Sunday, November 6, 2011

And so the journey begins

Here we are after 8 months of being innkeepers and getting ready to go into the slower winter months.  What a great run we have had so far.  Every day brings new challenges and we have learned so much in our short time as innkeepers.  We look forward to the winter months and the projects we will start in hopes of getting the inn ready for 2012.  It it is time to renovate some bathrooms, update some bedrooms, enhance the dinner and brunch menus, etc.  The winter is sure to fly by and spring will be here before we know it.

If you didn't have a chance to visit us this summer here are a few of the hits and highlights and a glimpse of what is to come in 2012.

  • We started to expand our catering for both on and offsite.  New homes in the Homestead Preserve presented us with the opportunity to provide caterings for cocktail parties and sit down dinners.  We even managed to cater a buffet dinner for 100 people for the Warm Springs Garden Club.  Certainly a highlight of our summer and great accomplishment for us.
  • Exciting changes to the dinner menu were rolled out with great success.  We changed the chicken dish to be prepared with a delightful country ham and sage risotto, the salmon dish is now pan-seared and wrapped in prosciutto, we topped our house cut ribeye with a delicious bleu cheese butter, and most recently we added a pan-seared duck breast with a blackberry sauce and pink peppercorns.  Over the weekend we ran a pan-roasted rack of Elk with a goat cheese sauce that was a huge success.
  • The wine cellar has never been so full of great wine.  From $25-$400 there is something for every palette and wallet.  The cellar is so broad with its offerings and is a real delight to even the most discerning oenophile.  John and I think it is award worthy and soon we will submit our list to The Wine Spectator.
  • The rooms have gotten small upgrades with new furnishings here and there and new linens everywhere.  This winter we plan to renovate the Spring Suite and Singapore bathrooms.  Soon the Board room will have a new layout and design and hopefully find itself more appealing as it will be outfitted with a gorgeous king size bed and a new queen size sleeper sofa.  Most, and soon all, of the rooms have gotten larger (32") flat screen TVs installed.
  • The Warm Spirit Spa recently relocated to a new building across the street giving them larger massage rooms, a waiting area, and new retail space.  We are so happy for their newly upgraded digs.  Now what to do with the massage rooms they left behind in the Steele House?  A new changing room for the members/guests visiting the outdoor pool?  Perhaps a suite for the Virginia Room?  
  • New lawn games appeared this summer giving our guests a few more fun things to do when visiting the inn.  Bean bag toss (popularly knows as corn hole), volleyball, bocce ball, etc.  
  • LIVE MUSIC!  Certainly one thing that has been a great draw to the inn this summer.  Last night we enjoyed the musical stylings of the ever popular Johnson County Sheriffs.  Earlier in the year we listened to Bert Carlson in the square during those warm summer nights.  John Craigie even stopped by for a visit during his east coast tour; an up and coming musician and folk singer that can play a mean harmonica.  Look for more musical acts and repeat performances on a monthly basis.
  • Breakfast has gotten a little upgrade.  We now serve items such as yogurt parfaits, fresh baked scones, pain au chocolat, croissants, homemade muffins and breads, fresh sliced fruit, and Royal Cup coffee.  Look forward to also having some savory items from time to time such as ham biscuits, eggs and cheese pastries and more!
  • The gift shop now offers more retail items.  We have adorable canvas totes, hand made jewelry, books, soaps and lotions, apparel, and delicious jams, jellies, honeys, preserves and spreads all made especially for us.
  • Our event calendar will start filling up with fun monthly events.  Live music will continue.  We hope to schedule a bourbon dinner in December.  Soon we will plan a wine dinner and other fun restaurant events.
Please stay tuned and find us on facebook for more information.  Thank you.