As our driver rounded the bend, red maple leaves made way for the breathtaking sight of Troutbeck Estate.
In my preliminary research, I’d fallen in love with the self-described “well-curated country house estate. Home for centuries to Romantics, Naturalists, and Poets. Revived and Renewed in 2017 for the romantic, the locavore, the creative, the adventurous and, the curious.”
But nothing had prepared me for how beautiful it all was in person. As Target’s Home Style Expert for the third year running, I’ve gotten to go on some pretty fun adventures with their team, and it seemed fitting that my first trip to upstate New York would be to give editors of some of my favorite magazines and websites a first look at the brand’s fall collections.
But before we get into all that, let’s take a little tour of that breathtaking property, shall we?
Located in the tiny town of Amenia, Troutbeck began as a private estate built in 1765 by the Bentons, a prominent New York family who played host to the likes of Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. But by the late 20th century, the property had fallen into a state of neglect after several changes in ownership.
The current owner, Anthony Champalimaud, acquired the hotel a few years ago and set out to fully renovate the historic property into an understated yet striking space that’s meant to feel like a private home — albeit an incredibly plush and comfortable one.
Garden paths, inviting hammocks, and a charming stone bridge sprawl throughout the estate, taking you from the tennis courts to the Slim Aarons-inspired pool and back up to the bar for a perfectly-mixed cocktail. I spent the first afternoon exploring the grounds and lounging in front of the fireplace in the library that looked straight out of an English mystery novel.
Then we headed upstairs to our rooms…
In typical Target fashion, the team had transformed each of our guest rooms into the coziest spot for relaxing, featuring pieces from the fall collections. Pictured above: chunky knit throw blanket, faux fur pillow, velvet lumbar pillow, chenille pillow, amber glass vase, dominoes, pumpkin, brass tray.
How did they guess that Threshold’s Whiskey + Oak candle is my favorite home scent this season? One whiff and I start dreaming of apple cider and nights by the fire.
We grabbed bikes from the front desk and set off to explore the area. This part of Hudson Valley offers hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and so many more adventures, but the thing I was most excited to see was changing leaves! We’re not even close yet in Austin, so being able to pull on a sweater and boots for outdoor activities felt kind of blissful.
After our bike ride, it was time for a cocktail – and the evening’s festivities to commence.
I put the finishing touches on this ridiculously gorgeous fall table where all of our editors would have dinner that evening. Once we lit the candles, it was pure magic to see the light bouncing off all the metallic surfaces. I love that warm firelight effect on chilly evenings.
The festivities kicked off with cocktail hour, where Troutbeck’s mixologist showed guests how to make my signature Apple Orchard Punch. Here’s what goes in it:
Pour half a bottle of riesling into a large pitcher, then add apple slices, apple juice and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Just before serving, add a bottle of hard apple cider and divide into ice-filled glasses — or these Threshold Copper Plated Mugs for ultimate fall feels. Garnish with star anise and serve.
Once we gathered around that magical table, Troutbeck’s chef, Gabe McMackin, shared the menu for the evening as we drooled. From a butternut squash soup to the estate’s signature smoked trout, it was a perfectly autumnal feast inspired by the New York countryside.
AFTER DINNER S’MORES STATION… need I say more? As we all hiked down the hill post-dinner feeling sated and happy, we were greeted by a blazing bonfire, acoustic guitarist and the most jaw-dropping s’mores setup any of us had laid eyes on. It was one of those nights where midnight came way too fast, as the conversation, and pumpkin-infused marshmallows flowed freely.
After a blissful sleep under our cozy throws in rooms so quiet that the feeling of being outside the city is palpable… we reconvened in Troutbeck’s dining room for a hearty breakfast and flower arranging class led by moi. One of my favorite floral trends of the season is to mix faux, dried, and fresh flowers for an unexpected arrangement that’s full of texture. Plus using Target’s incredibly realistic looking faux greenery and blooms makes for a design that lasts way longer (like, forever) and is super affordable. Hello, florals at home all season long!
Shop the look:
It was the perfect ending to a dreamy weekend, and I’m already plotting when I can make my return to Troutbeck. Until then, I’ll be taking all that inspiration home to turn my house into the coziest fall spot — and maybe, just maybe, Austin’s temps will dip below 80 this weekend. A girl can dream!