A hot drink to keep out the sleet — #berkshireweekend

Today I walked out of the cold drizzle into Dottie’s Coffee Lounge and thought it must be about the warmest place in Pittsfield. I was downtown between errands and feeling bedraggled in the drizzle, and it was soothing, coming into a room full of music and conversation.

Mid-winter can feel quiet here, especially now, when we’re all trying to find our feet. On a wet, raw day, when January is pretending to be April, where can we go to thaw out?

I’ve always liked Dottie’s sense of color and humor. And they’re still one of the few places I know of where I can get a real, strong Americano. (It goes well with a cheese biscuit that comes with a tang of chives.)

This can be a good time of year for quiet comforts. When I have time to sit over a book or a talk, I might be cupping melted thick-enough-to-stand-up-a-spoon hot chocolate at Chocolate Springs, or cocoa at Lenox Coffee … or grinding beans from No. 6 Depot, or brewing hot herbal tea from Wild Soul River, with a feel of roots in the earth.

Or maybe I’ll share a muffin at BrewHaHa, molasses cookies from Bohemian Nouveau Bakery, chocolate bread at Berkshire Mountain Bakery, croissants at the Lost Lamb in Stockbridge …

Sip and stretch

Coffee shops and bakeries give warmth on cold afternoons, from Dottie’s Coffee Lounge in Pittsfield (above) to the Lost Lamb Bakery and Chocolate Springs.

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Ventfort Hall hangs stockings by the chimney. Photo by Susan Geller
Dec 7 2023 @ 10:00 am
Ventfort Hall is decorated for the holidays in 19th-century style, with lighted tree and stockings by the fire and more, and open for self-guided explorations.
Paperwhites fill the greenhouse with petals and scent at Winterlights at Naumkeag.
Dec 7 2023 @ 4:30 pm
Winterlights is back, filling the gardens with holiday light and sound for a magical outdoor experience at Naumkeag as it shimmers with thousands of lights.
Clouds and sun pattern the sky over the Clark Art Institute.
Dec 7 2023 @ 6:00 pm
David Lean's film asks searching questions about identity and loyalty, and the consequences of British intervention in Arab affairs.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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