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First Time at a B&B Series: Giving up Control

July 11th, 2012 by abedofroses

Woman in Doubt

Worried about your B&B visit?

Let’s face it. Innkeepers aren’t supposed to say this but there are some guests that are just “difficult”. You can usually tell from the first phone call. They may demand answers to what seem like a million questions or call into question the innkeeper’s basic policies or ways of operating. But it’s not their fault. They aren’t trying to be difficult just to ruin our day. Coming to a B&B requires a leap of faith. You do need to give up control over many things that are basic to your day-to-day life, and that’s not always easy. The first thing to remember is that your innkeeper wants you to have a wonderful time at their B&B and they will go out of their way to ensure that, to a point. An inn’s policies may seem arbitrary from the outside looking in, but there are usually good reasons for them. Things like when you drink your first cup of coffee or what you eat for breakfast may have to be determined by the innkeeper. Your habit of an egg over easy every morning at 6AM may have to be broken if your B&B’s kitchen isn’t set up for short order cooking. On the plus side, you’re likely to trade that familiar breakfast for a two or three course gourmet treat served at 9AM! You may not be able to check into your room as soon as you arrive from out of town. Unlike a hotel, there may not be a “desk staff” that is there 24 hours. When you do check in, however, you’re likely to meet the owners in person and get advice on what to see and do in their town, as well as being personally welcomed into their home. You give to get.

Here are some things that you can do that will avoid head-butting with your hosts and make your stay an enjoyable and stress-free one.

Find out what an inn’s policies are. They are usually posted on the website and most B&Bs will include those policies in their reservation confirmation email.

Decide for yourself what you’re willing to give up control of and what you’re not, then shop around for an inn that can accommodate you. Some inns have multiple seatings for breakfast and others can’t do that. Some can take pets and others can’t. Don’t choose an inn that can’t possibly accommodate you and try to force them to make an exception for you. It’s akin to trying to change a spouse after the wedding. Better to pick one you like to begin with!

That being said, if you’re not sure how flexible a policy is, contact the B&B’s owners. Communication is the key! Some may offer an early continental breakfast for those who can’t stay for the larger meal and a phone call or email to the innkeeper can clarify that. This is also true for special diets. Most will do their best to accommodate dietary restrictions, but always check with them in advance. It may require the innkeeper to adapt the menu for the rest of their guests or to make a special trip to the store. If the website says check-in is between 4 and 6PM and you just can’t get out of work early enough to make that, give them a call. They may or may not be able to check you in later depending on the inn.

Check on-line reviews. If you’re afraid of being given an unfamiliar breakfast and all the reviews rave about the food it may make giving up control of that part a little easier. You can have faith that there will be something on the table you will like. Reviews can also give you a sense of how accommodating the innkeepers are and what to expect from the rooms.

Remember that the innkeeper is on your side! They really do want you to enjoy your visit.

innkeepers bill and emily

A Bed of Roses innkeepers, Emily and Bill

 

New Acquisitions at A Bed of Roses B&B – This is No Movie Set!

June 24th, 2012 by abedofroses

Tiffany Lamp

A Tiffany-style lamp shines in the window

Most of our guests probably think that the way a B&B looks, inside and out, is pretty much static, like a movie set. After all, there are all those photographs on the website. You might think an interior designer came in and Voila! Done! In actuality our inn is changing all of the time, and we’re pretty excited about some of the new changes! Serendipity has been busily at work for months now. A trip to see my sister last January led to a fun day in Salisbury and a great find in an antique shop. We weren’t looking for a wicker couch for the front porch but there it was! Of course, once we put it in place it needed a wicker chair, then a table, then new outdoor rugs with a nice blue patterned border, then another table….

Wicker furniture on the front porch

A new wicker couch led to more porch improvements

Our next shopping adventure came with an email and a new friend. Montford is a wonderful neighborhood to live in and we have a very active neighborhood association complete with an email list-serve. Lost dogs, Greenway clean-up notices, updates on the Montford Players Shakespeare Company all come through the list-serve along with public meeting notices and advice on roofers and window repair. A neighbor we had not met posted a notice that he was downsizing and needed to sell many belongings. When the list included French antiques our ears pricked up! Mario had moved from France via Philips Exeter Academy where he taught Spanish and French. He did indeed have a nice collection of French antiques, but not ones we could use. We did find two chairs with pressed leather seats that were perfect for the Turret Suite, though. After much debate and measuring we returned the next day.

