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Need A Country Weekend Getaway? Visit 1754 House in Connecticut

August 21, 2021
The 1754 Inn and Restaurant in Woodbury, Connecticut

1754 House is a cozy inn, top-rated restaurant, and lively tavern nestled in the scenic Woodbury, Connecticut. It’s also one of our favorite local getaways.

1754 House is just about an hour drive from us. Our headquarters and U.S. factory is in East Norwalk. We’ve been rooted in this coastal town since the eighties. This is where we craft some bags by hand and hold our annual Tent Sale. That hour drive provides us with the perfect distance. At the inn, we feel like we’ve travelled far enough to feel like we’re far away. But we know we’re just a quick car ride away from home.

We love this spot for its satisfying menu, welcoming atmosphere, and proximity to so many things to do. During the day, you can visit the Woodbury Brewery Beer Garden or Arethusa Farm for the freshest ice cream around. There are also plenty of hiking trails nearby. And when you come back to the inn, you’ll have the perfect place to crash.

Cara is currently the Inn Manager. She assisted in guiding 1754 House through the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. “I have always been drawn to the property, the history and my love for the town of Woodbury,” she says of her involvement with the inn. “I enjoy meeting people and providing them with an experience that they will always remember.”

Recently, Cara chatted with us about hospitality, community, and everything in between.

Cara McArdle, Inn Manager at 1754 House.

So tell us about the 1754 House!

It was believed to have been built before 1736. The information varies depending upon the source. But one thing’s for sure…it’s old! It was originally a home owned by the Stoddard family.

My favorite room is the small dining room we call the “Washington Room.” It’s in the original part of the house. It’s a cozy, intimate dining space with a fireplace. The ceiling is terribly bowed, the floors creak, and the fireplace is small. We like to call all of this “the charm!” The room really shows its age in a beautiful way.

What’s the best thing about being there?

There isn’t much I don’t love about working here. Greeting and meeting our guests probably is my favorite. I love to speak with guests during their service to make sure they are enjoying their meal…and I love my early morning conversations with overnight guests over coffee.

I’m also the house baker. This lets me fulfill my love of being in the kitchen by preparing fresh baked goods for morning guests, but also cakes and assorted other baked goods for our nighttime banquets and events. 

What role does the inn play in the community? 

In addition to being a large part of the history of Woodbury, we are a meeting place for local residents, along with a comfortable, “close to home” place for people visiting them to stay. We are active supporters of the town and town offices. We just recently hosted the annual awards dinner for the Woodbury Fire Department, and we regularly support the local rotary and Lions Club.

We work with the Arts Alliance of Woodbury to bring community awareness to the arts and artists in the area. 1754 House also regularly donates gift cards and overnight stays to many other groups and organizations.

How did last year’s shutdown change your outlook on hospitality?

Wow. That is a hard question. We were shut down before we even had a chance to know what it was like to be open!

Everyone has been very understanding and kind, knowing the toll the pandemic took on us and the hospitality industry as a whole. I know one of the things we did throughout the property and with our staff was ensuring our guests knew we were following all the safety measures required by the state. Noting how much that meant to them, and knowing it made them feel safe has set a bar, for me. I strive to make sure that each guest always feels safe and comfortable while in our house.

Throughout the past year, many people let us know that the steps we took made them choose us over other restaurants. So, to answer your question, yes…my outlook changed. I’m even more committed to making sure our guests not only have a memorable experience, but feel safe and secure while having it.

An arial view of the dining patio behind 1754 Inn in Woodbury, Connecticut.

Over the years, we’ve become close with our neighbors who live both near and far. The best thing about our tight-knit community is how supportive it is of local businesses. And recently, supporting our community has never felt more important.

We’d love to share this awesome local gem with you. Read more about 1754 House.

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