| Destinations: News for Adventurous Travelers, November 1996|
A young couple from Squaw Valley--Stephan Duroure, a French ski instructor, and Victoria Gordon, an American nouvelle chef--recently bought the Home Hill Country Inn and French Restaurant in Plainfield, New Hampshire. The restored, 200-year-old, brick-and-clapboard mansion sits on 25 acres overlooking the Connecticut River. With nine antique-filled bedrooms, it has the makings of a traditional B&B, but the new owners have shifted its focus to make it a launch site for wintertime adventures.
Right Out the Door: Tromp through the woods behind the inn on your snowshoes, or strap on your skinny skis and glide over the groomed tracks and gentle hills of the inn's nine-hole golf course. If you don't have skis, your hosts will lend you a pair.
Farther Afield: Plainfield is in the heart of downhill ski country. Fifteen minutes southwest along Route 44 is Ascutney Mountain Resort, one of the oldest and smallest ski areas in New England. (800-243-0011). For more-advanced skiers, the slopes of Killington (802-422-3333) lie only 50 minutes away on Route 4. Or try the Skiway (603-795-2143), Dartmouth College's downhill area near Lyme, New Hampshire, a burg so pristine it would moisten Martha Stewart's eyes. Of course, in early November, hiking remains the outdoor activity of choice. The Appalachian Trail runs past Dartmouth, 20 minutes north of the inn. Stop by the Dartmouth Outing Club (603-646-2428) for maps.
At the Lodge: Settle into the snug oak bar with a fine single-malt scotch to await dinner, which features grilled salmon and fresh game ($32 for a four-course prix fixe menu). The most charming suites are in the carriage house behind the inn.
Reservations: 603-675-6165. Plainfield is a two-hour drive from Boston. Rates range from $105 to $175, with continental breakfast included.