Boston and the Berkshires in the thick of autumn offer a rich symphony of treats for the senses.
I had a chance to stay a couple crisp October nights in Lenox at the Church Street Inn, just a foliaged walk away from The Mount, Edith Wharton’s hilltop home where she wrote “The House of Mirth” and “Ethan Frome,” two of her most enduring works.
Wharton, as you may know, was a believer in the supernatural and a purveyor of ghost stories. You can almost see her spirit here, strolling along her woodland trails with her dogs, an idea for her next tale or poem dancing in her head.
Tanglewood, the musical venue made famous by yearly performances by James Taylor and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, sits not far away, offering stunning views of the scenic mountain ranges singing with color.
I started my morning with breakfast at Ophelia’s at the Church Street Inn, which opens for meals at 8 a.m. and serves dinner to weekend visitors Thursday through Sunday.
A short drive away is the Berkshire Botanical Garden with its 24 acres, a “museum of living things,” including some quirky animal topiaries and nature-inspired artwork.
I next went to Bartlett’s in nearby Richmond for their apple cider donuts and a romp through its family-owned orchard.
Apart from the trees and bird life, there are other visual feasts like Lake Laurel at sunset or Lake Ponsoouc over an al fresco lunch. I was doubly fortunate to stay in the Berkshires during the Blood Moon which heightened the mysterious allure of this place.
It’s no wonder Edith Wharton could easily tap into other worlds during her time here — there’s so much that beckons the imagination.
For the night on my arrival in Boston I stayed put at the Mandarin Oriental where I was fortunate to see their exquisite collection of orchids on regal show in their front lobby.
There’s no better urban setting for autumn and foliage watching quite like Boston Common and Public Garden.
The nearby Beacon Hill streets were also a riot of early Halloween cheer and seasonal splendor.