Since moving to New York earlier this year, I've more and more been missing the outdoors so having the Catskills and sweet towns in Upstate New York just a few hours drive away makes it all the more easy for a quick escape to the mountains and to be able to hit reset.
I'm a big fan of Zipcar, where you can reserve a car from hundreds of locations around the city and pay an hourly or daily rate to hire a range of vehicles. It's simple to use with plenty of cars available and you use a keycard to unlock it, so there's no dealing with long rental car office queues and paperwork of any sort. It's as easy as reserving a car and hitting the road.
Heading North, The DeBruce is nestled close by to the town of Livingston Manor and is an easy & beautiful drive just two hours from the city. Part of the Foster Supply Group (which also includes The Arnold House and North Branch Inn which I visited a couple of years back), The DeBruce recently opened in 2017 with 14 guest rooms and is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Overlooking the Willowemoc Valley, The DeBruce an inviting and cosy space where you can be sure to park your car and not return to it until you check out. With direct access to 1/2 mile of private river rights for fly fishing and 600 acres of mountain trails as it's backyard, it's the perfect opportunity to explore the surrounding area by hike, cross-country skiing, birding or snowshoeing.
Food is an integral part of The DeBruce experience and you're sure to be spoilt. With a cosy downstairs clubhouse where you can sit fireside with a unique cocktail or local brew in hand as well as a glass-windowed dining room with views of the mountains, slowing down and enjoying the flavours of the surrounding land was a memorable part of our stay.
For guests, Breakfast and Dinner are included, with Dinner on Saturday an impressive and beautifully presented signature 9-course meal. Executive Chef Aksel Theilkuhl has created a culinary experience which utilises ingredients foraged from surrounding land as well as local suppliers. With the menu always changing and adapting to the availability of produce, you'll be spoilt with fresh, in-season flavours that are uniquely dreamt up.
"The DeBruce focuses on conveying a story about its own particular place and time.
An experience and emotional memory that lasts in guests’ thoughts long after they have returned home."
The building itself is over 100 years old and has truly stood the test of time. What I loved is that the renovations of the entire property keep the original charm and aesthetic of which was once one of 20 boarding houses in the Valley.
There's plenty of spots to rug up with a good book and a coffee- from the Great Room which feels like stepping back in time, to the Conservatory, a cosy lounge with an original fieldstone fireplace. There's also a tackle room, where you can gear-up (or off), overlooking the swimming pool which sees's long Summer days.
Venturing Upstate has got to be one of my favourite New York memories because being in such a lush and relaxing setting has always been up there as the most dreamy setting to be with friends. As the colder months sneak up on us, nothing sounds better to me than a hot toddy and a crispy Fall afternoon. Thank you to the gorgeous team at The DeBruce for allowing myself & my nearest and dearest the opportunity to rug up and enjoy some incredible food, stunning scenery and the best skillet eggs I've ever tasted.