Vanderbilt Lakeside is "a Victorian lakehouse genre that doesn't exist," laughs owner Henriette Paris.
Photos by Shelly Kroeger Photography
When Henrietta Paris and Matthew Bray first dreamed up Vanderbilt Lakeside, they imagined a place that wove the charm of a Victorian mansion with the aura of a waterside retreat. Instead of sugarplum fairies, they envisioned curated cocktails inside a warm interior that oozed conviviality and easy glamour.
In summer 2018, the former Brooklynite couple brought their musings to life when they transformed what was previously The Vanderbilt House Hotel into Vanderbilt Lakeside. Located in Philmont, the guesthouse boasts eight overnight rooms, all of which have been personally outfitted with details that draw from contemporary, southwestern, and Victoriana influences.
“It’s a Victorian lakehouse genre that doesn’t exist,” Paris jokes.
Perhaps not, but Paris and Bray do a bang-up job of convincing guests that it should. To start, there’s the fact that the property is right next to Summit Lake. From the back deck, visitors can walk to the waterfront to dip their toes or, in warmer weather, picnic along the bank.
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Each morning, the Lakeside offers a complimentary breakfast spread in the game room. Early risers can munch on local bread or yogurt while browsing the dozens of books scattered in corners and along windowsills. In the evenings, a nearby stack of games tempts visitors to laugh and linger well past the witching hour.
Then there’s the restaurant. Led by Chef Ferdinand Ramilo (a Culinary Institute of America grad formerly behind the kitchen at Bocuse), the eatery tempts wanderers from nearby Hudson and locals who crave a weekend escape. A true delight for food lovers, the menu sings a siren song with bites like shishito peppers with honey-ginger glaze and Frito pie with duck chili and fixins’ galore.
There’s also the world-class bar, which serves as something of a laboratory for the couple. Offerings change seasonally, but a handful of signature drinks remain on the menu year-round. Think sips like Moonlit Day with vodka, lemon, and homemade chamomile-honey syrup, and Taconic Sour with Taconic Distillery rum and cardamom bitters.
Come summertime, the duo plan to feature the outdoor bar and grill in their onsite dining program. Fingers crossed, outdoor movie nights and live music may make an appearance too.