I’ve been with my husband for ten years (seven of those in marriage) and during those years, we’ve traveled to multiple countries, moved to New Jersey, changed jobs, and became parents to two adorable kids. Keeping the romance alive in a marriage while parenting two toddlers 15 months apart is not easy, which is why we decided in 2015 to take a getaway together at least once a year. To celebrate our 7-year-wedding anniversary in April, we drove just an hour away to New Hope, Pennsylvania, where we stayed at the amazing luxury b&b, the Inn at Bowman’s Hill. Here’s a mini guide to this very romantic destination.
About New Hope, PA:
New Hope is a borough of the very affluent Bucks County, which lies on the west bank of the Delaware River. Before visiting, I had only heard a few things about New Hope–mostly that it was artsy and popular with LGBT crowds. What I didn’t know was that it is a historic town with really great restaurants, vineyards, historical attractions, and a fun nightlife. If you’re coming from New Jersey, New Hope is easily accessible on I-78 or I-95. The charming town is only 65 miles from New York City and 40 miles from Philly. We actually took a wrong turn at one point, which allowed us extra time on the pastoral country roads before getting back on route 202.
Where to Stay:
There are a few options in New Hope area, such as the Fox & Hound Ned & Breakfast or The Mansion Inn, but they pale in comparison to where we stayed. I booked us in the Inn at Bowman’s Hill, which is a 5-acre gated estate and the only AAA Four-Diamond property in New Hope (they’ve won it consecutively 10 years in a row!). We stayed in the Orchard Retreat in the Carriage House where there are a total of four rooms that feature fireplaces, heated two-person whirlpools, heated towel racks, and private verandahs (three out of four). Since it was unusually chilly during our stay, the gas fireplace got a lot of use–so divine. The backyard is a secluded retreat with a terrace, jacuzzi, heated pool, and pond. The English Breakfast is to die for–baked beans, tomato, sausage, bacon, eggs any style, and bread. Let’s just say we rolled out of there…
There are also four luxury suites, each with distinctive styles. Two suites have private verandahs (George Washington and Penthouse) and panoramic views of the grounds. The Penthouse Suite has an amazing corner tub under a sky with 300 fiber optic stars – even a shooting star if you look carefully. I was able to check out the George Washington Suite, which even had a hook high up on the wall to place a bride’s wedding gown–kudos to the owners for thinking of that since the Inn is very popular for weddings.
The owners and staff will do everything in their power to make sure you enjoy your stay. When our Lyft driver failed to pick us up in a timely manner to get us to Wycombe Vineyard, owner Mike Amery drove us over. When we took a wrong turn to visit the historic Bowman Tower on our last day, Louise called us right away from the Inn (thanks to Mike randomly driving behind us at one point and realizing we were lost tourists!). We felt very much looked after, which is nice when you usually spend just about every minute of the day either taking care of your kids or thinking about what your kids need! I forgot how nice it is to have someone look after ME for a change!
Downtown New Hope:
Loved. This. Place! The interior decor is modern and airy yet comfortable and the staff are friendly and helpful. They call themselves a wine, beer, and whiskey bar (two out of three are my favorite things!) and serve small plates, sandwiches, charcuterie meets, artisanal cheeses and salads from products sourced from local farms and suppliers. I would drive an hour just to go back here–that’s how good the food and cocktails are! Try an old fashioned cocktail with Basil Hayden’s bourbon while savoring these dishes: Fried Cheese “Saganaki,” Panko-crusted Shrimp with Thai Chili Sauce, Goat Cheese & Smoked Salmon sandwich, and Goat Cheese & Potato Croquette.
Downtown features plenty of cute boutiques, specialty stores and local businesses that range from naughty adult shops (I plead the fifth on more details! LOL) like Grownups to gourmet shops like River’s Edge Spice Company. Art lovers will enjoy gallery hopping. We bought a bit too much sour candy from Sugar Daddy’s, and I had to pull my husband away from the A Little Taste of Cuba cigar/tobacco shop, which sells $600 handcrafted humidors! For a list of shopping and downtown venues, go to the official Bucks County website.
Wycombe Vineyard and others:
There are six wineries within eight miles of the Inn at Bowman’s Hill. We visited http://www.wycombevineyards.comWycombe Vineyard, which is known for producing very dry wines. Fridays the wine tastings are complimentary and you can try as many as you’d like. Over the weekend tastings are $5.00 and include gourmet cheese and charcuterie. It was interesting speaking with the very knowledgeable owner, Rich, who enjoys talking about the history of the 65-acre property and his love for wine. All the grapes are pressed in a traditional European fashion using a hand operated basket press and fermenting in smaller batches. Try the Chambourcin 2014, which is a red wine bursting with flavor or his version of an Alsatian Riesling. For a full list of vineyards, go here:
Bowman’s Tavern and Restaurant
The place to be on Friday night is Bowman’s Tavern and Restaurant, which hosts open mic with a pianist all night. The tavern has a delicious menu, great cocktails, and a high-energy crowd. We really enjoyed the mushroom bruschetta, petite filet, and pan roasted branzino. They have a happy hour special called Six Until Six, which offers six-dollar tavern favorites (calamari, wings, mussels) and cocktails (French gimlet, Moscow mule) from 4 pm to 6 pm.