History and Fine Dining at the Deerfield Inn

History and Fine Dining at the Deerfield Inn
Overlooking Historic Deerfield’s main street and surrounded by homes built before the Revolution, Deerfield Inn seems to have stepped out of another era. Only the row of cars beside our own brought the idyllic village scene into the 21st century.

Our room on the second floor of the Carriage House bridged the time warp adeptly, with all the modern amenities in a décor that while not pretending to be authentic was a fit setting for the beautiful little antique desk and the period reproductions that furnished it. Pale flowered wall paper set the tone, underscored by a pieced coverlet on the king-sized bed and intricately inlayed wood tables beside the bed.

Each of the bed stands had a large brass lamp that provided ample light for reading, as did floor lamps by each of the comfortable wing chairs. Other details addressed our creature comforts: white damask sheets, terry robes in the closet, a coffee maker.

We didn’t need to flip a coin to see whose suitcase got to sit on a rack -- in the closet were so two luggage racks and abundant wooden and padded satin hangers, all removable. The bath had a tub with shower and plenty of surface space beside the sink.

After unpacking we returned to the inviting lobby, where we found tea and cookies waiting for us in the adjacent parlor. We also found our innkeeper and several fellow guests discussing all the attractions of Historic Deerfield that surrounded us.

We had taken advantage of a special package that included free admission to the entire museum complex, but all inn guests get 35% off the admission price. This museum village of American decorative arts includes 12 original houses dating from 18th and 19th-century, as well as the Flynt Center of Early American Life and several other exhibit areas. The houses are filled with priceless collections of furniture, art, needlework and decorative arts. Historic Deerfield, we discovered, was extensive enough to easily fill two days of immersion into the various periods the village preserves.

We love staying in a country inn where we don’t need to drive to dinner. In this case, we only needed to walk a few steps to the dining room. Champney’s menu reflects the rich farmland that makes up this Pioneer Valley region of Massachusetts, and the chef takes the farm to fork philosophy seriously. The menu is grounded in traditional New England cuisine and ingredients, using these as a springboard for original dishes.

My clam chowder was a proper one, rich and creamy with real cream, not thickened with flour or arrowroot. There were pieces of smoky bacon, and lots of clams, including one still in its shell – a bit tricky to detach in a soup bowl, but delicious, plump and tasting of the sea, where it must have been swimming no more than 24 hours before. Wherever possible, the chef sources ingredients from within a 15-mile radius of Deerfield, using local eggs, dairy products and meats as well as farm-fresh vegetables and fruits. Even the flour used in their pizza crust is from locally grown wheat.

Along with the chowder we sampled a plate of roasted Brussels sprouts served with roasted red pepper aioli, then ordered entrees of Pork Tenderloin and Steak Frites. The pork was crusted with crushed coriander and mustard seed with a brandied apricot glaze, and served with whipped potatoes and mélange of roasted baby carrots, beets and turnips. My husband declared the Steak Frites the best he’s eaten outside of France (and better than many there). The only non-traditional touch was the ancho chili butter; the fries were crisp and tender. We somehow managed to find room for the signature Deerfield Inn Indian pudding and a delicious apple crisp sweetened with maple sugar.

Deerfield Inn is in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in the central part of the state and a few miles from I-91.

You Should Also Read:
Dexter's Inn New Hampshire
Colonial Inn Ogunquit Beach Maine
Snow Village Inn New Hampshire

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Barbara Radcliffe Rogers for details.