Dreaming of getting away to a winter wonderland and being nestled in the snow-dusted landscape of a charming, remote French village—perhaps in Bourgogne, Alsace, or Annecy—with nothing but the sound of bells going off every hour and the crackling of a fire enticed me.
Pure bliss. I almost had my husband convinced. If only the price of an airline ticket was not so high, perhaps my fantasy would have come true. Instead, close to home, we found Alpine charm with some European flair in the Adirondack Mountains—Lake Placid. What a delightful little mountain village!
Lake Placid is well known for hosting the Winter Olympics in both 1932 and 1980. It is a popular destination year round for outdoor enthusiasts, who enjoy skiing, hiking the 46 High Peaks, ice skating, rock climbing, and a host of other activities. The main street of the village is lined with shops and restaurants all along the smaller—yet oh so charming—Mirror Lake.
The Mirror Lake Inn is the place to enjoy a meal in the most elegant setting with a view of the lake. There are two restaurants, the View and Taste Bistro, as well as an informal place right on the lake called the Cottage, which is a good place to get a snack or a light meal to warm up with after outdoor activities. We loved the elegance of the Taste Bistro and thought our meals were pretty good—not Fournil good of course, but still good. However, the atmosphere was five star.
The Lake Placid Lodge, which is a member of the Relais and Châteaux association, looks like the place to go for a special meal or occasion. We stopped by for a glass of wine in order to check the place out and get a view of Lake Placid itself, since the lake is more hidden and secluded than Mirror Lake. Quite a special place! We had a peek in the wine cellar, which is used for private dinner parties. We were told that much of the woodwork was salvaged from Burgundy of all places.
We, however, stayed in the inviting Dartbrook Lodge in the scenic Keene Valley, not far from Lake Placid. Designed and furnished by local artisans, the lodge has beautiful, rustic cabins and suites in the style of the Great Camp tradition.
We chose the South Center House, which was very nice and cozy. Since we were the only ones staying at the lodge, it was perfectly quiet. I would probably pick the Halcyon House next time, which is detached and thus more private. The Ausable River runs right along the property, making for dreamy winter walks.
There truly is much beauty to be found and appreciated in all parts of the world. No blue shutters here. But a lovely Adirondack color!