A Getaway Indeed!!!

A couple of weekends ago my fiancee and I celebrated my birthday/Valentine’s Day all rolled into one by going to the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa in Essex Junction, Vermont, http://www.vtculinaryresort.com/.  I thought it was going to be quite the arduous hike, but it turned out to be about a three hour ride with lots of breathtaking mountain views, thus making the ride quite enjoyable.  When we entered the lobby to check-in, we happened upon a dessert case selling individual sweet treats prepared by the resident chefs.  From chocolate flourless cakes to lemon raspberry cheesecakes, we couldn’t help but purchase a couple to sample after dinner.  Opening the door of the room to unload the luggage brought an immediate smile to my face.  We had a separate kitchenette and living room area from the bedroom with quaint furniture, including a rocking chair with an electric wood stove and a whirlpool in the bathroom…perfection!

We decided to indulge in room service for the  first night since we desired to immerse ourselves fully and completely into relaxation mode.  Nothing could’ve been more satisfying and comforting than the BBQ meatloaf with Cabot Cheddar cheese and braised brussel sprouts in front of the wood stove with a chilled bottle of Riesling.  After a brief bout of digestion, we had our scrumptious desserts and called it a night.

The following morning we awoke somewhat early to sun streaming in the windows and a mild temperature of 50 degrees F.  Feeling refreshed we headed to the Tavern Restaurant, which was where we had had room service the night before, and settled in for breakfast.  I couldn’t help but indulge in the corned beef hash scramble, (and I did need the extra energy for snowshoeing after breakfast :-), which was quite tasty.  After breakfast we strapped on our snowshoes and headed out for some fun; it was perfect weather and we truly enjoyed the scenery, plus as an added bonus the steep hills made us flex our calf and thigh muscles for a productive workout!

After exploring Burlington and the surrounding areas for the afternoon, we headed back to the resort to get ready for our couples cooking class.  We, along with five other couples, prepared a three course menu under the supervision/direction of one of the cooking academy’s chef instructors.  We were feeling a little anxious as the cooking class approached because we weren’t sure how it would play out and hoped that the other couples were fun 🙂  Well, we definitely lucked out because we had a grand ol’ time, sipping on wine and cooking up a storm…and our food was fantastic,-Warm Vermont Blue Cheese Souffle; Banyuls Vinegar dressed Salad Greens; Steak au Poivre with Truffle Potatoes and Garlicky Haricots Verts, and Hazelnut Lava Cake with Pomegranate Molasses and House Made Ice Cream.

For anyone seeking an escape from the toil of their daily lives, the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa is for you!

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