Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Girl With A Pearl Earring

Here at The Stone House our rooms are named after paintings by Johannas Vermeer. We have the Girl With A Pearl Earring room , the Geographer room , the Art of Painting room , the Lacemaker room , and the Mistress and Maid room . Our local town, Hurley, NY, was originally called Nieuw Dorp, back in the time of the New Netherlands. It was founded in 1662, just around the time that Vermeer painted the Girl With A Pearl Earring (1665). 

Currently there is a great exhibition: Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis , from  October 22, 2013 to January 19, 2014 at The Frick Collection in New York City. If you're coming to New York to see the exhibition why not come up and stay with us in a genuine 18th Century Hudson Valley Dutch Stone House in one of the original villages of the New Netherlands?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Another Great Review

We have been very fortunate to have many fine reviews this year. We'd like to share this one posted five days ago on tripadvisor:

5 of 5 stars 
...of New York State was, initially, Kingston. (Just over the Hudson from this B&B; it's worth visiting their historic "Stockade District" for old architecture and streets and new gourmet restaurants.) When Kingston got too crowded, the town of Hurley was founded, and that's where this B&B's story began.

...also describes Sam and Nadia's hospitality. Calmly friendly English Buddhists, they welcome guests with constantly available hot tea and coffee, cookies, and a tour of the place if you ask.

...are the decorations and maintenance of this unique historic property, lovingly restored by Sam and Nadia with all necessary updates and all the "mod-cons" you could ever require here in the 21st century. (Some rooms even have a jacuzzi/whirlpool bath!) Decor includes relevant antiques (some small ones are occasionally available for purchase) and is influenced by the spare but luxurious 18th Century Dutch American style. (Think of those Vermeer interiors: not a lot of furniture, just a chair or two and a table, and a rich red blue gold rug draped over something. Really, what else do you need?) There is plenty of squarefootage of bare wood floor -- antique wide-boarded, beautifully maintained wood -- and a few Oriental carpet runners and small area rugs to keep things comfy underfoot. Antique hardware graces every door. A few pieces of historic art and maps and documents grace the walls.

...sleep is something I can count on every time I visit the Stone House Bed and Breakfast. I feel like I've gone back to my original home when I'm in the Geographer room, where I've stayed four times. Luxurious linens and draperies grace the bed, and when I draw the curtains almost closed, I am pleased as punch to be in my own room within a room, outfitted with top-quality sheeting and a real down comforter and pillows. The quiet is delicious; you are protected from the outside world by thick stone walls. Old Route 209 is a quiet road. (A blessing: most old stone houses are on main roads!) There is plenty of space in each room to store your things, and an antique (or good reproduction) table and chairs if you need to sit somewhere other than the bed, or need a surface to spread things out on. Only one room has a television. There is free wi-fi.

...breakfast awaits you the next morning, with freshly baked goods made by Nadia (sometimes including herbs just harvested from her garden!). Her yeast-raised waffles are my favorite; I've never had anything like them, light and golden with a slight sweet tang. Portion sizes are just right, but you can eat yourself silly if you want. I love that there is always fresh fruit, and often there is homemade gluten-free bread which tastes wonderful (and I'm perfectly gluten-tolerant). Seating is at two communal tables of six seats each in the parlor, which also has a comfy sofa and chairs on the other side of the room for you to lounge in and hang out with friends in the evening if you wish.

I am so glad Sam and Nadia have made this wonderful old house available to us all. If you want to stay somewhere historic -- older than the United States itself -- but don't want to bother with all the upkeep and unique infrastructural challenges an antique home presents, well, you've got your wish. And the people this inn attracts are lovely too; I was last there for the 2013 NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, and the other guests I chatted with over breakfast were so interesting and nice I wished I had brought my phone downstairs to record their email addresses to stay in touch. But somehow it felt right to leave all my modern gadgetry in my suitcase.
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Snow

We had the first snow of the season last night. A light sprinkle of about one inch. For those of you looking to come up for Skiing in the Catskills, Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is anticipating opening for the season on Friday November 29th. You can check out deals on passes here: and the weather on the mountain here:

Check out our post from last year on some of the many winter activities in the area: .

