For renowned interior designer, writer, and television producer Holly Holden, the village of Farmington, Connecticut (aka “Charmington”) is “quintessential New England at its best.” Holden specializes in classical and traditional design and historic renovations, so Farmington’s white clapboard houses and Colonial architecture are a feast for her design sensibilities. When not residing in Palm Beach, Holden and her husband return to Farmington and the circa-1803 brick Federal house that they’ve restored and renamed Fox Hall. In addition to hosting her three children and eight grandchildren, Holden enjoys jaunts to Main Street and the area’s historic sites as well as taking polo lessons at the Farmington Polo Club.
BEST BREAKFAST SPOT Try the Hartford Baking Company’s sourdough bread, scones, and yummy sticky buns.
AUTHENTIC ACCOMMODATIONS The Farmington Inn is in the town center. It feels quaint, with its four-poster beds, and is a perfect location to begin your walking tour along Main Street.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE Walk the Amistad Freedom Trail and see the series of historical sites and markers commemorating the 1839 Amistad incident, a pivotal moment in the fight against slavery and for human rights.
IN THE WILD Fly-fish along the Farmington River, explore the Farmington Land Trust’s five trails (especially the Cowles parcel along the river) and Farmington Aqueduct, or rent a canoe or kayak at Collinsville Canoe & Kayak.
CULTURAL MUST The Hill-Stead Museum is a historic Colonial Revival house that Theodate Pope (one of the first women architects in America) designed to accommodate her father’s extensive collection of Impressionist paintings. Walk the spectacular grounds and admire the beautifully maintained Beatrix Farrand Sunken Garden.
BEST BOUTIQUE Vivid Hue Home + Gifts is an upscale, colorful gift shop in the Village.
DINING ALFRESCO Wood-n-Tap is located on the beautiful bank of the Farmington River. Occasionally, you will see fly fishermen working the water. It serves casual food and is perfect for a drink and pizza or a burger.
LOCAL DELICACY American shad is Connecticut’s state fish and the largest of its herring species. The season starts in April and only lasts for a short time.