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Postcards from Litchfield, CT, USA

Peter Baker, Litchfield Distillery, Edward F. Nesta - Photo by Luxury Experience
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Edith Morton Chase Mansion - Photo by Luxury Experience

Incorporated in 1719, Litchfield, Connecticut offers much for visitors to explore and discover with its historic and picturesque setting in the Litchfield Hills, hand-crafted artisanal spirits, upscale dining, and outdoor activities. Located 16 miles northwest of Waterbury, 34 miles west of Hartford, 40 miles from New Haven, 52 miles from Springfield, Massachusetts, 78 miles from Greenwich, and 96 miles from Manhattan, make it a desirable day-trip location. We had a wonderful day exploring its many offerings.

Tasting and Touring – Litchfield Distillery

Edward F. Nesta and Peter Baker

We visited Litchfield on Saturday, March 13, 2021 and began our day with an interesting and informative tour followed by a tasting with Peter Baker at the award-winning Litchfield Distillery founded by the Baker Brothers – David, Jack, and Peter, in 2014.

Litchfield Distillery - Photo by Luxury Experience

Originally known for their exceptional bourbons: Double Barreled Bourbon Whiskey – 10 years, Double Barreled Bourbon Whiskey – 5 years, Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Cask Strength, Port Cask Finish Bourbon Whiskey, Vanilla Bourbon, Maple Bourbon, Cinnamon Bourbon, Coffee Bourbon, they have expanded their artisan line of spirts to also include gin, vodka, rye, and their latest agave spirit.

Litchfield Distillery - Photo by Luxury Experience
Roll out the barrels

Touring their facility was a fantastic experience learning about their bourbons, learning about the different levels of char that are used for their barrel aging, and about the different grains they use for their various products. Interesting to note is that they make their vodka with locally grown corn from Sharon, Connecticut. The "proof" is in the tasting, where their motto "The Spirit of Hard Work" came across in each product we tasted.

Litchfield Distillery, Debra C. Argen - Photo by Luxury Experience
Debra C. Argen visiting Litchfield Distillery

Tours and Tastings: Monday – Sunday beginning at 11:00 am. The last tour begins at 4:00 pm. On Sundays, the last tour begins at 3:00 pm. Tours and tastings are free. Everyone must wear a mask and practice social distancing protocols.

The Distillery Store Hours: Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

For more information on Litchfield Distillery, purchasing their products, or visiting them, please call them at +1-860-361-6503 or visit their website: www.LitchfieldDistillery.com

Read about Litchfield Distillery products and read Luxury Experience’s Culinary and Cocktail Recipes in the Liquor Cabinet section.

Litchfield Distillery - Litchfield, CT, USA

Litchfield Distillery
569 Bantam Road
Litchfield, Connecticut 06759
United States
Telephone: +1-860-361-6503
Website: www.LitchfieldDistillery.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/litchfielddistillery/
Twitter: @litchfielddist
Instagram: @litchfielddistillery

Where to Dine – West Street Grill

James O'Shea - West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
James O’Shea, Owner – West Street Grill

Our next Litchfield "discovery" was having a delicious lunch at the West Street Grill that has been "Setting the Standard for Modern American Cuisine" since 1990. Owned by James O’Shea, the inviting and attractive restaurant located in the historic district of Litchfield, has a well-crafted and diverse menu to appeal to all palates, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items, along with seafood, meat, and poultry items. Chef Stephen Murphy is the talent in the kitchen, and we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch there.

Chef Stephen Murphy - West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT
Chef Stephen Murphy

The restaurant has an excellent wine list as well as fabulous cocktails, and we began our lunch with two of their well-crafted cocktails made with Litchfield neighbor, Litchfield Distillery Peach Vodka and Litchfield Distillery Bourbon. We had a Litchfield Old Fashioned made with Litchfield Distillery Bourbon, and a Ginger Martini made with Litchfield Peach Vodka, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, honey ginger simple syrup, and lemon juice.

