Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Here is a beautiful spot in green Vermont where you can recharge your batteries, too

A man and his dog miraculously standing on water at the Basin Harbor Club, an upscale resort on Lake Champlain in northwestern Vermont, where you can charge a Tesla Model S as well as recharge your own batteries.

On Monday and Tuesday, unusually high water in Basin Harbor allowed the man shown above and his best friend to walk out on a submerged dock.



By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

On the way home from the jazz festival in Montreal, I engaged in the sport of passing slower-moving vehicles on winding, two-lane country roads; went for a refreshing boat ride and capped the day with a five-course gourmet dinner.

Our destination was the 700-acre Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain in Vermont, where we stayed overnight.

I plugged in our Tesla Model S 60 (208-mile range), and recharged our own batteries with picture-postcard views, great food and wine, and an abbreviated nature walk (we didn't pack insect repellent).

Tesla Motors calls the Model S a premium electric car, so it's fitting its Connectors are available at a premium resort, where the kitchen uses naturally grown or raised produce, meat and cheese from Vermont farms.


At the Basin Harbor Club, one of the two Connectors installed by Tesla Motors in 2014 doesn't come with a reserved paved parking space, as the ruts in the grass left by my Model S 60 attest, above and below. This Connector charges at the rate of about 30 miles per hour.




On Monday night, we stayed in the Homestead Building (circa 1792), near the Tesla Connector, in an updated room with two canopy beds and an unusually large bathroom, below, and had a five-course dinner at a table with a view of the harbor and lake.

Our first course at dinner was a small bowl of Fresh Food Farm Gazpacho nestled in ice.

I followed with a Summer Root Vegetable Salad, served with sinfully rich Vermont Chevre, in a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

My wife had the Bella Farm Mesclun Salad in a Tarragon Vinaigrette.

I also had an appetizer of Sous-Vide Diver Scallops with Crisp Parsnips, made without butter.

My entree of Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak was served with Garden Fresh Pesto, Green Peas and a Baked Potato, but I asked the kitchen to hold the Truffled Brown Butter Foam.

For an entree, my wife chose Braised Vermont Lamb Shoulder with Fried Artichoke Hearts and Navy Bean Cassoulet.

My dessert was Slow Roasted Strawberries.

We had three large glasses of wine, including this delicious pinot noir from California ($8).

At dinner in the Main Dining Room at the Basin Harbor Club, jackets are required for men and boys over 12, and no denim is permitted.

A hostess brought a selection of house jackets for this man and his son. My safari jacket also didn't make the cut, and I was asked to put on a house sport jacket before we were seated.

Basin Harbor Club also has many cottages that can accommodate multi-generational families.

After a huge buffet breakfast on Tuesday, we walked past this beautiful flower bed as three gardeners were working there.
We arrived at the Basin Harbor Club on Monday afternoon just in time to take a 2:30 boat ride on Lake Champlain, where we gawked at a rock formation and waterfall on the New York State side called the Palisades, below.



Our guide also took us to view (with a mobile underwater camera) what is left of the Champlain, a passenger steamboat that ran aground on the rocks in 1875 near the Palisades, and became a "popular tourist attraction." 

The Champlain was "lavishly furnished."


Details

Basin Harbor Club, 4800 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, Vt.; 1-800-622-4000. Golf course.

Web site: Upscale, Tesla-friendly lake resort

Two Tesla Connectors and other EV charging available 24/7 to guests who stop for lunch or stay overnight.

Our room cost $200 a night, and we paid another $120 for a meal plan that included a five-course gourmet dinner and a buffet breakfast with made-to-order omelets for two.

That was exclusive of wine, a mandatory 18% gratuity on food and wine in the dining room,  and a room tax.

The boat ride to the wreck of the steamer Champlain cost about $21 per person.