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.

Mia (Virginie Efira) smiles at a companion on a city street at night in Revoir Paris. Press film still courtesy of Music Box Films
Jun 2 2023 @ 9:30 am
BIFF returns with four days of independent feature, documentary, short and family films, with discussions and events focusing on filmmakers and artists from both sides of the camera.
Asparagus and rhubarb glimmer early in the season at the Lenox Farmers Market.
Jun 2 2023 @ 11:00 am
The Lenox Farmers Market returns on Friday afternoons with live music by Berkshire Busk and organic produce, sweets, breads and more.
A head of garlic rests on a wooden table. Creative Commons courtesy photo.
Jun 2 2023 @ 3:00 pm
The Sheffield Farmers Market returns outdoors with some 20 vendors — from pickles, seasonings and garlic, to Naji’s Mediterranean Cuisine, baked fresh wheat-free breads, local meats, honey and maple syrup and more.

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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