We are moving into week three of our series spotlighting each of the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) Each week we hope to offer some insight into what makes the ten DINE inns so special. We’ll explore their history, introduce the innkeepers and share some recipes and INNsider tips straight from the innkeepers. There are so many fabulous inns in New England, but this series will help you learn what is distinctive about each of the DINE inns and their owners.
Like the Rabbit Hill Inn, Chesterfield Inn is located in “the cusp” of New Hampshire, just two miles from the Vermont border created by the Connecticut River. This places the Chesterfield Inn near Keene, NH and only 2 miles from Brattleboro, VT. This offers the best of both New Hampshire and Vermont, all in one beautiful location.
Proceed up the long winding driveway and you’ll pass a beautiful pond, surrounded by wildflowers in the spring, summer and fall. Behind the inn is a natural meadow, ideal for exploring and picture taking. Once here, you’ll know you’ve found the perfect romantic retreat for relaxation and exploring Western New Hampshire and the Brattleboro, VT area. No matter what the season, the various buildings that make up the ten acre “campus” of the Chesterfield Inn are decorated by beautiful planters, adornments and wreaths that reflect a seasonal focus here on natural beauty. In fall, it’s a tasteful array of pumpkins, mums and gourds. In the summer it’s colorful planters and during holiday time you’ll find plenty of beautifully arranged white lights, pine and berries.
Enter the lobby sitting area, and you’re sure to be greeted by Yoda, the black and white cat that takes it upon himself to greet nearly everyone who enters from his perch on the front desk. Yoda is the reason that many guests love to return to the Chesterfield Inn again and again.
In the afternoons you’ll find individually wrapped treats and coffee available in the lobby. In addition to Yoda, the lobby’s cathedral ceiling and fireplace are among the first things to welcome guests to the Chesterfield Inn and offer the sense of casual elegance found throughout the inn. The inn’s parlor, located off the lobby, is another popular gathering spot. A flickering fireplace in the winter and the bright light offered here via many windows makes it a welcoming spot for quiet conversation or reading. This room can also double as a meeting room or a reception room for dinners and weddings.
The Chesterfield Inn is made up of three distinct buildings. The Main Inn is found atop the knoll at the end of the inn’s winding driveway. This former farmhouse with barn and sheds attached was renovated into the main inn in 1984 with nine large and comfortable guestrooms. Choose from guest rooms with king beds or two double beds, private baths and upscale décor. Many of these rooms offer private gas fireplaces, and some have decks or balconies, perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee in the warmer summer mornings or a glass of wine in the evening. Each of the main inn rooms have indoor entrances to the rest of the main inn.
The Chesterfield Inn’s owners, Judy and Phil Hueber, built the Wetherby building in 1992, naming it for the property’s first owner from the late 1700′s. This building is home to four romantic and pet-friendly guestrooms. Each of the rooms in the Wetherby Building offers a private entrance, king beds, gas fireplaces and terraces opening out onto the back lawn, which dogs can’t get enough of!
The Cottage was built in 1995 and houses two pet-friendly guest rooms. The guestrooms have private entrances – perfect for taking Rover for a romp around the property. Both Cottage guest rooms offer king beds, jetted tubs, gas fireplaces and private decks stepping out to the back lawn. Many guests choose these guestrooms for romantic getaways and/or when traveling with their pets.
The inn’s dining room is a hub for activity at breakfast and dinner time. Guests are invited to order from a menu with a number of choices for breakfast entrees, that come with juice and coffee, home baked items; everything from scratch and cooked to order. At dinner time, the menu is varied with a wide range of hearty choices, sprinkled with some contemporary new comfort foods that make New England cuisine and Chesterfield Inn’s menu so popular. In the warmer months, the dining room opens to a large terrace patio for outside dining overlooking the meadow and the Connecticut River beyond. During the warmer months of the pandemic, the patio was the most popular room at the inn, with outside dining continuing right into the late fall thanks to powerful heaters to add warmth. A wide range of craft beers, cocktails and wines are also available in the dining room and/or served on the terrace.
One wonderful aspect to the Chesterfield Inn’s dining options is the chance to enjoy private in-room dining. If you’d rather enjoy breakfast or dinner in the privacy of your room, simply order and it’ll be brought to you. Many of the rooms with private decks or walk out patios offer small tables for private dining. In the winter, enjoy dinner or breakfast in front of your own private fire in rooms offering in-room fireplaces.
The Chesterfield Inn offers a number of very popular lodging packages. The Date Your Mate and Death by Chocolate and Girlfriends Getaway packages are among the reasons that guests are first attracted to the Chesterfield Inn.
For those who dream of being married in a beautiful country inn or outdoor setting, the Chesterfield Inn is the ideal location for New England weddings. From tiny micro-weddings and elopements to larger events, the staff at the Chesterfield Inn are accustomed to handling all the details. Ceremonies at this beautiful New Hampshire wedding venue can be held outside on the lawn anywhere on the property, or inside in front of the fireplace or window seat during the winter months. Choose to enjoy a reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres after the ceremony on the inn’s stone terrace, or inside if it is rainy. Dinner can also be served inside, either in the private parlor or the dining room, depending on the size of your group.
The Chesterfield Inn’s motto is Stay Small, Stay Safe. Because of the way the inn has expanded over the years, social distancing has always been a part of the innkeepers’ commitment to guest privacy and comfort. Private entrances in some rooms and large hallways assure privacy and distancing. Yet additional protocols have been added to ensure guest safety and cleanliness. From flexible cancellation policies to enhanced cleaning and food service safety protocols, click here to read about all the efforts the Chesterfield Inn takes to offer a safe and comfortable environment in the midst of the Covid pandemic.
