MILTON, New York—Tucked in the small town of Milton, just an hour-and-a-half drive from New York City, Buttermilk Falls Inn is a retreat for the weary—and the gourmand. Wanderers will be relieved that after spending hours exploring the greenery surrounding the Hudson River, they’ll be treated to farm-fresh fare, made with produce plucked straight from the grounds of the property.
Buttermilk Falls Inn was created by Robert Pollock, a real estate investor who fell in love with the Hudson River Valley region after attending college in the area. He dreamed of one day building a house on top of a waterfall there. After discovering the property—originally a homestead built in 1764—he decided to purchase it and create a bed-and-breakfast for visitors to enjoy the picturesque environs.
The property includes 75 acres of rolling hills and meandering paths for guests to casually stroll along. Because the inn houses a maximum of only 54 guests at a time, you’ll feel like you have the sprawling landscape to yourself. Occasionally, a bunny will hop along, or a stray cat will stride onto the patio (the property is also an animal sanctuary), where guests can take in views of the Hudson River. Willow trees dangle their wispy fronds beside the pond, where ducks, swans, and geese thrive. Traveling north, you’ll be greeted by llamas, alpacas, Angora goats, and donkeys, happily grazing. They, too, know that it’s idyllic here.
After taking in the natural world, you can unwind with a spa treatment—the therapists use organic fruit, herbs, and spices to pamper you—or relax in the indoor pool, sauna, or steam room.
But the best nourishment is served in the inn’s dining room and restaurant. In the mornings, the main inn at Buttermilk serves a menu of breakfast dishes that would top any hotel continental breakfast. On a recent visit, the seasonal menu included a chive oil fried egg—fresh from the hens at the inn’s farm—served with bacon and a mix of zucchini, eggplant, and squash in an ingenious sun-dried tomato-brie sauce. The combination of zesty and cheesy is irresistible.
For a sweet breakfast, the ginger-buttermilk waffle wows with its fluffy texture. It’s served with a ginger beer reduction and a tart apple compote made from apples grown in the inn’s apple orchard.
For lunch, you can head to Frida’s Bakery, a few blocks away. The bakery, which is operated by the inn, makes all the bread served on the property. Sandwiches are composed with each bread’s texture in mind: A grilled cheese sandwich with melted pepperjack, pineapple, and ham belongs on crispy and chewy sourdough, while the turkey BLT with chipotle mayo and avocado is easy to chomp through, given the softness of the whole wheat bread. Frida’s also serves a fantastic chicken pot pie, with flaky pastry that absorbs the creamy filling.
In the afternoon, you can stop by the main inn again for tea, light salads, and sweet treats made at Frida’s. The chocolate chip cookies, oh so gooey, are phenomenal.
Dinner at the inn’s restaurant is a celebration of the season. Named Henry’s at the Farm after Pollock’s son, the restaurant draws inspiration from the abundant produce in the inn’s garden and nearby farms. Executive chef Gary Lucato creates different dimensions of flavors within each dish. The Chilled Millstone Farm Red Cherry Soup is a sweet prelude to the meal ahead. The thick soup, mixed with chocolate mint and Meyer lemon zest, is reminiscent of chocolate-cherry ganache.
The salads combine unexpected ingredients, like the Henry’s Salad with jackfruit, marionberries, macadamia nuts, goat cheese, lettuce, and fried shallots, served with a papaya vinaigrette that adds extra zing.
Entrees bring meat and seafood in harmony with seasonal vegetables, such as the Pan Seared King Salmon, which is paired with a sweet English pea purée, micro-beets, cipollini onions, and vegetable Israeli couscous—chewy and mochi-like. The salmon yields easily, with an audible crunch revealing incredibly juicy meat inside.
The Grilled Pork Porterhouse stands upright on the plate, sandwiched by garlic mashed potatoes and topped with sauteed Swiss chard, all savory and comforting. The thick pork steak is seasoned with smoked maple syrup and aged balsamic glaze—a hint of sweet and tart.
Desserts with fruit from the farm are especially alluring. The apple crisp is perfect in every way, with a crystallized sugar texture in the crumble and whole slices of warm apple on top. The ice cream, made in-house, is dense and yogurt-like.
At the end of the night, retiring to one of the inn’s eight guesthouses and cottages is perhaps the best way to experience the wilderness while getting the luxury treatment.
The Riverknoll House, for example, is furnished just like a real home, with everything you need from a dishwasher to a washing machine. Its airy spaces with high ceilings and huge windows—which face directly into the forest—give the house an elegant look, while patios on the first and second floors offer stunning views of the Hudson. At night, you can watch the river calmly ripple by, with an occasional boat gliding past, while an outdoor symphony of birds and insects lulls you to sleep. When it’s pitch black outside, the sky is illuminated with stars.
Watching the sunrise is just as captivating. The sky transforms with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and yellow, as a mist slowly falls over the water. As birds chirp their morning calls, it becomes clear: Pristine nature is precious.
For more information, visit ButtermilkFallsInn.com
Walkway Over the Hudson
The longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world provides the best views of the Hudson River. Suspended more than 200 feet above the water, the former railroad bridge was recently rebuilt for the public to enjoy.
The Village TeaRoom
A quaint, rustic cafe located in the nearby town of New Paltz, The Village TeaRoom has been serving good tea, small bites, and delectable pastries for over a decade. Get a teapot, and you’ll get a small sandglass that will time how long your tea should steep for. The Ploughman’s Lunch consists of a scrumptious meat pie filled with ground lamb and vegetables, alongside cheeses, bread, fruit, cornichons, and two piquant condiments—stone ground mustard and a sharp peach chutney ($16). Don’t forget to check out the pastry counter serving sweet treats like the Honey Bee Cake, an orange chiffon cake with layers of butter and local honey inside, topped with apricot preserves ($6).
Brooklyn Cider House
This cidery, which recently opened a tasting room in New Paltz selling local goods, allows people to pick apples from its orchards (called Twin Star Orchards), and serves wood-fired pizzas on the weekends from an open-air pavilion overlooking a pond. Its signature Half Sour is light, crisp, and barely sweet, with honey flavors reminiscent of mead.