The scenic Litchfield Hills in northwest Connecticut is home to several historic inns and restaurants. One of the very best is the Hopkins Inn.
Overlooking the northern shore of beautiful Lake Waramaug and the Berkshire Mountain foothills, the Inn was opened as the Hopkins Place, a summer boarding house, in 1847.
It operated as such until 1941 when it closed for the duration of WWII. It reopened again as the Hopkins Inn in 1945 and has been providing delicious meals and comfort to travelers ever since.
Congenial owners Franz and Beth Schober have operated the inn for over forty years.
The Inn’s Victorian dining room has sweeping views of the lake and mountains. In good weather, guests can enjoy al fresco dining on the Inn’s expansive flagstone terrace comfortably sheltered beneath a grand chestnut tree.
And the food
In season, the dining room is full of guests from near and far all gathering to savor Franz Schober’s authentic Austrian cuisine. However, there are also many menu selections that are distinctly American in tradition and flavor.
The menu and wine list are deep, and we only wish we had time to sample all that they offer. However, you can read what we missed by perusing the menu *here*.
As we waited to be seated for dinner, we enjoyed a cleansing libation in the Tavern Room where the roaring fire provided a cozy atmosphere for chatting with fellow guests.
The dining room was busy, but our table was promptly ready for our 7 pm reservation.
Selecting an entrée from the dazzling menu was difficult, but Judy chose the Broiled Halibut with pineapple salsa served with vegetables and wild rice.
Wayne also selected from the sea and had Broiled Sea Scallops in a garlic butter sauce joined by a medley of perfectly cooked vegetables.
Since neither of us had chosen an authentic Austrian main dish, we felt obliged to try the homemade Apple Strudel with vanilla sauce. Delicious!
After dinner, it was back to the Tavern Room for a nightcap and pleasant conversation with a charming German couple touring Connecticut for the first time.
Note: The restaurant is open from late March to January 1 each year. In the offseason, the inn operates as a bed and breakfast.
The nearby winery
The entrance to the Inn and restaurant is on the right side of the building. A few hundred feet from the lantern is the delightful Hopkins Winery.
It is a separate enterprise not owned by the Innkeepers, but how nice to have a winery as a neighbor!
We did not partake of any offered samples, but judging by the number of customers at the winery’s sample bar, the harvest must have been quite exceptional.
It was chilly during our visit so we did not venture down to the lake, but the Hopkins Inn has a private beach on the lake and just a short distance from the inn. We are certain the sandy beach, and the refreshing lake provides the perfect place to pass a warm summer day in Connecticut.
The guest rooms
Twelve guest rooms and two apartments are open all year.
Our room was number 15. It was charming and immediately won us over with its elegant simplicity. Exactly what we had hoped for in a pre-Civil War era roadhouse on the back roads of tony Litchfield Hills.
The period furnishings hearkened us to an earlier time, and as we stood gazing at the lake from one of our four windows, we wondered who else, from a long-gone era, might have stood in this very spot captivated as we were by the lovely view.
The bed was superbly comfortable, and we fell asleep listening to the leaves rustling in the autumn breeze.
If you go
The Hopkins Inn is at 22 Hopkins Road, Warren, CT 06777. The Inn is about a two-hour drive from New York City and about two hours and forty-five minutes from Boston. Either is a lovely drive.
For more information and reservations look to the Inn’s website at http://www.thehopkinsinn.com
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Copyright © 2019 Visit great vacation destinations with Wayne and Judy Bayliff
Photos Copyright © 2019 Judy Bayliff