Filmed on Mason’s Island, in the town of Stonington, CT and just a short distance from Mystic, this episode of New England Living TV centers around a gambrel-style home which has a relaxed, yet effortlessly regal feel.
Homeowners Dan and Stacy had the 3,600-square-foot house built 10 years ago when they realized they’d outgrown their historic home in downtown Mystic. The couple’s blended family includes five children and a large, extended family.
The interiors of the home, designed in their entirety by Stacy, feature a white-on-white palette on the walls in many of the rooms with texture and visual interest coming from extensive millwork. Hardwood flooring, in a warm hue, runs throughout the home lending a sense of continuity. The furnishings are a blend of antique pieces, also in warm wood tones, and soft pieces which have been slipcovered in white canvas. Local artwork dots the walls. The overall effect is airy, inviting and livable. In the kitchen, Calacatta gold marble takes center stage with the countertops and tiled backsplash rendered in the material.
After touring the home, Dan and Stacy take Host Parker Kelley on a stroll through the extensive grounds which the couple designed and care for themselves. The landscaped areas rely on indigenous plantings while wooded areas have been left in their natural state.
While Dan heads to the yacht club on the island to prepare the family’s boat for a sunset cruise, Stacy and Parker enjoy a bike ride around the 600-acre island, taking in the views of the Mystic River and a large saltmarsh. The first day of filming closes as Parker, Dan and Stacy, and members of their family, enjoy a leisurely cruise as they watch the sailboat races which they happened upon.
The following day is all about food and drink.
Parker dons waders and helps harvest oysters at the Behan Family Farm. With her are James Wayman, the executive chef at the Oyster Club in Mystic who will prepare dinner at Dan and Stacy’s that evening, and Matt Behan, one of the owners of the oyster farm. Following a successful harvest, the trio heads to Stone Acres Farm where they meet with Jane Meiser, whose family has farmed the land for 10 generations, and select produce which will be used that evening.
Parker also spends time talking with Jane’s husband, Dan Meiser, who explains the passion behind there farming.
“We believe there’s this cool food revolution taking place in our little corner of Connecticut,” he says. “We believe in the story behind our food.”
Back at the house, Parker acts as sous chef assisting James in preparing roast pork for the evening’s dinner gathering. Before starting to prepare the oysters harvested that morning, which will be the first course, Parker meets with Bailey Pryor, the founder and CEO of The Real McCoy rum. Pryor, an Emmy Award-winning documentary producer for PBS, talks about the history of bootlegging and Bill McCoy, the rumrunner whose unadulterated rum was the genesis of the phrase “the real McCoy” which Pryor has replicated in his company’s carefully-crafted rum.
The episode concludes with Parker, Dan and Stacy, and a group of friends enjoying oysters, along with a cocktail prepared by Pryor with The Real McCoy rum, as they sit down to Chef Wayman’s feast.