Venue Reporter

A 125-year-old Gilded Age Mansion in the Berkshires
Katie David Bush
REPORT
No. 7953
VENUE:
Kemble Inn
LOCATION:
Lenox, Massachusetts
TYPE
STYLE
SETTINGS
Bed & Breakfast Inn
Ralph Lauren meets Kelly Wearstler
Majestic Mountainside Vistas
REPORTER: Katie David Bush

The Report

This venue is VRV (Venue Report Verified); Venue Report Correspondents Leila Brewster Photography, True Events & mStarr Event Design, have personally thrown an event at this venue. Last week we shared stunning images and the full scoop from a group of incredible event planners who recently hosted a Berkshires girls getaway at this venue. It was chock full of flowers, mixology classes, a slumber party in PJ's and ended with a dinner party! They creatively called it the #INNspiredescape. You can see the full report along with their lovely floral crowns in our feature here.

In 2010, a 125-year-old Gilded Age mansion set in the Berkshires, underwent extensive renovations, with stunning contemporary furnishings and interior design. It later opened it's doors to rave reviews from guests who exclaimed, “Not your grandmother’s Bed and Breakfast!” and “Ralph Lauren style in Lenox!”. Two years later, The New York Times reported that the breakfast here, could very well be the best in the country!

Berkshire County — better known simply as “the Berkshires” — is a long strip of land along the western border of Massachusetts bordered by Vermont, New York and Connecticut, and adorned by the soft, rolling peaks of the Appalachian range.  Built in 1886 as the country home for President Chester A. Arthur’s Secretary of State, Kemble Inn has a historical and storied past. Usher it successfully into the modern age with sophistication, whimsy and thoughtful design courtesy of owner, Scott Shrott. Perfectly positioned between the Berkshire Mountains and Lenox Village you’re either steps away from the town’s charms or a “million miles away from everywhere” on the lush length of back lawn.

HOW WILL MY GUESTS GET HERE?: Fly into nearby Albany (approx. 38 miles away) and rent or take a car to Lenox, nestled in the heart of the Berkshire mountains. If you come in through Mass Pike, you’ll pass Trinity Church, built in 1888 in the Gothic Revival style and noted for it’s grandeur. Or if you’re local its an easy-peasy drive from New York City/Boston/Connecticut areas.

CELEBRATION CAPACITY: 175
ACCOMMODATIONS: 13 suites
HIGH SEASON: June – Oct
FOOD SERVICE: Provided by Venue
BAR SERVICE: Provided by Venue
VIEWS: mountain vistas
ESTABLISHED IN: renovated in 2010
VENUE SPACES: 2+
DECOR: Ralph Lauren meets Kelly Wearstler

THE SCOOP

With 13 sumptuously appointed suites in a variety of design themes (art deco, modern, Hollywood, old world glamour to name a few) your guests will feel the warm, comforting embrace of a traditional bed and breakfast, except on Ralph Lauren sheets and towels… and minus all that traditional stuffiness. Think Ralph Lauren meets Kelly Wearstler. This place exudes comfort and fun. From those turquoise walls in the sitting room to the purple velvet chairs and expertly curated bar carts... the magic is in the makeup. Kemble Inn is resplendent in their ode to detail. The curved driveway, grand staircase, shimmering chandelier and large fireplaces of old and heated floors, divine bath products and a breakfast spread fit for a modern king round things out nicely.

Based on your event needs be it a wedding for up to 175, group getaway, dinner party, birthday or anniversary party, family reunion, corporate retreat, creative workshop or even family holiday the warm and welcoming staff will ensure the graceful house, bustling with the laughter and conversation of your nearest and dearest, never wanes and their every need is attended to with care and thought. You can’t read one, single review about the Kemble inn without seeing the Innkeeper, Scott and the Manager, Sal, mentioned lovingly and like close family.  You certainly won’t read one here, that’s for sure. Hi Scott. Hi Sal!

The elegant, classic bones of the Kemble Inn are the perfect backdrop to any event narrative. Indoors, the Kemble Inn can accommodate 75 for a seated dinner – bringing the outdoors into your plan allows for a cocktail party for 175. Outside catering isn’t needed here. Why? Did we mention the onsite restaurant Table Six? So besides it’s impressive pedigree of being once owned by the Secretary of State, it’s head chef, Ron Reda, once cooked for a president. Clinton, that is. Pretty sure he went on a diet after his tenure in the White House and we don’t blame him.

