Monday, September 9, 2013

The Brimfield Debrief

I left for Brimfield late Wednesday afternoon with an ambitious plan to cover as many fields as possible in the following 48 hours. My overnight bag contained a layering wardrobe to accommodate changes in temperature and my Wellies and a pair of thick socks were stashed in the car in case of rain. I had cash in several denominations in a small backpack which left my hands free to carry the XL-size L.L. Bean canvas tote that would hold my purchases. Getting an early start Thursday morning I scored a convenient parking place in 'The Meadows' and started off, a picture of the model Brimfield shopper.

The trencher full of glass fishing net floats is going to our cottage in Rhode Island.

There was, however, one thing standing in the way of this mission being carried out to its grand finale (and preventing me from feeling any excitement at all) and that was my hastily and poorly chosen hotel. As Thursday wore on, I felt an ever increasing sense of dread at the prospect of returning to the dismal local where I'd spent the night before in Sturbridge.

This yardage from my favorite dealer of vintage European textiles will make new cushions for the kitchen chairs.

Early afternoon, with a few purchases in the back of the wagon, I gave in to despair and headed down Route 20 with a new mission - to get (the hell!) out of town. The hotel let me off with an early check-out fee and feeling total relief I got back on the Mass Turnpike unsure of my next move. Had Mr. H not called about 15 minutes later I would have gone home in defeat, but he had a fabulous idea and I pulled over for gas, got on the phone, booked a room in a newly-opened hotel in Hudson, New York, and headed back to the town that charmed me during our visit in July. I'll share more on Hudson later this month but I'll tell you now the next 24 hours were divine.

Trying some Black Forest chic at Church Street.

So, my advice for anyone planning a trip to Brimfield in May - don't skimp on the hotel. Pay more and have fun because it is definitely worth the trip - but only if you do it right and are not uncomfortable. There is a lot to see and you are almost guaranteed to find what you are looking for. (A small disclaimer - there is also a lot of stuff you might wish you had never seen so wear good walking shoes.) I will be going back in the Spring with Mr. H who has agreed to come along and chose our hotel. He's never steered me wrong.

I arrived home feeling revived and freshly inspired, and found a pleasant surprise was awaiting me in the mail...the beautiful September issue of Romantic Homes featuring a little spread on Henhurst Interiors.

32 comments:

  1. Good for you!

    It reminds me of the time I took a painting workshop in Maine for a weekend and after paying for a rental car and the workshop, I decided I would get the cheapest room I could to save money. After checking in to my basement room with a mattress that felt more like a box spring and had a view of the dumpster, I headed to the office to ask if I could get another room. All that was available was their upstairs corner room with a view of harbor. The mattress will sucked but I'll never regret the extra money I spent to sit on that balcony watching the fishing boats move about the harbor.

    I saw you post some photos from Hudson and thought you were far from home.

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    1. If you haven't already you should go, Steve!

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  2. Congratulations and how exciting, Phyllis. I have always wanted to go to Brimfield. We are a family of high maintenance travelers around here. My husband and son don't mind, but my daughter and I won't go unless we approve the accommodations first. She will have a huge adjustment when she has to live in a dorm at college.

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    1. Oh, Linda, my oldest is going to find it a shock as well. This past summer she did rowing camps at two prestigious East Coast colleges and deemed the dorms 'unlivable.'

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  3. I do miss Brimfield (not easy from North Carolina!) and had totally forgotten it was this weekend. Lucky you. And Hudson: well, we lived there almost 30 years ago and it was a totally different place then! That's why we left.... But I agree, it is a wonderful place now with lots to offer..how things change, no? And I love your glass balls there!

