Chicks in the Sticks: Freehold Edition
So you’ve heard of AirBnB, and you’ve heard of Homeaway, right? Please add to your list of upstate options the curated collection of homes from Red Cottage, Inc. I had been eager to rent from this site for a few years and finally got my act (and a group of chicks) together. We rented the beautiful “Shipley Corner,” located northwest of Rhinebeck in the town of Freehold. Not to be confused with Freehold, NJ. They are in very different locations, although they do have some similarities: in Freehold, NJ there is nothing to do, and in Freehold, NY there is still nothing to do. The “nothing” in Freehold, NY, however, is warmly welcomed.
Shipley Corner is full of personality and drop dead gaw-geous. The wallpaper and some of the furniture are carefully chipped away to create a rustic, shabby chic look. But the house, a farmhouse from the 1800s, is clearly renovated with exposed woodwork, a large kitchen with plenty of workspace, and a movie projector. At night, we used the wood burning fireplace for hours and put holiday movies on the projector while we roasted s’mores and drank wine.
This little side room with plentiful windows and wood walls and ceiling is my favorite room in the house. It is so sunny and bright that it is a perfect place to cross stitch (or pluck your eyebrows…). Check out how it’s decorated with an exposed light bulb, sans shade. And the bright green rug that echoes the green grass right outside the windows? Parfait! We spent a day in nearby Hudson, a town with an endless row of antique stores, Etsy offices, a live music venue called Helsinki, and a farmers market. We bought some brussels sprouts on a branch, flowers that look like cabbages (did you know they’re called brassica?), and little green cauliflowers to cook for dinner. And Amy bought lipstick. So much lipstick. Does everyone remember Amy? She was featured in our inaugural blog post…also buying lipstick. And her pajamas in the fireplace photo above? Pants with…lipstick. Plus, we stopped for wine, oysters and kale salad at Swoon Kitchen Bar as that winter sun decided to poop out on us right in the middle of our perfectly nice afternoon. Back home, we got right down to business: opening the wine, stoking the fire, and cooking the grub. Sharing the kitchen all together was fun, and there was plenty of room. I loved swiping pumpkins and pinecones from various parts of the house to create a little Fall tablescape.
Let’s talk about the town of Freehold. As far as I can tell there are two things to do here:
1. Eat at Ruby’s Hotel.
2. Visit the cemetery.
We did both.
Ruby’s Hotel is an original building from the 1800s that has been lovingly restored by its owner, Frank Giorgini, with Art Deco details and soda fountain intact. The handmade tiles you see in the subway everyday that lend an artistic bent to your everyday commute? They’re Frank’s! He has a few on display in the dining room and will proudly take you on an art and architecture tour of the restaurant.
Nothing is creepier than driving up to a pitch black house in the country with a cemetery across the street. But in the daytime, that cemetery (complete with a young woman named Scarlett O’Hara) is just beautiful.
Be sure to check out Shipley Corner for yourself. It sleeps five people, and is as easy as pie to rent for the weekend. If you drive here, don’t be fooled – directions will tell you that Freehold is 2.5 hours from Manhattan. Double that, and you’ll be more accurate.