Ideas. Throw a holiday party in the piano lounge or a dinner party in the private dining room with up to 42 guests. The original kitchen can be converted into an intimate eatery. One of the most fun things suggested by Kemble Inn, is to rent the whole house so your friends and family can spend precious time together and pretend this gorgeous mansion is their own!

Perfect for:

  • baby shower
  • bridal shower
  • dinner party
  • holiday party
  • group getaway
  • social event
  • wedding ceremony
  • wedding reception
  • Reunion

BONUS

As dedicated as the Kemble Inn is to comfort and style, so is it to it’s exciting culinary menu and hand-crafted cocktails from Table Six. Enjoy the Sunday brunch Chef’s Tasting Menu, a little birdie (or three) tells us it’s the best in town. You can also organize a Table Six picnic! Chef Ron Reda will prepare a picnic basket lunch for two or more, to be enjoyed anywhere in the Berkshires.

STYLE FOR YOUR SETTING

The Presidential pedigree of this mansion venue fused with the modern meets deco, Ralph Lauren meets Kelly Wearstler interiors, prompts a similar style for event design at the Inn.

1. Brass & Calligraphy: The large horse paintings and preppy decor, calls for cheeky brass horse busts, reminiscent of both the Inn and Kelly Wearstler's famous aesthetic. Mix these with classic calligraphy and you have both sophistication and whimsy. Much like Kemble Inn itself. Via Oh So Beautiful Paper   2.Equestrian Deco: The style of the Inn is such a cool combo of design. Create a bar area with plaids, deco accents, trophies, fine liquors and prize ribbons in the entry way. Let your guests find their seats by their calligraphed names on the ribbons. Photo: Apartment Therapy  3. Embroidery Chic: This theme was woven throughout the weekend at Kemble Inn from the  Berkshires girls getaway escape, and we loved this detail. These hand-stitched menus were on seed paper (you can plant these afterwards!) For a how-to, check out this blog post on the mStarr Event Design website.

INSIDE SCOOP

Make sure if you have your heart set on the Kemble Inn as your wedding venue – you book early! The town of Lenox imposes restrictions on how many outdoor/tented weddings the town has per year. You can arrange for the lovely Kemble Inn Staff to set up a private bonfire with Adirondack chairs, cozy blankets, snacks and craft beers. You and your guests will enjoy the crisp mountain air, a crackling fire and the sweet sound of local cicadas as you spook yourselves silly over ghost stories. How fun would this be for a group getaway or pre-wedding event?!

HIGHLIGHT REEL

  • Each suite has it’s own individual theme. Room 204 or the bridal suite has two fireplaces and a Jacuzzi (for 2!)
  • Table Six, the onsite restaurant, will cater your event in the Mansion dining room, the bluestone veranda or outdoors on the lawn, depending on the size.
  • Table Six’s head chef, Ron Reda, was once the White House chef during the Clinton Administration!
  • A variety of activities are available including: hikes, wine tasting, museum tours, spa passes and chef tastings.
  • You get the “away-from-it-all” feel while being steps away from Lenox Village

AROUND TOWN

Visit Norman..... Rockwell, that is.:

Now, longtime arts & culture heavyweights like Tanglewood and MASS MoCA are being joined by an explosion of smaller galleries. While these are not to be missed, our personal fave is the Norman Rockwell Museum, boasting the largest collection of Norman Rockwell pieces including many beloved paintings from the Saturday Evening Post. You can also host gatherings here! Visit: nrm.org

The Mount:

Famed author Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount is not to be missed. Wharton, born into “Old New York” society was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize (1921) and an honorary doctorate from Yale. She designed the house herself. Summer programming includes music, theater and a sculpture garden. Starting this year, The Mount’s historic Stable is available for special events, rehearsal dinners & after-parties! Visit: edithwharton.org

The “Brooklyn of the Berkshires”:

Head to nearby Barrington – called the “Brooklyn of the Berkshires” definitely worth a trip with its bustling shops and galleries. Pick up some fresh, local, artisanal cheese from Rubiner’s Cheesemongers, located in an old bank is cheese church. Thank whomever you pray to and sample everything. Visit: rubiners.com

VENUE: Kemble Inn

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