Dried hydrangeas adorning a Christmas tree are some of the first things you will see upon walking into the Fig and Olive Bed and Breakfast in Cutchogue.
The flowers were grown and harvested by owner Lisa Haase, who cut and preserved them to use as decorations during the holiday season. The second tree in her house is decorated with fun, colorful lights.
Those are just some of the North Fork-inspired holiday sights participants saw on the fourth annual Cutchogue Holiday House Tour Saturday, which featured stops at local inns, gorgeously decorated for the holidays.
“I love this holiday tour,” Ms. Haase said. Though she usually participates in spring tours she said this event “just gives people a little more sparkle when they walk in the door.”
Saturday’s tour drew about 175 people who bounced around to see what the six different spots had to offer. Fig and Olive was a new destination for this year’s event, which included stops at North Fork Guest House, The Farmhouse B&B, Fig and Olive, Sannino Vineyard B&B and the New Suffolk Schoolhouse.
Each location offered something different for guests to admire. Common themes included decorative pillows with festive words embroidered on them, fireplace mantle decorations and the use of green and garland.
Over at The Farmhouse B&B, owner Joyce Barry decorated with a more rustic feel, incorporating gold ornaments and lights with bronze accents.
This is Ms. Barry’s third time participating in the tour and she was one of the original B&B’s to start it.
“The inspiration for the Holiday House Tour was to give back to the community,” she said, adding that a portion of the proceeds are given to yet-to-be-determined local charities.s
“People can come in and see what ‘North Fork living’ really is,” she said.
Sara Campbell, a teacher at the New Suffolk school, tried to evoke an old-fashioned feel, fitting for a building that was built in 1907.
“We went with more of a Colonial feel,” she said as she pointed out the dried fruits hanging from her Christmas tree and the wreaths outside. “We’re excited to be a part of it.”
Wines from four vineyards — Bedell Cellars, Sannino Vineyards, Scarola Vineyards and Sparkling Pointe — were served. Local chefs John Ross (“The Poetry of Cooking”), Peter Berley (“The North Fork Kitchen & Garden.”), Kristi Macdonald, head chef at Bay Breeze Bistro and Jon Lopristi of the Village Cheese Shop, prepared food served alongside the wine.
New this year was the participation of local authors— Eileen Duffy (“Behind the Bottle”), Marella Ostrowski, (“Water Towers of the North Fork”), Yvonne Lieblein (“Wheelhouse Cafe”) and Zac Studenroth (“Cutchogue, New Suffolk”) — who delivered readings from their books.
The tour culminated with the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council grounds at the village green.
Daniel King, owner of North Fork Guest House said he loves the “flow of people who come in and out who are enjoying the beginning of the season.”
Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard and Bed and Breakfast owner Anthony Sannino, who spent his day serving up wine to the guests, agreed.
“I like the smiles on people’s faces,” he said. “It’s like the first sign of the holidays. It’s a lot of fun.”