THE BEST PRESENT!!
There’s no question about the greatest luxury we have today. It’s Time.
Time to love. Time to laugh. Time for a walk in the woods to watch the
birds and listen to the silence. Time to play cards – or a board game.
Time for good talk. Time for a Holiday concert or the blues. Time to read
together. Time to give your time to your family – those friends you love –
and to strangers who could use your time and attention. In this the season
of giving – give generously of your time. And remember to find some time
for yourself to count your own blessings - one by one.
"The true traveler is he who goes on foot, and even then, he sits
down a lot of the time." - Colette
LET IT SNOW
We have mild winters – and not as many blustery days as we once did, so
it’s great to be outdoors – snow or no snow. We’re surrounded by nature –
with cross country skiing, ski trails, snowshoe hiking hills, a skating
rink in Douglas, hills for sledding, paths for woods walks and dune
climbing, and miles of snow mobile trails in the Allegan State Forest. It
makes it so nice to come back to a fire!
THE NIGHT BEFORE XMAS
Join us on the weekend of November 18~20 in shops all around Saugatuck for
a search for Santa! You may be the cleverest one and win the prize of a
five hundred dollar shopping spree. It’s one of many prizes. Good Luck!!
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Recent travels have taken us first to Paris, where we made a third visit
for a Tapas Degustation at the Salon of Helene Darroze, rue d’Assas. It
truly dazzled us. If you’re in France, do not miss dining there!!! And you
can bring her foie gras and Armagnac home for a fireside feast!! We
visited Boulevard Raspail’s Sunday Biologie (organic) Market. It is the
best market in Paris! We tasted so many new and unique heirloom tomato
varieties they forced us to smuggle them home for the seeds. And a trip to
La Maison Rustique on rue Jacob made us pay overweight at the airport.
(Thirty five books weigh a lot!) Who knew they had a catalogue?
Later, in New York, a visit to “Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings” at the Met
gave us an enlightening peek into the true talents of this artist. They
are brilliant examples of the varieties of lines that can be made with a
simple tool – a reed plucked from a marsh. We encourage you to catch this
exhibition before it ends in January.
And at MOMA – Danny Meyer’s Modern Restaurant serves stunning food – truly
memorable! Of course a visit to NYC wouldn’t be complete without dining at
Fred’s –one of our favorites (and seemingly everyone else’s) at Barney’s!!
"No civilized person goes to bed the same day he gets up"
Richard Harding Davis
HOT CHOCOLATE PARTY
The darkest, deepest most Warming Winter drink was begun by the
Mexicans but perfected by the French. Angelina’s in Paris, the City Bakery
and La Maison du Chocolate in New York, to our mind, make the very best!!
We like it dark, thick and rich – And so our simplified version is:
12 ounces the best Bittersweet Chocolate (70% cocoa or more)
1 cup heavy cream
1-2 cups whole milk ( we actually like 1 – but the resulting cocoa is very
dark and thick, like pudding – add milk to your taste).
Over medium heat, melt the chocolate and heavy cream stirring regularly
not to burn. (We like to stir with a wire whisk to add a little air.) Add
milk to taste and bring to the boil for a second. Serves 4-6 small 6 ounce
servings. We prefer small tastes – more often than, caloric once-a-year hot
chocolate. Serve with real whipped cream atop!
Spiced Hot Chocolate is all the rage – so – be adventurous with smidgens
of cinnamon, ground clove, orange zest, black or cayenne pepper, or a
sprig of thyme or tarragon. A trick: If you make hot chocolate – refrigerate – and
reheat, you’ll always have it at-the-ready and it will be even thicker still!!