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Retreat and renewal

Many of our visitors are exploring the region's resources for mind, body and spirit, attending courses, workshops and retreats at the many major centers for Yoga, Meditation, Wellness, Spirituality, Creative Expression, Sustainable Living and Leadership in our immediate area. Here are a few local centers that may interest you if you are looking to do a retreat or course yourself.

Omega Institute For Holistic Studies

Enneagram Institute

Karma Triana Dharmachakra

Zen Mountain Monastery

Sky Lake Center

Vivekananda Retreat Ridgely

Blue Cliff Monastery

Mudita Yoga


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mr Jim Webber, seen here with his mother Helen Webber of Hurley NY. Mr Webber lives in Texas and came to stay this weekend whilst visiting his mother who lives nearby. After he had booked Mr Webber realized that he lived in this house as a baby! His mother had rented one side of the house in 1951 just after he was born. Here we see them standing outside the "Groote Kamer" side of the house.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sam's Paintings

The Stone House Bed and Breakfast is also an Art Gallery. Dedicated gallery spaces throughout the 18th Century building show the abstract paintings of Sam Scoggins, who is the owner together with his wife Nadia. Guests often comment on how well the colourful modern abstract oils contrast with the whitewashed plaster walls and wideplank floors of the 300 year old house. Many of the paintings are also for sale and sometimes guests fall in love with a particular work and leave with a larger momento of their trip than they were expecting!

Friday, October 18, 2013

New York & Hudson Valley Cider Week

Many events worth checking out up and down the Hudson Valley in Cider Week

Sunday, October 6, 2013

When Nadia met Nadia

Nadia and Arie
This is a photo of a lovely couple who stayed with us back in August for a week's vacation. Nadia and Arie were drawn to our house partly because of its Dutch architecture and origins. Coming originally from Suriname, they said some of our house's features seemed familiar to them, like the steeply pitched roof. Suriname is near the equator on the northern coast of South America, the only country on that continent with Dutch as an official language. In fact Suriname and New York are intimately linked by the Anglo-Dutch wars in the 1660s....In 1667 England offered to give the recently conquered New Netherland (now New York) back to the Dutch in return for Suriname, but the Dutch declined.... if they'd agreed, perhaps we'd still all be speaking Dutch! 

Nadia, Nadia and Arie

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The colors of Fall are coming ....

So up in the Catskills this evening, just above Woodstock and about 11 miles from here, the trees are beginning to turn gold and red as Fall approaches. Looks like we're going to have beautiful colors for the next six weeks or so......There is usually more color earlier on at higher altitudes, with valley foliage taking longer to develop, so there's always something to see.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apple time ...

The orchards are bursting with a huge crop of Apples this year in the Hudson Valley. There are many great pick-your-own orchards and farmstands by the sides of the roads on both sides of the Hudson.

We are looking forward to Cider Week NY coming up on October 18 - 27 at locations in New York City and here in the Hudson Valley, more information here .

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's the wedding season......

Congratulations to Adam and Richard, who had the best luck with the weather for their wedding last weekend. After torrential lengthy downpours, the informal rehearsal dinner/barbecue here was rescheduled indoors, but the clouds parted at exactly the right time for the big event. We loved these green dresses! It was wonderful to see everyone enjoying their time here, come back soon :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Poets Walk

Yesterday evening we went for a sunset picnic and stroll at Poets Walk, just over the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge about 10 minutes by car from The Stone House. This is a great place for a gentle walk in almost any weather. Here are a few pictures from our outing:

Wildflowers and grasses.

Sunlight streaming through the woods onto the path.

A Cicada that has emerged from 17 years underground.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flowers in our garden

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Making scrumptious sausages....

This week we had a go at making homemade sausages, and, as we love the results, we thought we'd share! As you can see, you don't have to use casings if you don't want to, and it's especially easy if you have a meat grinder, but with perseverance, a food processor will do.

