by Francis McGovern
If you are looking for a place to get away from it all, that’s quiet and peaceful, then you might find what you are looking for in Eaton New Hampshire. The town is unexpectedly tucked into the White Mountains far away from the highway. It doesn’t feel like New Hampshire exactly, it feels like someplace in Americana that you haven’t been, someplace new in New England. An all year round getaway, Eaton is a small town of 400 that has a lake and mountains and ski slope, and just off the main road of town up a steep hill is Snowvillage Inn.
The Inn is run by the charming, kind and generous hosts of Jen Kovach and Kevin Flynn. They set a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for new guests, and locals and regulars. The night I arrived, I watched them talk to a couple about family and friends and goings on about town while they greeted new first time guests. Max’s pub and the dinner room was decorated with lights and felt warm and cozy. A couple of people wandered in who took the closed mountain road into town, and they needed some drinks. Stay off Giles Mountain Road in the winter.
Once you take the long drive up the hill to the main building you are home. Stepping through the door you are in a comfortable and warm New England Inn. I visited in the winter but In the summer time you can just imagine the cool breeze and mountain view and smell of fresh mountain air.
Their dining room and bar are situated in a comfortable area just inside the Inn. This room is great for relaxing before dinner by the fire. I sat down to have dinner, and Jen really took care of my every need and offered some great recommendations.
One great thing to note for Literary Travelers, is the room by the fire is filled with books and places to sit and read or talk with friends before dinner. They have a number of titles and gathering spaces throughout the property for book discussions.
Before getting into hospitality, Kevin was into shipping and cargo ships and, then owned an inn in the Hamptons, and he met Jen when they were trying to save the general store in town, they both joined the board, then a few years later they were married. Kevin owned the inn, first for 11 years and then sold it in the 2000’s but the new owners didn’t like the business of running an inn and he bought it back for a second go round.
He works easily behind the bar and made me an Apple Jack Old Fashioned. The dinner was fun and interesting. I had the crabcakes, and then the vegetarian ramen, and for dessert a chocolate tort that was as beautiful as it was delicious.
I had traveled up solo to visit the inn and attend a Gatsby party, and to celebrate the roaring twenties in the spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and attend some special events in the area.
As part of the weekend, Jen at the Snowvillage Inn, had arranged for a small group of guests to have a visit to the railway in North Conway for a presentation and then a quick trip to Tamworth Distillery for a visit and tasting.
The Conway Scenic railway is a great way to step back in time and learn more about Ski Trains back in the early twentieth century. We learned how the railway and the beautiful depot building came to be. We received a presentation from Connor Marr, one of two identical twins who both work for the railroad. He is a self described collector who educated us on every aspect of the railway history including the unique railroad depot station. There are a wide range of cars named for the owner’s wives, and some the sites you would see on the trip through my Washington Valley and the history of hardship and accidents on the track. He went into great detail about the history of the snow trains that used to run to Mount Attitash straight from Boston.
Next stop was our visit to the Tamworth Distillery where I sampled some spirits, like bourbon and fig and blueberry. (They even have an eau de musc which has some beaver gland as part of it’s recipe.)
Then I was back off to the Snow Village Inn. I dressed for dinner and was excited about the Gatsby party in anticipation of having some fun.
The dining room was decorated and they had a custom drink and dinner menu. For dinner I had a Waldorf Salad, then Tile fish and baked Alaska sitting beside a live Jazz Band while sampling some of the spirits from Tamworth Distillery. Dinner and drinks were delicious.
As I left, they sent me off with one of the most tasty breakfasts that helped me get ready for new adventures.
I stared off at the view and sat in the privacy and quiet feeling refreshed. The Snowvillage has everything you need for weekend getaway. The Inn is a great place for a writing workshop or book discussion weekend.
*Please note my visit was on leap day weekend at the end of February / early March just as the Corona Virus was started to expand in the United States. Snowvillage Inn is open and adhering to safety protocols. If you are looking for a Romantic White Mountain Getaway then we highly recommend Snowvillage Inn. Check out their special events and packages.
Francis McGovern is the co-founder and founding editor and publisher at Literary Traveler. He has run the site for over 20 years. He was at Walking Magazine and then spent three years at Lycos.com where he served as a product manager for their suite of personalization products including My Fidelity and My Lycos.
Francis has also run a search engine consulting practice as well as serve as Vice President of Operations for the reviewed.com network. He has helped to lead and develop many literary tours and cruises and loves to discuss books and ideas with a group of travelers as they discover new places.