Elegant Signature Evenings
Leave Simsbury behind and enter the worlds you love to read about! Our elaborately-themed Signature Evenings feature fancy dress, elegant food and cocktails, immersive activities and period music, and the kind of enchanting fun you could previously find only by traveling to a major city. A ticket to our events is your key to a magical portal into carefully curated fantasy worlds! Look for our elegant Signature Evenings on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
Saturday, February 1
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Do you love to watch Jaime and Claire stroll the highlands? Join us as we warm up a cold winter night with a rollicking Scots party by the fire, complete with live roaming minstrels playing the harp & fiddle, bawdy poetry recitations, comical icebreaker party games, and mini samples of delicious Scottish dishes. BYO whiskey optional.
Cafe de Paris:
Chocolate Tasting Night
Saturday, February 15 / 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Spend a romantic evening savoring an array of chocolate desserts in "Paris" with your Valentine! Dress in your elegant best and enjoy tasting a three-course variety of delicious chocolate treats, from the lightest mousse to the most decadent thick Spanish hot chocolate and more, all to the delightful sounds of French music in our charming library "bistro."
Saturday, February 29 / 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Celebrate Leap Year with leap into the unknown! Bring your curiosity and courage to this mysterious evening of rare and unusual experiences. Partake in an array of uncommon foods, enigmatic activities, obscure games, and a few surprises you'll never expect! Come ready to try things you've never tried before!
Fun Casual Events
In the mood for a fun activity with friends? Join one of our casual literary events!
Whether we're tasting foods from our favorite books, creating beautiful crafts from pages of old books, or playing trivia games to test our literary knowledge, we're always enjoying being surrounded by fans of books and reading and meeting new friends!
Friday Night Art Sampler: Draw the cartoon Face
Friday, January 24 / 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Looking for something unique to do with your friends on a Friday night? Skip the ubiquitous paint night and learn to actually draw! Each session is just one hour, and will focus on a different specific type of illustration. Learn to draw like a professional in our "secret" castle room. Grab some friends and a bottle of wine for a lively, fresh night on the town!
Saturday, January 25 / 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Join us for a B-Y-O-Boozy evening tea party for Jane Austen fans! We'll provide complimentary, non-alcoholic tea-tini's (bring your favorite spirit or sparkling beverage to add to our charming vintage martinis made with fruity iced tea bases) and we'll also have delicious desserts for purchase. The evening will include entertainment, crafts and trivia games.
*Regency attire encouraged but not required*
Sunday, January 26 / 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Grandparents and grandchildren (aged 8 and up) are invited to solve an exciting mystery together then celebrate with a delicious tea party! Spend an hour with other grand-pairs in our mysterious Victorian Parlor finding clues and solving riddles, then enjoy your victory in our lovely English Kitchen with cakes and cookies, lemonade and tea.
Galentine's Day: Pink Paris Party
Thursday, February 13 / 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Celebrate with your favorite gal pals!
Literary Romance: Make adorable jewelry and a charming bunting using page from old books!
Famous Flea Markets: Participate in our unique Purse Swap! Bring a gently used purse from home and swap it for someone else's.
Whimsical L'Amour: Write a romantic poem for your sweetie using our fun poetry generator!
Fancy Fashion: Wear black & white and memorialize your friendship in our photo booth.
Gourmet Food: Macarons & flutes of pink lemonade. Guests are welcome to BYOB
Live Murder Mysteries
Join us for a full evening of costumed fun! Periodically, our house is filled with suspects in a riveting murder mystery, and we need your help to find the culprit! Come dressed in your crime-solving finest and enjoy a night of elegant hors d'oeuvres, fancy drinks, vintage music, and the chance to interview a variety of shady characters to determine whose alibi is the weakest.
Custom murder mystery games
available for private parties!
Join us for a relaxing Sunday afternoon immersed in your favorite literary genre.
Find a different event repeating each week of the month. Prepay your reservation for a discount on your cover charge, or drop in at your convenience.
Les Deux Magots: Literary Cafe
Meets on the 1st Sunday of each month
3:30 - 5:00 pm
"Les Deux Magots" is an iconic café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, France known as a famous rendezvous point for the literary and intellectual élite of the city. Authors and thinkers such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, and event Julia Child were known to frequent this lovely bistro.
Wish you could while away a stimulating Sunday afternoon sipping tea and chatting with fellow literary enthusiasts? Drop in to our own version of "Les Deux Magots" on the 1st Sunday of each month between 3:30 and 5:00 pm. Pay one low cover charge and enjoy a selection of tea and cookies while you discuss the fascinating literary topics provided at each table with your new friends.
The Bard's Bistro: A Gathering of Songwriters
Meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month
3:30 - 5:00 pm
The Storyteller's Cottage is the center of a community of storytellers of all types. Are you a musical storyteller?
Drop in on the 2nd Sunday of each month between 3:30 and 5:00 pm to meet and jam with fellow songwriters.
A $5 cover charge includes unlimited tea & coffee, and snacks are also available for sale. Bring your song notebook, your ideas that you'd like to bounce off other songwriters, and your instrument if you'd like to play.
Sing, chat, or just listen ... spend an inspiring Sunday afternoon immersed in the magic of the story.
Murder in the Library:
Mini Mystery & Author Salon
Meets on the 3rd Sunday of each month
3:30 - 5:00 pm
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than pondering murder in an elegant Victorian library?
Stop in on the 3rd Sunday of each month for a unique activity perfect for mystery fans. to hear a different local mystery author discuss their latest book. You may choose to read the book ahead of time, or purchase a signed copy when you arrive.
