Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where did the year go?

Wow, we are finding it hard to believe that another great year has come and (almost) gone.  It was a busy one for us!  We managed to accomplish so much at the inn this year.  While keeping our noses to the grindstone (pun intended :) we finally looked up and it was almost winter.  For those of you who didn't have a chance to visit the inn this year we thought we should provide you with a little recap, although you may have (hopefully) followed our journey via facebook.

So, we started really working on the inn in January.  With the help of some extra hands we completed bathroom renovations in the Spring Suite, Singapore, and Croft rooms.  We also painted the entire Mill (restaurant) both inside and out.  Stained the deck and bridges, had the pool completely resurfaced, paved our parking lot, hired a new Executive Chef, added a nice little woodstove to the office, added updated vanities to the Barley and Wheat rooms, and made 5 short videos about the inn, all while seeing a small increase in business for both the restaurant and inn.  To say the least it was a remarkable year!  A few pictures follow of the completed projects, but we hope you will come and see them for yourselves.

This winter we hope to have more time to blog and share inn news with you.  While we will slow down a bit in the colder months it won't stop us from continuing to work on the rooms.  We have plans to decorate a few and will share their progress along the way.

Singapore room with a new bathroom where there was once just a shower in a closet!

The new Singapore shower is HUGE and has a 3 different shower heads for maximum enjoyment.  One is a rain shower from the ceiling.

The new Spring Suite bathroom offers a dual vanity.

And a relaxing jacuzzi tub awaits you.

The Mill is stunning!  The repaint was a huge undertaking, but a wonderful and worthwhile outcome!

The Croft room gets upgraded with a large soaking tub, new flooring, and some fresh paint.

Ahh the pool...a complete resurfacing leaves it sparkling and new.  We look forward to reopening it Memorial Weekend.
Thank you for your time!  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Yay!!  Spring is here.  I can't say "finally" because we had such a mild winter and spring started showing up in January.  Yet, it is March and officially spring.  This is one of our favorite times of the year.  The gardens around the inn start to develop, the daffodils pop up.  Birds are singing loud and proud and working hard to build their nests, or spruce up the ones they left from last year.

Ramp with dew
Best of all, spring is the time for ramps and morels.  Two of my favorite foods.  Ramps are an early spring vegetable with a strong garlic like odor and a pronounced onion flavor.  They are nothing short of superb and are the ideal addition to eggs, potatoes, trout, pasta, pizza (that's right!), butter, etc.  We like them from raw to cooked, from root to leaf, and all the in-between.  Right now they can be found on our menu broiled with fresh trout and a little beer.  John is famous for pickling them and preserving them for later, or adding them to butter and then topping a delicious Rib-eye with said ramp butter.  I love to put them in a blender with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little Parmesan cheese to make a pesto which can be used on pasta or as a pizza base.  Quite possibly even more fun than eating them is the time spent in the woods digging them.  John and I look forward to the afternoons we can spend hiking through the forest (in WV) with our digging tool of choice, our dog Turley, and the promise of a full grocery sack of ramps.  We recently took a lovely drive on the scenic highway in WV to go to one of our favorite ramp digging spots: Tea Creek.  This is a stunning part of the state located in nearby Pocahontas Co., WV.  It is about a 45 minute drive from the inn west on highway 39 through Marlinton, WV and then north off of Rte. 219. 

John, Turley, and ramps

Did I mention we also love morels?  These little mushrooms are not as easy to spot as the ramp and grow in abundance right here in Bath Co.  Friends and locals tell tales of scooping up pounds of these delicious mushrooms, but don't think they will share their morel spot; that secret is taken to the grave.  I often wonder, because I've yet to find one, if folks who point me in the "right" direction, are really just sending me further away from their morel spot.  Nah, now why would they do that :)?  Luckily we just have to wait patiently for someone to pop by the back door with bags full of morels for sale to finally enjoy them.  If you can find them, and I hope you have more luck than I, enjoy them, because they are here for a such short time in spring, and although you can buy them dehydrated nothing compares to a freshly picked morel.

Whatever it is you love about spring, and I could go on and on, we hope that you will someday make a trip to experience spring in Bath Co.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What to do, what to do...

People find many things to do in Bath Co. in the warmer months, but they often wonder what to do in the winter.  Winter is a really great time to visit the area.  First of all, it isn't always as cold as many people think.  In fact just yesterday it was near 60 degrees.  On those nice warm days it is an excellent time to go out on many of the great hiking and biking trails.  You can spend hours out in the woods.  Another great winter activity is fly-fishing.  Native trout enjoy the cooler water temperatures and they are still swimming around in the rivers and streams.

On the colder days we suggest skiing at either the nearby Homestead Resort or taking a little bit longer drive to Snowshoe Mountain.  For beginners the Homestead really is a great spot.  It can be expensive, but if you bring your own rentals or skis/snowboards it can be more affordable.  The Homestead also offers snowboarding, tubing and ice-skating.  All of these activities are available for anyone, even if you aren't staying at The Homestead.  For those willing to make the drive to Snowshoe for a day of skiing it is well worth your time.  Their slopes are fantastic and great skiing for the east coast.  A lift ticket gets you access to both the slopes at Snowshoe and the lesser known Silver Creek ski area.  It is a fantastic deal to have access to both ski areas and there is a complimentary shuttle that will take you back and forth.  We suggest skiing Snowshoe in the morning before it gets too crowded, and then move on to Silver Creek in the afternoon where the lift lines are almost non-existent.
Croft Room fireplace

Feel like curling up with a book in front of a fireplace?  Then you ought to book one of our fireplace rooms.  We have 7 to choose from at the Inn.  Fireplaces are stocked and ready for you to simply light a match.  Need more wood?  No problem, just give us a call and we will bring you more logs to keep your fire going all night long.  It is actually the perfect winter activity.  At the inn we have small library of books ready to be lent to you and also a nice supply of board games to keep you entertained.

Highland County Maple Festival
"Hub and Spoke" is a common term used by the travel industry to describe a destination that can be used as a hub that offers small day trips to other areas.  We are one such destination.  We are a short drive from Staunton, VA (Blackfriars Playhouse), Roanoke, VA (Taubman Museum), Charlottesville, VA (Wineries and Monticello), Lewisburg, WV (The famed Greenbrier Hotel, Carnegie Hall and the Greenbrier Valley Theater), Lexington, VA (VMI and W&L, the Stonewall Jackson House and Natural Bridge), Highland Co., VA (Maple Festival-March, VA Trout Co.), Snowshoe, WV (previously mentioned), and many other fun little out of the way places.
Someone you might find in the Pub

 We hope that we have given you an idea of some of the great activities that can be done while in the area in the winter time.  Of course visiting the area to simply relax and do nothing is always a great idea.  You can stay at the inn and not need to leave.  Let us know before you arrive and we can have a box lunch prepared for you, so that you can stay inside and get some much needed R&R.  Dine in the Waterwheel Restaurant at night, which is conveniently open 7 nights a week.  Cap off the night with a drink in the Simon Kenton Pub and chat with the locals who will tell you tales of the area their favorite things to do all year round.