A few weeks ago, I went on one of the greatest school field trips I’ve had in a very long time. My art class went to visit the Grounds for Sculpture, an outdoor garden which functions as a museum for contemporary sculptures in Hamilton, NJ. I went once before, with my grandparents when I was younger, but this time I was able to truly appreciate and be amazed by the art. I also had a lot of fun because my friends were there! The artist who founded Grounds for Sculpture, Seward Johnson, created life-size (and sometimes larger) sculptures of people in common settings as well as replicas of famous paintings that you can walk right into throughout the park. This made for some awesome and hilarious photo ops. We had a picnic with the naked lady in Manet’s Luncheon in the Grass, panicked with Edward Munch’s The Scream, dined with fancy party guests in Renoir’s Boathouse, and intruded on countless activities of everyday life through our pictures with these sculptures.
When I came to Grounds for Sculpture years ago with my grandparents, we went to the main restaurant there- Rats. Rats is a beautiful and charming restaurant, decorated based on The Wind In The Willows, Seward Johnson’s favorite childrens’ book. The restaurant is situated on a small lake facing Johnson’s replication of Monet’s water lilies and it is breathtakingly gorgeous. Unfortunately though, the restaurant is pretty pricey, so our art class decided to eat at a less expensive restaurant in the Grounds for Sculpture- the Van Gogh Café. Before we went into the “Grounds”, we were allowed to go check out the restaurant and the gift shop for a few minutes… and my friend and I got in trouble for getting coffee at the café because it caused us to be a minute late to get our passes to enter… oops. But my cappuccino was worth it, okay?
After exploring the Grounds for a few hours, we made our way back to the Van Gogh Café, where I ordered a Blueberries and Cream Crepe. It was my lunch, but I was really feeling dessert, so I went for it. The crepe was made right in front of me, so I got to watch the chef pour and flatten the batter with a special crepe spatula on a special crepe griddle (which was huge, by the way), then flip it and fold in the blueberries and whipped cream, and finally sprinkle a dash of powdered sugar on top. My crepe was oozing with whipped cream, and the fresh New Jersey blueberries which spilled out of the delectable crepe were juicy as could be. After this monstrous crepe, of course we still wanted more dessert. As I’ve said before, it’s all about maximizing your food experience! So two of my friends and I shared two more desserts. First, we had a Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll. While almost unnecessarily drenched in honey, it was very good, but it could not hold a candle to what we ate next– the Pot De Créme. We nicknamed it the “Poop of the Gods”. OMG. I have never had something so delicious. My friend took pictures of the faces I was making as I was eating this Pot De Créme in awe that such blissful eating faces even existed. Pot De Créme is a French dessert which is essentially a chilled chocolate custard, reminiscent of a creamier chocolate mousse. It was rich, sweet, and irrisistably chocolatey. Perfection. My only regret is that I shared it with my friends and didn’t get my own.
Please- for your own health and happiness (okay maybe not your health because I mean… dessert…) but certainly your happiness, treat your soul to a day at the Grounds for Sculpture. It is a truly beautiful museum with some truly delicious food to finish it off.
Enjoy! Love, The Perky Foodie