Dining outside – alfresco. “In the open air.” Merriam-Webster. A simple pleasure enjoyed the world over – from New York to Rome.
And on the Terrace of the Horse & Hound.
Food simply tastes better outside. That’s where it comes from and that’s where (weather permitting) it’s best enjoyed.
Considering the beauty of the area, surprisingly few venues offer outdoor dining. I don’t know why. The mountain air is so fresh, and at night the lack of any significant ambient light allows the stars to shine all the way to the horizon. Even the Milky Way appears, as Frances Mayes notes in Under the Tuscan Sun, “like a bolt of lace thrown across the sky.”
From the day the inn opened in 1946 the focus in the warmer months has been the large outdoor Terrace. Garden parties were common even though outdoor dining was not yet popular in the United States. Tally Ruxton’s (see History) experiences in Great Britain and Europe during the 1930’s exposed him to outdoor cafes and large estate dinners served alfresco. He brought that experience with him to New Hampshire. It set the Horse & Hound apart then and it continues to do so.
It’s part of our commitment to the Great Outdoors. Both the Tavern and Dining Room have French doors thrown open to the large outdoor Terrace which flows uninterrupted across the Back Lawn to the decorative stone wall. It’s a glorious feeling.
There’s something unique about our little setting. We simply don’t have bugs. We don’t spray, so we don’t know why. Is it the large, open lawn that keeps bugs away or do they gravitate to the brook instead of the diners? We’ve never figured it out. We didn’t even have screen doors during our first 5 years.
Sometimes it can get a bit chilly, or sometimes a bit muggy, but guests understand Mother Nature isn’t climate controlled. And when she does favor you with a beautiful summer evening, or a glorious autumn morning, no indoor venue can possibly match that feeling of being alive and surrounded by the splendor of nature.
So come join us on the Terrace. Sip a simple glass of wine or cocktail before dinner inside, or enjoy a full meal from beginning to end seated in the Great Outdoors.
And we’ll happily replace your coffee if a ladybug happens to find her way to your table.