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    1. Hi Libby, Hudson still has an edge but there is great shopping. What I love most, though, are the numerous historic homes along the river. I am never happier than when poking around a musty old house. On this trip I visited Montgomery Place and Blithewood and next week's post is on the garden there.
      All best,
      Phyllis

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  4. One of these days I will surely make it to Brimfield! I cannot believe I haven't been yet! Mr. H is spot on! If the hotel isn't great my trip is always ruined! It is so worth it to get a good one! I'm so excited for you about the spread in Romantic Homes! How exciting! I will start looking for a copy right away! Glad you ended up having fun and I love all of your finds!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carolyn. Hope all's well with you!
      xo

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  5. Hi Phyllis,

    I'm so glad you found a better spot to stay. Sometimes it's just not worth drying to save the money .. you're miserable and then the trip isn't fun. Looks like your trip was a success. Your grain sack is so pretty. I'm having pillow slips made from something that looks identical and I can't wait until they are done. Congrats on the feature in the magazine!! Happy Monday! xxleslie

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  6. I've always wanted to go to Brimfield, so I definitely appreciate your advice!

    Congratulations on the wonderful spread in Romantic Homes!

    xo
    Brooke

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  7. Congrats on your magazine feature!!! That is awesome. I've yet to get to Brimfield and can't wait to go, thanks for the tip!
    xo Nancy

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! Let me know when you decide to make the trip - would love to meet up!

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  8. Hey, Phyllis! Many, many congratulations! I'm running to Barnes and Noble after closing today.....can't wait to get my hands on that issue. Yay!
    x Loi

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  9. Phyllis,
    I'm so happy it worked out for you...it looks like you found some treasures. I had a similar experience my one and only time to Brimfield...I traveled to MA with 2 girlfriends to see Boston, Concorde and Brimfield. The hotel we booked was conveniently located to the fields, but was too creepy for words. We didn't even stay one night, we forfeited the nights room rate and left for another hotel. You are so right, spring for the extra bit it takes to stay someplace comfortable and safe.

    Congratulations on your home feature in Romantic Homes. I can't wait to pick up an issue.
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. I should have done that when I arrived and saw the place!

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  10. Congratulations Phyllis! I can't wait to see your spread in Romantic Homes! Your trip brings back memories! I would love to go again!

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  11. The right hotel makes all the difference! Glad you were able to find some things and also find a new place to stay.

    A big congratulations on the RH spread...and well deserved!

    xo Kat

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  12. I LOVE the glass floats!! Love them! I agree with you, a nice place to come back to makes the trip that much more memorable. I've found that when I chose a hotel I'm not thrilled about it becomes part of the "feeling" I associate with the trip when I think about it later. And congrats on the spread in magazine. That's so awesome!!

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  13. I am soooo excited about your spread in Romantic Homes - well deserved!! I totally agree about springing for the hotel...sets the tone for the whole trip...

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  14. Ive always wanted to go there...great advise! So glad you had a great time..

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  15. Love your trencher full of glass. Some friends and family say Brimfield is great, others say don't bother. So am on the fence. If ever I go, will definitely splurge on overnight accommodations.

    Neat article in Romantic Homes.
    b

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  16. So happy for your feature in RH and can't wait to pick it up. Thought about your previous post this weekend while I was shopping at a very fancy pants antique mall here in Houston. My only purchase was a $3 turtle shell :)

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  17. Love the colour of those little glass fishing floats Phyllis. Well done you!

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  18. I agree that there is nothing worse than staying in sub-standard accommodation - it really can ruin things entirely! Glad it all worked out well in the end though!. How cool to be featured in a magazine! x Sharon

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  19. OK- I may sound like a snob- but it is sooo true!! Must stay in a great hotel. More importantly, congrats on the feature!!! xo, K

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  20. I live in Springfield, Mass, which is about a 30 minute drive to Brimfield. I rent the top floor of my historic Victorian row house out on Airbnb and have had several guests stay with me while at Brimfield (vendors and shoppers). I also have the scoop on other local antique and vintage shopping opportunities in the area :) There are several of us AirBnB hosts close to Brimfield and lots of great furniture and furnishings shopping to be had in Western Mass year round.

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