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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Shelter Island

The Rams Head Inn, Shelter Island Heights, NY.

A few weeks ago, Jake and I vacationed on Shelter Island, a little island stationed between the "two forks" on Long Island, not very far from us but far enough to get away. We stayed at a charming country inn called The Rams Head, built in the 1920s and more or less unchanged since, surrounded by rolling hills that sink into the harbor. It was the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the island.

Step inside!

Gentle harbor breezes drifting through the inn...

Our cozy little room facing the water.

The sitting area of the inn beckoned rest and respite.

 The bar which they doubly use as the breakfast area for overnight guests.

The main dining room: quaint and understated.

The sprawling grounds, featuring (and not pictured) a tennis court, and private beach with complimentary kayaks and sailboat.

Dining at the inn was private and palatable: my two important P's! Tables were spaced generously apart, soft classical played in the background, and diners were quiet and courteous. We chose to sit outside on the deck to soak in the water views and enjoy the cool September air.

They even placed throw blankets on our chairs in case we got chilly!

Their seasonal menus utilize local ingredients to create enticing, delectable dishes. We made it just in time for their early fall menu which is full of fresh vegetables and complementing spices. I ordered the roasted free range chicken breast rolled in chestnut and cranberry stuffing on a bed of spaghetti squash and broccoli, drizzled with shallot-cider gravy. It was as phenomenal as it sounds.

For dessert, we shared a bittersweet chocolate cake topped with vanilla gelato and a pistachio tuile for an added crunch. Again, it was as delectable as it sounds!

Shelter Island is a gem that is often overlooked, being wedged between the Hamptons and the North Fork wine region, which in many ways is a blessing. There are far less crowds here, almost half the island is a protected nature conservatory, and the peacefulness is unmatched. Jake and I sat under the inn's gazebo one evening, and for the first time outside of our campground upstate, actually heard the raw sounds of the night; owls hooting, deer scuffling, crickets chirping, with not a single car passing by or a man-made light around excepting our inn. If you're looking to escape, connect with nature, and embrace the solitude, Shelter Island is a destination that will leave your spirit refreshed.
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