Tag Archives: Savored.com

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.


Local Getaways, On the Cheap

13 Feb

Ah, what a luxury a true vacation sounds like to me. You know, the kind where you actually pack a week’s worth of “another season’s” clothing, board a plane, and arrive hours later in a completely different climate, ready to relax and shed the stress. These days, I’m lucky if I can get an overnight “vacation” with the hubby. It requires organizing sleepovers at “Ammy and Papa’s” house for both baby and dog, and with life’s have-to’s being what they are, often one-nighters are the most we can pull off without throwing everything off it’s axis. Thus I’m a huge fan of the “daily deal,” which often offers great deals on 1-night stays within a 3-hour or so drive of Westchester. Perfecto!

Here’s my personal go-to list of online sale sites I frequent. I’m a picky traveler, so I’m very excited to say a lot of these feature 4 and 5-star properties. All hail luxe, Italian cotton sheets and fancy shmancy bath products!

Groupon Getaways – take the awesome, often too-good-to-pass-up  Groupon deals on things like bowling and laser hair removal and apply them to travel. Yes, Groupon now features hotels and inns in their daily deal roundup. Today features overnight stays at The Westport Inn (Fairfield County, CT) for $89-99/night, Barton Hill Hotel & Spa (Lewiston, NY) for $99-129/night, and The Dormer House (Cape May, NJ) for $89/night.

Living Social EscapesLiving Social, the more level-headed little sister to the Groupon, also now features travel deals under the title “Escapes”. Current deals include a 1-night stay for 2 with brunch, champagne and strawberries, 2 inclusive spa-treatments and spa credits at Anastasia’s B&B (Hempstead, NY) for $224. You’ll also find two NYC boutique hotel deals.

Gilt Jetsetter – If you aren’t familiar with Gilt, you might be living under a rock. In which case I say, please come out and meet Gilt, your new online addiction. Gilt has carved a niche in the high end, making deal shopping not only a chic experience, but an incredibly addictive, rewarding one. Their customer service is second to none, and their daily offerings across every category are diverse, distinct, and well, deal-licious… Jetsetter is their travel deal arm. You’ll find awesome global digs here, but you’ll often scout some pretty cool “local” deals, too. Right now they’re featuring The Bedford Post Inn for $295/night (regularly $495). How’s that for a local getaway?!

While you’re on the Gilt site, pop over to their City tab and take a peek at some awesome NYC restaurant deals. Gilt City is my go-to site when I’m on the hunt for an interesting date-night itinerary. Today I found a dinner for two package at Tartinary for $68 (regularly $108), and a Make-Your-Own-Mimosa Brunch for two at Trix Restaurant for $42 (regularly $80).

TripGramTripGram’s tagline is “Exclusive last-minute getaways near New York City.” And that’s exactly what they are. With current hotel and B&B offerings in Boston, MA and Newport, RI, this is a good place to have on your radar when you’re willing to hop in the car for a 2-4 hour drive.

SniqueAway This site is affiliated with TripAdvisor, which means it’s synced up with those super-helpful user reviews, which makes decision-making that much easier. While they offer deals globally, there almost always is something within driving distance of NY. Right now, for instance, you can book a room at The Standard Hotel in the East Village from $209/night, or head down to D.C. for a weekend and stay at posh The Normandy Hotel from $109/night.

JauntsetterJauntsetter is technically a newsletter, not really a “deal” site per se, but they often aggregate travel deals that are great for New Yorkers, from other sites. So sign up for their email newsletter, and see what they’ve got cookin’.

Savored – If you haven’t signed up for Savored, hop to it. You’re missing out on saving 30% off your restaurant bills. Sure, they are still limited in restaurant inventory, especially in Westchester County. But they are also still in their nascent stage. In the meantime, book a rezzie through their website at partner restaurants like Crabtree’s Kittle House or X2O. The way it works is you pay $10 to book the reservation through Savored, and then when your bill comes at the restaurant, 30% of all food and drink will have automatically been deducted from your check. Yes, you heard me correctly – the discount is good on wine and liquor too! There are no coupons to redeem, no QR codes to scan on your phone. It’s discreet discounting at it’s finest! On a recent visit to Crabtree’s, we saved $90 off our $300 bill – NINETY BUCKS! If that’s not worth the $10 reservation charge, I don’t know what is.

I was not paid for this post in any way. I just LOVE a good deal, and in honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I’m sharing the LOVE with you all…