Photography: Contibuted by Winvian Farm
Above: Winvian Farm Spa
Nestled on 113 acres in the hills of Litchfield County, Winvian Farm is only a short one-hour drive from Westport. It’s also indisputably one of the “best of” getaways in the immediate area. As a first-time visitor, going solo, I enjoyed the opportunity to unwind on the car ride there as I left the lively energy of Fairfield County in my rearview and headed toward the lush landscape and serenity of Litchfield, which has the smallest population density of any county in Connecticut.
As I pulled up to the gate at Winvian, so discreet you could easily pass by it (which I did!), I felt a calm come over me. I knew, immediately, there would be no way not to relax in my new home for the next two days.
As a wife, mother of two, and a full-time author, I chose to keep this special getaway to myself—this time around (which I highly recommend). With that said, it’s also wonderful for a romantic escape with your significant other, a couples’ retreat with friends, or a girls’ weekend. Winvian is beautiful all year round, although summer and fall hit the sweet spot.
On July 6, don’t miss the outdoor movie screening of an American film classic (title not released as of press time) being shown on the property’s green, complete with popcorn, lemonade, iced tea, beer, wine and cocktails. Also, every Saturday and Sunday, check out the treasures at the New Brunswick Indoor Flea Market, located in a 55,000-square-foot manufacturing building in nearby Torrington.
FOR YOUR STAY
The Hadley suite and eighteen distinctly themed cottages, each one unswervingly unique and sumptuous, were designed by fifteen different architects. Can you carry a tune? Then the Music cottage is for you. If hitting the links is your thing, check into the Golf cottage. Or, maybe you just want to horse around as I did, which landed me in the Stable cottage—a contemporary reinvention of the old horse barns of New England, complete with a steam shower and sunken tub offering panoramic views of the breath-taking scenery. Other options include Maritime, Tree House, Helicopter and Artist.
Unwind and reinvigorate in the 5,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art spa facility, while sipping organic tea or a glass of chilled Champagne in front of the stone fireplace. Enjoy a full range of restorative treatments or perhaps a private yoga class. If you want the decisive luxury experience, try the hour-and- forty-five-minute Biologique Recherche Ultimate Facial. It entails a firming, lifting and exfoliating booster, a hydrating masque and the application of Seconde Peau, billed as a “cosmetic alternative to injections.” The treatment boasts immediate results and a hand and arm massage.
Dine on fresh, flavorful, farm-to-table cuisine by Executive Chef Chris Eddy at The Restaurant at Winvian. It’s earned five AAA Diamonds and a coveted membership in Relais & Châteaux. Seasonal ingredients are sourced from the property’s own organic gardens and can be paired with their curated selection of wines from thirteen countries and thirty-seven regions. The restaurant is closed for dinner on Tuesday nights (make a reservation at Arethusa al tavolo, a culinary gem in Bantam) and open only for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re looking for some solid lunch grub during the week, stop into local haunt, The Green Tomato Deli, presided over by owner Erica Mathews. It’s just minutes away and the sandwiches are yummy! Another option is The Market in Bantam for outstanding prepared food and specialty items.
In April, Winvian launched the Women at the Wheel program in partnership with Lime Rock Park (below). It’s a two-day retreat, featuring a half-day race car driving lesson with Lime Rock’s seasoned instructors. The goal is to empower women to abandon their fears and take control of their lives.
FOR YOUR BOOK BAG
While you’re indulging in well-deserved rest and relaxation, here are three of the season’s “best of” books for your reading pleasure.
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll: From the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Luckiest Girl Alive, this dark and delicious thriller follows two sisters who agree to appear on a reality show called Goal Diggers. Who knew the season would end with a murder? (Simon & Schuster, May 15)
The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go by Amy E. Reichert: This heartfelt novel explores the intricacies of familial relationships, as three generations of women navigate unchartered territory in pursuit of unearthing a life-altering secret and coming to terms with the truth. (Gallery Books, May 15)
Alternative Remedies for Loss by Joanna Cantor: A dazzling debut featuring a twenty-two-year-old protagonist who uproots her life after finding out her mother has only months to live. Not long after her mother’s death, when everyone else seems to have moved on, Olivia is left rummaging her way through the ambiguities of loss and the struggles of adulthood. (Bloomsbury Publishing, May 8)