All you need is a couple of pounds of pork butt, with a ratio of about a third fat to two-thirds lean meat. Remove the skin, and cut into chunks. Grind coarsely - this is easier if the meat is really cold. Add seasonings and spices to taste (we used homegrown sage and rosemary, salt and pepper). Then, get four pieces of baking parchment, about 12 inches by 4 inches. Take a quarter of the mixture and start rolling.

Now, roll in up in the baking parchment...and place on a baking tray, open side face down. Repeat until you have done all four, then bake at 400F for 10 minutes:

Unwrap, cut them up, and they're ready for freezing, or browning in a pan to eat straightaway!

We got our our organic meat from the famous Fleischer's in Uptown Kingston for this batch, and the result was DELICIOUS! Just quite different from anything you'd find in a supermarket, and good value too. Yum, yum, yum..........enjoy.....

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Buddhist Wedding

Congratulations to Bob Thompson and Michael Kunz who were married this afternoon in beautiful Spring weather. The ceremony took place in our backyard overlooking the Esopus Creek. It was wonderful to meet everyone from Ohio, and we wish them all the very best for the future!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wild happenings at the Stone House

Spring is well and truly here, and humans and animals alike are exploring the Esopus valley, enjoying the warm, sunny weather. Lynn Schense, an avid birder, is currently staying with us and reported seeing the following birds early yesterday morning down by the creek:

An Eastern Phoebe, a Chickadee - Black Capped, a Dark-Eyed Junco, a Black and White Warbler, a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, a Song Sparrow, a Chipping Sparrow, a White-Throated Sparrow, a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, a pair of Wood Ducks, Blue Jays, a Northern Cardinal, a Robin, a European Starling, a House Sparrow, a Red-winged Blackbird, and a Tufted Titmouse. She also heard a Carolina Wren and a Hairy Woodpecker. That makes 20 species!

We've also been seeing Bald Eagles regularly this year, and the other day Sam saw a Fisher Weasel at dawn as he was out taking photos by the river. Fisher Weasels prefer woodland, are mainly found along the Canadian-US border, and are still listed as a threatened species. Since this is more open valley than woodland, it might just have been passing through. Last year we also saw a Black Bear - a rare sight here, and doubtless on its way between the Catskills and the Shawangunk Ridge. It's a privilege to share our land with such a multitude of wildlife.....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The longest elevated pedestrian park in the world!

Walkway Over The Hudson from Sam Scoggins on Vimeo.

Here's a little video we made of The Walkway over the Hudson last weekend. The Walkway is one and a quarter miles long and it takes about 20 minutes to reach the other side. As you can see, it's popular with cyclists, joggers, hikers and dog walkers. Don't miss the unicyclist!

The Bridge is already in the Guinness Book of Records for last year's longest line dance ever recorded - this year will see another attempt on May 4th, this time for the world's longest chorus line! There's still time to be part of the event, you can find out more on the Walkway's official website.

When we walked there last weekend, we could see that work for the new riverfront park on the Poughkeepsie side was well underway. A 20-storey glass elevator will be built to take people down to the waterfront from the bridge, and is scheduled to be finished by the Fall.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ebelskiver for Valentine's Day


So we made some ebelskiver pancakes for our guests this morning.... These are traditional Danish pancakes, usually in the shape of a sphere, thanks to cast iron pans with a series of half spherical hollows..... except that our pan has hearts! We found it locally at a tag sale in Red Hook, and it looks like this:

They tasted delicious and we can recommend a Williams Sonoma recipe for blueberry ebelskiver. If you don't mind flatter pancakes, any cast iron pan will work. Next, we're going to try the lemon-mascarpone filled ones..........yum!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We are starting to plan our gardening activities for the year now. Hoping to increase our herb garden, where we pick fresh herbs every morning in season for the breakfasts. So it was great to have Michelle Sutton staying with us this week. Michelle is a Horticulturist who writes about horticulture for our great local magazine Chronogram and the online magazine Farm House . One of her articles that I liked the best was about the place we buy our seeds, Hudson Valley Seed Library who do great work and only offer heirloom and open-pollinated seeds - no hybrids and nothing genetically engineered. You can get seeds from them here: . Happy gardening in 2013!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013