Just 40 minutes north of New York City lies Stone Barns. I had heard of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the super famous farm-to-table restaurant of celebrity chef Dan Barber, but had never eaten there. It's on my list, but the timing has never worked out. This summer, I decided I'd take a trip to the farm and spend the afternoon exploring.
First, the entire place is just stunningly beautiful. From the architecture and the stonework to the landscaping and the working farm with vegetables, chickens, pigs and sheep (even an aviary) the attention to detail and the simple elegance of the place means that everywhere you look there is something to see.
And while I didn't eat dinner at Blue Hill, I did eat lunch at the cafe on the property which serves perfect pastries and an assortment of sandwiches and salads, not to mention killer coffees and teas. Everything was super fresh, perfectly made, and so good.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are several greenhouses as well as trails to walk, a gift shop and tons of places to just sit, relax, and soak up the beauty of what is around you.
Best of all, entrance to the farm is free.
All-in-all, it's a pretty perfect way to spend an afternoon. There is something magical about the serenity of the place and I can honestly say I've never felt more inclined to pick up gardening as a hobby (I even had moments of romantic reflection on the beauty of farming) or connected to the idea that good food really comes from a place, not a factory.
I'll definitely be back. I'm hoping the next time I'm in town I'll be able to get a reservation at Blue Hill, but even if not, I'll be back for a snack and a stroll around one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I've visited in a long while.