Fictional Feasts: Book & Food Pairing Club
Meets on the 4th Sunday of each month
3:30 - 5:00 pm
From Harry Potter's chocolate frogs, to Anne of Green Gables' raspberry cordial, to the Turkish Delight from
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, classic literature is filled with iconic foods.
Join us on the 4th Sunday of each month for a merry and nostalgic book & food pairing based on your favorite books! A cross between a book club and a tea party, our Fictional Feasts celebrate the beloved novels that we all know and love (so you won't have to commit to reading a new book each month). Immerse yourself in a cherished favorite novel as we chat about the story and sample its quintessential cuisine. (Designed for ages 14 - adult)
JANUARY: Little House on the Prairie ... Heart-shaped cakes & maple snow candy, Nellie Oleson's lemonade
FEBRUARY: To All the Boys I've Loved Before ... Lara Jean's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cherry Coke
MARCH: The Great Gatsby ... "West Egg" Pastry Pigs & Daisy's Champagne Cocktail (sparkling cider & secrets)
APRIL: Lord of the Rings ... Bilbo's Seed Cake & Ale (cream soda)
MAY: Anne of Green Gables ... Raspberry Tarts & Raspberry Cordial
JUNE: Harry Potter ... Hagrid's Rock Cakes & Butterbeer
Join us for unprecedented access to talented local authors at our intimate Author Salons. Hear authors read from their works in our charming Jules Verne Library, then participate in a lively discussion about their writing process and inspiration. Enjoy a light reception afterward and an opportunity to speak personally with each author and purchase signed copies of their books.
"The Tu-Tone DeSoto"
by Dave Robbins
Sunday, January 26 / 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Join author David Robbins as he discusses his new book, "The Tu-Tune DeSoto." This fast-paced novel centers on the lives of eight Hanson, Iowa, high school teens during the Kennedy administration and Cold War years of the early 1960s. They are living in conflict with the mindsets of their parents through a generation gap destined to become an incendiary turning point in future years. The teens' internal concerns take precedence over more worldly events as they naively mature into adulthood. Julie Maxwell elopes with her boyfriend, Beau Harper, who joins the navy. Connie Mueller is the best friend of Penny, Julie's younger sister. They find their maturity at the expense of their relationship, placing Connie at odds with her dysfunctional parents. Miscreant John Bass has lived a wasted life. Michael Hendricks, looking for identity through the torment of dyslexia and poor grades, faces a bleak future. Regina, Reverend Thomas Barragan's daughter, creates the formula for her imminent destruction.
"Blowin' In The Wind"
by Joel Samberg
Sunday, February 2 / 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Join author Joel Samberg as he discusses his new book, "Blowin' in the Wind."
Nine-year-old Daniel Hillman, a musical prodigy on Long Island, knows he’ll be the first preteen in history to write, arrange and perform his own hit album, even though there are many other things he’d like to do. He knows that his older brother Steven will become the first teenager to circumnavigate the globe, his terrible school grades notwithstanding. He knows that his sister Lori is destined to become something great, even though she cries almost every day in school and is an emotional wreck.
What Daniel does not know is that life can get in the way. Parents. Cheaters. Vietnam. Jealousy. Desire. If Daniel’s journey proves anything at all, it’s that life can be as hard and painful as having your insides kicked out by circumstances beyond your control, or as simple and carefree as looking up and making a wish. Maybe both.
"Eye With a View"
by Amla Mehta
Sunday, February 16 / 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Join author Amla Mehta as she discusses her new book, "Eye with a View." Twelve enlightening true stories from pain to purpose. Amla chronicles the light and dark aspects of vision loss based on universal themes like facing inequality and vast change. Amla's journey of blindness organically became the catalyst that enabled her to love herself unconditionally-both her innate irregularities and her internal and external shimmery qualities.
Nature is a perfect example of how we, as a human race, are meant to expand and grow. Even the most weathered, gnarled tree encompasses a unique pattern of magnificence. If every living being can accept nature in totality, resonating with imperfections and strengths, why can't we, as a collective community, value and accept one another's similarities and differences simultaneously? Through the lens of being legally blind, Amla will empower you to radiate your authenticity despite any adversity. After all, every star in the galaxy sparkles differently. Yet that's precisely what makes the universe so spectacular.
"More Than Halfway There"
by David Hartshorn
Sunday, February 23 / 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Join author David Hartshorn as he discusses his new book, "More Than Halfway There."
Life has turned sour for Jake Taylor. Recent misfortunes have caused him to abandon a thriving Philadelphia law practice, as well as his love interest of more than twenty years, and retreat to his hometown in Jackson Meadows, New Hampshire. Lonely and disillusioned, Jake takes up solitary residence in his boyhood home, where he hopes to sort matters out in private and piece his life back together. He soon discovers, however, that it’s impossible to hide out in a small town. Like it or not, Jake is inescapably drawn into the lives of his demented father who now lives in a nursing home, the boyhood friend who was once like his brother, and the girlfriend he hasn’t seen since high school. These individuals, together with a host of colorful Jackson Meadows locals, have lessons to teach Jake about accepting life and all its imperfect offerings. Sad, funny, insightful and ultimately heartwarming, Jake’s journey is everything he didn’t expect it to be.
"Darke House" & "Summerland"
by Pat Kelbaugh
Sunday, April 26 / 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Through her “Dreamtime” novels, Kelbaugh has created a world in which vampires are not all evil and can live unrecognized among normal humans, thanks to a drug called Lexiri that, among other benefits, eliminates the craving for blood.
These are not your typical vampire tales. Rather, they read like modernized detective stories from the 1950s, with breezy, smart dialogue that sweeps the reader along, smoothly slipstreaming between dimensions, while making perfect sense of it all.