Luxe lodging at The Homestead B&B, The Poplar Cottage and The Mansion, New Haven
Wally Dant could see his past and a striking future when he looked at 300-plus acres in Gethsemane near New Haven, about an hour’s drive from both Louisville and Lexington.
The land had family connections. His maternal grandmother worked for Dant Head Distillery on this same land in the 1950s, starting in the bottling house and then working as a cook at a bed-and-breakfast similar to one now on the property. This heritage was a huge plus for the family-centered Dant.
He could envision his dream coming to fruition here, too. It would be called Dant Crossing and be anchored by Log Still Distillery. Ultimately, the site would include a host of buildings with amenities and activities for the whole family—a restaurant, walking trails, a train depot, an events venue, an amphitheater and unique lodging options.
One by one, those facilities are opening. Dant Crossing is the first venue of its kind in Kentucky’s bourbon country.
The site currently features The Homestead bed-and-breakfast, The Poplar Cottage and The Mansion for lodging; The Tasting Room; The Amp, an outdoor amphitheater accommodating up to 2,000 for live music, concerts and events; a 12-acre lake for fishing; and a paved walking trail around the lake.
Soon, Dant Crossing also will include a fully functional private train depot connected to the Kentucky Railroad Museum, a wedding and events venue, a farm-to-table restaurant and more lodging options.
When all are open, you might get a taste of Dant family recipes such as Bourbon Chocolate Bavarian Cream.
“I grew up watching my mother make Chocolate Bavarian Cream for my father,” says Amy Dant, the hospitality ambassador and consumer-member of Inter-County Energy. “My father loved anything chocolate and this dessert in particular. I loved it, too.”
Dant didn’t stop there. She added bourbon from the family-owned Log Still Distillery, available at The Tasting Room.
Today, the best way to taste Dant cooking is to book from among five rooms at The Homestead B&B and settle into the simple Southern experience, complete with breakfast. The Homestead, a historic farmhouse with views of the property’s 14-acre lake, is within walking distance of Log Still Distillery and all the site’s amenities.
The suites, most named for Dant family members, combine the traditional with the contemporary. The Ann Catherine Suite, for example, is designed around the home’s original brick fireplace, with a private sitting area, king bed, and bathroom with soaker tub and large shower.
“This room is the perfect place to unwind after a day in bourbon country,” says Amy.
If you choose to stay in one of the two suites at The Poplar Cottage on the lakefront, you may still indulge in breakfast at The Homestead or create something yourself in the kitchen facilities that each includes. The Poplar Retreat suite is the larger, with a king and two queen beds, plus a wrap-around porch and patio; while The Poplar Studio features a queen bed and design elements from the original Dant Distillery.
The Mansion is a restored Federal-style home with design highlights like crystal chandeliers, original staircase and antique furniture. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, full kitchen and three porches and is steps from the wedding and event venue now under construction.
More to come
Still to open this year is the farm-to-table restaurant and bar, called 47 & Poplar; the private railcar and railroad station, dubbed Gethsemane Station; and The Legacy, a wedding and events venue with a full-service, on-site kitchen and multiple features:
• The Chapel, which seats 350 (or divided for smaller groups) with adjacent dedicated dressing rooms for brides and grooms.
• The Banquet Hall, a versatile space also holding 350 that can be used for a wedding reception, gala or corporate event. The large stage in the space includes specialty lighting and is perfect for live entertainment.
• The Covered and Enclosed Breezeway is a scenic spot for cocktail hour before a wedding reception or corporate event.
“We are truly a family-friendly venue,” says Amy. “Once completed it will be a fully immersive experience that’s rooted in the community and culture in Bourbon Country.”
121 Dee Head Road, Gethsemane
Dant Crossing’s Bourbon Chocolate Bavarian Cream