Richly detailed carpet

Richly detailed Kashmar carpet

We decided that a Kashmar carpet would fit in the front parlor and add warmth and rich detail to the room. But I loved the carpet that was there already! What to do. More measuring and yes! It looks like it was always meant to be in the Turret Suite! Back to the parlor. All that rich detail was beautiful, but the floral patterned chair clashed painfully. Alas, Sasha had already shredded the corner of it, so it was history and a solid burgundy chair was put in its place.

And back to the Turret Suite…a window shade crashed down on the cut crystal table lamp, breaking it. There was no way to duplicate the lamp, but it turned into an opportunity to put a new Tiffany Lamp in its place that shines in the window visible from the street. Perfect. Then, while we were online searching for the broken lamp we found one that now graces our front table as well. Victorian ladies hold up a beaded shade and illuminates our guest book. Just like a movie set. Voila!

A Victorian lamp illuminates our guest book

Spring Tour of Inns- Great Food and Beautiful Flowers Benefit the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

June 3rd, 2012 by abedofroses

Flowers blooming in the yard

Flowers at last year's April Tour of Inns

On Saturday June 9th we are welcoming the public into our inn as part of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association’s second annual spring tour of inns. Tour goers will have two days, Saturday and Sunday to visit 15 of our historic B&Bs and their gardens. At each inn, an area restaurant will provide samples of Asheville’s renowned local cuisine. A Bed of Roses is partnering with BOCA this year, one of our favorite places to eat. BOCA describes their cuisine as “Modern American with a Latin Flair” – we describe it as delicious!

A part of the proceeds of the tour will go to the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project  (ASAP) so the tour this year is really geared toward locally sourced foods prepared by the master chefs of our locally owned and operated restaurants. With gardens in full bloom It should be a treat for all of the senses!

Spring Tour 2011

Visitors learn the history of our B&B

We are proud to help support ASAP’s mission of promoting local food, increasing access to fresh healthy food and strengthening community farming.

Last year nearly 200 visitors came on the tour, all curious to see our historic properties up close. We really enjoyed sharing the history of our B&B and giving guests a chance to sample great local food. Asheville residents as well as out of town visitors all enjoyed the day and this tour promises to be even more fun!

Tickets are still available the day of the tour at any participating inn or at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, 36 Montford Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801. They are $30 each or $50 per couple (cash or check only).

For more information visit The Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association’s new website at ashevillebba.com.

 

Outstanding Music and Art Makes the Montford Historic District Dance!

May 21st, 2012 by abedofroses

Dragon Dancers

The Dragon Dancers

The 9th Annual Montford Music & Arts Festival was a huge success this past Saturday. It was our biggest ever. Over 6,871 people came to the Festival! Bill and I got the rare opportunity to spend the whole afternoon listening to great music, chatting with neighbors and browsing all the colorful booths of art, one-of-a-kind clothing and local crafts and services. We even got to try out some acupuncture! The weather was perfect for strolling, the food was excellent- what more could we ask? We were only sorry that we could only stay to hear four of the sixteen bands that played on three different stages.

We heard everything from the traditional bluegrass of David Holt and the Lightning Bolts to the soul/funk/R&B of the Secret B Sides and the dreamy indescribably haunting sounds of The Judas Horse. It was a treat for the ears.

The Secret B Sides

The Secret B Sides Performed

Our own Montford Park Players were there as well, performing scenes from their current production of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). You’ve never seen Shakespeare performed quite like this! We can’t wait to see the whole performance when we get to sample our Montford Players VIP package ourselves. They let you actually get a walk on role in costume!

We were so impressed with the artwork this year. It’s not often that you see top quality fine arts at a street festival. Perry Houlditch was able to show us how his extraordinary paintings catch the sunlight and reveal the depth and radiance of his hand produced pigments.

