College tours took us to many sections of the country which I probably would not have seen otherwise. I must say, I really warming up to the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York, and, in particular, the Geneva on the Lake Hotel.
Even during a random snowstorm which hit during our springtime visit.
There is something about this beautiful 1914 Italianate villa that is so very pleasant and inviting. Originally built as a family home, it also served as a monastery for many years, and then was left abandoned and fell into disrepair for a number of years.
But worry not, this beauty has been all cleaned up and restored to a new level of elegance. The hotel is in the center of the wine region that has grown in this area, and many come here just to dine at their wonderful restaurant while touring local wineries.
I must say, our stay here provided one of the best receptions I have ever had when travelling cross country. We flew to Chicago to catch a flight to Rochester, from Rochester, we drove about an hour to get to Geneva on the Lake. This can be a grueling day, but somehow the travel wounds healed away quickly as we slipped into the warm and inviting Lancellotti dining room, filled with marble columns, lovely lighting and various antiques.
A pianist played perfectly all through our delectable dinner.
Now, I have fiddled around with making Baked Alaska a few times, though I’ve never managed to blog about it, but this was the most beautiful BA presentation I’ve ever seen. To make the magical confection, basically, a bowl is lined with slices of sponge cake, then filled with softened ice cream and frozen solid. Before serving, the frozen dome inverted from the bowl, and frosted with meringue. They’ve toasted the meringue a bit in the oven, and created a cup at the pinnacle, which they filled with brandy.
The brandy was lit on fire and allowed to spill down the sides of the dessert, creating this memorable presentation. I hope to try this at home soon!
After a most satisfying meal, we retired to our room. There is something very homey about this place, the staff is extraordinarily warm and welcoming, they make it feel as if you are coming to stay with some long~lost fabulous great aunt.
The rooms are furnished in the style of a classic home, which again, make you feel more like you are staying with a relative than in a hotel.
Our suite felt very much like a cozy apartment, with the pleasant finishes and fresh bouquets of flowers from the gardens.
Winter/ early spring is actually the slow season here.
The hotel is right on Seneca lake, so in the summer folks flock to the area to enjoy all the water has to offer, sprawling landscapes, scenery,
and, did I mention the wine?
I was delighted by the chilled bottle of Cayuga White, by Swedish Hill Winery I found in the refrigerator in our room. The grape was developed at Cornell University especially for the Finger Lakes Region and produces a wine that has nice floral and apple aromas, but is very crisp and light, a perfect summer beverage.
Guests are also invited to play tennis on the courts at neighboring Hobart and William Smith colleges, which sports a charming campus,
and this quaint boat house.
I loved our cozy stay here and when I left I was thinking how much I would enjoy spending more time here in their nicely appointed salon,
and dining on the terrace, engulfed in a blanket of warm air with crickets chirping like mad in the background. But, alas, I don’t know if I will be travelling back to these parts.
But if you’re looking for a wonderful wine excursion in the USA this summer, I highly recommend The Finger Lakes region, and, especially, the Geneva on the Lake Hotel.