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The Boston Globe


Gourmand N.E. getaways: 10 country inns for foodies

After the end-of-year flurry of activity, we like nothing better than checking into a country inn with luxurious lodgings and fine dining. At these properties, there’s no need to leave your luscious digs to dine in the best restaurant in town. Why not pamper yourself — and start the New Year right — with one of these gourmand getaways?

STONEHEDGE INN, Tyngsborough About an hour’s drive is all it takes to transport you from bustling Boston to the European countryside. Flickering lanterns beckoned in distant fields as we followed the tree-lined driveway and rolling fieldstone walls to the entrance of this enchanting hideaway. Surrounded by woodlands and horse pastures, we felt as if we’d arrived at a friend’s country estate. Our room was spacious and comfortable, decorated with rich, floral fabrics and French country furnishings; an inviting whirlpool tub was tucked into a cozy alcove. The inn has 30 guest rooms, some with spa tubs, fireplaces, and balconies. But, it’s the Left Bank restaurant, home to New England’s largest wine collection, that truly impresses. A soaring wine tower, housing some of the 60,000-bottle collection, dominates the softly-lighted dining room, where French-trained chef Florent Boutet offers modern takes on classic cuisine, like the glazed leek tart, pan-seared red tuna, and tender braised beef short ribs. Be sure to check out the new, underground wine cellar, and consider a treatment at the inn’s Vinotherapy Spa.

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