NJWILDBEAUTY readers shared the magic of Carousel Lavender Farm, [‘in’ Mechanicsburg, PA, just east of Doylestown.] That enchanted visit was immediately followed by unexpected delights at The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm,. Located on the south side of 202 beyond Lahaska, when aiming for Doylestown, the word ‘Farm’ may be the greatest understatement, restaurant-and-setting-wise, I have encountered. [http://www.barleysheaf.com/]
Author, editor, Carolyn Yoder, reads us the storied past of the Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm, at the close of our exquisite meal.
This capacious room recreates our combined favorite European experiences, especially France, but also the best of the English countryside.
Everything was flawless, especially their food, as you can see. We were given a superbly attuned waitress, who surpassed herself with each encounter. She heard me wonder if one could have the (complimentary) mimosa without the orange juice. This luminous libation instantly materialized.
All afternoon, generosity was the watchword. Graciousness abounded. Everyone there was surrounded by excellence, granted the rarest gift of timelessness.
No, this is not the Loire Valley. We were eating inside that white sun porch, gazing into gardens that could be Villandry in miniature. Beyond that, a pool beckons. Throughout the grounds, guests strolled, readying for a country wedding about to unfold. Butterflies danced among their healthy flowers. Photographs later revealed fish and frogs among the lotus blossoms. No, I am not making this up.
The history of the Inn is threaded with the most famous visitors of the “New Hope Colony” of songwriters, authors, wits, the Algonquin Round Table crowd, in the heyday of that artful county in which we spent our afternoon. We feasted in the former home of George S. Kaufman, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, including the first for a play. Ask to read the history, as Carolyn Yoder did. That electrifying era spun into life around us, in the stillness of the sunlit room. It’s a boost to one’s own creativity to be there.
White arches welcome to the generous pool.
I wish it were not true, that a picture is worth 10,000 words. But the mere word, ‘timeless’, does not convince you of our idyll. I hope you experience it in the above scenes.
One of the frequent guests, Dorothy Parker, was famous for answering her telephone (the heavy dangly black sit-on-the-table with rotary dial one) with, “What fresh hell is this?” I am often tempted to do likewise.
At The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm, though, the phrase must be revised:
“What Fresh Heaven Is This?”