Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Walkway Over The Hudson

Here is the view yesterday of the Mid-Hudson Bridge, with freshly forming ice in the Hudson River, as seen from the new Walkway Over The Hudson State Park. Even on a gray winter's day the view is spectacular. The Walkway, once the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge, is well worth a visit....... As the New York Times reported on Oct 6, 2009:
"the latest example of the new kinds of infrastructure for tourism and recreation that are reshaping the Hudson Valley."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Adrien Grenier and The Honey Brothers

Adrien Grenier, star of the hit comedy HBO series Entourage , and The Honey Brothers stayed at The Stone House for 10 days recently while working on their new record with Grammy award winning producer Malcolm Burn in his Kingston, NY, studio. Adrien is the drummer for the band. Andrew Vladeck and D.S. Posner are standing next to the beehive oven outside the house. Check out their music!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Opening the Beehive Oven

Our friend Jim came round to dinner last night and persuaded us to open up the beehive was exciting, and didn't take too long. First the bricks blocking the front of the oven came out, and then we swept out about 3 bucket-fulls of old ash and mortar. The oven is about 4 feet deep! The flue is just above the opening, and peering up we could see how it joined the chimney.

There was more, though - just infront of the oven there's supposed to be a chute into which you sweep the ashes (after the fire has burnt itself out and made the oven warm, before you place the bread etc. inside for baking).....This chute slopes down to the right, so that when you sweep the ashes into it, they are deposited into the main firebox, at ground level. Bricks had to be removed at the top and bottom of this chute, but inbetween them was just loose dirt, river stones and rubbish, including some silk stockings and bits of newspaper dated 1934! Now all we need to do is repair the chimney, repair the inside of the oven, and find an oven door. This requires someone small enough and willing enough to crawl inside.........any volunteers?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Stone House In The Fall

Some of the trees here have now lost their leaves. But this just opens up the views.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Farmer John Gill on his tractor

Until the end of October you can go for beautiful hay rides in a wagon pulled by this tractor along the far side of the Esopus Creek behind our house. The rides start from Gill's Farm Stand at the end of our road. Watch out for ghosts, monsters and witches......and just lift your feet up when he fords the creek!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hurley Fun

Mr Levon Helm walks to the stage at The Levon Helm Band's free concert at Gill's Farm, Hurley NY this afternoon.

Farmer John Gill prepares to fire his pumpkin cannon with a 97-foot-long barrel that shoots pumpkins nearly 1 mile at a speed of 600 miles per hour.

The audience for the gig stretches into the Pumpkin Patch.
It was a beautiful Fall afternoon here on the banks of the Esopus, just a few hundred yards from our house. We were told "Levon doesn't have his voice today, but it will be back!", and it was a great show anyway. Everyone loved it, it was a privilege to be there. Thank you Levon!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Levon Helm Band at Gill's Farm this Sunday

It's that time of year again. The Fall Farm Festival at Gill's Farm Stand on Route 209 - walking distance from our house! The Levon Helm Band is playing a Free Concert on Sunday, October 11th, from 2-4 pm.

The Making of Electric Dirt, his latest album:

Monday, October 5, 2009

High Falls

These photographs are from the "Country Seats Tour" (see last post). They were all taken yesterday in High Falls, NY - about 5 miles from here.
The bottom picture is The Jacob Hasbrouck House. Jacobus B. Hasbrouck, a descendant of one of the 12 French Huguenot patentees of New Paltz, built this house some time before 1797. Hasbrouck, who was from a wealthy family with large landholdings, owned and operated a grist mill on nearby Rondout Creek. Beginning as a two-room house, with a kitchen wing added later, the house has Georgian characteristics such as a center hall and plastered ceilings. Georgian features in Huguenot houses outside of New Paltz are not uncommon. Signs of a granary door still exist on the west gable end.
The middle picture is of The Elmendorf Barn. This traditional Dutch timber-framed barn was built in 1851 by James Henry Elmendorf on land owned and lived on by the Elmendorf family since at least the late 18th century. The barn’s framework of massive posts and beams leads the eye to the soaring rafters above, echoing the vaulted nave and side aisles of Gothic cathedrals. The anchor beam of the middle bent was recycled from an earlier Dutch American barn. Late Dutch timber-framed barns are rare and this example testifies to the persistence of the Dutch tradition well into the 19th century.
The top most photograph is of the proud owner inside the Van Wagenen House. The Van Wagenen House was built in the late 18th century, replacing a house that may have dated to 1682. It was likely built as one unit except for the kitchen addition on the south end gable wall. The enclosed staircase is original. With its symmetrical fa├žade–a door in the center leading to a spacious central hall, it is a classic example of a Dutch house with a strong Georgian influence. The house has been meticulously restored.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What's Dutch

Hudson River Heritage and Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture combined forces this weekend to present the "21st Annual Country Seats Tour. Dutch-American Rural Architecture– from Hurley to High Falls –Ulster County, NY." We were honored to be part of this tour today and met many interesting people visiting our house. The tour continues tomorrow and you can learn more about it here: Whats Dutch .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Woodstock Film Festival

10 miles up the mountain from here - The 10th annual Woodstock Film Festival will take place September 30th-October 4th, 2009. The “fiercely independent” festival includes more than 150 films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Kingston, Rhinebeck and Rosendale. For more information visit: .

The 10th Annual Woodstock Fillm Festival will present the World Premiere of Guy Jacobson and Adi Ezroni's REDLIGHT, Sunday October 4, 7:00pm at the Bearsville Theater. Narrator and producer Lucy Liu will be in attendance for Q&A. Ms. Liu will also partake in the ACTOR'S PANEL with Vera Farmiga, Sunday, October 4, 12:00pm at Utopia Studios at the Bearsville Complex.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grant and Tamara

Staying at The Stone House last weekend: Grant and Tamara. Grant is a painter and apparel designer for GAP. Tamara makes sculptures, you can see them here: .

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Milkmaid visits Manhattan

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675) painted The Milkmaid about 1657/8. To mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage from Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum has lent the painting to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York. Find out more about the exhibition here: .
While you're at the Met visit the New York Dutch Room, 1751 (Bethlehem, New York), the top image above, which is in The New American Wing:

Monday, September 7, 2009

High Point - Catskills

The Catskill Mountains look beautiful at this time of year.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Meet your local farmers!

Joanne Michaels with her new book Hudson River Valley Farms at the Woodstock and New Paltz Arts and Craft Fair today. Meet your local farmers! The book details 44 varied farms in the valley, including many that are open to the public.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blueberries turning red

The nearby Shawangunk Ridge is an extraordinary environment. In this picture taken at sunset yesterday we can see wild blueberries in the foreground growing in a crevice in the hard conglomerate rock that makes up the ridge, surrounded by a "dwarf pine barren" - a very rare environment. In the fall the Blueberry plants turn bright red. You can get great views from here across to the Catskill Mountains.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our Backyard

Nadia Kayaking on the Esopus Creek at the bottom of our backyard this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Ashokan from Overlook

About 7 miles away from us, up into the Catskill State Park, lies the Ashokan Reservoir. Started in 1908 at that time it was the largest man-made reservoir in the world and the main water supply for New York city, 90 miles to the south. Here you can see it from Overlook Mountain, near Woodstock, a great hiking spot about 20 minutes away from us by car.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Flowers in our Garden

Saturday, August 29, 2009

18th Century Delft Tile

One of a set of tiles above one of the fireplaces in our house.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Great Review

It's been crazy busy here through August, with bookings almost every night and full on the weekends. We have been amazed at how thoroughly many of our guests have studied our website. One lady staying last night had been following this blog for almost a year! Some have very kindly written reviews of our B & B on various websites, like this wonderful one we discovered yesterday:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Stone House Day 2009 in Hurley, NY

This is part of the interior of the Hyman Roosa, Elmendorf, Bevier Stone House, with additions and alterations, Main Street, Old Village of Hurley, Ulster County, NY. This part of the house is thought to date from about 1710. The house is owned by our friend Jim, who as you can see is doing fantastic work restoring it. You can tour the house next Saturday when it is open to the public. You can see a larger version of the photograph here:

At The Stone House Bed and Breakfast we will also be open for "Stone House Day" on Saturday 11th July 2009. This is the annual event here in Hurley, NY, where many of the local houses built in the early 1700's are open to the public. This year is the 60th anniversary of Stone House Day. To learn more visit the website:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hudson's ship the Halve Maen (Half Moon)

The replica of Henry Hudsons ship which he sailed up what is now known as the Hudson River in 1609 off Rhinecliffe NY. The sloop Clearwater in the background. You can learn more about the Half Moon here:
And the Clearwater here: .
This picture was taken yesterday at a Hudson River Heritage event as the Half Moon came up to Rhinecliffe and the Rondout at Kingston to celebrate the 400 hundredth anniversary of Hudson's voyage. You can learn more about Hudson River Heritage here: .

