Suffering from a case of the colonial blues?Then check out the Lakeview Inn, whose unconventional design is rattling the roofs of covered bridges throughout northwestern Connecticut. The 200-year-old, five-room guesthouse overlooking Lake Waramaug proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Though the inn clings to its original oak floors, Dorothy and Douglas Hamilton, who also own New York City's French Culinary Institute, have imported an A-list of urban talent to put a sly spin on traditional New England style. Architect Alex Antonelli has opened up the ground floor, creating a serene, airy, and sun-soaked dining room that elevates eating to a Zen experience. And if you find yourself tasting revelations in your chicken pot pie, praise Alain Sailhac, former chef at Le Cirque and '21'. Later, saunter over to the handsome bar, where locals such as Jasper Johns, Kathleen Turner, and Henry Kissinger have been spotted sipping martinis and chatting the night away. Feeling romantic?Book the intimate Red Room, which provides a lesson in everything warm and cozy.

Lakeview Inn, 107 N. Shore Rd., New Preston; 860/868-1000, fax 860/868-2595; doubles from $225.