Finding Peace in New Hartford

Some days, you just need time to yourself.

After such an exciting weekend last week, I wanted to do something a little more relaxing. I also had things to do today, so balance was key.

This morning I went to my Saturday exercise class, then made my way over to our local Costco to pick out some new glasses. Costco was packed, partly because it’s Saturday and partly because of this:

4183204
It’s always packed on Sample Day.

I returned home to have lunch and figure out what I was going to do this afternoon. I could have succombed to the proverbial “netflix and chill” (hey, A Beautiful Mind was on!), but I had better plans in mind. I hopped in my car, and made my way out to the Litchfield Hills.

Saville Dam

Driving from the suburbs into the more rural parts of Litchfield County is great. The views along Rte. 179 are beautiful, and the recent snowfall we had made them prettier than usual. I knew the first stop on my mini-road trip would encapsulate the beauty of the afternoon perfectly.

saville dam
Saville Dam

Saville Dam is located off of Rte. 219 in Barkhamsted. It’s actually part of a reservoir, but people often come here to take pictures. As you can see in the photo, the entrance looks somewhat like a castle turrett. In the fall, the foliage creates a scene that is quintessentially New England. What struck me the most about this afternoon was just how quiet it was. With the exception of a couple of cars passing by, the whole area was completely still. Had it been warmer, I would have taken more photos. Alas, the February cold got the better of me. It was on to the next adventure – Passiflora Tea Room.

 

Passiflora

I discovered Passiflora a few years ago, when my mother and I were out in the area. We had been looking for somewhere to eat, and we chose it because of their extensive tea menu, many gluten free options and commitment to locally-sourced food. I haven’t been there in some time, so I was excited for my visit!

Passiflora is a cozy café in the center of New Hartford, about ten minutes away from theIMG_1089 Saville Dam. The café has two rooms that are bright and inviting. Entering the café, you are greeted by the sight of artwork and handmade goods by local artists, as well as tins of Passiflora’s tea. The main room of the café shows off the menu and specials of the day, and displays their delicious dessert options. Seating options vary, and are spread out between the two rooms. You can choose from your typical table and chair, or sit in a comfortable accent chair, love seat, or window seat!

I was craving something sweet, so I decided to have their chocolate chai and their date chocolate walnut bar. The chai had a slight hint of chocolate, and wasn’t overly sweet. I enjoyed the date chocolate walnut bar the most, though. It was moist and not very crumbly, which can often happen with gluten free desserts. The sweet dates and chocolate were balanced out by the mild walnut taste.

By the time I was ready to head home, it was nearing sunset. Driving home was gorgeous – one of the best parts of winter in New England is the unexpected beauty that you can get from the mundane. This afternoon left me relaxed and happy, proving that even small escapes are good for the soul.

 

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