Tag Archives: pretty

A Jersey Hidden Gem: The Bernards Inn Review

I don’t know where the time goes…it flew by and now it’s almost April! or so says the calendar, because I’m still freezing and walking through slush in New England. Hurumpf.

Luckily, last week I was able to drive south a few hundred miles to at least escape the snow and have a little break. It as a quick business trip to Northern New Jersey and I wasn’t expecting many surprises – a bit of shmoozing, some dinner and back on the road. However, I was invited to stay at The Bernards Inn for my evening in the state and couldn’t have been more thrilled to have such a memorable time at this charming, elegant and hidden-gem worthy of a place. There’s nothing I love more than accommodations with character, and the inn was bursting with stylish decor and amenities that were truly one of a kind.

In the small town of Bernardsville, about a 1/2 hour west of Newark, is a destination steeped in history that takes pride in it’s past stories of settlement, wealth and success. On a hill are some beautiful mansions once own by several notable investors, which mirror the class and style of the inn located in the center of town.

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Rooms are frilly, yet sophisticated, and each have their own decor, which exudes a grace and mimics a time long forgotten when attention was paid to the details – from dark wood, four poster beds to plenty of storage space tucked into practical, yet masterful furniture. I love how I was welcomed with a beautiful note and treats whipped up in the restaurant downstairs – these things are standard at an inn with outstanding hospitality. Bathrooms are perfectly suited to the space as well, with plenty of toiletries branded with their signature, shiny silver “B” stickers.  Not only are the rooms gorgeous, this theme was carried through the entire property- right down to the roaring fireplace in the spacious, comfortable lobby.

New Jersey travel - The Bernards Inn

I’m trying to figure out how I can justify a future wedding in the middle of New Jersey, because the property was that lovely, especially its event spaces. The massive reception room adorned with chandeliers, ideal for an unforgettable ceremony, was my favorite. Downstairs are cozy rooms and parlor-style areas that boast original stonework from the stables that adjoined the space a century ago. Style carries through to the wine cellar as well, paring each meal upstairs perfectly with a flavorful libation.

New Jersey travel - The Bernards Inn

By the way, the cuisine alone should have it’s own post. Whether you’re passing through the area or staying a few nights, make time for a sit-down luncheon, dinner or at least a cocktail in their stunning restaurant. I was thrilled to have lunch there, complete with towering, fresh salad, lobster pot pie and a tangy blueberry sorbet. There’s space for a quiet meal as well as a large bar, complete with grand piano that has live music on the regular to set the tone.

The Bernards Inn- New Jersey Travel

Bacon/radish mega salad with homemade dressing

The Bernards Inn- New Jersey Travel

Giant chunks of lobster buried under a puffy, flaky crust (food is seasonal though, check the menu!)

The Bernards Inn- New Jersey Travel

So many blueberries in this sorbet!

Absolutely blown away by this hotel. Hands down one of the best and most hospitable places I’ve stayed in my travels so far. These are the spots that keep me going when I don’t want to drive one more hour or get aboard another plane – it’s the people who are eager to show off their accomplishments and reflect this mantra in their amazing passion for tourism, accommodation and unwavering hospitality. Kudos to the staff, owner and whole team at The Bernards Inn for making my road trip to Jersey an easy one. The full report will be live on In The Know Traveler soon, so keep an eye out!

After a predicted hectic Easter weekend, I’ll be off to Fredericksburg, Texas for a (hopefully) relaxing week of wine, hiking, art, history and anything else I can cram into my first experience in this state. Next time though, I’ll update you on my unplanned 24-hours in Philly that I took as a detour on my New Jersey journey.

Freelancer Tip #4: Reach out to everyone and anyone. It can be easy to feel isolated, so when the opportunity to meet clients in person arises, jump at it. Forming a face-to-face bond is often longer lasting then something online as well. Even a quick Skype date comes in handy to forge those professional relationships!


SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK. RAWR.

My ideas of venturing out on my own are becoming more tangible as the weeks roll by. The steady contracts are becoming more frequent, so now I need to start crunching numbers to see if freelancing full-time will sustain me. So far, I’m writing some copy for a Manhattan-based daily deal website, just started a project for a motivational blog, and have steady articles assigned for a marketing firm. This week I’m doing an ‘interview’ where I edit an existing piece for a tech company. Best part is, they are compensating me pretty well for the story – I wish all my interviews paid me!

Of course it’s slow going a little and a bit scary. But I feel much better and think this is what I’m meant to do right now. Freelancing would be super hard with kids, a husband, or a hundred other responsibilities – but I don’t have those, so I should be fine for the time being. There’s a few other bookkeeping things to care of, such as a meeting with an accountant, to really understand the logistics. Other than that, smooth sailing for now, besides one small thing…

I CANNOT get up early. So far it’s been the worst thing to overcome. I set an alarm for a decent time, but there’s no sense of panic that I used to have. Like, come on, I’m a grown adult. I figured after I began the slow march into my mid (cough, late) 20s it would just click and my body would turn into old person mode, helping me get up at a reasonable time.

It’s really a shame- if i got up at 7am or 8am, I could probably be done by mid afternoon and have the rest of the day free. However, I insist on painfully dragging my work out and struggling until sundown, because focus and organization is also a challenge. I suppose this is all part of the learning process though, something I will hopefully get better at, since the whole point of this was to free up my life a little more to have some fun and travel!

Job Hunt Tip #8: Try to prepare as best you can ahead of time – for everything. A job may be offered, but if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, time frame or even interests, seriously consider not settling. I know that sounds crazy in this economy, but if you have drive and hustle, you’ll be fine. Hold out for something that may be pretty good, not just tolerable, as long as you can.


Hingham Sunset

Hingham Sunset

Beautiful colors.


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