Happy almost-Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s the start of a holiday week and the Victorian Swag authors decided that we just wanted to get away for a bit. You know, take some time to relax and celebrate Thanksgiving in true Victorian Swag fashion. We have decided to rent (which seriously, I am not kidding, you can do in REAL LIFE and this is just so amazing) Riven Rock House in Jamestown, Rhode Island. In case you don’t know, this lovely rustic retreat is the vacation house used in the filming of one of my favorite movies, Dan in Real Life. Yep. That’s right! This New England gem is ours for a week of kayaking, clambakes, and cozy evenings by the fire.
You might be thinking, “Those 8 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and sprawling lawn are wasted on four girls holed up in a house blogging”. But wait! You didn’t actually think we’d be alone, did you? Of course not. No, we have invited our fictional boyfriends to join us for this Thanksgiving holiday and we plan to thoroughly enjoy the festivities with some of our favorite gents. Sarah will be joined by none other than the beautiful and brooding Rupert Friend. They plan to spend most of their time on long “walks” around the wooded property. Sally and Richard Armitage will no doubt spend hours on the porch or in one of the living room’s giant plush arm chairs with their tea and conversation (she does love his voice). He has agreed to deep-fry the turkey for us on Thursday; we are very much looking forward to that. Mariah will be joined by Indiana Jones. They can’t wait to take the kayaks out and they have planned a private sailboat tour of the harbor. Indy has also agreed to catch anything we might want to eat for the week. We’re banking on there being wild turkey on the property. Every party needs a little adventure, right? Finally, Henry Cavill will be accompanying me. I’ve already called the room with the balcony, which is perfect for stargazing with the Man of Steel. This leaves us with a half-full house (again, not to worry) and the perfect companions for a week well spent. Be prepared for a lot of plaid flannel, topsiders, and late-night bonfires on the lawn during said week of merriment. I also predict a touch football game (with the occasional accidental or not-so-accidental tackle) in our future.
Our dates are no-brainers but if the house seems an unlikely candidate for a Victorian Swag vacation, let me remind you that this place is oozing with rustic charm. We love the shingled eaves and the porch that spans the entire length of the house and overlooks the water. We adore the rustic wooden chairs, the plethora of window seats (cuddle time!), and of course the sliding barn doors on the bedrooms. There is wood everywhere in this house as well as stunning views and one of the prettiest stone fireplaces to ever have graced a living room. It’s perfect for a quiet cozy getaway and just what we were looking for. Ah, autumn in New England.
I guess, to be fair, we’ve got to give it some official scores:
Location: 8 – Rhode Island may not be your first thought when planning a vacation, but look at this place! Walk down the front steps across a beautiful lawn and you are right on the water with views of the hills in the background. Sailboats dot the landscape and the fir trees are just another sign that winter is almost here. New England has always had a romantic, Americana appeal to me as well.
Landscape/Exterior: 8 – A little homely, sure. But the weathered look of the house just adds to its appeal. The water-front property couldn’t be better placed. And did I mention the wrap-around porch and balcony? Oh yeah, I think I did.
Interior: 7.5 – Again, it’s not like we decorated the place ourselves. Remember, it’s a rental. But antique wrought iron beds with simple white duvets are such a nice contrast to the wood floors, walls and ceilings. The doors are so clever, the book shelves offer tons of borrowing material, and it’s really just a great place for hanging out. The entire space is very informal and cozy so it’s great for our low-key Thanksgiving retreat.
Overall Design: 7 – Aesthetically, compared to some other homes we have experienced, Riven Rock is not what we would call an architecturally genius design. But that’s not all we’re looking for in a house. What this place lacks in layout and kitchen and bath fixtures it more than makes up for in class, charm, and vacation functionality. It's just the place for pancakes and pillow fights.
Creativity/Originality: 8 – This place was built with purpose way back in 1911, that’s for sure. It’s so quintessentially “New England Vacation Home” that you can’t help but love it. But it’s also got tons of originality – shingled exterior, dorm-like sleeping accommodations, and all of those window seats and sliding doors. LOVE! Also, can we just talk about the name?? I love houses with names and Riven Rock is one of the coolest I have ever heard.
Party Hostability Factor: 9 – I should hold off on too much of an explanation here until Thursday; however, the ample sleeping space combined with the outdoor living options (porch, lawn, etc.) means there’s a ton of room for guests – even those who may want to stay for more than an evening – and even more room for extended entertaining. The more the merrier in this place!
Whether it’s for a weekend of water sport, a gigantic lobster boil, or a Thanksgiving retreat, Riven Rock has stolen our hearts.