The Whistling Kettle

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With single digit temperatures and double digit snowfall measures, it’s certainly been a winter for hibernating! Fireplaces, Netflix, long books, wool throws, and warm drinks have just about taken us through, but with the long month of March ahead, we’re looking to cabin fever cures…

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Located at 24 Front Street in Ballston Spa, just ten minutes from the inn, the Whistling Kettle has the comfort food and cozy atmosphere that’s just our cup of tea — yes, we had to go there — this time of year. Wonderful soups, salads, sandwiches, and specials are available, as well as a full afternoon tea, stacked three plates high with the selections of your choice. Of course, their tea, coffee and cocoa options are extensive, and along with enjoying your hot pot at table, many varieties are available for purchase, along with any gadget you can imagine for brewing the perfect cuppa.

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We particularly recommend the flourless chocolate cake and the scrumptious carrot cake — personal favorites we have the hardest time choosing between! Whatever the temps, The Whistling Kettle is well worth the trip!

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Old Friends to Honor Sonny Taylor

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On August 8, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm will celebrate placing judge Sonny Taylor’s 50 phenomenal years of service to NYRA and horse racing. Sonny will receive Old Friends’ third annual Frankel Award for Lifetime Achievement at the event, held from 7 to 9pm, at our own Anne’s Washington Inn. Please join us on the porch to thank Sonny for the part he’s played in the success of horse racing in Saratoga!

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New York City Ballet at Saratoga Performing Arts Center

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The New York City Ballet opened their week long summer residency at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, July 8. We were in the audience for “Balanchine’s Journey,” four lovely and varied ballets spanning the great choreographer’s career, concluding with the jaunty and romantic music of Gershwin and “Who Cares?” There’s something very special about seeing ballet performed in an open air theater. It’s as if, lacking walls, an expansiveness pervades even the most disciplined of the dancers’ movements. A steady rain fell throughout most of the performance, only adding to the wild, delicious feel of seeing and hearing great dance and music, basically in the woods!

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The closing night ballet gala was themed “A Tribute to Great Britain.” The SPAC lawn welcomed the usual tents, candelabra and picnic spreads, with the addition this year of Union Jacks everywhere! There were even a couple of London phone booths and quite a few patrons in go go boots and hip, Sixties, British togs.

 

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Two ballets by British choreographers, Christopher Wheelden and Liam Scarlett, were on the program, which concluded with Balanchine’s colorful, UK tribute, “Union Jack.” Wheelden’s “After the Rain” pas de deux, heart stoppingly beautiful, as it is, was given even more emotionality as it marked Wendy Whelan’s final performance on the SPAC stage before her retirement this fall. Whelan, ever gracious and down to earth, spoke briefly to the audience before the curtain opened on the night. She was treated to a lengthy standing ovation then, and also at the conclusion of her performance, when she was presented with an enormous bouquet of flowers and a huge standing floral arrangement.

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Following Union Jack, fireworks exploded the sky to invite all to celebrate late into the night with live music, dancing and more merriment. The 49th New York City Ballet summer season at Saratoga was compact but glowing. With the 50th season once again expanding to two weeks next year, we’re looking forward to even more elegance, tradition, and all around fine entertainment!

A Saratoga Fourth

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In keeping with Saratoga’s celebrated Main Street reputation, the Fourth of July finds locals and visitors enjoying a wide variety of patriotic revelry. The fun lasts all day with a parade on Broadway, live music, and programs in Congress Park which culminate with a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a grand fireworks display at nightfall.

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After watching the parade and taking a spin on the carousel, we drove 20 minutes southeast to Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater. Last fall, we’d climbed to the top of the battle memorial, located just outside Schuylerville. To celebrate the Fourth, we wandered around the visitors center looking through displays and artifacts of “the turning point of the Revolution.” The knowledgable park staff were more than happy to answer questions, as were numerous reenactors, engaged in musket demonstrations and canon firings.

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The grounds are lovely — rolling hills and forests beside the Hudson River. The visitors center is open year round except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days.