Escape to Stone Barns

The Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

It's Escapes Month here at Apartment Therapy, so I thought I'd share a really great escape we took last weekend to Stone Barns in Westchester County. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture was established in 2004 by David Rockefeller and his daughter, Peggy Dulany, in memory of their wife and mother, Peggy Rockefeller.

It is 80 sprawling acres of many things, including a non-profit farm, an educational center, and a super fancy partner restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, all planted within buildings on the Rockefeller Estate, which dates back to the 1890s.

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We went up early and just missed the 10 am egg collecting, but there was a lot of good wandering around to do, and the livestock tour at noon was the highlight, followed by lunch outdoors at the cafe. The three main things that I find incredibly compelling about this escape are as follows:

1. The architecture and design of the old buildings and the new greenhouses are all stunning. There are a ton of lovely ideas here to aspire to in your own home or garden.

2. All the food that is grown, both animals and plants, are terrifically well taken care of and all destined for the restaurant or market. Seeing a working farm up close like this, where the animal lives are both cherished and put to the service of the waiting chefs is unusual and valuable for children.

3. The food is amazing. The little cafe puts out an awesome, simple lunch with food from the farm, prepared by the Blue Hill chefs in the restaurant next door. We've only had the cafe lunch with children, but a visit to the restaurant proper in the evening is a special treat. Remember, this is the same chef, Dan Barber, whose Blue Hill in New York drew President Obama and his wife on their first "date night" after being elected.

>> The Stone Barns Center
>> David Rockefeller's dedication letter for the center
>> Stone Barns @ Wikipedia

Enjoy!

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(All Images: Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan)