Every autumn, writer, designer and beauty expert Jenny Cipoletti , alongside her husband and creative partner Freddie Cipoletti, embark on a fall foliage road trip though the Northeast to leaf peep among the picturesque scenery, stroll quaint towns, shop one-of-a-kind antiques, and overnight at Auberge’s New England destinations.
What does a typical leaf-peeping trip entail for you and your husband?
Leaf-peeping in the Northeast is an art form! We moved to the East Coast five years ago and we haven’t missed a fall drive yet. The trip starts along the Hudson River heading for one of the most idyllic towns in the Berkshires, Great Barrington. It’s quite a long stretch, so we like to break it up with a stay at Wildflower Farms.
In Massachusetts, Route 7 offers a front-row seat to the most breathtaking fall colors. I highly recommend hiking Mount Greylock for a panoramic leaf-peeping extravaganza, or visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge for a dose of American art amidst the fall splendor. On the way home, we typically spend a night in Connecticut at Mayflower Inn & Spa so we can unwind at THE WELL, the retreat’s world-class spa.
What are some of your favorite fall activities at Wildflower Farms and Mayflower Inn?
At Wildflower Farms, we love to cuddle up by the fire (either in our room or at the Great Porch) and enjoy a book and a bottle of wine. On our last visit, we had the opportunity to pick fresh carrots at the hotel’s onsite farm for a chef-led pickling class in the kitchen. We learned to make brine, which was easier than I thought. The carrots will be ready to serve just in time for Thanksgiving!
We like to spend quality time playing fireside parlor games or roasting marshmallows around a bonfire under the stars at the Mayflower Inn. I’m a spa kind of gal and I always lose track of time in THE WELL’s Relaxation Room gazing out its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Kirby Brook.
What are some of your favorite towns to stop at along the way?
In the Hudson Valley, Beacon, in particular, has a dining scene that should not be missed. Check out The Roundhouse, a chic farm-to-table restaurant with river views, and Beacon Bread Company for artisanal bread and pastries. If you’re in the area on a Sunday, don’t miss the Beacon Farmers’ Market on Main Street.
A little further northeast in New York is Millbrook, my favorite town for vintage shopping. Swing by Millbrook Antiques Center, to unearth all sorts of treasures that ooze Hudson Valley charm. Across the river towards Wildflower Farms, there’s the bohemian town of New Paltz. Main Street is peppered with farm-to-table restaurants, cozy cafes, bookstores and craft shops. And if your fall getaway takes you to Massachusetts, put the quaint towns of Stockbridge, Lenox, and Williamstown on your itinerary.
What are some of your favorite antique shops in Litchfield County, Connecticut where Mayflower Inn is located?
Litchfield County is a haven for antique enthusiasts like myself. This area is so pretty with its rolling hills and historic towns full of character. Litchfield is a must-visit for its colonial-era architecture and a variety of antique shops. Duck into South Street Antiques, Bradford House Antiques and Jeffrey Tillou Antiques.
Known as the “Antiques Capital of Connecticut,” Woodbury is home to a concentration of unique shops, including the famous Farmhouse Antiques. You’ll find everything from fine furniture to vintage jewelry here. There’s also Main Street Antiques Center, which is a must, and the prices are amazing!
New Milford is a treasure trove where you can discover a wide range of collectibles, art, and vintage clothing. Swing by the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market on Sundays for a unique outdoor shopping experience.
Kent is known for its artisanal and antique shops, which have a unique blend of contemporary art and timeless treasures. RT Facts has a curated selection of antiques and art that make it worth a visit.
What are some fashion essentials you recommend packing for a fall road trip?
Equestrian-inspired boots are a definite must for navigating autumn terrain, rain or shine—as is a trusty trench coat. Fall wouldn’t be the same without the pleasure of cozy knitwear. Layering is key, and I adore the warmth and texture cashmere and cable knits add to my outfits, especially when juxtaposed with silk or leather.