When we bought our farm here in the Hudson Valley, we quickly discovered that the nearest towns, Germantown and Tivoli, have a lot to offer. Since this summer has been the first extended period of time that we've spent here, we've really been able to explore more of our local communities. Our excursions these days pretty much revolve around food and the gathering of, so I thought I'd share with you our favorite spots in Tivoli. Known as the "village of Tivoli," this 1.8 square-mile community of around 1,000 people (some of whom are Bard College students) sits on the banks of the Hudson River about a 90 minute drive north of Manhattan. And, it turns out, Tivoli has incredibly good food – from sushi, Italian cuisine, an Irish pub and vegan ice cream to freshly baked pastries, bread and local produce. And, the best part is, it's all just a short drive from our home.
Since we're a bit far from the nearest grocery store, our go-to for fresh fruits and vegetables is Montgomery Place Farmstand. It also happens to be on our way to Tivoli, so each time we go, we have to make a stop. The farmstand was originally created as a roadside market in the 1930s, when farmers began pulling wagons up along the road to sell their produce. And part of the structure still exists today. Lately, I've been filling my basket with end of summer produce like tomatoes, basil, a variety of peppers, cucumbers, leafy greens and now, apples!
A Sunday ritual that Jeffrey and I have begun to look forward to is a morning drive to Tivoli with Nala to pick up pastries. We leave fairly early to snag a place in line at The Bakery, where they make the best pastries and bread that sell out quickly. Favorites include a fresh loaf of multi grain bread, the massive cinnamon rolls, the coffee cake and the apple tart. On the way home, we make a stop along the Hudson River, which has an entry point down at the bottom of Tivoli. We let Nala explore for a bit while we soak in the views and nibble on a pastry, or two.
When I began envisioning our kitchen garden at the farm, I looked to the Tivoli Community Garden for inspiration. This volunteer-run organic garden is located in the Tivoli Memorial Park and was started as a way for residents who otherwise can't have a garden where they live, to have a hand in growing their own vegetables and herbs. Plus, they can share gardening tips and tricks with others. I continue to stop by when I can, it's such a peaceful spot. And the gardening inspiration is endless...
Tivoli General, a high quality grocery store, is at the top of my list for their fresh baguettes – they're the best and always warm when I'm grabbing one. Started by two Bard College alumni who also own and operate Five Maple Farm in Elizaville, Tivoli General sells a variety of goodies from their farm and other local purveyors. Plus, this mini grocery store has unique lagers from around the world including Tusker, from Kenya, which is very sentimental since it's where I was born, and was the go-to lager for my dad.
When Jeffrey and I decided to go on our first date since the pandemic started, we knew just the place. GioBatta Alimentari is an amazing Italian restaurant and market in downtown Tivoli that was named after the chef's 5x great grandfather, whose pasta legacy dates back to the 1800s in Italy. Their pastas, of course, are amazing, but I also like their salmon or kale salads. And their tiramisu is to-die for. They also have a little mini market attached to the restaurant where you can grab jars of their freshly made pesto, pre made family size lasagnas ready for baking, and an incredible assortment of pastas to use to cook with your pesto.
It's such a treat to be spending our summer so close to a place like Tivoli, with amazing food and a quaint, small town feel. Despite its small size, each time we visit, we discover something new. And I'm so glad to be able to support the town's small businesses, especially during this time.
How are you spending your holiday weekend?
Sending lots of love,
Hi Caroline! You don’t know me but I’m along time customer. So many time I’ve wanted to comment on your blogs but the day would get away from me. On one of your blogs you recommend the sex dust and bathe salts which I purchased along with a pair of gardening gloves. Prior to that Elizabeth shipped me a Raquel white dress and Roam fuzzy grey sandals which I love. Yes shipped! Three years ago my husband and I moved to New Jersey from SD and we built a home on the Hudson! My husbands a pediatric surgeon and he needs to get to several hospitals and this was the best location. Our home is in an area called Edgewater NJ across from Manhattan. When I read you had a home on the Hudson it comforted me. I know that sounds odd. It’s a long story and maybe someday I’ll have the chance to fill you in. Part of that story though was we were supposed to move to SB. Politics and medicine not a good combo. Anyways knowing you have this wonderful home right up the Hudson from me made me feel I was some what connected to SB. I’ve always wanted to live in SB since I was in my twenties, I’m now in my fifties. Yikes! I have family and friends in SB so the plan is to retire there. Back to my original comment why I said “comforted me” is that your in both places! I place I love SB and a place I’m making home too! Jersey/Hudson well…..I’m doing my best. I will definitely check out Tivoli and all that it has to offer, not sure I can make the bakery early enough but I know I’ll find something to buy. My husband and I are both Italian so GioBatta is a must! I have a suggestion since I’m ending with the Italian restaurant watch “My Brilliant Friend “ on HBO, It’s fantastic! Ciao for now! MicheleI read about you wonderful home on the Hudson it comforted me. I know that sounds odd. It’s a very long story maybe some day I’ll fill you in. I have family in SB and my dearest friend