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"The Lacemaker" room, circa 1700-1720, now available

Our earliest guest room, The Lacemaker, is now completely finished and available. It is quite possibly the oldest guest room in New York state that you can stay in. The first guests experienced it this weekend and loved it. For more details see here:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quadricentennial - The Hudson Valley marks historic 1609 voyage

Here in the Hudson Valley it's an auspicious time to be in an early Dutch-American house. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage in 1609, sponsored by the Dutch East India Company, when he discovered the river that now bears his name. He sailed across the Atlantic and up the river in "de Halve Maen" as far as present day Albany looking for a western route from Europe to China and India. Although Hudson was English, he was sailing for the Dutch, so his discovery laid the foundation for a claim by them on this area of North America. He was followed by Dutch explorers and merchants, who established New Amsterdam on Manhattan around 1625, spreading out from there into the Hudson Valley and across to the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers. The English took control of the the New Netherlands in 1664 but the Dutch influence here lasted well into the 18th Century. We are very lucky to live and work in a house that exemplifies this influence today, and to be in a position to share it with guests in this quadricentenial celebration year.

For an extensive list of some of the signature events taking place up and down the Hudson Valley this year, along with listings for museums and historic sites hosting related exhibits try, or

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mistress and Maid

At last the final touches have been added to the Mistress and Maid room and we've had our first visitors staying there. Perhaps what took the longest was the hand-made quilt which Nadia had fun with over the winter (there are great quilting shops nearby in Woodstock and Kingston). The room has a Scandinavian feel, with a small hand painted armoire, white bed and pale rug on the original painted wide-plank floor boards. There is a c. 1810 mahogany reeded leg Pembroke table and the final element was a grained white Swedish Queen Anne style chair that we picked up last week in nearby Hudson - a great place to find furniture with over 70 antique shops.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The wonderful and talented Cincinnati based duo Ellery came to stay this last night. Ellery is comprised of husband-wife team Tasha and Justin Golden, who released their debut record as Ellery in 2006. Reviews have identified Ellery's dynamic indie-pop style as "emotionally-charged:" the sound, the lyrics, and the live presentation. Not surprisingly, Ellery's songs tend to feel personal to - or even possessed by - their fans, often from the first listen. They were visiting Kingston to talk with Grammy-winning producer Malcolm Burn, at his studio there, where they will be recording their new record in June. Malcolm has worked with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Kaki King, Rachel Yamagata, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Iggy Pop, and more.
Ellery said they chose to stay here at The Stone House because the aesthetics of the Dutch American architecture and the decor appealed to their sensibility. They enjoyed a well deserved rest from their non-stop touring and took some of their huge breakfast with them back on the road. They are featuring The Stone House in their Ellery Stimulus plan to get the record made. We wish them every success. .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hudson and Claverack

Today we went to see the Jan Van Hoesen House between Hudson and Claverack, New York, about 30 minutes drive. The Van Hoesen House is a circa 1730 Dutch American house built principally of brick which was identified by the Preservation League of New York State as one of "Seven to Save" endagered properties for 2009. You can find out more about the house here: . It's interesting to see a house like ours which basically hasn't been touched since the 19th century. These Dutch American houses derive from building styles and methods brought over by the early Dutch settlers who built them up and down the Hudson Valley.
The village of Claverack has many fine houses and nearby Hudson is famous for the more than 70 antique shops on Warren Street, its thriving Arts scene and nightlife. In one of the antique shops we were lucky enough to find a Gustavian style chair from Sweden which will be going into the Mistress and Maid room: .

