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Bed & Breakfast news for Innkeepers and B&B travelers
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What’s the first rule of foodie club? Diversify the decadence because you don’t want every meal to be the same. Heaven forbid your Instagram feed gets bland and starved for enticing images. That’s why many culinary enthusiasts opt to try and channel their culinary talents through cooking classes. Not only do you get behind-the-scenes access to the kitchen, but you also experience the pride and joy of creating the feast-worthy finished product. Then you can stage and shoot your food to your heart’s content before you begin enjoying some serious indulgence. Here’s where our friend/innkeeper Chef Monika Sudakov of Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, IL comes in very handy!

Chestnut Street InnChestnut Street Inn

As a certified culinary professional, who also has a Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on Food and Culture, Chef Monika was always intent on teaching cooking/culture – and specifically to promote cultures people aren’t accustomed to like Moroccan/Greek – since she and her husband Jeff opened the inn. In addition to her experience and knowledge, Chef Monika also has a background in theater so she is very comfortable with the presentation aspect of educating others. It’s apparent as well by the feedback from students that this offering has been a huge success.

“My classes have been wildly popular and have a very high return rate,” reveals Chef Monika. “People like to try different cultures, and what makes my classes unique to most other culinary schools or classes is that it is completely hands-on. Everyone is involved in preparing every course of a four-course meal. My job is to guide them, give them cooking technique suggestions, educate them about spices, expand their knowledge about the culture, and show them a good time! I had a repeat group just today with a 16-year-old who loves to cook. I can tailor each class to any cooking expertise level.”

Gourmet Mediterranean Cuisine from Chef MonikaGourmet Mediterranean Cuisine from Chef Monika

Classes are offered Sunday through Thursday and will accommodate up to 6 people per class. The group decides the menu they would like to prepare, then they get copies of the recipes, about 2-3 hours of class time, and after, they get to enjoy the full dinner while the staff cleans up. The experience is priced at $50 per person, plus tax. Two sample menus include:

1) Moroccan-Harira Soup; Roasted Pepper and Tomato Salad; Carrot Salad; Moroccan Relish; Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives; and Honey Citrus Cake

2) Italian-Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms; Caprese Salad; Roast Pork Tenderloin with Pesto and Herb Roasted Potatoes; and Tiramisu Creme Brulee

As for the future? “Depending upon interest I may branch off into offering an Indian class, Asian of some ilk, and possibly Brazilian or Cuban,” adds Chef Monika. “And I plan to offer more options to our Mediterranean fare.”

For more information or to set up a cooking class, you can contact Chef Monika at 800-537-1304 or email her at monikaandjeff@chestnut-inn.com.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

We’ve hit the high season for taking time off! That means if you haven’t already made some getaway plans, it’s time to get going. Whether you opt for a full week or just an extended weekend, there are plenty of amazing B&B’s all across North America that will no doubt definitely fit the bill.

Additionally, these inns offer options for families, gay & lesbian couples, girlfriends, guy friends, and even your furry best friends, so there is no excuse for not booking. It’s not just amazing breakfasts, in-the-know innkeepers, and exciting destinations you can look forward too. There are also numerous packages and specials designed with every demographic in mind. So click on the links below to find the experience that is ideal for you.

Family Vacations:

Gay & Lesbian Friendly Accommodations:

Girlfriends’ Getaways:


Pets Welcome:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It may be in the middle of July but the ongoing summer music festivals are just heating up. Outside Lands, which proudly proclaims itself as the “world’s only gourmet music festival”, will occupy San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park from August 5-7. Along with featuring some of the hottest in eighties music (Duran Duran and Lionel Richie are among the many artists to hit the stage), the festival will also feature some of today’s top performers such as Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Lana Del Rey, Ryan Adams, and many more! Additionally, it’s worth noting that the fest’s Barbary variety has gained a reputation through the years for its lineups featuring the funniest comedians in the biz. This year, you’ll be able to have some real “LOL” moments with an endless amount of A-list stand up’s including Fred Armisen, Adam Devine, John Mulany, and Natasha Leggero.

