They have a wide variety of specially prepared meats, prime ribeyes, prime strips, prime tenderloin, marinated steak tips as well as a variety of housemade sausage, and other mouth-watering things like burger patties with applewood bacon and cheddar, or bleu cheese.

And, as much of it as possible, it is locally sourced! They use beer from both the Moat and Tuckermans for marinades, they buy locally sourced cheeses, they sell a selection from White Mountain Winery, and source their desserts from a local bakery.

They make a point of having a business model that is as  healthy and farm-focused as possible, sourcing food from the common (chicken, pork, lamb) to the wild game (boar, bison) from farms from Maine to upstate New York, all with absolutely no hormones, no antibiotic, free to roam and humanely harvested. They keep their carbon footprint low by using environmentally conscious packing and participating in a local recycling program. And – thanks to the local focus – it can be made to your specifications. If you want ingredients removed for any reason or special order, you 𝘤𝘢𝘯!

If you have an event coming up soon or you’re just interested in getting something unique, give Veno’s a try!

Shouts out to local owners Jason and Kendra Veno and their employees who were nice enough to answer our questions and let us hang back and take photos.

There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate!

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

The Bavarian Chocolate Haus is impossible to ignore when you first see it. There’s the jaunty European music it pipes out, the almost fairytale look of the building they have occupied for 20 years, and the wall-to-wall chocolate inside.

We talked with their staff, and they greeted us like old friends and this friendliness is reflected in all the chocolates they sell.

Owners Scott Ferrari and David Hallett make the majority of chocolates they sell right in their shop. They consider themselves a traditional chocolate shop and use the freshest ingredients and avoid adding anything unnecessary to their chocolate.

Their vast selection of dark, milk and white chocolate treats includes fudge, hot fudge, specialty food items, holiday items and gift boxes. We had to try something, of course! Our personal pick on this visit was a truffle with dark chocolate and blueberry, and something with dark chocolate, sea salt, and caramel!

Bavarian Chocolate Haus has an online store and offers a newsletter to keep you notified of specials. They’ll even offer some bits of chocolate or German trivia. They also have a second location in Bridgton. Make sure to stop in and say hello when you are in town.

Check out International Mountain Equipment and Climbing School

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

What’s going on at International Mountain Climbing School, during the odd slow and transitional period that is early May?

Well, first of all, they’re still finding time to ski up in the snowfields near Tuckerman Ravine. If you want to get any super-late-season skiing in, then you have options! But that’s winding down, and they’re building up to less wintry activities as we speak, with an upcoming event on May 18 – “Spring Top-Tope Special” where they provide gear for anyone – yes, that includes you – to try out rock climbing for the first time, at locations of their choosing. Shake out those cobwebs and get the season started!  This is a group top-rope rock climbing day for all abilities.  In the morning, they’ll spend some time teaching and reviewing belaying and movement skills, but the day’s main focus will be on simply getting out climbing.  This is perfect for someone who is looking to step out of the gym and get an introduction to the challenging sport of outdoor rock climbing.

They’ll be gradually building up to all-day climbing camps, full-day climbing, and more family-oriented climbing for all ages, based on skill-level.

While we’re at it, IMC is also a good place to start preparing for climbing out of state – Company President Brad White explained to us how several climbers were planning on canyoneering out in the desert, and they saw the White Mountains as a good place to learn.

Keep an eye on IMCS – it only gets better from here!

J-Town Deli & Country Store… Always a Good Place to Eat and Meet

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

 

Breakfast at the J-town Deli proved to be an excellent surprise, serving up a plate of scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, and absolutely delicious sausage. It was a beautifully relaxing morning, and a perfect way to start the day.

J-Town Deli & Country Store is located in Jackson Village right next to Wentworth Golf Course. They sell wine and beer and offer an extensive catering menu for events of all sizes.

They consider themselves a classic New England Bistro and Emporium with plenty of what you do need and lots of what you really want. They feature local food items and and an amazing array of beautifully crafted gifts from local artists.

J-Town Deli & Country Store is a great first stop on your way to a great day of recreational or a great start to your work day. Stop by and visit, we promise you will be happy you did!

 

Assistance Canine Training Services Holds Graduation

A.C.T.S., Assistance Canine Training Services recently hosted a graduation ceremony for various service dogs – including adorable puppy Finley, who we recently met. The ceremony included demonstrations of how these service dogs have helped people, with one memorable story detailing how a dog was responsible for helping someone get to physical therapy, and how another one helped someone develop some responsibility. The dogs also exercised incredible self-control, with one carrying his own treats, and another showing his ability to relay written notes between people.

At the end, these dogs were awarded with prestigious red vests declaring them certified service dogs. We wish them and their owners the best!

Assistance Canine Training Services is the only ADI accredited service dog organization in New Hampshire. Under the leadership of Robin Crocker, A.C.T.S. is currently an all volunteer organization currently working toward full certification with Assistance Dogs International.  A.C.T.S. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

They are 100% volunteer. Check their website for more information.

Stroll the 5 mile loop in Jackson

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

We took a walk along the Five Mile Loop in Jackson! The scenery was as beautiful as ever, and it proved to be a great way to see the area. We visited this a few weeks ago so there was still snow on the ground but it should mostly be gone now.


