I’m a lover of good food, and I’ve had plenty of amazing dining experiences in my life. The meals that I grew up sharing with family at my grandparents table will always remain the most cherished, for obvious reasons, but for my birthday weekend back in October I was given a dining experience that has far surpassed any in my previous 46 years and will be a tough one to top.
Located 22 miles from the more well-known Fallingwater, Polymath Park is home to an entire immersive experience. The 132 acre property holds a restaurant as well as two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; the Duncan, and the Mantyla. You can read about the property and how the houses came to this location here. There are a couple Peter Berndtson houses located on the property as well.
Our experience began with a tour of the two Frank Lloyd Wright houses. A small group of six were shuttled from the main building through the woods to each house, where our knowledgeable guide Ricki shared some information about the property and its’ owners, the architecture, how these homes were acquired and the ways they were carefully moved here to this location. I’d never read much on the famous architect and felt that the tour was a really great way to get a footing in my surroundings before dinner. One thing that’s important to me when I travel is getting a feel for where I’m standing. Knowing more of the history of a place makes me feel more connected to it, rather than just merely passing through it at a surface level.
There are multiple packages available, including one that provides an overnight stay in one of the houses. You can choose to dine in the restaurant (inside or out on the deck!), or, just recently added in 2021, you can be treated to a 4.5-course dining experience in your own personal pod nestled in amongst the trees, which is what I most want to tell you about.
After our tour we were guided along an elevated wooden walkway to our own personal dining pod; this one you see in the photo above. It was a bit overcast and drizzling when we arrived, so the heater above the table in our pod made it all the more comfortable, as did the blankets that were hanging on the chairs that were large enough to wrap around my shoulders and provided further warmth. Note the selfie taken below, which also further shows just how private and secluded it felt in our pod. There were two other couples in their own pods nearby and we barely knew they were there.
Our server made sure we had everything we needed without hovering, and one after another, she brought each course to us. Every new dish just as mouth-watering as the one before it. Keep in mind that their menu changes regularly, so what you see pictured here may not be available to you, but there was nothing that I didn’t 1000% enjoy, especially the brie because how can you go wrong with brie?
There are plenty of other things in the area that make it easy to include this in a perfect long weekend getaway . Ohiopyle is about half an hour south, and the town of Bedford is just an hour east. The Laurel Highlands are beautiful any time of year, but if you go in the autumn months, Bedford’s Fall Foliage Festival is a pretty big event and worth taking the time for.
It’s highly likely that we will return again for this whole experience, and I hope you check it out as well!
Note on images: Occasionally I take trips where my big camera doesn’t accompany me so that I can also experience things without feeling pressured to work, even though I love what I do. This was one of those trips and all the images were taken with my phone. There are no rules, in my opinion, when it comes to capturing your experiences. After all, the best camera is the one in your hand.