A Quick Getaway to the Colgate Inn

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Not Just for Alumni

The entrance from the parking lot at the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The entrance from the parking lot at the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

I’ve had a romance with the Colgate Inn in Hamilton, N.Y. since my freshman year at college. I loved brunch on Sundays, Bloody Mary’s on those mornings that stretched into afternoons, beers before the fire during the week. Back then, I dressed for the place, a dress, a skirt, a sweater, jacket, pearls.

The Colgate Inn lobby Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Colgate Inn lobby
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

On a roadtrip through New York, I am excited to discover that the place is as good as I remember it. The nooks are romantic, the tavern is dark and contemplative, the fire warms.

The staircase at the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The staircase at the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The place is perfect for an afternoon of reading, accompanied by a sherry, an Irish coffee, a martini, whatever. What looks to be professors still preen there, now to a somewhat older crowd thanks to an elevated drinking age.

Guest lodging at the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Guest lodging at the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Brawny Sherpa and I manage to eat at the Colgate Inn three times during our short stay. We grab a quick lunch (salad and butternut squash soup for me) while waiting for our room to be prepared (we get there early, the wait is only about 10 minutes, we decide to amuse ourselves in the tavern), then head back again for a dinner. I rhapsodize about an unlikely dish, Utica Style Greens (escarole, cherry peppers, parmesan and asiago cheeses, hold the prosciutto for me), followed by barley and mushrooms.

The view from our room on the third floor of the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The view from our room on the third floor of the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

In between our lunch and dinner, we cruise the bookstore, visit the Colgate campus, walk the village green, appreciate the village of Hamilton.

Hamilton village green Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Hamilton village green
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The next morning, we try to spread the wealth elsewhere in town, but the hassle of ordering breakfast in a nearby coffee shop (no prices listed, told we’d have to order and pay for our coffee before anyone could start making it, if we wanted breakfast, too, that would be a separate bill, how much will it cost? we ask; it depends on what you order, is the reply, this has all become too long, too difficult, too unnecessary; we leave and go to where we know the service is good) drives us back to where we’d really rather be: sitting before the fire, relaxed and savoring a meal, appreciating the past, indulging in the present.

Tavern fireplace, the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Tavern fireplace, the Colgate Inn, Hamilton, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Next: A Campus Tour

—Lori Tripoli

Barn art, Hamilton, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Barn art, Hamilton, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

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