Before you start, I must warn you: Pictures galore coming your way, because well, I
simply couldn’t resist myself, so enjoy the breakdown.
Welcome to Aurora, NY! Home of MacKenzie-Childs, where all your home and kitchen dreams WILL come true through the magical experience that is visiting this place. I won’t lie. MacKenzie-Childs is quite new to me, and I had no idea what I was in for when I was invited on this trip. The depth and uniqueness of this brand and the care with which each piece is meticulously prepared with such attention to detail and finesse, like I’d never seen before! I was immediately in love with the whole concept from top to bottom coming from the creative director, to the artisans in-house. SPLENDID!
If you’re not familiar with MacKenzie-Childs, finish reading this post and immediately head over to their website so you know what I’m talking about. You will be intrigued, but even more once you have the chance to visit this place. This is the perfect all-girls getaway, bring your mother/grandmother location, or introduce your daughter to the realness” that is handmade perfection right before your eyes.
I am witness that they are an amazing company that takes pride in adding personality and an exquisite FUN touch to our homes through the years….30 to be exact, and this year, I was invited to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of their famous Courtly Check design (the black and white pattern you will see ALL OVER this blog post, and also what I want my whole entire house to look like, at least some of it!). Each and every piece has the ability to make you smile ear to ear. The first night was celebrated with Courtly Check cake, of course. How else would you celebrate such a special anniversary!
Visiting MacKenzie-Childs headquarters was a privilege, and now I know this is where dreams come true and everything is handmade and is imperfectly perfect! And how could it not be? All I kept thinking about was “I need to bring my mom and grandma here”, because it literally brings out the little girl in all of us. My mother is an artist, and I can just see her getting lost in that atelier of what seems more like illusionism at best. It all just doesn’t seem real, rather a true dream for a simple mortal but to an artist it might feel like another dimension, I am NOT exaggerating.
To get here I flew into Syracuse, NY (yes, this is upstate NY, so nothing like NYC, a different world!) and drove about an hour to Aurora, a small town in the Finger Lakes region that overlooks Cayuga lake with the most breathtaking views. First things first, after all, I am a foodie.
First night dinner was at the Fargo Bar and Grill, just across the street from where we stayed. The food is simple and DELICIOUS and was served at the basement of The Fargo, precisely where Mackenzie-Childs was born, literally the initial atelier before they moved to what is known today as the headquarters a few miles down the road.
Aurora is truly a fairy tale town with a population of only about 400 people, and has a cozy atmosphere and special feel to it. I’m describing the town and also Aurora Inn, where I had the pleasure of staying for 2 nights while visiting. I just can’t wait to return and bring Winecoach once Baby Sandee debuts because this is the Finger lakes Region, which means wineries and the highest quality Riesling!
Aurora Inn offers the best accommodations in the area, paired with an amazing restaurant, plus muffins and coffee each morning at your doorstep. Talk about phenomenal service and the beautiful view of the lake, not to mention falling asleep to the warmth of the fireplace which is left on each night when you return to the room! This is the place to be.
The next day, following a session of morning yoga right at the level where I needed to be with my belly, I felt restored and ready to go have an adventure!
If you kept up with my Instagram and Snapchat: AnaSandee during my visit, you got to tour along not only the facility where artisans create these masterpieces that can be crudely described as ceramics and furnishings at the start, but once brought to life are so much more than that: They become our prized possessions, accent pieces and certainly those with most personality in the room! This is how it all starts!
Nothing here is taken lightly and extreme attention to detail is a necessity while each piece goes through quality control before making it to their showroom/store on campus or shipped to stores that carry them, and ultimately into our homes. It is truly something special to watch, and I can share it all with you through pictures.
Highlight of the day: when they tell you you get to paint your own plate! Anxiety and excitement all into once! So fun….You could make up whatever you like, make your own pattern, copy a pattern or be as creative as you’d like. I obviously had to go the ridiculous route! Now I’ll have a MacKenzie-Childs original one of a kind Colorful Foodie plate!
The “Farm House” also located on campus is the most incredible home I’ve ever seen. Overwhelmingly pleased yet extremely enthusiastic to be here is an acceptable way to describe it. We thought this home was beautiful on the outside, but wait…the inside though!
Every inch of this 3 story house is completely decked out in MacKenzie-Childs decor, I mean from the floors/tiles, till the drop ceilings in some rooms to every doorknob detail, wallpaper and accents throughout the house. You literally enter the house and stand there in awe, like “Is this place real?” and if so, when can I move in or at least stay for a few days! Prepare to feast your eyes.
This is probably my favorite item in the house. Or ever. EVER!
Fortunately, they do give guided tours each day, just book it when you come visit. I hope to visit again, hopefully with the mom because I know she would just love it so much! I know because I’m the enthusiam scale she is at least 10-fold what I am, and I was pretty darn excited! But by now I think you can see why…WOW.
The campus is also a farm, it really is! It offers the most gorgeous landscapes and animals, like sheep and geese! I loved it, and had a great time walking around just taking it all in. Truly something special to experience. No wonder people come here in the summer for their yearly sale! It’s not just to acquire pieces, but to share the experience with girlfriends and those with tastes alike. Now, I know….
I had the joy of sharing this experience with four other amazing bloggers and we were accompanied by Mackenzie-Childs staff as well a surprise guest appearance (she actually just happened to be having dinner at the same spot): The creator of American Girl Dolls just came and said hi! Every little girls knows and loves American Girl Dolls, so that was such a pleasant surprise! We are all so excited! Enchanted Aurora….
As if we didn’t have enough for dinner, the Aurora Inn staff arranged that we have a fire and s’mores out back later on that evening! Aside getting sprinkled on, it was the perfect ending to a fantastic experience. I hope you all make it to Aurora sometime. Heavenly!
I hope you enjoyed the summary of this amazing trip which is difficult to put into words, but I did try my very best! I hope you most of all enjoyed the pictures but there was no better way of sharing such a place other than with visuals! That’s how I roll….
Because I love you and Mackenzie-Childs is amazing (and so generous!), we want to giveaway 4 pieces of the Courtly Check Cookware collection, GASP! Yes, 4 pieces, which is SO incredibly awesome. All you have to do is leave a comment below expressing why you should be the one to get it!
***Pay attention because I will respond to you and need your information to get you your stuff, so make sure you answer back within 24 hours! Winner will be announced in precisely a week, on November 1st. Can you believe it will be November already? 2 more months till Baby Sandee is here!
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This trip was sponsored by Mackenzie-Childs and I’m proud to be working closely with them in the upcoming year to develop recipes and share my passion for colors and this beautiful brand! As always, the love, excitement and opinions come from the heart and genuine passion for food, traveling and all beautiful things experienced by this colorful author! Thank you for your support! I love you!
Xo, Ana – The Colorful Foodie