Oil Painting by Perry Houlditch

Ond of Perry Houlditch's oils with handmade pigments

Cindy Riccardelli’s haunting dolls were on display as well. These are not dolls to play with. Each doll is a beautiful piece of art with it’s own personality and definite attitude!

The Dragon Dancers had everyone smiling as they snaked through the crowd and there were plenty of activities for the kids too.

We topped off the day with a relaxing lunch at Nine Mile. A perfect May afternoon in Asheville!

See more photos at our photo gallery!

 

 

A Bed of Roses Celebrates the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association’s New Look!

May 6th, 2012 by abedofroses

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association Logo

ABBA's new logo

On May 8th The Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association (ABBA) is unveiling a brand new look with a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate our exciting new Interactive Kiosk at the Asheville Visitor’s Center. A Bed of Roses is a proud member of ABBA and we’re excited about this event! Now you can walk up to a beautiful touch screen animation of our new logo and request information on any of our member inns, search for inns by location or amenities and even book a room right there! We’ve been busy creating a brand new website with a new logo that we’re unveiling at the same time and we at A Bed of Roses are so proud of all the people in this great organization that have worked hard to get this project off the ground.

The Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association consists of 16 member inns that come together to encourage visitors to experience Asheville from the welcoming home base of a B&B. It’s truly a “better way to stay” as the Professional Association of Innkeepers International has been saying with their campaign to educated the public to the exceptional experience that staying at a B&B affords.

Each and every inn in our organization has something different and exceptional to offer. An ABBA Inn may be a Queen Anne Victorian like ours, or an Arts & Crafts style home or a cabin nestled in the mountains. You can totally tailor your visit to Asheville to fit your style, your budget and your imagination by choosing an ABBA inn. You can call any of our inns or the ABBA main number and be assured that if they don’t have what you’re looking for they will help find an inn that does. We, as an organization make sure that all of our inns are of the highest quality so we can feel good about referring our guests to them.

ABBA, by operating as a group, can also offer special experiences and discounts for Asheville area activities. When you go to our new website you can visit our “Specials” page for opportunities available to ABBA inn guests only.

ABBA Ribbon Cutting Invitation

ABBA Ribbon Cutting Invitation

If you can’t join us at the Asheville Visitors Center, be sure to check out all the changes on our new website at http://ashevillebba.com!

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses B&B – A Cinco de Mayo Breakfast Egg Casserole

May 4th, 2012 by abedofroses

Eggs and jalapenos

Eggs and spicy chiles are a great combo

Start Cinco de Mayo off right with a delicious Breakfast Casserole with a Mexican flair! Just about every B&B has some version of this crust-less Mexican quiche and it’s easy to see why. It’s easy to make, easy to adapt to more or fewer guests, and it’s sure to please everyone. It starts out mild but you can spice it up to taste or add a spicy salsa on the side. I serve mine with a spicy apple salsa that combines sweet and spicy flavors for an unusual twist.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 small cans of chopped green chiles
  • 1 diced jalapeno (optional)
  • 8 Tbs melted butter

Spicy Salsa:

  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbs jalapeno jelly or to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine the first 9 ingredients, eggs through butter, in a large bowl.
  3. Pour into a greased 9”x12” glass baking dish and sprinkle with paprika.
  4. Bake 40 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and cut into 8 pieces.
  5. Combine salsa ingredients and serve alongside the eggs

Romantic Retreat Package

April 1st, 2012 by abedofroses

Champagne and Flowers

Enjoy a Romantic Retreat

Make this an extra special occasion and experience all the romance of our charming historic inn.  Relax by the fireplace or soak in the Jacuzzi with a glass of bubbly. Indulge yourself with a chocolate truffle. Visit the grand Biltmore Estate and stroll in their gardens. Stop for wine tasting at the Biltmore Winery, then dine at one of our excellent local independent restaurants. This package includes 2 tickets to the Biltmore Estate and Winery; a gift certificate for dinner at your choice of local restaurants; a fresh bouquet of flowers along with chocolate truffles and a sparkling beverage presented in your room. This package can be added to a reservation in any of our rooms for $210.00.

Book this package with your room reservation >>

The 9th Annual Montford Music & Arts Festival – Come meet our neighbors May 19th!