And since you’ll be completely wiped out from laughing and singing your heart out all weekend, you’ll need a few amazing options for lodging. Look no further – we’ve got a couple of great choices that will leave you rested after a full day of festival activities.

Queen Anne HotelQueen Anne Hotel

A stay at Queen Anne Hotel includes deluxe continental breakfast, morning newspaper, Wi-Fi (to upload all of your Instagram-worthy festival pics), afternoon tea (to soothe your tired voice after singing along to the hottest artists), and even a local weekday morning town car service to your nearby destination. Experience Victorian furnishings, accented with beautiful mirrors and chandeliers, formal drapes, and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the San Francisco cityscape.

My Rosegarden Guest RoomsMy Rosegarden Guest Rooms

If you’re looking for something a bit more subdued and quiet, My Rosegarden Guest Rooms offers just that. Situated next to the Presidio National Park, the inn is known for its location in an upscale and safe neighborhood. Within a short walking distance you’ll find yourself among multiple amazing restaurants and public transportation (perfect for going back-and-forth to the festival). Be sure to save room after sampling the festival’s amazing food lineup – My Rosegarden Guest Rooms has a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach with a selection of breads, granolas, freshly squeezed juice, torte, and quiche.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Quick! Think of one or your favorite summer activities aside from heading to the beach and barbecuing. For us, the third “B” in the series would be biking, of course. From West Coast to East, our B&B’s offer plenty of amazing cycling excursions within some awe-inspiring surroundings.

Whether it’s on winding countryside roads that feature wineries, ranches, and rivers near The Inn at Locke House in Lockeford, CA, or self-guided scenic area tours by the sea near Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic, CT, there are cycling experiences ideal for every level of ability. Guests can enjoy numerous trails, discounts, and specials designed with bike enthusiasts in mind.

Click here to find your ideal experience for the season.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summertime is the ideal season for hitting the high seas. What better way to spend the day than enjoying the sights and sounds of an adventure on open water? That’s where our friends at Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden, ME come in. Known for its classic coastline and breathtaking views, The Pine Tree State is a destination celebrated for waterside fun and the inn’s Schooner Sailing Package lets guests experience it firsthand.

Camden Maine Stay InnCamden Maine Stay Inn

Sailing from the beautiful Camden Harbor into the enchanting Penobscot Bay, guests will enjoy a two-hour excursion aboard the 95-year-old Schooner Surprise. The captains welcome passengers on board this historic vessel to share the boat’s history, point out the varied wildlife on Penobscot Bay, and explain the lobster fishing industry, which is so critical to the state’s economy and its sense of place.

“The Schooner Sailing Package is available until mid-October, and it is one of the most popular ones with us,” reveal innkeepers Roberta & Claudio Latanza. “The Schooner Surprise is an old boat, almost 100 years old, which sailed in the Penobscot Bay for years. It goes out of the beautiful Camden Harbor to sail in the bay. All the guests who have sailed with them have been very happy.”

Camden Harbor, courtesy Camden Maine Stay InnCamden Harbor, courtesy Camden Maine Stay Inn

The package includes two nights lodging with a full gourmet breakfast and two tickets for the Schooner Surprise. It is priced at $70 per couple, in addition to the regular room rate. Note: It is not valid with the Schooner Surprise Special Events. When booking, online or by phone, mention the code SAIL in the comments or requests section of the booking engine. This special is subject to weather conditions; is based on availability; and must be requested at time of booking. It is not valid with third-party bookings; in conjunction with other specials, discounts, or coupons; and is not applicable when using a gift certificate or a gift card. It is also not available during holiday weekends. Multiple night stays must be in the same room or suite. Tax and gratuities are not included.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hello summer! We are thrilled that the season’s finally in full swing since beaches and beverages are two things we love indulging in during warmer, longer days. One of our favorite drinks to sip and savor is no doubt a bubbly Bellini, and the Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar at Carroll Villa Hotel in Cape May, NJ is an ideal place to enjoy one.

