This past weekend, I assisted in catering a wedding at Gilbertsville Farmhouse in upstate New York… and let me tell you, the beauty of upstate is unparalleled this time of year. As we ascended the Catskills Mountains en route to the wedding venue, we were welcomed by a gentle summer rain, which only seemed to enhance the mystic beauty of the surrounding forestry. Wildflowers of every hue painted the surrounding landscape, bridging our seemingly magicless world with the realm of universal intelligence, a beauty far beyond human reach, intensified by a billowing fog dusted across the tree-line. The venue, a converted barn and milking parlor, was equally as beautiful, a chic upgrade from its original intention, now studded with linen drapes, chandeliers, pillar candles, lounges made from hay bales, and expansive gardens. A converted Airstream camper turned photo-booth was one of the main attractions, nestled perfectly among vintage upholstered lounge chairs surrounding a roaring open fire, adding to the ambiance of this boho-chic affair. Picturesque beauty surrounded by the most incredible natural setting made me remember how lucky we are as New Yorkers to live so close to untouched nature.
The food, although I may be biased, was equally as stunning. An array of bright, plant-based culinary creations played in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature. A low-fuss, yet high-end application was the perfect juxtaposition to the livestock barn turned wedding venue ambiance of the property. The first course, accompanied by the playful sound of a live band, was a beautiful summer salad embellished with a rainbow of edible flowers. In addition to the plated salad, servers passed hors d’oeuvres in the likes of Tomato Tartare with Sriracha Aioli, Crispy Cauliflower atop a Buckwheat Waffle with a Smoked Bourbon Maple Syrup Syringe, Artichoke Oyster with Mushroom Ceviche and Seaweed Caviar, and Tomato Gazpacho with Mini Grilled Cheese just to name a few. For the main course, guests were allowed to choose between lobster mushroom ravioli, steak spice grilled carrot, or chick’n picatta, all equally beautiful and delicious, orchestrated perfectly with seasonal vegetables. The star of the show for me, however, was the milk and cookie bar, an ode to the old milking parlor the venue used to be, where guests were greeted with with a dozen different cookie options, as well as miniature milk bottles filled with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate almond milk, a monogrammed souvenir that the guests could bring home with them. In addition to the milk and cookie bar, there was also a miniature hand-pie bar, as well as a donut bar, playing in harmony with the rustic tones of the event. Needless to say, the food was nearly as beautiful as the surrounding nature it was enjoyed in.
I think it’s easy to forget how close we are to our next adventure, looking to other states or countries to satisfy our exploration needs, but my short four hour drive from Brooklyn to Gilbertsville, New York reminded me that we are surrounded by unscathed beauty and natural phenomena. From mountain hikes, rafting explorations, bike trails, holistic health and yoga retreats, and hilltop castles turned hotels, we are within a days trip of some spectacular adventures, some of which are housed at Gilbertsville Farmhouse. Not only is the property used as a wedding venue, it also boasts a lakeside cabin, a number of yurt inspired ‘glamping’ tents, and goat yoga, a property built for weddings, retreats and group getaways alike. It is so refreshing to get out of the city, even if just for a day to enjoy nature and the beauty that surrounds us. If needing a moment of tranquil relaxation, I would suggest a simple road trip upstate to realign and recenter. Pack a picnic, a good book, a bathing suit, and a pair of hiking shoes, and set out to explore the beauty of nature, and if you’re up for a little ‘glamping’ checkout Gilbertsville Farmhouse to see what yurt life is all about.