The Great Escape

The Lake House on Canandaigua has a beautiful waterfront. Photo by Joe Thomas

“Who doesn’t need some relaxing self care right now?”

Overlooking gorgeous Canandaigua Lake is New York Kitchen, a mecca of all things food and drink from the Empire State. Next door, The Lake House on Canandaigua is the epitome of luxury hospitality.

This year, the two are teaming up to offer overnight accommodation packages designed to provide guests with the best that both facilities have to offer.

“I took advantage of our campus-wide amenities in October,” says Alyssa Belasco, Executive Director at New York Kitchen. “While it was just for one night, my husband and I maximized our time, starting with happy hour at the New York Kitchen Tasting Room. We ordered local charcuterie and enjoyed flights of wine from Seneca and Keuka Lakes, the Hudson Valley, and the North Fork of Long Island. We ordered a bottle of wine to go and walked back to The Lake House for an incredible dinner at The Rose Tavern.”

Afterwards, the two enjoyed their wine on the lawn around a fire pit. Canandaigua Lake served as a stunning backdrop. “I’d have slept outside if that was an option!” Alyssa laughed. “It was totally restorative to treat ourselves to a change of pace and scenery.”

Strong roots

New York Kitchen began as a collaboration among Constellation Brands, Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. Their goal was to create a gateway for people from around the world to experience New York agriculture and viticulture. Imagine tasting the best of New York State in one place, under one roof. That’s the idea behind New York Kitchen. The mission of the nonprofit, state-of-the-art facility is to educate, engage, and excite visitors with New York’s culinary, craft beverage, and agricultural bounty.

The New York Kitchen tasting room features craft beer and cider from producers all across the Empire State. Photo by Grant Taylor Photography

The facility features two hands-on kitchens for cooking classes, an educational theater for chef demonstrations and beverage education, the tasting room, café dining with indoor and outdoor seating during the spring and summer, and gardens with fresh herbs, raised vegetable beds, fruit trees, and more.

“My family and I took a cooking class here,” related a visitor. “IT. WAS. AWESOME. Chef Dan and Chef Laura guided us, taught us techniques, and were all-around delightful. Even better, it felt so safe amid COVID. If you are looking for a fun, socially distant night out with friends or family, do this. You’ll make so much food, you’ll go home with leftovers.”

The Lake House is the first hotel of its kind on the banks of Canandaigua Lake. Built in the 1970s as part of the Sheraton international hotel chain, it was acquired, remodeled, and renamed The Inn on the Lake in the mid-1990s by a group that included Richard Sands, chairman of Constellation Brands, Inc. The Sands family has made many investments in the Canandaigua community, and in 2018 they decided to recreate the inn as a luxury destination. Opened last August, The Lake House boasts 124 guest rooms, two on-site restaurants, a seasonal pool, year-round hot tub, and daily yoga and meditation classes.

The staffs at New York Kitchen and The Lake House are well-versed in one another’s offerings. In fact, many on the staff of The Lake House are veteran employees of New York Kitchen. They’ve welcomed folks from across New York who have ventured upstate during the pandemic. Visitors say they’ve enjoyed the ability to gravitate to and from the facilities to eat, drink, play, sleep, and even work without having to leave the property. “The most common comment we hear from out-of-towners before they leave is that they’re already planning their return trip to Canandaigua,” notes Mandy Hagadorn, Director of Marketing & Programming at The Lake House on Canandaigua.

“The Lake House is a place where you’ll want to stay for a few days,” commented one visitor. “From the grounds, food, service and beautiful design – it’s a perfect getaway. The staff was so helpful and welcoming, making sure we really took advantage of what the property has to offer. The fire pits and hot tub were so relaxing. We even took a beautiful boat cruise offered through the hotel. The breakfast and cocktails at Rose Tavern were delicious. Service all around was 5 stars. Thank you for a wonderful vacation!

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