Act III for Ragamont House: Now a B&B and Chic Caterer
Posted by: Dan Shaw
Posted on: Wednesday, April 06, 2011
I recently attended a dinner party that a friend hosted for their sixtieth birthday. Everything about the night was special..the house is wonderful—the photos don’t do it justice!
The food was delicious..the setting elegant..a beautiful affair from start to finish.
I had a tour of the rooms and whenever friends visit, I will most definitely have them stay at Ragamont House…or even better.. they will stay at my house and I’ll be a guest of Mr. Hathaway!
I’m very pleased to see this article on The Ragamont appear in RI!
A few weeks ago I attended the funeral reception of a close, old friend of mine that was held at Ragamont House, and have to say that it was VERY beautifully done. With the fires lit, tasteful flowers throughout the house,candles aglow and DELICIOUS food being passed on silver trays, what had been a sad occassion, became a lovely celebration of my friend’s life in a truly beautiful environment.
My wife and I discussed the tastefulness of the event, all the way home, saying how the house doesn’t have the feel of anywhere else up in this area, and we have been in the NW Corner for over 30 years. No cookie-cutter country inn, or country club feel there! It has a bit of a quirky ambiance….a really very European feel to it.“Good taste” and “refinement” were the words we kept repeating.
As many of the family members were staying in the house we weren’t able to see the bedrooms, but if they are as beautifully done as the 1st floor rooms (and certainly appear to be from the website!)I can only imagine what a pleasure it must be to stay there.
CONGRATULATIONS to Pete Hathaway and Bruce Young for creating an environment of such terrific style and “good taste”!! We know that you will have great success in your new venture!
I have stayed at Ragamont House and it’s DIVINE!
Our event sounded a bit ho-hum, even to us: Another Family Reunion. But it ended up being absolutely amazing thanks to Ragamont House, which my sister found online. The first floor is a stunning place to gather and dine, while the second-floor bedrooms are huge, with high ceilings, suites more than bedrooms. The whole place is fun just to explore! Pete Hathaway is the friendly host and was terrific at handling all the details for our weekend.
Since some of us live in the Northwest Corner and others arrived from out of town, we decided to book the whole house as home base for our reunion. The out-of-towners took the three upstairs B&B rooms (everyone wanted the Blue Room, which is beyond words, yet the gals “settled on” the Red Room with its luxury bathroom), while all of us gathered downstairs where Ragamont became our home.
Seriously! We “took over” this incredible mansion (the Special Event section on the website explains how to do this; be sure to take the online tour). Hanging out in the living room, browsing the art and antiques, relaxing in the library—all with cocktails and hor d’oeuvres—makes you feel like a million bucks. If you’ve ever dreamed of living in your own fully-staffed mansion, this is your dream come true.
Then the food. Bruce Young is the chef (very friendly and accommodating), and his dishes were fantastic. Delicious, great presentation. We were seated in the cozy dining room where the table was set with silver and beautiful dishes. We went heavy on ordering desserts. The next morning, we all wanted to get together for a fancy brunch—done!
Our only regret was that we wished we had waited for the summer when we could have enjoyed dining on the back porch and been outside and have the garden to ourselves.
A fantastic and very unique experience!
I have attended several gatherings at Ragamont House. Each time I felt welcomed by the comfortable and elegant atmosphere. The food is divine and Pete’s charm will have me return time and time again.
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Finally, Pete Hathaway has figured out what his landmark mansion on Salisbury’s Main Street was destined to be: A party house. When Rural Intelligence checked in with Hathaway a little more than a year ago— A ‘Step-Down’ House in Salisbury That’s A Cut Above—he was turning Ragamont House, his one-time über-fancy antiques shop, into a plush halfway house for recovering addicts. He worked hard to fill the beds and provide a supportive atmosphere, but it was very draining. “I liked the men and I liked the work we were doing, but I did not like being on call 24/7,” he says. “It was a very big responsibility.”
Having gotten used to having strangers under his roof and not wanting to lose his gifted chef, Bruce Young, Hathaway hatched the idea of making his home not only a B&B but also a one-of-a-kind catering facility for small dinner parties, weddings, or large cocktail parties. And it happens to be ideally situated for a reception after a funeral at one of the two churches that are within walking distance of Ragamont, which is rambling but cozy. “This house swallows people,” he says. “It’s very easy to have 150 people here.”
Since it was originally decorated as Hathaway’s private residence, it is very homey in the grandest manner. The bedrooms are sumptuously and comfortably decorated. “I think the feeling you get is like staying in a great English country house,” says Hathaway, who used to visit such estates often when he worked for Sotheby’s. “Guests can have cocktails in the living room and read or watch TV by the fire in the library. We have it all running very smoothly. I get up early and buy the newspapers and put out the breakfast which includes homemade granola and homemade bagels” Homemade bagels? “Yes, that’s Bruce. He likes to make everything himself.” Bruce is Hathaway’s secret weapon—an unflappable chef who is as happy making gallons of chile as puff pastry canapes or lobster tails floating in aspic. “We can really do any sort of party,” says Hathaway, who is planning to have smaller dinners in the summer on his covered porch with its big fireplace and weddings under a marquee in the garden.
Amazingly, Hathaway finds it easy to watch guests drink wine and cocktails under his once alcohol-free roof. “I go to an AA meeting every morning,” he says. “I know I will never touch a drop again.” His innate ebullience makes him well-suited for his new role. “I’m like the butler here,” he says. “All my life I thought that would be the perfect job for me.”
Ragamont House Bed & Breakfast
8 Main Street, Salisbury, CT; 860-596-0555
Introductory room rates: $200 and $250, double occupancy.