Mad Batter Restaurant & BarMad Batter Restaurant & Bar

In 2001, after nearly 30 years of being a BYOB restaurant, the Mad Batter acquired what was at the time New Jersey’s most expensive liquor license. The headline in the local papers screamed: The Mad Batter buys liquor license for record 800k in Cape May! While that record has since been broken, it was big news for the town and huge news for proprietor and bar visionary Mark Kulkowitz. “As I told the reporters at the time, only God had more money than what it took to buy a liquor license in the state of New Jersey at that time, but we got it and have been open for Happy Hour from 3-6PM, seven days a week ever since.”

Through the years, the bar grew in size, moved out of the small corner of the room, and became a more prominent part of the restaurant. Close to 15 years later, it’s thriving while now also doubling as a live music venue with performances every evening. Featuring local and regional musicians, the Mad Batter music scene has been steadily expanding and shows no sign of slowing down.

“We love the fact that the Batter has become a place where people can look across the bar and talk to their fellow guests, whether they know each other or not,” said Kulkowitz. “Every night is fun and upbeat, with great music, food, and people. It was tough at the beginning, but that liquor license turned out to be a great business move.”

Mad Batter BelliniMad Batter Bellini

Mad Batter Bellini
¾ oz Deep Eddys Peach Vodka
1 oz peach puree
Orange slice

Pour peach puree and peach vodka into champagne flute. Top with Prosecco. Stir gently. Serve straight up – no ice. Garnish with orange slice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Known as the Land of Enchantment, it’s easy to see why travelers fall for New Mexico. It’s filled with landscapes so inspiring, even famed artist Georgia O’Keefe became captivated by capturing them! Though photographically you may not be able to produce images on par with her masterpieces, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get as many shareable shots as possible. Your social streams are waiting….

Casa EscondidaCasa Escondida

Situated in historic Chimayo, NM, 35 minutes north of Santa Fe and just off of the scenic “High Road to Taos,” the centrally located Casa Escondida offers its guests an authentic New Mexico experience that’s the best of both worlds. While offering easy access to historic Santa Fe, picturesque Taos, the ancient ruins of Bandelier National Park, stunning Georgia O’Keeffe Country (Abiquiu), and soothing hot springs, among other amazing day trips, this inn is also surrounded by a secluded country setting on six acres that feature stunning views of the awe-inspiring Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Guests will enjoy nine intimate and comfortable rooms that include private baths, cozy robes, handpicked antiques and rustic Southwest style; an enticing full hot breakfast each morning of their stay; and complimentary Wi-Fi, parking and daily newspapers. Five of the nine guest rooms are also pet-friendly. Casa Escondida is a TV-free environment, so serenity, relaxation, and revitalization are simple to achieve all throughout your stay.

Adobe & Stars Bed & BreakfastAdobe & Stars Bed & Breakfast

For those seeking panoramic mountain views, breathtaking blazing sunsets, and a gorgeous glowing Milky Way, the spacious and contemporary Adobe & Stars Bed & Breakfast in Taos is the perfect place for your New Mexico getaway. This B&B features lavish accommodations in harmony with the natural beauty of the region. Designed with the views in mind, there are large windows, decks and patios for stargazing, sunset viewing, and the space to sit back and take it all in. This traditional Pueblo-style property showcases warm, Southwestern ambiance through its high viga beamed ceilings and kiva fireplaces nestled in the corners of accommodations, as well as the outdoor portals to shade guests from the strength of the sun. There are eight large, luxurious guest rooms that have kiva fireplaces and light-filled private baths with either Jacuzzi tubs or double showers, heat floors and expansive windows. The day starts with complimentary fresh brewed coffee and a full country breakfast of homemade muffins and biscuits, fresh fruit, juice and a hot entree with Southwestern touches, which can be indulged in on the patio in the summertime or by the dining room fireplace during ski season.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Guests can enjoy the new moonlight canoe ride at Lodge at Moosehead Lake in Greenville, ME.Guests can enjoy the new moonlight canoe ride at Lodge at Moosehead Lake in Greenville, ME.

