Since 1965 The Four Columns Inn has been the touchpoint of southern Vermont’s cultural, artistic and culinary scene. The Inn and its restaurant have welcomed local and international luminaries such as Mick Jagger, Michael Douglas and Sting, who chose Four Columns to celebrate milestone events with friends and family. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith frequently shared the dining room with Henry Kissinger in the 1970s.
Sustainability and luxurious healthy living has always been at the core of the Four Columns. In the 1960s, when the Inn was first opened as a guest house, it was imagined as a top level lodging and dining destination, with a distinctive European flair. Operated by Rene and Pierrette Chardain, the Four Columns was the first “true” Farm-to-Table restaurant in the United States, preceding the legendary Alice Waters by four years. The pond was stocked with trout, the garden was planted with vegetables and herbs, chickens and pigs were raised on site, and local game birds were sourced from the property.
Today we respect this heritage with our attention to detail and the farm conscious Artisan Restaurant. We look forward to hosting you!
Newfane (www.newfanevermontusa.com) A columned courthouse, matching Congregational church, and town hall—all grouped on a handsome green—are framed and dignified, white-clapboard houses, including two elegant inns. When Windham County’s court sessions began meeting in Newfane in 1787, the village was about the same size it is now: 20 homes and 2 hotels (only 1 inn left now!). Built in 1787, the village was 2 miles up on Newfane Hill. Beams were unpegged and homes moved to the more protected valley by ox-drawn sleighs in the winter of 1824.
Newfane Inns have been famous for more than a century, at first because the whitewashed jail accommodated 25 paying guests, feeding them (as an 1848 poem says) “good pies and oyster soup” in the same rooms with inmates. By the time this facility closed (in the 1950’s) The Old Newfane Inn-which incorporates much of its original hilltop structure—was beginning to acquire a reputation for gourmet fare. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith, a summer resident of the area since 1947, helped publicize the charms of both the village and the inn—whose onetime chef eventually opened the Four columns Inn at the rear of the village green. Newfane village is more than a place to dine, sleep and stroll. The immediate area offers an unusual number of antique shops and beyond the stores and the remnants of the railway station (which served the narrow gauge Brattleboro-Londonderry line from 1880-1836) is a fine old cemetery.
Newfane has bred as well as fed famous people. Visit the Historical Society of Windham county.
Archer Mayer just lives up the road from the Inn. At the historical society you will see a permanent display on the West River Railway, which operated between Brattleboro and Jamaica (1880’s-1927) and is remembered at the “36 miles of trouble”.
The largest town event presently Is the Newfane Heritage Festival on Columbus Day weekend sponsored by the Newfane congregational church.