For those who love national historic landmarks, Roseland Cottage in Woodstock is quite the find.  This gothic style cottage built in 1846 was the summer home of Henry Chandler Bowen and his family back in the era when the very wealthy left the heat of their giant New York mansions to spend time in New England in their modest summer mansions.    Roseland Cottage was quite the retreat, right down to the indoor bowling alley which is considered to be one of the oldest in the nation.

Roseland Cottage is picturesque in every way.  It’s bright pink exterior and gothic interior are a treat the eye, but the real showstopper here are the English style parterre gardens featuring over 4,000 varieties of annual flowers.  The formal style landscaping is pristine and what really convinced us to visit.  We even felt inclined to dress up and wear straw hats for our visit.

Of historical note is that Roseland Cottage was also the home of one of the largest Fourth of July parties in the history of the United States.  This monumental celebration hosted at Roseland Cottage was attended on July 4, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant.  Over the years it was visited by many other famous historical figures and politicians.  It’s just the kind of place us history buffs enjoy.

Throughout the summer months the cottage also hosts concerts on the lawn.  These concerts are usually free, and food is available for purchase by local food truck vendors.

We had a little dilemma in finding a spot to eat lunch on the day of our visit.  We wanted something simple and close by.  We chose Sweet Evalina’s Stand.  Sweet Evalina’s is a little difficult to describe; it’s part country store, cafe, bakery and neighborhood gathering spot all in one.  Everyone in our group of straw hats was able to find something on the menu and we enjoyed our lunch outdoors under the shaded picnic awning with the locals.

Our final destination in Woodstock was Taylor Brooke Winery.  I won’t go into great detail since CT Moves has a resident winery writer, but I will say that this winery is in my top two favorites on the Connecticut Wine Trail.  What makes it my favorite?  The beautiful outdoor setting, the wine dogs that give the winery a homey atmosphere, excellent customer service and the delicious variety of dessert wines.  Their dessert wines never have disappointed us and when ice wine is available, we are very happy campers!

We ran out of time on the day of our visit, but if you visit Woodstock also offers opportunities for antique shopping, golfing, scenic drives, lakes, hiking trails and much more.

Roseland Cottage | Historic New England