Longtime readers of The Garage may recall that the month of October is not complete for me without our annual trip to the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. It is an autumn rite of passage for me and my family, and this year was no exception. Thanks to our friends at Lexus, we were provided with a Lexus HS250h for our annual pilgrimage this year. An easy two hour drive from our home in Connecticut, the Berks are one of the most popular fall destinations in New England, and is an easy drive for those of you in southern Canada as well, so put it on your bucket list.
Foodees that we are, we do not skimp when it comes to eating. Once there, we always start out with lunch at the historic, and reportedly haunted Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge. The Red Lion is the cornerstone of the Norman Rockwell, post card perfect town, and has served visitors since 1773. After a satisfying lunch at Widow Bingham’s Tavern, one of my greatest pleasures is to grab a Steel Rail Ale by Berkshire Brewing Company and enjoy it on the expansive porch at the Red Lion Inn and people watch. Pure bliss. On a gorgeous and unseasonably warm day, watching my son play on the enormous pumpkins outside the entrance, it was paradise. Once finished, I hit an indie record shop, and picked up an Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong CD, which would prove to be the perfect music companion for the rest of the trip.
As lovely as Stockbridge is, we were eager to head off to Great Barrington, but before we hit downtown, we had to check in at Windy Hill Farm, who arguably makes the best apple cider ever made. I came to know Great Barrington back when I was a teenager, and staying at the local church with my choir. The town’s beatnik style has always held a strong appeal to me, and I truly feel at home each time I visit. Though my son would argue the toy stores are the talk of the town, for us it is Rubiner’s, the town’s famous cheesemonger. Housed in a former bank, vault still intact, Rubiner’s is a must visit. Out back is Rubi’s, a bar/coffeehouse that also makes gourmet sandwiches. Guests can eat/drink outdoors or in the converted bank’s boardroom, complete with fireplace and wood-paneled walls. The ambience is nothing short of spectacular.
But, you came for the cars, and I hope I did not disappoint. As always, Alfa’s Unlimited, just south of the Massachusetts border was a must-see. It’s my few minutes of the year to reconnect with Alfa Romeo’s, one of my favorite cars I ever owned. New for this year was another stop outside Sheffield, MA, with an eclectic collection of Euro and American iron in various states of restoration or decay. I sincerely hope you enjoy the pics as much as I.