Isn’t it time for breezy (bug-free) hikes, cool music and hot pizza? Yes, It is.

By Jane Larkworthy

The Life Of Pie

It was a wistful moment when the venerable John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant shut its South Egremont doors this past winter, but pizza fans will rejoice when they bite into the pies being offered at Hilltown Hot Pies, which moves in this summer. Starting with just outdoor seating, Hilltown will eventually expand its menu beyond pizza sometime next year. Full disclosure: owner and pizzaiolo Rafi Bildner and I are related by marriage, but it seems unfair that I can’t share his magical creations because of adjacent nepotism. Rather, I prefer to call it adjacent Neopolitan, with a mildly tangy, faintly sweet crust you’ll be thinking about for days and a divine tomato sauce that’ll frustrate all attempts to recreate it.

But when we do try to recreate it… Brightland Pizza Oil is always at arm’s length in the kitchen. Its aromatic mix of garlic, oregano, basil and hint of jalapeño is also excellent for topping off a pasta dish should you be a failed pizzaiolo like myself.

Swatter Weather

This region really starts showing off in the summer—the music, the theater, the festivals, the food! But we stay for the bounty of nature—the lakes, the backroads, the hikes. And in those regards, I rely on these accompaniments:

Spray + Walk 

Heretic Parfum is known for its alluring creations including Dirty Hinoki, Dirty Grass and Florgasm. But its thyme, cedar and clove-based The Entomologist was formulated to deter—at least flying critters that enjoy biting. And the pleasant herbaceous scent of this clean blend is downright refreshing.

Another One Bites  

If, unfortunately, the deed has already been done, a little dab of Eir NYC Bite Tamer will quell most itches and stings thanks to a blend of calendula, arnica and castor oil. And its tiny little roll-on fits easily into any pocket.

Overdid It? 

When there’s no time for a massage, a blast or two of Vertly Cooling Recovery Spray soothes overworked muscles. Its recipe of comfrey, magnesium, cooling peppermint, soothing aloe vera and lavender will likely make it a summer reach-for, whether it’s post hike or just a hot and sticky afternoon.


Let The Music Play!

When it comes to live performances, everybody knows about Helsinki (RIP) and Tanglewood (just procured my Jackson Browne tickets today!) and, when the mood strikes, karaoke at The Egremont Barn. But music can be found in so many different places up here and the chorister in me just had to sing about them.

Yale School Of Music (Norfolk, CT) The university’s summer home offers excellent classical music—opera, chamber music, even Sondheim—and the bucolic setting can’t be beat.

Dewey Hall (Sheffield, MA) Catch exciting jam sessions here, where musicians will sit in with the live bands, be they jazz, strings or contra dance.

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