The Tillerman is a beautifully restored inn located in Bristol, VT. This was by far one of the more memorable lodging experiences I’ve had to date. The owners, Jason Kirmse and Kate Baron, are California transplants who have transformed this 1790s farmhouse into an inviting destination for visitors looking to enjoy the charm of New England. Both Kirmse and Baron have extensive experience in hospitality and food service, which explains why the experience was so wonderful. From thoughtfully selected amenities to environmentally friendly products, the Tillerman proved to be an unforgettable place to stay for my friends and me.
The Tillerman property is exceptionally charming. The amenities are thoughtfully selected and perfectly curated. The owners refurnished six guest rooms which make up the six suites that can be rented out to guests. Each suite is decorated slightly differently but exudes the same charm. The owners supply their guests with top-of-the-line features, including Brooklinen towels, Ursa Major bath products, and plush Saatva mattresses. The décor of the suites incorporates modern design with European-style accents. Vibrant artwork created by Baron’s mother, Torrey Baron, hangs on nearly every wall of the suites (the same artwork that can be found on the Tillerman website). The style of the Tillerman is far from stuffy; instead, it gives off a whimsical and eclectic vibe. We stayed in the North Country room, which offers a king-sized suite with a gas fireplace, a sleek bathroom, and a small seating area with two built-in twin beds under a slanted roof.
Downstairs in the communal parlor, you will find fresh flowers in the morning and a warm burning fire at night. Even the music is carefully selected. Sam Cooke played over the parlor speakers in the morning while we ate breakfast, and Marvin Gaye accompanied us during dinner. The details at the Tillerman are incredibly thoughtful and made the experience incredibly memorable.
The food at The Tillerman was spectacular. The menu offers a variety of smaller, shared plates which was great for our group of five. It allowed us to try a little bit of everything. The ambiance was cozy and warm, and our waiter was extremely personable and knowledgeable about the menu. My favorite cocktail was the Fender Bender, consisting of Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey, Cynar, Cocchi Torino, and Maple. It tasted like an old fashioned, but even more delicious. The menu features a variety of wood-fired fare, including several delicious pizzas and the most amazing meatballs I’ve ever tasted. Our favorite pizzas were The Fiorella (smoked pepperoni, Calabrian chilies, cheddar, and honey) and the Fungi (oyster mushrooms, basil, ricotta, and bayley hazen blue). I’d also highly recommend the oysters from Mayflower Point, MA. Tillerman’s menu is focused and seasonal. Its ingredients are locally sourced, and the flavor pairings are incredibly creative. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in the Bristol area.
The Tillerman also offers guests complimentary breakfast in the mornings. The owners provided a selection of Butterworks Farm yogurt, fresh fruit, homemade granola, and a frittata. Guests can also make themselves Brio coffee in personal French presses or choose from an assortment of herbal teas.
During the Summer months, guests can enjoy the Tillerman’s beautiful gardens and take a dip in the swimming hole at the nearby creek. In the Fall, the property showcases apple trees and sugar maples. Visitors can also enjoy the crisp nights in front of several outdoor fire pits. The Tillerman also hosts live music on Wednesdays in their parlor, which features a variety of talented local musicians. My friends and I stayed at the Tillerman during February, so our activities were limited. However, Sugarbush Ski Resort is only a half hour away from The Tillerman. We spent our Saturday on the slopes and headed back to the inn for après ski drinks and board games by the parlor fire.
Overall Rating 4.5/5:
The Tillerman is a fantastic lodging option for those looking to enjoy a quiet weekend away in New England. Guests will feel transported to a simpler time between the thoughtful details and the cozy ambiance. I would love to book another stay here and revisit this magical place.