Our July newsletter just hits the airwaves. Yay! This edition features the palate-pleasing Grilled Balsamic Honey & Feta Peaches recipe from our friends at 10 Fitch Luxurious Romantic Inn, recently featured on the popular food site Think Tasty. It’s the ideal dessert when you want a thrill for the grill. There is also info on the latest inn-ovations at some of our B&B’s across the country, including the luxurious new Forbes Cupola Suite at The Captain’s Manor Inn in Falmouth, MA; the Ultimate Romance Dinner at Wolf Cove Inn in Poland, ME; and the new moonlight canoe ride experience at Lodge at Moosehead Lake in Greenville, ME. You’ll also find info on Summer Getaways, insights from our CEO Mary White, and the latest media stories our inns are featured in. There’s plenty to pique any B&B lover’s interest!

Click here to check out our newest edition.

Click here to subscribe for upcoming issues.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Black Sheep Inn & SpaBlack Sheep Inn & Spa

Foodies in the know recognize that farm to table is the way to go. Nothing beats local purveyors when it comes to immersing yourself in a culinary experience unique to the destination you’ve traveled to. Innkeepers Deb Meritsky and Marc Rotman of Black Sheep Inn & Spa in Hammondsport, NY recognize how important this is and often create specific packages designed with that in mind. Their Finger Lakes Farm to Table package, available June through October, is the ideal example. The inn itself is committed to this movement and utilizes the freshest and healthiest ingredients when preparing delicious breakfasts for their guests. In their pursuit of local, organic and seasonal, the innkeepers are proud to source more than 90% of their ingredients from within 50 miles of their property.

As your Finger Lakes Farm to Table Tour guides, Deb & Marc will accompany you while you explore two of their regional organic farms and a distinctive estate winery to learn all about the process and philosophy of the local, organic movement and how easy and beneficial it is to work directly with your local food sources. You’ll tour their locations, meet the farmers and growers, head into the fields full of beautiful, organic vegetables and select some ingredients to use in your Farm to Table cooking class. Once you arrive back at the inn, you will participate in a 90-minute class that illustrates just how fun and easy it is to implement the process of farm to table. Your Finger Lakes Farm to Table tour culminates with the bounty provided through your travels of the day. You will also learn about methods to help you locate farm to table resources in your own backyard.

The response? Five stars so far! “We’re having great success with this event/getaway, and guests love that they are able to visit working farms, meet farmers, purchase items if they like and eat local all along the trail,” reveals Deb. “Marc and I created this getaway event because we see so many travelers looking for reasons to eat local certainly at home, but they want the experience of this while away. It’s another method for seeing a region other than the obvious, and we want our guests to feel special when they walk into one of many partners to taste, see and experience the Finger Lakes – the way we get to live it every day and enjoy the bounty we’re lucky enough to have available all year long.”

Package pricing is $199.00 per person, separate from your room selection, and based on double occupancy; all taxes and gratuities are included. When reserving your room, be sure to add the Finger Lakes Farm to Table package to your itinerary. Also included in your stay is your very own exclusive Black Sheep Guild card, which offers special perks with the inn’s many Guild Partners.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Music lovers, rejoice! The summer is still heating up and festival season has only just begun. While there are dozens to choose from all over the U.S., Virginia’s Lockn’ Music Festival has a preliminarily lineup that you don’t want to miss. Held at Oak Ridge Farm, the fourth annual event will go down over the weekend of August 25-28. The headliners and jam veterans, Phish, will be taking the stage and playing over four different sets over two nights. Reunited band, Ween, will also be playing two nights, while My Morning Jacket serves as the final headliner.

The Mark Addy Bed and BreakfastThe Mark Addy Bed and Breakfast

And since you’ll be spending all weekend jammin’ out, there’s no better place to catch some post-festival R&R than at The Mark Addy Bed and Breakfast in Nellysford, VA. Located near Charlottesville, this beautifully restored, romantic bed and breakfast is surrounded by wineries and breweries. It’s perfect excuse to make this festival weekend filled with both beverages and fun, but don’t forget to fuel up with the inn’s delectable three-course breakfast! Lovingly appointed, The Mark Addy beckons with the romance and richness of a bygone era. The luxurious rooms offer elegant comfort, serene privacy and incredible views. Sing and dance the day away and then return to the bed and breakfast’s gorgeous veranda, where you can watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains – the perfect ending to any weekend!

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