It was not raining in the morning – although rain appeared more likely than the weather forecast predicted – and our friend wants to give us at least a glimpse of the fall leaves while we were in New England. So she made reservations for lunch at Pickity Place in Mason, New Hampshire, and we were on our way.
“Off the beaten path” only hints at Pickity Place’s location in the woods along a dirt road that seems to wander aimlessly through the hills of New Hampshire forever, but we did find it. (The signs tacked to trees along the way helped.) On arrival, we found a collection of historic buildings repurposed to house a small restaurant, a couple of stores, and gardens.
A small red cottage was the model for illustrations in the 1948 Little Golden Book edition of Red Riding Hood – hence the Red Riding Hood bedroom on display.
The shops sell seasoning mixes and mostly food-related gifts. Of course, now they are gearing up for Christmas, so there is a wider variety!
Plants are sold in the greenhouse during the growing season, but it’s pretty empty in there this time of year.
There are gardens everywhere.
Most of the gardens are planted with herbs and other culinary plants. Many of these find their way onto the plates of diners who arrive for Pickity Place’s famous five-course gourmet luncheons.
The October menu was:
- Butternut squash soup with ginger crème fraiche
- Harvest greens with apple stilton
- Cranberry orange ciabatta
- Walnut crusted chicken with apple sausage stuffing and a side of sautéed patty pan squash
- Toffee cheesecake with strawberry sauce
We were seated in the sunroom, which gave us a nice view of the gardens through a now steady rain. The dining area in the cottage itself also looked pleasant – cozy and welcoming on a dark day. Service was fast and friendly, which must be a challenge with three seatings and five courses to serve. However, while the food was fresh, creative, and beautifully presented; it was surprisingly bland. It seemed odd that a kitchen surrounded by culinary gardens and shops selling herb and other seasoning mixes wouldn’t serve more flavorful dishes. Still, the overall experience was quite pleasant.
And we did see some fall leaves!
Pickity Place is located near Mason, New Hampshire. It is open all year, although the greenhouse closes for the winter. The five-course lunch is served at three seatings each day. Reservations are recommended, and they are essential during busy seasons.