Why not give in to the inevitable and enjoy some of these decadent activities?
Here we go again. It’s the New Year, and just about everyone you know has made a promise—to lose weight, to quit smoking, to get in shape, to eat better, save more, spend less—you name it.
January is the month for resolutions, but according to a 2013 study by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them going throughout the year.
So why court this failure? Let’s take the opposite approach: let’s splurge on ourselves. January can be a long, cold month. Try to enjoy it with these anti-resolutions.
Weekend Craft Beer Tour
Shake off the holiday hangover by hitting Delaware’s craft breweries for tastings and tours. Start things off upstate at Twin Lakes in Greenville, where Saturday tours begin at 1 p.m., cost $22, and include a complimentary gourmet cheese tray.
Next, head south to Dover and hit the combined Fordham/Old Dominion Brewery for a 3 p.m. tour for just $5. Your admission includes a pre-tour sample of one beer, tastes throughout the tour, and a souvenir glass to take with you.
From there, hop back on Route 1 and head to Dogfish Head in Milton for the last tour at 5 p.m. Tours are absolutely free, and include four free samples. Be sure to grab some memorabilia and, since you’ve probably had a few sips by this point, a snack at Bunyan’s Lunchbox, to help absorb some of that alcohol.
Since you’re already pretty far south, we suggest keeping the beer theme going with a room at Dogfish Head Inn, located on the Lewes Harbor. Weekend rates start at just $139 (offseason) for a double-queen room that sleeps four comfortably.
On Sunday, rise and shine with some complimentary Dogfish Head chicory coffee, and head north to 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown. The tasting tavern opens at noon, though no tours are available on Sunday. Once you’re finished sampling their bold session ales, head to Mispillion River Brewing in Milford, open until 6 p.m. No tours are available, and like 16 Mile, they do not offer food, but you’re welcome to bring your own.
Once you’re back up New Castle County way, you have two options for a great beer-themed dinner: Stewart’s Brewing Company in Bear, or Iron Hill Brewery in Newark or Wilmington. Both award-winning brewpubs offer great seasonal fare and growlers to go, if you’re in the mood for a nightcap.
Posh Pampering at Montchanin Inn
Detox and de-stress from the holiday season with a five-to-six-hour spa day at Montchanin Inn, where for around $450 you’ll be treated to a full massage, body ritual, facial, manicure, pedicure and lunch between sessions.
Your day starts with some unwinding and meditation in the relaxation room, where antioxidant waters and fresh fruit are set out to begin cleansing the digestive system. From there, you can choose either a full body Swedish or healing stone massage.
Next, the body ritual begins. Your skin is scrubbed, exfoliated and moisturized, targeting the lymphatic, muscular and circular systems. Once that is complete, a lunch menu is provided, with light and healthy offerings like fresh fruit, an imported cheese plate, and various salads.
For the second part of your day, you’re treated to a facial, manicure and pedicure, so that by the time you leave, your body and mind are completely refreshed and ready to take on the rest of 2015. Reservations are required for full-day sessions, and the spa is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For reservations, call 888-2133.
Laughs at The Grand
Because the winter can be cold and cruel, laugh your way through January, February and March with four gut-busters at The Grand. Some of the comedians coming through Wilmington are sure to put a smile on your frozen face, starting with veteran Paula Poundstone on Saturday, Jan. 10 ($30-$37).
Two more legends make their way to the opera house for repeat performances. First up is Blue Collar Comedy Tour alum Ron White and his scotch-and-cigar set on Sunday, Jan. 18 ($50-$59), followed by famed D-lister Kathy Griffin on Sunday, Feb. 15 ($59-$71).
And finally, on Thursday, March 26, The Grand will welcome for the first time Hannibal Buress, the Chicago-born comic who serves as co-host of Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show ($50-$60). Named to Variety’s “Ten Comics to Watch in 2010,” Buress’ controversial style landed him in the news recently after a rant about rape allegations against Bill Cosby during a performance at The Trocadero in Philadelphia. Expect the unexpected.
Chef’s Tasting at Domaine Hudson
For foodies, it doesn’t get much better than devouring four or six courses from a great chef. Put your stomach and palate in the hands of Chef Dwain Kalup and Wine Steward Richard Hover, both of whom will cater to your dining whims at Domaine Hudson.
In addition to excellent three-course, prix fixe menus offered daily, chef’s tastings and wine dinners are where the Domaine crew really get to show off their skills. At a wine dinner in November, they hosted Le Cadeau Vineyard owner Tom Mortimer, who paired some of his best varietals with Chef Kalup’s culinary offerings.
The menu included a porcini and black truffle tortellini paired with a 2008 e Cadeau Côte Est and a Painted Hills Farm sirloin of beef with a 2007 Le Cadeau Rocheux as part of a five-course, six-wine private dinner.
“The beauty of attending one of our private dinners, typically held on a Sunday when the restaurant is closed for business, is that you get the most intimate experience with the winemaker on hand,” Hover says. “The boutique winemakers we host are always happy to share their experiences and what they were trying to accomplish with each varietal.”
The folks at Domaine Hudson are in the planning stages of 2015, when they plan to have several four- and six-course chef’s tasting options and at least one wine dinner per month. While cost for the tastings varies depending on the dishes served, wine dinners are typically $95 per person. For more information, check out www.domainehudson.com.
An Overnight Stay with Style
You may have dined in the Hotel du Pont’s famed Green Room or seen a show at the DuPont Theatre, but staying a night at the at the century-old hotel should also be on every Delawarean’s bucket list.
The classic rooms start at $199 on weekends in January and February, while the luxury rooms, which are basically mini-suites complete with four-fixture bathrooms and separate living and dining areas, are $229 per night.
If you pay in advance, which is non-refundable, the overnight charge for a luxury suite is reduced to $183. The hotel offers breakfast in the Green Room, valet parking, DuPont Theatre and Longwood Gardens tickets, all through the concierge service.
“If I had to choose three words to sum up the Hotel du Pont, they would be: class, grace and elegance,” says Carolyn Grubb, director of public relations at the hotel. “Our dining room has not really changed since the hotel opened in 1913, and it has received the AAA Triple Diamond award for 29 consecutive years, while the hotel itself has received the award for 38 straight years.”
For a closer look at the accommodations at the hotel and menus offered at the Green Room, check out www.hoteldupont.com or call 594-3100.