I’ll save the line about how the holidays cause anxiety, because duh. But, according to our experts, figuring out how much to give to those people who basically make our lives run a little more smoothly year-round doesn’t have to add to that stress.
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The popular light display at Shady Brook Farm. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou
Shady Brook Farm
931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley
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The private cottages of Winvian resort—including Beaver Lodge (left) and Log Cabin (above)—offer earthy charm at its most posh. | Photos courtesy of Winvian.
Turn the chilling temps into something memorable by renting one of these postcard-perfect (totally luxe!) wooden cabins for a weekend this winter.
Winvian // Connecticut
Eighteen of the most charming cottages you’ve ever seen are scattered throughout this 113-acre, five-star Relais & Châteaux resort, located three and a half hours from Philly. Choose to stay in the Beaver Lodge or Log Cabin, both textbook examples of woodland charm: twig furniture, smooth pebble floors, log exteriors that feel like something the Swiss Family Robinson would have built. But it’s not all whimsy: Those pebble floors are radiant-heated, the bathroom features a Jacuzzi and a rainfall steam shower, and the property boasts serious amenities like a top-notch spa and an AAA Diamond restaurant. From $975 a night.
Go Here For: A getaway with your sweetie. // Morris, Connecticut; Winvian.com.
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Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov. Photograph by Dustin Fenstermacher
[Sitting in Vetri’s recently renovated upstairs private dining room]
Michael: Wow, look at this. I used to sleep on a cot in that corner.
Marc: Yeah, it used to be this crappy apartment.
PM: When Michael worked for you, Marc, did you notice his talent right away? Can you spot talent?
Marc: I used to think that I could really figure folks out when they walked into the kitchen. But after a certain amount of time — ya know, two months, three months — they can walk out and you never see them again. They leave their knife bag and everything. They are just gone. So I really don’t think I can say that anymore.
Michael: It’s a generational thing, because when you and I first met, there certainly wasn’t anything like that happening here. Read more »
Scratch Biscuits at Night Market
When did Supper chef Mitch Prensky know that his love of making biscuit sandwiches was worthy of its own bricks-and-mortar location? The first time he sold one. (We agree – and named it one of the five must-try Philly sandwiches.
You’ve probably seen his Scratch Biscuits tent popped-up at festivals, Phish shows, farmer’s markets and Night Markets (at the one Night Market he sold a whopping 1,100 biscuits in less than three hours). Now, he’s signed a lease at 1306 Chestnut Street for an actual location.
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The cheery check-in area at What A Good Dog on the Main Line. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou.
What A Good Dog // Frazer
Owner Mary Remer, who’s spent more than 30 years training dogs, believes socialization makes most canines happiest, so she designed her state-of-the-art, 18,000-square-foot facility around that concept. There are 20 play yards and five fields for small-group romping, a misting system for refreshing dogs, and an indoor agility course. Come sleepy-time, staffers match dogs to their neighbors by breed, age, sex and temperament to reduce anxiety. Overnight stays come with lots of time in the sun; you can also add one-on-one leash walks, games of catch, swimming lessons and straight-up cuddle time. go here for: Extra love and attention for your senior dog. // 295 Three Tun Road.
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To state the obvious: Philadelphia is not a city that has a reputation for innovation. (See: bus tokens.) But while we might not have the collective cash of Silicon Valley or the in-your-face flash of New York, this town is filled brilliant people who dedicate their lives to inching things forward, to discovering better ways, to thinking without limits.
That is what ThinkFest is all about.
For the third year in a row, we have asked some of the most interesting people in town to share their big ideas, to challenge our perspectives, and to inspire us. There isn’t a particular theme of ThinkFest, rather everyone who is presenting has done something that keeps our city moving in the right direction. (Perhaps even closer to Metrocards!)
ThinkFest is on November 14th at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. Among the highlights:
- Superintendent William Hite reflects on what he’s learned and shares what he wants to do next
- Emma Fried-Cassorla, who founded Philly Love Notes, will tell an inspiring story about the power of positivity and how it changed her life
- Penn prez Amy Gutmann sits down with 6ABC anchor Jim Gardner to talk about what it’s like to be the city’s largest employer
- M. Night Shyamalan — Philly’s coolest celeb — and his equally impressive wife, Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan, discuss their unique take on creating leaders through philanthropy
- Flash performances curated by cutting-edge institution FringeArts
See the whole lineup and purchase tickets at phillymag.com/thinkfest.
The house-made goods at Brick Farm Market in Hopewell.
Come summer, Princeton’s collegiate crowd clears out, making this the perfect time to enjoy the area’s quaint, brainy charm. Here’s where to go first.
Brick Farm Market
With a juice bar, a cheesemonger, house-dried sausages and polished-concrete floors, this lofty market feels more Brooklyn than Jersey. But in fact, Brick Farm Market has rather bucolic roots: It was founded last year by Robin and Jon McConaughy, owners of the nearby Double Brook Farm, as a place to sell the many sustainable products that come from their acres. The pair are somewhat new to the agro biz — they had one of those life-changing Michael Pollan moments a decade ago — and their fresh perspective is what makes this place so memorable. Just 15 minutes from downtown Princeton, it’s worthy of a stop for a snack, a meal, or ingredient-gathering on your way back to Philly.
Go here for: A hip twist on a country farm stand. 65 East Broad Street, Hopewell.
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Vintage furniture and salvaged signage at Clover Market. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou.
The 21st-century flea market has nothing to do with junk. Need proof? These five local emporiums offer some of the best finds in the region.
Calling Clover a flea market is like confusing the Rittenhouse Hotel with a Holiday Inn. The popularity of this upscale marketplace — in different locations all year long — has skyrocketed since it began five years ago. That’s all due to founder Janet Long’s discerning eye and strict standards. (Each of the 100-plus vendors is vetted by Long before securing a coveted market spot.) She aims for a nice mix, too, which means you’ll find groovy ’60s artwork and sideboards made from old farmhouse wood alongside vintage-y glass cloches and jewelry crafted from antique china.
Go Here For: Quality home goods all in one place. // Locations in Ardmore, Chestnut Hill and Center City.
Keep reading here.
Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou
Kids Castle, Doylestown
Soaring eight stories high, with turrets and parapets and twirling 30-foot-tall slides, this Bucks County playground feels like it belongs in a sculpture garden. The community raised the money, chose the fairy-tale theme (in homage to the castle of the nearby Mercer Museum), and hammered it together in the late ’90s. This past fall, Kids Castle added elements like swinging bridges, climbing rocks, and other ways to wear the kids out. Go Here For: A day trip — make sure to stroll through Doylestown’s adorable downtown. Central Park, 425 Wells Road.
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