There’s a number of fun places you could stop on this route, such as the Shovel Handle Pub, J-Town Deli, or the Eagle Mountain House, to quench your thirst or get a bite to eat.

Spring is a great time for a trim

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

With the arrival of spring, I thought it might be a good time to trim the hair that’s gone wild over winter. Our first choice for this was the Village Barbershop, located in downtown North Conway just next to the Ben and Jerry’s (and the steam locomotive).

Village Barbershop

They immediately accepted me a walk-in, and got to trimming my overgrown mane of hair. They were incredibly nice to me the whole time, and even explained how so much of the decor comes from the 1950s – the cash register and chairs, for example, are originals from that era.

Thanks for being so nice, Village Barbershop, and thanks for a great haircut. Visit them online or call 603-356-7480.

Men like to Soak, Sip, and Relax, too, at The Soaking Pot

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Stress relievers come in all forms but a  spa day is one of my favorites. It is always a great way to allow myself an hour of peace and serenity, to just float away from the world and completely relax.

I have been to many spas but they are not often considered male territory. I think that is changing. Men suffer plenty of stress and worse, they can bottle it up, or not see it as being worth revealing. There can be countless little anxieties that they keep hidden as they perseverate on them.

When I first heard of The Soaking Pot I was a bit skeptical. What, I asked, is this? Just foot soaking?

I was surprised. The Soaking Pot was a wonderful experience.

SOAK
Their philosophy is to relax the whole body from the inside out using botanical infusions of the finest salts, herbs, florals and essential oils to relax sore muscles and calm a busy mind,
SIP
Nothing gives you permission to relax like a soothing cup of tea and The Soaking Pot has partnered with some of the finest tea artisans to offer deliciously satisfying teas.
RELAX
To infuse deeper relaxation The Soaking Pot offers a menu of add-on treatments. You can add a head-neck-shoulder massage, lower leg-foot or lower arm-hand to enjoy while you soak.

My visit to The Soaking Pot was heavenly. I chose a calming soak, the Cedarwood Hops. It is meant to alleviate anxiety, insomnia, and an overactive mind. They also offer Invigorating, Balancing, and Soothing Soaks.

It was so relaxing to just sit back and turn off any worries. At first, it may seem silly or even intimidating for a man to open up to something that seems so soft, but that feeling will pass. After all, it’s just taking off your shoes and socks.

For more information visit The Soaking Pot for their menu of services.

Still Skiing in Mt. Washington Valley

By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

While the ground is brown south of here, the snow base is still deep and white at the ski areas in and around North Conway. The end of March usually sees some ski areas call it quits – due to a lack of skiers, not a lack of snow.

But there is still plenty of skiing left here into April.

Yesterday I skied the popular Ellis River Trail Loop at Jackson Ski Touring. As you can see from the photos, the snow is still deep. The rivers and streams were flowing but the trail was groomed with coverage edge to edge.  JSTF former Executive Director Thom Perkins confirmed that their mid-November open date is among their earliest and manager Deb Deschenes said it was a great season right up until the end, which takes place on March 31.

Those wishing to continue xc skiing can continue fun on skinny skis at Bear Notch Ski Touring. They have not published a closing date yet, but the Garlands usually keep the groomers going as long as they can. Last year on Easter Sunday I enjoyed skiing there, taking advantage of their higher elevations and shaded trails which keep their snow longer than most.

Sunday brought me to Wildcat. The fog and forecast of rain scared off most folks, which left the deep, soft-turning snow for those of us who were more intrepid. The warm air was a treat and I skied without googles. The fog was not an impediment as visibility was reasonable and the fog was off and on skiing down through the elevations. What was consistent was the snow quality, with only a few areas showing more variable/spring conditions. They will easily make it to Easter, when they have fun events scheduled on April 21.

Cranmore ends daily operations today but will reopen April 6-7.  Wildcat has not published an estimated close date on their website. Bretton Woods has posted an April 15 close date. 

Check here for the most recent listing of closings and end of season events.

Closing dates are subject to change so visit each resort website for the latest and greatest. But don’t put those skis away just yet!

Skiing and Lunch and Fat Biking, Oh My

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

If you can come back from a day proud of just how much you ache, then it’s been a good day.

If any other sentence so sums up our outing at Great Glen, I can’t think of it. It started after a morning of skiing at Wildcat, as we decided to go relax with lunch at the Glen House Hotel at Mt. Washington. It proved to be wonderfully relaxing as we sat, nursing flatbreads and a beer in plain view of the Presidential Range.

It is the kind of restaurant where we could comfortably sit for hours. That is until we decided to go fat biking! Exploring Great Glen’s miles and miles of trails on bikes specially made for the snow was… difficult. Very, very difficult. But it was incredibly fun to do something so unique and get out into nature to appreciate the jaw-dropping vistas all around us.

If you miss spring, summer, or fall biking, then we recommend trying fat biking. It hurt – a lot – but it was an ache we could be proud of, for we had accomplished a lot. For more information contact Great Glen Trails.

Anything is Possible!

%d bloggers like this: