Richard Gere: My wife said no, absolutely not.
Carey Lowell: I didn’t exactly say no.
Gere: Yes, you did.
Lowell: Richard has what his mother calls an edifice complex. He has to build and improve on what he sees.
Gere: When I first moved to Bedford, I would go riding with a group of guys on trails that went behind this old, decrepit building. It was such a melancholy feeling to watch this piece of history just falling apart, and so I thought, wouldn’t it be great to open a fantastic, casual hotel and restaurant there, someplace we could ride to?
Lowell: We love this removed place that’s still only an hour north of New York City.
Gere: I hate to say this, but we can walk around our house naked and it doesn’t matter. No one can see us. It’s quiet and very natural, and the seasons are distinct.
Lowell: The animals are happy. We have horses, a dog, and two cats. We see foxes, coyotes, lots of white-tailed deer. There’s something wild about Bedford that drew me in.
Gere: But the people in the area needed somewhere to gather. So we opened the eight-room Bedford Post Inn and its two restaurants, in an 18th-century stone building that’s connected to a beautiful old barn.
Lowell: Richard has a thing for old barns. The building dates to 1762, though after we bought it, stripped it down, and saw the beams, we thought it might be even earlier. And we knew the place could always be more. Now it’s also the setting of a yoga studio and a meditation center.
Gere: My father grew up on a dairy farm. So the refurbishing of the barn, the re-souling of it—I love the idea that we’ve created a space with great acoustics, where concerts can happen, and events for local charities—it’s a true coming together of many of my passions.
Lowell: It’s just the beginning. Like any great relationship, it has to grow organically, in all kinds of directions.
“About a mile from our place, the Bedford Post Inn (954 Old Post Rd.; 914/205-3773; bedfordpostinn.com; doubles from $395; dinner for two $120), which is now a Relais & Châteaux* property, is the 4,300-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. It’s where we go horseback riding, hiking, and biking.”
“Elm Street Books (35 Elm St.; 203/966-4545; elmstreetbooks.com), twenty minutes away in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a very smart independent bookstore. We love to browse the stacks and discover new authors.”
“Bedford Gourmet (652 Old Post Rd.; 914/234-9409; lunch for two $20) is a sandwich joint that’s perfect for a bite after riding, while Plum Plums (72 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge; 914/764-1525) has a great assortment of cheeses. We serve many of them in our restaurants.”
*Richard Gere is the 2011 ambassador of the hotel and restaurant group.