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Finishing our Maple Syrup

We have been boiling down the Maple sap every day outside using fallen branches from the garden and finishing off inside on the stove, filtering between each step. As the sugar concentration rises, the boiling point of the solution rises. When it boils at 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit above the boiling point of water it's ready to filter one last time into glass jars. When these had cooled down we had lovely amber Maple Syrup! We boiled down about 50 gallons of sap to get just over a gallon of syrup.
Next step - try it on the Buttermilk Pancakes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Sap Is Rising

Here's Nadia "tapping" one of the two giant Sugar Maples in front of our house. At this time of year Maple sap can be collected and boiled down to make Maple Syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. Let's see how much we get!

This weekend and next there are many opportunities to see Maple Syrup production in action - go to for a list of locations. We want to drive into the Catskills to 'Oliverea Schoolhouse Maple' (picture at top) and 'Remsburger Maple' are also just 20 minutes away at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland

A bit of a cliche maybe, but there are many wonferful winter activities very close to us in both the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains. Ice Climbing and Hiking with routes from easy to hard, or take the kids to Sawkill Family Ski Centre , just 15 minutes away, for Snow Tubing, Skiing or Snow Boarding (845 336-6977). Belleayre Mountain Ski Center has 47 trails, parks and glades (from beginner to expert), with almost 200 skiable acres and offers great deals, such as $25 lift tickets. Hunter Mountain is not much further away. Or try Cross Country Skiing on the beautiful Mohonk Preserve .

If you fancy something a little warmer try the 12th annual Chilli Bowl Fiesta in nearby Rosendale on Feb 28th. At UPAC in Kingston we have Emmylou Harris tonight, and Garison Keillor and k.d. lang both coming soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Recently I made the Linzer Torte from the current Joy of Cooking. Everyone enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd try and adapt it for some Valentine's Day cookies. These are nutty and spicy, with a raspberry jam that gives just the right amount of sweetness. In an airtight container in the fridge they keep well for a week.

1. If you can't get ground almonds, use a clean coffee grinder to grind blanched almonds. You'll need 3/4 cup.

2. Combine with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (optional), 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

3. Add 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 egg yolks and the grated zest of 1 lemon - the easiest is to blend it all in an electric mixer/food processor if you have one.

You have to wrap the dough and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Then roll out (with plenty of flour to avoid sticking), between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, and cut out cookies using a heart shaped cutter. Make a small round or heart shaped hole in half the cookies. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for about 15 mintues, and sandwich with raspberry jam after dusting the cutout cookies with powdered sugar. (You need to boil the jam first for a couple of minutes, and then let it cool down again). This makes about 20 2 inch cookies. Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Website

Visit our brand new website:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Online Availability Checker

You can now check the availability of our rooms online and make secure reservations.

Try it here: Check availabilty

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's cold out there.........

Today it was between 5 and 16 degrees Fahrenheit, or about -15 and -9 degrees Centigrade/Celsius. Last year there was hardly any snow, this year we've had our drives snow-plowed about 6 times already! There's about a foot out there right now. We often go to the Shawangunks, where friends are actually cross-country skiing to visit each other - the snow's been just right for laying new tracks.

As we're right next to a rail trail that leads to High Falls, we're thinking of getting our own skis and doing the same. High Falls (about 15-20 minutes by road) is a great place to go eat, and has a surprising wealth of furniture, antique, culinary and gift shops, perhaps partly due to its proximity to the Mohonk Mountain House. Many guests at that famous hotel come down the mountain to shop and eat there. Here are some good photos of the Shawangunks taken in warmer weather: .

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cooking and friends

The holidays are coming to an end, but the Christmas cake may stay awhile for us to look at a little longer.....English Christmas Cake's are rich fruit cakes that keep well, wrapped in marzipan and royal icing. I love being creative in the kitchen, and sometimes wish I had more time for of my dreams is to eventually restore the beehive oven and bake artisan bread in it, but that's not going to happen anytime soon!
Tecia Poulas found us this house, and continues to be the most amazing resource for us. Apart from anything else, she's an excellent cook and we often swap recipes. I'd recommend the book she found us on breakfast menus, but perhaps that should be a trade secret. What more can you say about a realtor that leaves hot buttermilk pancakes and champagne on your doorstep on Christmas morning? Here she is holding up another book she found us recently on the history of these houses.
Our new business venture in this house has been blessed with the enthusiastic help of many people, but Tecia stands out for her resourcefulness, exertion and genuine joy at what's possible when you try. or