CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) - December 2014

Deeds & Don'ts: Seven Great Giftable Estates

This season, why not put a new spin on “home for the holidays” and consider the listings featured here as the ultimate gift? We’ve even organized them according to passion points and favorite pastimes with contact information for the Realtors who will guide you through a highly personalized “holiday house tour.” Our best to you this season!

Celebrating the Holidays at Rebecca Ellsley's Little Cabin in the Woods

'Twas 14 Years ago when Designer Rebecca Ellsley bought a run-down log home in the Old Hill section of Westport. “It was in terrible condition,” she recalls. “The roof leaked—you could see daylight between all the logs.” Though it might have seemed like a huge undertaking for a 30-year-old, Ellsley was up to the task. She grew up in a European-style hunting lodge her mother, Beverly, the founder of Beverly Ellsley Designs, had restored in the mid ’70s. “I love log homes,” she says. “It was a big nut to take, but who else was going to save it?”

Pick the Perfect Champagne for Every Personality on Your List

The seductive siren likes her rosés, blanc de blancs and iconic “female” Champagnes. The alpha male, James Bond wannabe, likes masculine Pinot Noir-driven Champagne. The sensualist prefers bottles with inspiring motifs and savors a poetic tension in the blend. With zero or low sugar added to blend, the calorie conscious can drink more than a glass. A real spendthrift, the Bon Vivant likely to order bigger format bottles to entertain and live the dream.

15 Tips for a Chic and Happy Holiday from Designer Mary McDonald

I have loved Christmas since I was a little girl. For my entire life, I’ve been making ornaments, gingerbread houses, wreaths, and decorating my environment with scheme after scheme. It is one of the few times a year you can get kind of theatrically crazy without being seen as corny. It appeals to my more crafty side as well. And I always love going to people’s homes and seeing how they’ve embraced the season—from the most rustic to the most glittering and dramatic and everything in between. I’d like to share some decorative (and a few social) tips that have worked for me over the years.

Tag Along with Joe Bastianich for the Perfect Ingredients to Create Your Own Holiday Buffet

Many years ago, while living in Greenwich, we would take our two children to a family-style, Italian-American pizza restaurant in Port Chester, NY, called Tarry Lodge. Fast-forward some 30 years and the Landmark building is still there, but the food scene is considerably different. Worldly and sophisticated palates now enjoy an authentic experience of Italian culture in cuisine, wine and artisanal products at Bastianich and Batali’s Tarry Lodge restaurant and Tarry Market.

GALLERY Tag Along with Joe Bastianich for the Perfect Ingredients to Create Your Own Holiday Buffet

Many years ago, while living in Greenwich, we would take our two children to a family-style, Italian-American pizza restaurant in Port Chester, NY, called Tarry Lodge. Fast-forward some 30 years and the Landmark building is still there, but the food scene is considerably different. Worldly and sophisticated palates now enjoy an authentic experience of Italian culture in cuisine, wine and artisanal products at Bastianich and Batali’s Tarry Lodge restaurant and Tarry Market.

Andre Kreft of Savor Fine Foods LLC Bakes Holiday Cookies with Natural Ingredients from Local Suppliers

A few years ago, Connecticut native Andre Kreft returned to his roots after spending his adult life in California as a graphic and visual artist. He moved to Litchfield County and founded Savor Fine Foods LLC, trading in a color palette for a taste palate. With an enthusiasm for life and all things pure, beautiful and delicious, he now bakes and sells cookies that have unusual and nontraditional flavor combinations. These happy little morsels are all made with love and natural ingredients from local suppliers.

Unexpected Flavor Combinations Take These Unique Cookies to the Next Level Gallery

A few years ago, Connecticut native Andre Kreft returned to his roots after spending his adult life in California as a graphic and visual artist. He moved to Litchfield County and founded Savor Fine Foods LLC, trading in a color palette for a taste palate. With an enthusiasm for life and all things pure, beautiful and delicious, he now bakes and sells cookies that have unusual and nontraditional flavor combinations. These happy little morsels are all made with love and natural ingredients from local suppliers.

An Elegant Home Fills with Family Traditions During the Sweetest Season

Each year during the holiday season, the tidy kitchen tucked inside this 1939 Georgian Colonial is converted into a makeshift coffee-cake factory. “It’s an old family recipe, and we all participate in making lots of cakes and giving them to friends and family,’’ says the homeowner, who recruits her husband, their two youngsters, and his two adult children for the assembly line. “There’s brown sugar, eggs and aluminum foil everywhere. It’s a tradition.”

GALLERY An Elegant Home Fills with Family Traditions During the Sweetest Season

Each year during the holiday season, the tidy kitchen tucked inside this 1939 Georgian Colonial is converted into a makeshift coffee-cake factory. “It’s an old family recipe, and we all participate in making lots of cakes and giving them to friends and family,’’ says the homeowner, who recruits her husband, their two youngsters, and his two adult children for the assembly line. “There’s brown sugar, eggs and aluminum foil everywhere. It’s a tradition.”

GALLERY Celebrating the Holidays at Rebecca Ellsley's Little Cabin in the Woods

'Twas 14 Years ago when Designer Rebecca Ellsley bought a run-down log home in the Old Hill section of Westport. “It was in terrible condition,” she recalls. “The roof leaked—you could see daylight between all the logs.” Though it might have seemed like a huge undertaking for a 30-year-old, Ellsley was up to the task. She grew up in a European-style hunting lodge her mother, Beverly, the founder of Beverly Ellsley Designs, had restored in the mid ’70s. “I love log homes,” she says. “It was a big nut to take, but who else was going to save it?”