Meet the Innkeepers: Judy & Phil Hueber
Judy and Phil met at the New England Conservatory when they were both 16 years old while playing the trombone in a high school wind ensemble. “I thought he was the cutest guy I’d ever seen with his long blonde hair down to his shoulders,” confided Judy recently. “He thought that I was such a good trombone player that he was afraid to talk to me,” she added. Yet, it didn’t take long to become a couple and somehow, they found ways to make it work as Judy attended Smith College as an English major and Phil headed to Princeton to study politics and economics.
After college, they married, and Judy went into customer service at TIAA-CREF and Mutual of New York. Phil was in sales and marketing at Majers Corp in Stamford, CT. While they didn’t know it at the time, these careers would be ideal precursors to their next chapter as innkeepers where customer service and sales experience are key.
Both Judy and Phil preferred to stay at inns and B&Bs starting when they were in their twenties. They both also loved to entertain and realized that after two home renovations where they completed most of the work themselves, they had what it took to be innkeepers. Both Phil and Judy attended a seminar with innkeeping experts/consultants Bill Oates and Heide Bredfeldt, and decided innkeeping would be their next career. They wanted to live in New England, and quickly began their search for the ideal New England inn. Bill Oates introduced them to the Chesterfield Inn, and they purchased it in 1987.
Judy and Phil had two sons, now aged 28 and 30. Both were raised at the Chesterfield Inn and have been seen from time to time completing various snow shoveling and other maintenance jobs. Judy shared a sweet story about their first son. “One of our happiest days was when we brought our first born son home from the hospital, with all of the staff lined up at the front door so that they could see the newest member of the Chesterfield Inn family. Later that night, Phil took the baby into the dining room and introduced him to everyone having dinner. What a proud papa he was then and still is now!” she recounted.
History of Chesterfield Inn
Long ago in the late 1700s, a beautiful farm with a farmhouse was situated on Route 9 in Southern New Hampshire, which 320 years later is now the Chesterfield Inn. At that time, what is now Route 9 was the main route that crossed the southern part of the state. The farmhouse on this property dates as far back in written history as 1780 when it was owned by the Wetherby family. An additional barn and storage sheds were added much later, perhaps in the early 1900s. While it had many consequent owners, the property functioned as a farm until 1984 when it was converted in to a 9 room inn by the former owners of the property.
In the market for the ideal New England country inn, Judy and Phil purchased the inn in 1987. Throughout their 34 year tenure as owners of the Chesterfield Inn, Phil and Judy and have expanded the property to include two additional buildings, 15 guestrooms rooms and a 50 seat restaurant. The Wetherby Building, named for the first owner of farm, was built in 1992, housing four guestrooms. Later, in 1995, the Cottage was added with two guest rooms with private entrances to the outside.
Today, the inn and restaurant receives many outstanding accolades and inclusion in travel articles. Beyond being proud members of Distinctive Inns of New England, they are also members of Select Registry, and enjoy a #1 ranking on TripAdvisor.
With a vision to create a romantic setting where couples could relax in casual elegance, Judy and Phil focused their efforts on adding the kinds of amenities that would create memorable getaways. Thus, rooms in both the cottage and Whetherby Building offer deep soaking and jetted tubs, private fireplaces and beautiful patios for romantic private dining.
INNsider Tips on the Chesterfield Inn
In this spotlight series, we’ve asked the DINE innkeepers to share a special insider tip that guests might not know about unless they were to pick the innkeepers’ brains. Judy offered two special nuggets that might just make your stay at the Chesterfield Inn a little sweeter…
“In the warmer months, look closely at the border of the lawn and the meadow in the backyard. There’s an opening in the taller grass of the meadow with a mown path that meanders through the meadow, coming out behind the barn. It’s the perfect place for wedding photos in the tall grasses and wildflowers. It’s also a beautiful and private place for a proposal!” Judy says with a wink.
“The inn always has house-made chocolate sauce and caramel sauce on hand. Even if it’s not on the menu, feel free to top off a great dinner with a bowl of vanilla gelato and one or both of these sauces – yum!” explains Judy.
Innkeeper’s favorite recipe – Chesterfield Inn’s Show Stopping Blue Cheese Dressing
Just like the INNside tips, we ask the innkeepers to share their favorite recipes for readers of this spotlight series. Judy explained, “My favorite dishes from the current menu are the Rack of Lamb with Merlot Sauce, the New England Clam Chowder, and the Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, Tomatoes, and Crispy Bacon. Here is the recipe for that show stopping blue cheese dressing:
Chesterfield Inn Blue Cheese Dressing
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely grated or pounded with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle
Pinch salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon or spatula.
Taste and add salt or pepper as needed.
If you think it’s too thick, thin with milk or cream.
Makes enough for a dinner party for six with some left over!
Contact the Chesterfield Inn
Address: 20 Cross Rd, West Chesterfield, New Hampshire 03466
Local Phone: (603) 256-3211
Toll Free: (800) 365-5515
We’re hoping these DINE inn spotlights will offer the ideal way to get to know each of the DINE inns a little better. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s not too early to get started planning for that private and safe romantic getaway. Book soon. With Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend, it may prove to be one of the busiest times of the winter.
Be sure to book your getaway directly with the inn.
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