After a salmon-and-avocado amuse bouche, we sampled room-temperature grilled prawns in Bloody Mary cocktail sauce. They were followed by tiny slices of smoked duck breast with microgreens and a dollop of strawberry rhubarb compote. Next came a chilled cucumber-and-mint soup. Our entrée was a particularly tasty filet mignon on a bed of truffled mashed potatoes.
Dessert -- peach and apricot mille feiulle with savory lavender cream -- sounded better on paper than it tasted on the plate; while the pastry was crisp, the fruit was not yet at the peak of ripeness.
Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day; at Windham Hill Inn, it's one to look forward to. The three-course breakfast is served daily between 8 and 10. One morning we started with a fresh blueberry muffin and raspberry smoothie. They were followed by French toast with real maple syrup and a smudge of lemon cream topped with a sprig of mint from the garden, plus crispy bacon strips.
The next morning's muffins have been anointed Best Muffins Ever: raspberry-chocolate chip, still warm from the oven. Enough said.
To hold guests over till dinner, afternoon tea is available from 1:30 to 5 pm daily, and the hotel also has a full bar and strong wine cellar.
Area restaurants require a drive, and if you come early in the week, they may be closed. After our big dinner at the inn, the next night we were just as happy to bring back paninis and cookies as big as a baby's head from Café & Creamery in Newfane.