If you follow me on instagram you might have noticed that we visited Vermont this past weekend. It’s rare that we take a trip on a holiday weekend, but I’m so glad we did it. We even met the Easter Bunny!
My husband was teasing me on the way up because I kept gushing over the gorgeous mountains. Southern New Jersey is beautiful in it’s own way, but we don’t have mountains. The other thing I kept gushing over was The Essex Resort and Spa.
We were invited to stay for the weekend to experience “a taste” of Camp Cook. The Essex is offering this fun culinary camp program for kids this year. Unfortunately we arrived a little late for the class due to travel delays (All in all it took us about 7 1/2 hours to get there). We did however arrive just in time to make fresh pasta and enjoy a tasty Italian meal.
The cooking class really enriched our experience at The Essex. Emma loves to join me in the kitchen at home so this was the highlight of our trip. We got expert advice from Brandy – a real chef with a lot of patience who helped us create culinary masterpieces.
Once the cooking and baking were complete, we enjoyed fresh caesar salad followed by homemade pasta with tomato basil sauce sweetened with the famed Vermont maple syrup, and molten lava cake.
After our class, we were able to get settled and finally see our room. It was worth the wait. I miss our lovely room complete with a fireplace even now as I type. It was so luxurious, but at the same time, homey. The furniture was sleek and yet comfortable, and the room had great amenities like a personal Keurig, iPod dock and charging station. The beds and pillows were ultra comfortable – so much so that I did some investigating to see if I could buy them for home. There were plenty of extra blankets and pillows as well as a hairdryer and his and hers robes.
The outdoor pool was obviously closed during our stay (it opens in just a few weeks), however there were many other activities including an indoor lap pool, a playground, rock climbing wall and zip line. We had plans to sightsee, but decided instead to check out the pool before dinner.
We love to eat, and the Tavern did not disappoint! The Essex Resort and Spa restaurants are farm to table. When walking the grounds you will notice the gardens and hens. (It was also awesome hearing the rooster’s cockle-doodle-doo each morning!) Amuse is currently being renovated and we were able to walk through to see what they’re doing. It’ll be another experience all its own, where you not only get to enjoy a great meal but also have an interactive experience with the chef preparing it table-side! The only restaurant open during our stay was The Tavern. Our dinner on the first night was absolutely amazing. The appetizers were so delicious – our favorite was the pork nachos. Everything was so fresh – even the meats prepared are local to the region. On our last morning I enjoyed the Vacation Benedict. So delicious!
When relaxation is your goal, a trip to the spa is a must. Emma and I took a peek and it was amazing. The salon has hair, nail and pedicure stations and the spa offers several relaxation rooms, tranquil common areas and mens and women’s lounges. Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time for me to take advantage since we only had one full day for site seeing. The resort is an experience all its own and I could have spent an entire week enjoying everything the Essex has to offer!
Literally right next to the hotel are outlet stores, a movie theater, pharmacy and post office. It’s just a quick 10-minute drive to downtown Burlington where you’ll find eclectic shops and restaurants, museums and tours. A half hour drive will bring you to Ben & Jerry’s factory, great mountains for skiing and hiking and much more.
Have a dog? This is a pet-friendly hotel, so Fido is welcome!
About Camp Cook:
Camp cook costs $400 per camper. Parents too can have a culinary vacation by booking the 2014 Family Camp Cook Package, which includes five night’s deluxe accommodations, one week enrollment for one child in Camp Cook, 25 percent off spa services for the entire week, and buy one get one free cooking classes for adults throughout the week. Rates start at $1,295 per room, based on double occupancy and can be booked at www.essexresortspa.com or by phone at 800.727.4295. Extra children can be added to Camp Cook for an additional $400 plus tax.
Regular Cooking Classes:
Adult cooking classes are $149 per person. Kids cooking classes throughout the rest of the year are available at a rate of $65.
I’d highly recommend a visit to The Essex Resort and Spa. When we left for this trip I had a reluctant husband, but by the end he didn’t want to leave – none of us did! I’ll be sharing some of the wonderful recipes from our class very soon. Stay tuned!
Disclosure: The Essex Resort and Spa hosted our weekend stay and provided services to us free of charge. These are our honest opinions.
My kids and I would love the cooking class!