An aerial view of the main building of Winvian Farm
Courtesy of Winvian Farm
In the 1940s Winthrop and Vivian Smith purchased 113 acres of land in the Litchfield Hills in the town of Morris. The property, they decided, would be named by creating a combination of their first names, and so “Winvian Farm” was born.
When landlord and owner Maggie Smith considered what to do with the property, she said her main concern was to preserve Winthrop and Vivian’s legacy. Smith and her former husband already owned a property in Vermont called the Pitcher Inn. It was from this inn that the idea of individually designed and decorated cottages was born. However, for Smith, this was no small feat.
“I thought it wouldn’t be fun to do something similar in Connecticut, except we would do it with these individual residences, which of course was total madness,” Smith said. “There were no roads, no fiber optics, nothing.”
Despite the challenge, Smith built 18 unique cottages — all Connecticut-themed — on the property. For example, Winvian has a Connecticut Yankee cottage, an “Industry” cottage, and a stable cottage. The main property’s 18 cottages and Hadely suite were designed by 15 different architects. Smith held a competition for architects to submit designs for the cottages, and from 25 architects she narrowed it down to the 15 who created the various properties on Winvian.
Each themed cottage has its own unique touch. For example, the camping cabin focuses on hardwood finishes and outdoor landscape murals in the bed and bathrooms. The helicopter cabin features a fully restored 1968 Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican helicopter under its roof where guests can sit in the cockpit which is equipped with a flat screen TV and sofa.
Now Winvian welcomes guests all year round. Smith says that while the property is beautiful in all seasons, autumn is special in the Litchfield Hills.
“There is this warm, cosy, inviting aspect. The foliage is just beautiful because we are abounded on three sides by 4,000 acres of the White Memorial Preserve…” Smith said. “I look forward to those cool fall mornings and evenings with the changing foliage and the crackle of the leaves on the ground.”
Winvian’s cottages all come equipped with two bicycles, which Smith says is a guest favorite for getting around the acres surrounding the property. Additionally, the chalets and property are dotted with fireplaces, with some chalets having more than one. Smith also said guests take full advantage of being on the edge of a nature reserve, stepping outside the property and into the orange and red leaves of the area.
Additionally, Winvian Farm features a farm-to-table style gourmet restaurant that emphasizes seasonal produce in their dishes. The property uses over 3 acres of land where chefs can be spotted picking produce for meals to be prepared.
“We have so many items that are grown on site, so guests can look out the window and watch someone [from] the kitchen outside to cut herbs or pick flowers or pick berries,” Smith said. “It’s the food that ends up on their plate or blooms on their table, two or three hours later.”
For more information and reservation, visit the Winvian Farm website.