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Archive for August, 2012

LAAFF: The Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival is Back This Weekend Sept 1st and 2nd!

August 30th, 2012 by abedofroses

Girl with face painted

Face Painting and Hoola Hoops

If any event personifies the Spirit of Asheville in all of its quirkiness it’s the LAAFF festival. This weekend Lexington Avenue will be full of interactive art, costumed characters galore, great music and food, as well as vendors showing off their incredibly creative wares and services. There will be 8 soundstages each with its own unique vibe and events like the bike circus and the Hoola Hoop Jam. There’s even a Pre-LAAFF-A-Thon Pub Crawl on Saturday.

Costumed woman

The vendors are colorful.

Look for Faeries on stilts, puppetry and kids making Tutus. This event features all local talent and art and there are sure to be plenty of surprises.

Street performer

All sorts of creatives come out for LAAFF

This is the 11th year that Arts 2 People, a non-profit group, has been promoting local creative entrepreneurship through this annual end of summer festival. Their “manifesto” is to support and protect alternative culture and foster arts and culture as a “viable economic industry”. Asheville is known for it’s art scene and attracts a huge number of talented artists of all types so this festival showcases some highly creative people. Bill and I wouldn’t miss it. We had a great time last year as you can see from our pictures. You can see more photos of last year’s LAAFF in our photo gallery.

This year the Mountain Xpress is providing live LAAF coverage on your smartphone! Just go to Mountain Xpress’ AvlLive.com. You can Tweet your own updates using #avllive and #laaf. See the great music that will be onstage during the festival and when and where they’re playing.

Innkeepers Choice: A Day at Shoji Retreat

August 17th, 2012 by abedofroses

Hot tub

Outdoor hot tubs is a peaceful wooded setting

I’m a firm believer in treating yourself well and Shoji Retreat is definitely the place to do it! Just 8 minutes from downtown Asheville, it’s a world away. They advertise that they’re “2,500 ft above stress level” and it couldn’t be more true. It’s a quick drive from Asheville to the entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just past the Parkway you take a right and wind your way up the wooded road where it gets more and more remote as you climb. The setting is quiet and incredibly peaceful. You can feel yourself relaxing instantly. On our visit Rachel at the front desk was friendly and explained how the spa works, giving us our Japanese Yukatas(robes) and sandals and directing us to the slate showers to begin our day of indulgence. The Summer Celebration Package started with an hour of relaxing in our private hot tub, enclosed with cedar walls on three sides and one side open to the wooded views of the bordering national forest. Above is the open sky and treetops. The only sounds were birdsong and gentle breezes. We alternated between the hot tub and the cold plunge in a separate enclosure. Then after a final invigorating cold plunge it was off to the cedar sauna to wait for our massage therapists to call for us. After a brief introduction and questions about any problems we might be having they brought us to an upstairs room, dimly lit with relaxing music and two massage tables.

Massage setting

Aromatherapy candles

The massage was a wonderful 50 minute Japanese style aromatherapy massage expertly focused on trouble spots and places that tension was stored in the body. As part of the special package we had a choice of a 30 minute cool stone facial massage or a 30 minute foot reflexology massage with a peppermint foot scrub. Two innkeepers on their feet for long hours every day quickly went for the foot massage! After it was all done and the massage therapists left all I could say to my husband was “I think that is the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever done! We should definitely do this again!” We showered again and checked out in a totally blissed-out state. I couldn’t help sympathizing with Rachel at the front desk having to help people find their keys, tie their shoelaces and get their heads together enough to drive home!

Visit Shoji’s website to see a full menu of their spa services. For a limited time guests staying 2 nights at A Bed of Roses can get $25 each off  of services at Shoji. Ask for your coupon at check-in.


Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses: Preview from the New NCBBI Cookbook

August 1st, 2012 by abedofroses

Peach Topped Bavarian Torte

Arrange the peaches decoratively on top of the cheescake.

Two new cookbooks are coming out and a bunch of our recipes are appearing in both! The newest edition of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association Cookbook has gone to the printer and the North Carolina Bed & Breakfast and Inns Cookbook should be out the first week in September. Here is a sneak preview from the NCBBI Cookbook. Check our recipe section soon for a preview of the newest ABBA cookbook!

Peach Topped Bavarian TorteNorth Carolina Bed & Breakfasts & Inns

My sister Marianne gave me this recipe in 1972. I had to increase her original recipe to fit current spring form pan sizes.  It’s a crowd pleaser. For the B&B I cut it into squares to serve in the afternoons.



  • 3/4 cup softened margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/8 tsp vanilla extract (we used Madagascar)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans


  • 12 oz (1 1/2 8oz packages) softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 eggs (not easy to do! I beat the second egg and poured in half)
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • 29 oz can of sliced cling peaches in juice, well drained
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Beat margarine or butter with sugar and vanilla at medium speed until well blended
  2. Add flour and mix.
  3. Stir in pecans.
  4. Flour hands and press mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a spring form pan.
  5. Beat cream cheese and 3/8 cup sugar at medium speed until smooth
  6. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended
  7. Pour into pan
  8. In large bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Add peaches and toss lightly
  9. Arrange on top of cream cheese mixture
  10. Bake 10 min at 450°
  11. Reduce heat to 400° and continue baking 25 minutes more
  12. Cool in pan 20 min, then carefully remove sides

Serve warm or refrigerate