Thursday, October 21, 2021

Taking a Piece of New Hampshire Home with You

When guests come to the Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House, they don’t just experience our bountiful breakfasts and warm hospitality, they also get a taste of New Hampshire. We use many locally made products in our breakfasts and throughout the inn. We also sell many products in our small gift shop, allowing guests to take remembrances home with them.

Gift shop cabinet at the inn with mugs, maple syrup, books, soap, and many more locally made products
Our gift shop / showcase is visible at the entrance of the inn

We’ll start with the food products. We have been getting preserves, elderberry syrup, and mustard from a local organic farm, Cheshire Garden in Winchester, NH, for many years. Their products are delicious, made of fresh ingredients, and not too sweet. Our guests love the fruit preserves – peach, Damson plum, and many varieties of berries.

Shown are some of Cheshire Garden's tasty preserves

We serve local maple syrup at breakfast-time with pancakes or waffles. We also sell local maple syrup, some of which might come from our own maple trees. We have two major sources of maple syrup, one of which is the Slate Bridge Sugar House, located here in Swanzey, who taps our maple trees each spring. Our other source of maple syrup is Crescendo Acres Farm in nearby Surry, NH.

Plenty of maple syrup plus gluten-free granola 

Speaking of maple, a local company, Maple Nut Kitchen, just down the street from us, makes many flavors of tasty gluten-free, vegan granola, which we offer to our guests, particularly to those with dietary restrictions. The granola includes a variety of ingredients such as dried fruit, nuts, lavender, and toasted oats.  

Recently we began stocking our guest bathrooms with Sunflower Herbal Soap, locally made in small batches in Surry, NH. Scents include golden ginger oat, lemongrass, lavender, herb garden, sweet mint, and orange cinnamon. Our guests enjoyed the soap in the bathrooms so much that we decided to offer it for sale in our gift shop in both small and large bars.

Sunflower Herbal Soap in many scents and two sizes

And we love Badger natural body care products, which "blend organic plant extracts, exotic oils, beeswax, and minerals to make the safest, most effective products possible to soothe, heal and protect." Our gift shop carries Badger products such as lip balm, headache soother, foot balm, hand balm, anti-bug balm, and sunscreen.

Some of the Badger products we carry

We also have mugs, which are a favorite remembrance of a stay at the Bridges Inn. One series of mugs features the covered bridges of Swanzey, two bridges per mug. The other series features the Bridges Inn with photos of the inn at various seasons and other shots inside and outside the inn.

Many patterns of Bridges Inn mugs (shown, 11 oz.)

We have ornaments, one of which is a  3-D covered bridge with "Bridges Inn" etched on one edge of the roof and "Swanzey, NH" etched on the other edge of the roof. We also carry the New Hampshire series of Country Christmas Eggs ornaments.

We also have alpaca finger puppets from Crescendo Acres Farm. These adorable animal puppets are particularly popular for guests to buy for their children or grandchildren, but to be honest, they appeal to people of all ages -- they're so darn cute!

Adorable finger puppets for people of all ages

Plus, we have magnets, note cards, books, and other mementos of your New Hampshire visit. If you can't make it to Swanzey but see something that you want, contact us ( because we can ship it to you,


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Burst of Spring

With the seemingly never-ending pandemic and few guests at the inn, I have not been inspired to write blogs. But suddenly, with a burst of spring and a surge in reservations, it’s time for an update on what is happening in the region. Flowers are always a warm welcome when approaching the inn.

Azaleas, gazebo, and view of the inn
Azaleas in bloom near the gazebo

Occupancy at the inn was sparse over the winter months; so we used the time to make improvements to the building, such as interior painting to spruce things up a bit.

We have a new sign at the entrance to our parking lot to greet you. Not than anyone ever missed our Bridges Inn sign, but the old, chipped sign certainly needed replacing. The new sign even matches the colors of the house, much of which was painted last summer.

Green lettering on white background - Bridges Inn sign

We bought some new TVs, so now all guest rooms have TVs, ready for streaming.

We put effort into landscaping, coupled with help from Mother Nature, resulting in some beautiful grounds. In early spring, we enjoyed forsythia at the rear of the parking lot, daffodils in the front yard, and the magnolia tree in full bloom on the side, near the parking lot.

Side-by-side photos of forsythia (left) and daffodils (right)

Magnolia tree in full bloom

Then came the lilacs, irises, azaleas, and peonies. Fortunately, our gardens were planned so that something is in bloom throughout the summer. 

In addition to all the flowers, spring seems to have brought many visitors to the Monadnock Region. While life has not returned to normal, more businesses are open and there are fewer restrictions. To keep visitors and residents as safe and healthy as possible, we are providing some information below to help you plan your trip.

  • New Hampshire has seen COVID numbers decrease, due to more and more people being vaccinated, social distancing, and wearing masks. Although the governor lifted NH’s mask mandate as of April 16th and the City of Keene’s face covering ordinance ends on June 1st, residents and visitors are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines for safety. Also, individual businesses might have policies for wearing masks in their establishments.

  • If coming from outside the area, please see NH COVID-19 Travel Guidance and information for out-of-state visitors.

  • Any NH State Park that normally charges an entrance fee will be open via reservation only this year. It's best to call ahead before venturing out.

  • Some businesses are currently operating with restricted hours or capacity, so it is a good idea to call ahead of time and make a reservation if needed. Most restaurants offer outdoor dining and take-out service as well as safe indoor dining, following CDC and State guidelines. Some restaurants have limited seating or limited hours.

  • Not all programs and attractions may be open at this time, so it’s a good idea to be informed before making a trip. Even during a normal (non-pandemic) year, some attractions do not open until after Memorial Day.

If spring has gotten you thinking about a get-away to the Monadnock Region, please check us out. We can be reached at (603) 357-6624, via our website (or make an online reservation), or by email. We are vaccinated and taking extra precautions during to ensure your safety and ours.

If you visit during the warmer season, you'll probably be greeted by beautiful flowers.