Letters from Vermont



Scams Show Importance Of Booking Directly

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Scams Show Importance Of Booking Directly

There always seems to be yet another scam out there. And the latest has the potential to upset our guests. So we’re taking it personally. If you’re booking your stay with us at the Phineas Swann, or at another hotel across the country, you could potentially get scammed out of money, your identity or worse. A plethora of online hotel booking sites are popping up, and the damage they’re doing is immense. We’ve talked before here about sites like Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com and the like. While they’re not going...

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Special Orders Don’t Upset Us

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Special Orders Don’t Upset Us

Most people think of special orders as “can you hold the red peppers on my omelette,” but for many of our guest these special food needs take on added importance. We’ve hosted many guests with Celiacs Disease. For them, gluten can be life-threatening. Other children who’ve stayed with us have had nut allergies. Oftentimes people allergic to dogs think they can’t stay with us, when in fact all of our Main House — including our Red, Green and Blue rooms — is pet-free. For others, their dietary needs are...

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Loss of Friends and Neighbors: The Black Lantern Inn

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 1 comment

Loss of Friends and Neighbors: The Black Lantern Inn

Last week we mentioned the loss of the English Rose Inn. Just a month after it vanished, Montgomery, Vermont lost another historic inn, The Black Lantern Inn. The closing of the Black Lantern was significantly less dramatic than the fire that razed the English Rose, but its departure from the local restaurant and inn scene is just as notable. The Lantern was founded as an inn in 1803. The building is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. Formerly known as Montgomery House, It was owned for two decades by Montgomery residents...

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Loss of Friends and Neighbors: The English Rose Inn

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Loss of Friends and Neighbors: The English Rose Inn

We’re still coming to grips a month later with the loss of two old friends: a wonderful nearby inn, and one of its owners. Just a month ago, The English Rose Inn was destroyed by fire, and one of its two owners, Gary Bouchard-Pike, lost his life in the blaze. It still hurts us every time we drive up to Jay Peak Resort and pass by the blackened remnants of what was a wonderful old inn that Gary and his wife Mary Jane built up from what was previously the Eagle Lodge. Lynne’s and my first meeting with the Bouchard-Pikes was just a...

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Top 10 Bed and Breakfast Questions

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Top 10 Bed and Breakfast Questions

We all have questions we’re afraid to ask. If you’ve never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, you’ve probably got several. During the past year, we’ve been asking our guests over breakfast, “What’s the one question you had before coming to the Phineas Swann, but were afraid to ask?” A lot of bed and breakfast questions came up repeatedly. So operating on the assumption that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, here’s the Top 10 Questions About Bed and Breakfasts You Were Too Afraid To Ask: # 10: Are there TVs? A lot of guests were...

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Seeing Stars

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Seeing Stars

We’re happy to report we are now a four-star accommodation in the eyes of Expedia. The online travel agency reviewed the Phineas Swann Bed and Breakfast Inn this week, and upgraded us from 3½ to 4 stars, taking into account improvements Lynne and I have made to the Phineas Swann during the past two years, and several of the new services we’ve added. Hotels.com also upgraded us from 3½ to 4 stars.  Both sites indicated to us that’s as far as we can go — only destination resorts with three or more restaurants on-site can...

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Celebrating the Fourth with Fun

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Celebrating the Fourth with Fun

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4 not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.”   – Erma Bombeck We had a great time during Montgomery’s annual Fourth of July celebration over the weekend. Lynne & Michael designed an awesome float using the Pixar movie Up as the theme. With Darren dressed as Carl and...

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Enjoying Our Border Town

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Enjoying Our Border Town

“I read in a newspaper that I was to be received with all the honors customarily rendered to a foreign ruler. I am grateful for the honors; but something within me rebelled at that word ‘foreign’. I say this because when I have been in Canada, I have never heard a Canadian refer to an American as a ‘foreigner’. He is just an ‘American’. And, in the same way, in the United States, Canadians are not ‘foreigners’, they are ‘Canadians’. That simple little distinction illustrates to...

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Celebrating Vermont’s Unique Taste

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Celebrating Vermont’s Unique Taste

 “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”  – Masanobu Fukuoka It’s taken a day or two to recover from our first Farm2Table Dinner here at the Phineas, but after all the dishes were washed and the tables were broken down and taken out of the Gardens, Lynne and I got to sit back and enjoy the fact that we’d entertained 28 people and fed them a great meal. Farm2Table Dinners (or Farm-To-Table for you purists who don’t like my abbreviation) entail...

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Deep Thoughts

Posted by on Jun 10, 2014 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Deep Thoughts

“Some things scratch the surface, while others strike at your soul.” – Gianna Perada Been having some deep thoughts lately, but not in the way you may think. During the past two weeks, no less than three people have toured the Phineas Swann Bed and Breakfast Inn and made the same comment: “I didn’t realize there was so much here.” Each marveled that a Victorian home poised coyly on Main Street in Montgomery Center held so many secrets on its property. As an explanation for those who haven’t visited us...

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