27 of us had a comfortable, warm, relaxing, deeply enjoyable time this past weekend on a hiking/meditation retreat at authentic Rustic Gatherings. The accomodations were fantastic: resort caliber cleanliness, tidyness, and attention to detail; a peaceful and good size back deck and yard with the fire pit (wood provided!) and the river running by; a gorgeous full kitchen that we were able to cook in with a nice, big wood table; luxurious (but still rustic!) furniture, beds, and bathrooms; endless hot water for the very nice showers. The barn is connected to the house and is really nice and heated with carpeting. They also had many clean outdoor chairs for firepit use. And a jacuzzi on the deck! (also clean and resort caliber) The place feels like a real get-away: private, undisturbed, peaceful, and equipped to accomodate.
Then there was the food! Sandy and her team cooked and served an incredible multi-course meal for us on Saturday night after a long day of hiking. We all absolutely loved the food. It was a warm, home-cooked meal for the ages, while also refined and well developed in terms of the flavors and presentation. It came with fresh-brewed (on the spot) iced tea that we couldn't get enough of. Many of our participants hailing from the Greater Boston area who eat out around Boston quite a bit were blown away by the value: they remarked that this was the kind of meal and service that would cost you an arm and a leg back in the city. In terms of the service during the meal, it was the kind of service at a restaurant that you would call perfect: attentive but not intrusive, there when you needed something but not hovering over you. We were well taken care of.
Beyond all of this, the number one takeaway from our weekend was how wonderfully welcoming and pleasant the feeling was at Rustic Gatherings. When we encountered Sandy, her family, and her team at the beginning and end of our weekend, and during our prepared meal, they were beyond gracious, made us feel right at home, relaxed and comfortable. Its this feeling, even more than the beautiful accomodations and the food, that will have us back at Rustic Gatherings next year. And the year after that, and the year after that, etc., etc. We would recommend it to any group or family looking to get away to a warm, comfortable place with beautiful accomodations in the White Mountains.
We were able to have a truly amazing experience that we will all treasure in hearts for years to come.