Antiquing in Massachusetts’s Berkshire Mountains
Old-fashioned finds along winding roads in New England.
Forgotten vestiges of the past are rediscovered and given a modern dust-off in the Berkshires—from furniture and bric-a-brac to take-a-load-off roadside cafes. This four-season destination is especially breathtaking in the summer (for its thick foliage and refreshingly cool breezes) and fall (when forest canopies are brilliant shades of red and gold).
1 Old Inn on the Green
Executive chef Peter Platt and his partner, Meredith Kennard, took over as owners of this pleasantly rustic Berkshires innâ€”formerly a stagecoach relayâ€”in 2005; together they've created one of the finest dining destinations in the area, and arguably the Northeast. Platt, who spent 17 years overseeing the kitchen at nearby Wheatleigh, specializes in innovative American cooking with a heavy French accent. His sublime meals celebrate the season and the regionâ€”what could be better than a warm salad of Hudson Valley squab with foie gras flan and huckleberry sauce, or a napoleon made with just-picked peaches and crÃ¨me fraÃ®che, or even a simple plate of local Berkshire blue cheese served just a few miles from where it was aged?The enchanting dining room is true to the period, with wrought-iron chandeliers, stenciled walls, patinaed Windsor chairs, and tavern tables. After dark, it's lighted entirely by candles (and fires in winter). The inn has 11 spare but comfortable guest roomsâ€”five above the tap and dining rooms, and an additional six (roomier) options in the Thayer House. Scattered through the surrounding Berkshire Hills are wonderful antique stores and friendly ski mountains. In summer, the area plays host to world-class cultural happenings like Tanglewood, Jacob's Pillow, and Bard College's renowned Summerscape dance, music, and theater festival at the stunning Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.
2 The Southfield Store
This onetime general store and gas station now sells local ediblesâ€”including croissants, pies, and a changing slate of house-made gelatos like coconut almond and wild black cherry.
3 Great Barrington Antiques Center
This complex has it allâ€”over 50 dealers under a single roof selling everything from antique high chairs to Oriental rugs.
4 Berkshire County Antiques & Art Dealer Association
This 37-member consortium of Berkshire-area dealers from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York is a go-to source for fine American furniture, Delft earthenware, French finials. Treasure-hunters should download its free map and brochure from its website.