By Kim Ostellino
It’s almost time to ring in the new year and if you find yourself in the Berkshires on New Year’s Eve, you’ll discover plenty of options to celebrate in true Berkshire fashion. From black tie events to more casual, laid back celebrations, the Berkshires are a fabulous New Year’s destination.
For the ultimate New Year’s Eve celebrations, you can make reservations for an elaborate feast at the Red Lion Inn‘s annual New Year’s Eve Gala. After a sumptuous five course dinner, prepared by the inn’s chef, Brian Alberg, you can join with other guests in the extravagantly decorated main floor, which gets transformed into a festive wonderland for the event. Dance the night away and share a champagne toast at midnight. If you opt for the inn’s New Year’s Eve package, you can spend the night, and enjoy a full breakfast the next morning. Then you might choose to browse Main Street to do some shopping in real New England style.
Another prime place to spend your New Year’s Eve is Blantyre. This Relais & Chateaux is offering the ultimate two night package, which includes an afternoon tea on the day of arrival, followed by a three course dinner in the mansion on your first night. The next day begins with a scrumptious breakfast, and ends with a New Year’s Eve black tie celebration in the evening, where you’ll delight in a seven course meal, complete with wine pairings, dancing, caviar and champagne at midnight, and lighter fare served in the early morning hours. You’ll end your stay with brunch later in the morning, and perhaps an invigorating horse and sleigh ride across their gorgeous property.
If you’re seeking a performance for your celebrations, you can head to Great Barrington’s Castle Street Cafe. Dine on a specially prepared New Year’s Eve menu, and dance to live music at the cafe or next door at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, where the Berkshire Bach Society presents its Bach on New Years, ‘A Blast of Brass’. You could also choose to catch an early dinner at Mazzeo’s Ristorante, in Pittsfield, where they have a special New Year’s feast planned and then take a drive down to the Infinity Music Hall, where the musical group, ‘Tower of Power’ will rock you with soul music, as you dance your way into the new year.
Looking for something more intimate? There are several lodging establishments offering special packages for your New Year’s Eve in the Berkshires. In Williamstown, at the Orchards Hotel, you can book one of their deluxe rooms (or their courtyard rooms), complete with fireplace, chocolate covered strawberries, and champagne awaiting you upon arrival. Then indulge in a deliciously prepared dinner, toast the New Year with champagne and savor a full breakfast the next morning. At the Applegate Inn in Lee they are offering a special which includes an early evening of champagne and hors’ d’oeuvres. From there you can dine in town, and then retreat back to your splendid accommodations, where you’ll find chocolates and a decanter of brandy awaiting you. Curl up by the fireside while celebrating the new year in your richly appointed room. In the morning, a candlelight gourmet brunch is served. The Gateways Inn in Lenox has a package that includes two nights at the inn, breakfast each morning, and a New Year’s Eve dinner, with a champagne toast as the clock rings its bell, and an evening of dancing to live music.
The Berkshires are a delightful place to visit any time of the year, but New Year’s Eve is especially festive (for more ideas click here) and a wonderful time to come and make memories of merriment that will last a lifetime.
Kim lives in Stockbridge with her kids and her dog. She is an avid lover of the outdoors and local history and is the founder of Berkshiregirl, an online source, devoted to sharing the best of the Berkshires.