With five almost surreally charming 12’ x 14’ wood-frame, canvas-wall tents (each with an outdoor kitchen with cold running water, a propane stove, and an iron fire pit), U-pick vegetable gardens, and antique claw-foot rolltop tubs for plein-air bathing, Butters’s B&B celebrates glamping (glamour + camping), “the juxtaposition of rugged and really pretty, grit and glam, diesel and absolutely darling!” Glamping is splitting logs with a fresh pink manicure. Tents are floored with reclaimed hardwood, and full-size vintage iron beds are made up with Butters- designed organic-cotton sheets. On the grounds are a smokehouse, a woodshed, a greenhouse, a pump house, a root cellar, a woodshop, four privies built on the dirt-lined-vault model, a warehouse and packing room for the food business, a design studio where the magazine is turned out, a “stitching” trailer that is Butters’s private atelier, a “bunkhouse” kitchen, a chicken coop papered in a grandmotherly posy pattern, a library inserted into an ancient barn, a horseshoe pit, a pond, and an alfresco living room in a grove of plum trees. Stock market got you down? Not happy with the way the wars are going? Can’t sell your house? MaryJane will fix you up. Or at least make you forget. Guests gather their own eggs for breakfast, pick vegetables for meals they cook themselves (rounded out with purchases from the excellent local co-op), and generally help with any farm chores that need doing. Though there’s electricity elsewhere on her farm, Butters left it out of the tents. Neither, at $139 per night, are they serviced: she wants glampers, not sissies. Actually, using battery-operated lanterns is less annoying and shapes the experience less than you might think. Tents 4 and 5 have the best views and locations. In tent 4, which is also the most secluded, is a flouncy kidney-shaped dressing table which holds a hand mirror, a copy of Silent Spring, a candle, Epsom salts, a bag of marbles, sunblock, Crazy Eights Playing Cards, a jigsaw puzzle, and approximately 63 other items. None of this is mere set-dressing. Everything is meant to be used. Butters likes things pretty, but they must also work. If there’s a fountain pen, it’s got ink in it. The outdoor bathtubs are likewise no gimmick. If you choose not to cook you’re at the mercy of whatever young recipe tester Butters happens to be employing at the moment.Tents are generously stocked with nuts, fruit, energy and chocolate bars, beer, limeade, raw blue agave syrup, and an integrated mug-and-burner device for making hot drinks.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.