Northern Westchester gems (Part 3 of 3 of my Meet Me in Westchester series)

14 Sep

When I lived in the city, Westchester sounded FAR. It was upstate. It was the country. At the time, I was talking about Bronxville and Scarsdale. I had never even been beyond White Plains. I didn’t know anything existed north of there. Except for Cape Cod. And Canada.

And then my hubby and I set out on a quest to buy a house. And it was discovered that there actually were things beyond White Plains. Nice things. Towns that had running water and electricity. Movie theaters, even. Novel, sure, but I was a big city girl… I lived in that big city girl bubble. Everything beyond Grey’s Papaya was “country” as far as I was concerned.

Fast-forward four years and I’m the first one in line to defend “Northern Westchester” to all my big city friends. They have no idea. I school them on the Bedfordisms and Chappaqua-ishness. And of course, the Mount Kisco-esque vibes. Because that’s where we bought our house.

When friends make the trek up here, by train or Zipcar usually, I feel the need to have an itinerary ready so I can show off my hood. Here’s a fun early fall weekend morning/afternoon itinerary that will leave you looking like the high-class hipster-suburbanite you are:

Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

Start at one of the many local farmer’s markets for some coffee, a fresh muffin, and some local flavor. I recommend John Jay Homestead farmer’s market. It’s on a “homestead,” for crying out loud, and if that’s not hipster I don’t know what is. Take that, Union Square Greenmarket!

Next, head over to Caramoor for a walk through their magical gardens. I finally got to explore Caramoor and its grounds a few weeks back with Westchester County Film & Tourism as part of their Meet Me in Westchester blogger tour. I was left wondering why I’d waited so long. This place is minutes from my house, and offers a robust calendar of musical events, including their annual Jazz Festival in the Venetian Theater, a Dancing at Dusk series, fireworks on the 4th, and much more. But what I didn’t know is, Caramoor is also home to these ridiculous gardens, and most times of the year, you can just drive in during the day, park, and walk around. This is such a peaceful place to come for some inspiration, or to snap some Instagrams of the kids running through an English garden. We also were treated to a special tour of the Rosen House which uncovered more treasures than you could shake an Antiques Roadshow stick at, and just pretty much blew us all away in opulence. The house isn’t currently open for tours, but they do host musical events in the courtyard, so I definitely recommend checking it out.

That’s a gold bed, ya’ll. If you don’t know, now ya know.

After you’ve high-classed it up in the gardens, sate your hunger at another high-class spot: Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua. Crabtree’s is a special occasion kind of place. It’s just in the air. Don’t get me started on their wine cellar. 60,000 bottles. That’s six-zero. We got a tour, and let’s just say, I’m going to live with shame every time I crack open a $10 bottle of Pinot Noir from here on out. I touched a bottle of wine worth $10,000. I’d choke. I mean, who drinks $10,000 wine?

Don’t drop it, ya heard?

The food here is fabulous. To keep it casual and still offer up a memorable experience, they do a Sunday brunch buffet which would totally work for your day-trippin’. It’s served from 11:30 to 3pm ($34.50 per person, includes dessert, coffee, soft drinks and one mimosa), or you can choose from an a la carte brunch menu on Saturdays from 11am to 2:30. Best kept secret? They also happen to be a participating restaurant on Savored, which if you haven’t used yet, you’re missing out. You basically get up to 30% off your bill, just for booking your reservation through them (for a small up front fee). The best part is, the discount is automatically reflected in your check. You don’t have to pull out a cheesy Groupon or remind your server you “have a discount.” Keep it classy, Westchester.

Seriously delish ricotta gnudi which I inhaled.

After all of this, your out of towners are going to clearly be exhausted, so I suggest you take them over to Oriental Foot Reflexology in Mount Kisco for the best hour of their life (at $35!!), and then send them off on a train home to their teensy weensy apartment, where they can dream about all the awesomeness in good old, suburban Westchester.

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One Response to “Northern Westchester gems (Part 3 of 3 of my Meet Me in Westchester series)”

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  1. Westchester Life « BKLYN or BEYOND - September 14, 2012

    […] started as just a link to Westchester Life’s latest post — a day trip to Upper Westchester — but it’s turned into an overall run-down of this awesome blog. We’ve featured […]

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