"Ring out the old, ring in the new, ring happy bells, across the
snow: The year is going, let him go. Ring out the false, ring in the
- Alfred Lord Tennyson
HOLIDAY SCENTS AT HOME
Boost the natural aromas of the season throughout your home with some of
our favorite candles and room fragrances – Jo Malone, the British wonder
has fabulous home and personal fragrances – Pine, Eucalyptus, Orange, Mint
– jomalone.com; Catherine Memmi from Paris with the unusual but addictive
Black Coffee (our personal favorite to use as a cologne), White Orchid,
Lilac, Ginko – catherinememmi.com; San Francisco’s Agraria with air
essences, potpourri, candles, sachets, and colognes in their famous Bitter
Lemon blend and Lemon Verbena – agrariahome.com; And New York’s Harry
Slatkin and Bendel Collections from Bath & Body Works stores nationwide –
our favorite home scent this season is a mixture of three candles burning
in different rooms with the fragrances mingling – Firewood, Cedar, and
Spice – bathandbodyworks.com. We think they make the best scents this
"Animal crackers and cocoa to drink, that is the finest of suppers,
- Christopher Morley
BIG BLUE FOOT
There’s a hot new chicken around – thanks to Canadian poultry breeder
Peter Thiessen. Now chicken is much more than “free range” – it’s a
borderline facsimile of France’s Poulet de Bresse, considered the best
tasting chicken in the world today.
Already found on the most august menus – Per Se and Alain Ducasse – The
Blue Foot or Poulet Bleu is a North American version of the mythical
poulet de Bresse. With snowy white plumage and a bright red comb, and
blue feet, this chicken has flavor unsurpassed. Trust us, they really
taste like chicken – available from dartagnan.com. Don’t be surprised when
it arrives with head and feet still intact.
WICKWOOD INN HOLIDAY CALENDAR
Christmas Season Begins
December 26 ~ January 1 Christmas Week at The Inn
December 31 New Year’s Eve Candlelight Cocktails
Fireworks at Midnight!
January 1 New Year’s Day
We think traditions are better than presents, don’t you?
Before Thanksgiving The Women of Wickwood (plus Bill) have drawn names so
we have four full weeks of Secret Santa-ing. One of the best parts of
Secret Santa’s is being surprised during your “everyday" goings on!! A thoughtful little present will surprise a Housekeeper amidst piles of
towels, is found in your purse after you’re home, or is tucked behind
the raspberries with your name on it. It makes every day fun – and you’re
tickled pink when you least expect it. The intrigue builds as we wait
to discover our Santa at the Wickwood Christmas Party!
"Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles
everybody." - Samuel Pepys
STRUT YOUR HOLIDAY BIRD
From coast to coast most holiday dinners have as their centerpiece – a
bird!! The size and origin varies, but the selection has never been
broader. If you don’t raise or hunt your own – you can still bring
adventure to your Holiday table. And a much more flavorful entrée!!
You’ll find the rare Barred Plymouth Rock Chicken, the exceptional Dark
Cornish Chicken, and fresh Bourbon Red or American Bronze Heritage Turkeys
at heritagefoodsusa.com. At d’Artagnan (sometimes you here to watch out
for the shot), the selection is exciting and broad – ducks, capon,
chicken, organic or wild turkeys, Guinea hens, pheasant, partridge,
poussin, quail, Scottish grouse, squab and geese. There’s also whole baby
pigs, kid goat, rabbit and wild hare, venison and wild boar. All at
dartagnan.com. There’s not a reason in the world for boring Holiday
"Hearts warmer grow, gifts fully flow, for Christmas-time has come."
- Louisa Mary Alcott
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSES
All around our villages the wineries, art galleries, and shops all host
receptions to make the Holidays more festive for six weeks. The weekend of
November 18-19 is the kick-off in Saugatuck and Douglas with extended
shopping hours, music, refreshments, holiday specials, good cheer, warm treats,
special wrapping services, all in an effort to give you the Holiday Spirit
and help make your Holiday gift giving a joy.
"It is a fine seasoning for joy to think of those we love"
- Jean Baptiste Moliere
It’s fun to climb up in an old-fashioned buggy and be pulled by four
Clydesdale horses through the streets of our sleepy villages. It’s a step
back in time for just an hour of so. Sing Jingle Bells as you go.