Ryan Pelletier - West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
Ryan Pelletier shaking up tempting cocktails

A few of the many dining highlights of our lunch included the Fresh Mushroom Ravioli filled with a mélange of mushroom puree and presented with thinly sliced shitake mushrooms, green peas, and sage brown butter sauce, drizzled with a balsamic glaze, and crowned with micro-greens, Miso Glazed Salmon (Faroe Island) with a soy ginger drizzle accompanied by sushi rice, and sauteed spinach, and Fish and Chips, which was fresh cod in a light and crispy tempura served with fresh cut fries.

Fresh Mushroom Ravioli - West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
Fresh Mushroom Ravioli

West Street Grill is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for Lunch beginning at 11:30 am, and for Dinner beginning at 5:30 pm. Please call to make a reservation as days and times are subject to COVID-19 restaurant restrictions.

Miso Glazed Salmon - West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
Miso Glazed Salmon

Read more about our dining experience at the West Street Grill in our Restaurants section.

Read Chefs’ Recipes where Chef Stephen Murphy tempts your palate with his delectable duck recipe.

West Street Grill - Litchfield, CT USA

West Street Grill
43 West Street
Litchfield, CT 06759
Telephone: 860-567-3885
Website: www.WestStreetGrill.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestStreetGrill/
Twitter: @weststreetgrill
Instagram: @weststgrill

Shopping the Historic District

The historic district is lined with attractive, upscale boutique shops waiting to be discovered, which we thoroughly enjoyed exploring after lunch.

Soaking up Nature – Topsmead State Forest

Topsmead State Park,, Litchfield, CT - Edward F. Nesta - Photo by Luxury Experience
Topsmead State Forest

The Litchfield Hills are stunning, and after some retail therapy, we decided to explore by taking a walk in the park" in Topsmead State Forest, which was the perfect finale to a wonderful day of exploration in Litchfield.

Topsmead State Forest is located 5 minutes/3 miles via East Street from the restaurant, on what was once the summer residence of Edith Morton Chase from 1917. "Upon her death in 1972, Edith Chase left her beloved country estate to the people of Connecticut and to be known as Topsmead State Forest. In her will, Miss Chase requested that Topsmead State Forest "be kept in a state of natural beauty". To ensure that Topsmead would remain undisturbed, Miss Chase left an endowment to be used toward maintaining and operating the buildings and grounds as they were upon her death."

Topsmead State Park,, Litchfield, CT -- Photo by Luxury Experience
Edith Morton Chase summer residence

We approached the stately home walking by a charming New England rock wall that lead up to the English Tudor style house built by noted architect Richard Henry Dana, Jr in 1923 and completed in 1925. The house features cypress, brick and stucco walls, and a slate roof. Beautifully landscaped, apple trees, lilacs, holly, and juniper grace the grounds.

Topsmead State Park,, Litchfield, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sprawling Grounds

Take time to explore the Butterfly Garden and Wildlife Viewing Blind. House tours are offered during the warmer months.

Topsmead State Park,, Litchfield, CT -  Photo by Luxury Experience

Topsmead State Forest Hours: Open from 8:00 am until sunset year-round. Pets on leashes are permitted in picnic areas and on hiking trails. Parking is free.

Tours: Free guided tours of the residence are offered from June through October on the 2nd and 4th weekends of each month. Reservations are not required. On open weekends, tours are available from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm except for the last open weekend in October when hours are from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Directions: From Litchfield Center, take Route 118 east for 1.5 miles. Take a right on East Litchfield Road. Take first right on Buell Road. Topsmead will be the first road on the right.

Land and Water Conservation Fund - Topsmead State Forest, Litchfield, CT

Topsmead State Forest
P.O. Box 1081
Litchfield, Connecticut 06759
Telephone: +1-860-567-5694
Website: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Forests/Topsmead-State-Forest

We sign our postcard from Litchfield, With Love from Luxury Experience! Come and explore the multi-faceted charm of Litchfield, Connecticut, you will be glad you did!

Until next time, keep enjoying travel with Luxury Experience!

Read more about Litchfield in the Liquor Cabinet, Restaurants, and Chefs’ Recipes sections.

For more information on Litchfield, Connecticut, please visit the website: www.ctvisit.com

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