Inn-credible journey at Birchwood Inn

To the editor:

Nearly 18 years ago, I came up to the Berkshires to visit a lifelong friend and was parked in front of The Bookstore on Housatonic Street in Lenox reading a map book. Three different people knocked on my window and asked if they could help me. I immediately thought, "I want to live in a town like this."

So I bought Birchwood Inn, the venerable old lady on top of the hill. The oldest home in Lenox is celebrating her 250th birthday, and I am celebrating the sale of the inn! It has been an inn-credible journey, and I am still in love with Lenox!

I want to thank my staff (most of them!), who over the years have been responsible for the inn's great success and international reputation. I particularly want thank my current excellent team members, Becca Bliss Lilley, the assistant innkeeper, and Karen Crandall, who has kept the inn impeccably clean for nearly 10 years.

I want to thank my guests (most of them, again!), who come back year after year and who have become like family. You have made innkeeping a pleasure, and I have so enjoyed your delight in returning, your hugs, and your appetites!

A big thank to all of the plumbers, electricians, techies, contractors, and landscapers who have kept this old house in order! More thanks to all of the cultural and recreational venues in the Berkshires, especially Tanglewood and The Mount.


And I want to thank my Lenox and Berkshire "family," past and present, who have kept me well-fed, well-coiffed, well-read, and well-dressed! Thank you Lynne West (Glad Rags); absolutely everyone at Guido's; Peter Alvarez; Aurelien and the Alta staff; Jim Luce at Café Lucia (the linguine and clams are unforgettable!); Stephane and Luke at Church Street Café, the best porch in the Berkshires! Jason Macioge, James, and everyone at Bistro Zinc; Kathy and Tony at Prime for always being so welcoming; Peter Platt at The Old Inn on the Green for many memorable experiences (including me setting a waiter on fire); and Rachel and Franck at Chez Nous for unforgettable cuisine and your friendship.

I especially want to thank my two service dogs, Charley and the late and beloved Quinn, and their mischievous sidekick Piper, my grand-dog, for making sure I was always on time for breakfast, for ensuring that I never burned the chocolate chip cookies and for keeping me laughing. You three have been my heart and soul.

I wish my fellow innkeepers continued success, and I wish Birchwood's new owners, Debbie Lancaster and Tom Johnson, the greatest of luck, and may you and the inn soar to even greater heights!

Please continue to follow my adventures on Facebook.

Ellen Gutman Chenaux, Lenox