In the northeast corner of Westchester County lies North Salem, a rustic but moneyed one-stoplight burg surrounded by horse farms, wooded hills, and Titicus Reservoir. The village also boasts the Golden’s Bridge Hounds, the only hunt club left in Westchester. During the hunting season, the club’s 70-odd members ride to the hounds on nearby golf courses as often as three times a week.
On a hill overlooking North Salem is the unusual Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden (28 Deveau Rd., off June Rd., a quarter-mile north of Rte. 116, 914/669-5033, www.hammondmuseum.org , noon–4 p.m. Wed.–Sat. May–Sept., adults $5, seniors $4, and children under 12 free). Established by Natalie Hays Hammond in 1957, the place bills itself as a “cross-cultural center” for Eastern and Western arts. Inside the museum are changing exhibits on such subjects as antique Japanese fans and watercolors, while outside are meticulously designed Japanese gardens.
Hammond was the daughter of John Hays Hammond, the mining engineer who discovered and developed the long-lost King Solomon Mines in South Africa. She traveled the world as a child, became engaged eight times but never married, and worked as a Broadway set and costume designer, author, miniaturist, and needlepoint artist.
The museum’s romantic, outdoor Silk Tree Cafe (914/669-6777, Wed.–Sat. May–Sept., $9) is an excellent place for lunch. On the menu are imaginative salads, sandwiches, and the like. Reservations are recommended.