Those of you who know me well know all about my Country Inn Days, days in which I give myself permission to step outside of regular routines escaping into a world of imagination and delight. My Country Inn Days were inspired by a very real country inn, an inn I first discovered more than 27 years ago. This charming old establishment, The Red Lion Inn, touched my heart the first time I saw it and it continues to stir up romantic feelings in me whenever I so much as think of it.
I still can clearly remember the circumstances of my first visit to The Red Lion Inn. I was driving my little Fiat to Boston. I took back roads all the way across Ohio, into Pennsylvania, through New York state and finally into Massachusetts, and there in the Berkshires I stumbled upon the inn quite by accident—just in time for lunch. It was a Sunday, and I was all dressed up in a beige linen pants suit wearing a white blouse with an embroidered butterfly on its collar. Funny I remember that because I can’t even remember what I was wearing yesterday. It’s just that I felt great that day! The weather was beautiful, I was young and free, exploring on my own, when this gracious, old, wonderful inn pops up out of the blue almost like magic.
I parked the car, walked up the steps to its charming large front porch filled with white antique wicker furniture covered with pastel floral fabric. So pretty! It was like stepping back into time. Flower boxes bursting with red and pink impatience added a beautiful touch as only flowers can do, and I knew this was just the place for me.
Stepping inside I was delighted to see and hear a grand piano. A lady was playing light classics, just the perfect music to accompany a delicious lunch in the inn’s formal dining room. Ah! This was shaping up to be my kind of day. (which reminds me of a song my sister and I wrote called “My Kind of Day”. I’ll share the lyrics with you another time).
The windows of the dining room were covered with old fashioned curtains that had giant ball fringe attached. I bought a few pairs of those curtains and I’m happy to say they are now hanging in my writing room.
That first visit to the Red Lion Inn made a mark on my heart. I loved everything about the place and I was determined to return again and again and that is exactly what I have done over the years, but not often enough for me. How I wish I lived closer to Stockbridge so I could pop over once a week, but this could never be, for the inn was, is, and always will be too far from Ohio for frequent visits. So what to do? I need my inn days!
Necessity is the mother of invention.
THE SOLUTION: With clear memories of all the charming things I loved about my days at the old Red Lion Inn, (plus a few hundred other musings), I created Country Inn Days, days to enjoy a country inn experience right at home whenever I need a romantic escape from reality. Living in a 160 year old house, set in a historic town founded back in 1799 does make it easier to pull off a Country Inn Day experience, but you could probably manage Country Inn Days no matter where you live IF you have enough playfulness, imagination and romantic spirit.
One of these days I’ll write up my notes to help you create your own Inn days. They will take the form of my third book, (a book on the art of letter writing is my first book and it’s completed, a book on sharing tea is my second, and I’m working on it, but then I’ll write The Country Inn Day book), and till that book is out I’ll post a few Country Inn Day tidbits now and then… stay tuned.
But now I must leave you. I have an appointment at The Inn Spa. A fragrant bubble bath scented with Bronnley’s ‘Pink Bouquet’ is calling me.