Catskill Renaissance

Foxfire Mountain House, Mt. Tremper

When Eliza Clark, a television director and producer (HGTV’s American Pickers), and Tim Trojian, a chef and former hotel food and beverage director, met and married, they tried to think of a way to meld their talents. A chance visit to the Catskills three years ago got them thinking about running an inn there, and as luck would have it, a vintage find in Mt. Tremper came on their radar. Formerly known as the Mountain Breeze House, the Victorian-era spot is hidden at the end of a curvy road off Route 28. When they first encountered the house, it was in serious disrepair — but they had a vision.

“It’s one of the few old buildings left,” says Clark. “We have vintage pictures of people up in the belfry and ladies in Victorian dress on the verandah.” This summer, that same verandah will be inhabited by hipsters and world travelers attracted to the Catskills-meets-global décor (antlers, taxidermy, Moroccan encaustic tiles, sari curtains). Beds made from bullpen wood are accented with rope for ruggedness and dressed in dreamy linen sheets. Eleven guest rooms on two floors, some with shared baths and each one decorated with interesting finds, as well as a three-bedroom cottage complete with working fireplace and full kitchen, accommodate 28 to 33 visitors. Guests awaken to a Nordic-style breakfast with smoked fish, frittatas, granola, yogurt, and delectable deep-fried rice “donuts” covered in powdered sugar. Bocce ball, badminton, a lily pool, a pond, and a common area with a record player and classic vinyl LPs are some of the easygoing amusements for guests looking to relax and renew.

Eat: The on-site restaurant serves a farm-to-table style dinner to guests, but the ever-popular Peekamoose Restaurant and Taproom in Big Indian is a great bet, too: Graze on the vegetable plate or pork belly meatballs at the bar, or have a sit-down meal of hearty fare like wood-grilled sirloin and short ribs. Mama’s Boy Burgers in Tannersville is worth the drive, not just for the grass-fed Angus beef burgers (we swear by the double-patty Devil’s Tombstone), but also for the fries and frozen custard.

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Do: Yes, the famous Kaatskill Kaleidoscope and the Catskill Mountain Railroad are nearby. And everyone wants to visit Kaaterskill Falls, the double-tier waterfall in the Palenville area that captivated the Hudson River School painters. But you can also hike up Tremper Mountain and visit its fire tower. Or swim at Peekamoose Blue Hole. Blue Barn Antiques & Interiors in Shandaken is a great place to poke around for treasures.

Insider’s Tip: Stay on a Saturday, when the inn throws a complimentary wine, lemonade, and cheese reception for guests.

The Details

Foxfire Mountain House 

72 Andrew Lane, Mt. Tremper


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Price range: Rooms range from $150-$225.


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