Down winding dirt roads and through the forests that line the foothills of the Green Mountains in Vermont, a culinary experience is waiting for you. Twin Farms has been a luxury retreat for those looking to break from the hustle of their daily lives for the past thirty years, and they’re now ready for their next big moment.
Executive Chef Nathan Rich is meticulous when it comes to food and beverage at the Relais & Chateaux and hotel and every detail is thoroughly thought out to give the most uniquely New England experience to guests. From working with local artisans on the tableware to sourcing nearby ingredients for his dishes, the dining experience at the hotel is the definition of farm-to-table. That’s why, during the pandemic, the team conceived a new dining experience that would expand upon what they’ve offered for years with the intent of strengthening their food program. With the launch of Twiggs earlier this month, they now offer a laid back atmosphere with hearty, delicious dishes.
“We have people who come and stay for four, five days and we wanted to give them more dining options to choose from,” Rich said. “At Twiggs, it’s much more rustic and casual but still staying true to the best of Vermont.”
At the main house, which has been the center of the hotel’s culinary offerings since opening in 1993, the dining experience is unique in that there is no set menu. It’s a rotating tasting that changes daily so guests are surprised with something new each night. Some of the ingredients are grown right on site, and those that aren’t generally come from within only a few miles. But as Rich pointed out, sometimes guests just want something homey and not necessarily a multiple-course meal. With Twiggs, there is an a la carte menu that makes it easier for guests to grab and go, with robust staples like house-made pastas, stews, soups, and individual pies, that are all rotated out each month.
“When you’re traveling all day, whether you’re coming from New York or LA, you might not want to unpack your bags and then sit down for a six- or seven-course tasting menu,” said Rich. “So you can just come down here and grab a burger or roasted fish, something just to help you relax.”
The 54-seat restaurant was reimagined by interior designer Michaelis Boyd and the architect firm TruexCullins with surprises around every turn, from hidden monkeys in the wallpaper to the bright pops of color. There’s nods to nature everywhere, with plenty of earth tones and windows surrounding the space that look out to the manicured gardens and woods. The space is housed in what once was the lounge, and nearly doubled in size to include a state-of-the-art kitchen. But one thing that was top of list for Rich and his team was the opportunity to interact with guests while in the kitchen. “I want people to feel like they can pop in the kitchen to say hi, or see what we’re working on,” said Rich.
To play up that interaction, the team opted to not include doors leading into the kitchen. Plus, they installed a series of windows that look into the kitchen from the outdoor patio walkway to give guests an inside peek into what they can expect when dining at the restaurant. “It’s a bit of theater,” said Rich.
The 14-seat bar plays off that idea, with seating fully encompassing the space. It sits partially within the former enclosed porch that overlooks a water lily-covered pond, but it’s what’s behind the bar that’s really intriguing. While the staff will still serve wines from the hotel’s expansive collection, the main focus is on whiskey and gin—the hotel partnered with Barr Hill Gin to create their own cask that’s distilled with honey from their private hive. The idea is to lean into pairings that compliment your meal that aren’t necessarily wine, and both whiskey and gin have dynamic flavor profiles that do just that.
“One thing that’s important to us as a hotel is that we always try to be whimsical,” Rich explained. “Everywhere you go in the hotel and everything you do, we try to keep it fun and exciting.”
And I think they’ve succeeded. From hosted picnics spread across the 300-acre property with stunning views to the cocktails made with their own gin, fly fishing lessons on the lake to yoga by the pond, the team clearly strives to bring out the fun in everyone.
‘It’s like a summer camp for adults,’ said one guest. ‘You’re surrounded by nature, have plenty of activities to choose from, and then can end the day with a killer meal and great drink.’