April 1st, 2012 by abedofroses

Montford Arts & Music Festival

Montford Arts & Music Festival

A Bed of Roses is located in a wonderful historic neighborhood called the Montford Historic District. We feel so lucky to belong to this vibrant, friendly, and quirky as well as beautiful neighborhood. There is a rich diversity of architectural styles as well as people here, from Queen Anne Victorian to Colonial Revival and Arts and Crafts. The streets are tree lined and filled with B&Bs as well as family homes and businesses. Even though it is a National Register Historic District, the residents of Montford express themselves through their homes. Porches may be adorned with paintings or a giant polar bear and you’ll see more vibrant colors than you might expect in a staid historic district. So it’s not surprising that our wonderful neighbors and the Montford Neighborhood Association put on one of the best and most unique Spring Festivals in Western North Carolina.

Folk art doll

A folk art doll by artist Cindy Riccardelli

For the 9th Annual Music & Arts Festival there will be 2 sound stages, one on Montford Avenue and one for acoustic music only on Soco Street behind Nine Mile Restaurant (our favorite local haunt!) This is the largest one day music and arts festival in Western North Carolina, with over 20 bands performing and over 100 vendors displaying art, crafts, plants, food and children’s activities. The flavor of the community is retained by keeping the art, the food and the entertainment local. Artists lined up so far offer fine and unique jewelry, fiber art, pottery, paintings and wood etchings as well as mixed media.  Browsing the booths you will find hand crafted bags and clothing as well as glass art and stunning paintings and photography by local artists.

 

David Holt and the Lightning Bolts

David Holt and the Lightning Bolts

David Holt the the Lightning Bolts are scheduled to return this year on the Montford Stage. David was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of fame and hosted The Folkways shows on PBS. If last year is any indication you will see a diverse sampling of music and art. The festival takes place on May 19th from 10AM to 7PM. You’ll be sure to see us there!

Wine & Dine Romance Package

March 31st, 2012 by abedofroses

Wine & Dine photoCelebrate that special occasion with a romantic dinner for two in one of Asheville’s outstanding independent restaurants. Arrive to flowers, chocolate truffles and a bubbly beverage in your room along with a gift certificate for dinner at the restaurant of your choice. See the dining section of our Asheville area attractions page for inspiration.

Bon Appetit!

Add this package to any of our rooms for $125.

 

Book this package with your room reservation >>

The Hunger Games and Other Movies Shot in the Asheville Area- A B&B Owner’s Perspective

March 19th, 2012 by abedofroses

Hunger Games Logo

The Hunger Games Logo

Shot entirely in North Carolina, The Hunger Games premiers in theaters this Friday, March 23rd and the local buzz about this blockbuster movie has reached a roar! It’s a little overwhelming as everybody tries to get in on the huge publicity surrounding this movie. So with all this frenzy I’m asking myself “What does a Victorian B&B have to do with a futuristic tale based on a best selling trilogy of young adult books that takes place after the destruction of North America and features teenagers fighting each other for survival?” Absolutely nothing!

What does interest me, though, is the stunning terrain and natural beauty that attracts movie-makers and fans alike to the mountains of Western North Carolina and the Asheville area. Long before Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson discovered the thrill of Navitat Canopy Adventures ziplines or Woody Harrelson enjoyed the vegetarian fare at The Laughing Seed downtown, the Asheville area has been the perfect setting for movies as well as for visitors.

Being There movie Poster

The Movie Poster for Being There

Beginning in the 1920s with Conquest of Canaan filmed where Pack Square now sits in downtown Asheville, 55 movies (see list below) have been shot in Western North Carolina. Some are pretty obscure but others you may know well, like Forest Gump or Last of the Mohicans. Dirty Dancing was shot at Lake Lure, a quick and scenic drive from here. Dupont Forest was a natural draw to the Hunger Games cameras as Chimney Rock was to Last of the Mohicans. The Biltmore Estate, of course, offers a one of a kind setting. My favorite movie shot in the area was shot at the Biltmore Estate and released in 1979. Being There starred Peter Sellers as a sheltered and simple-minded gardener for a wealthy benefactor who is mistaken for a great thinker and economic guru. This hilarious comedy/drama was based on a novella written by Jerzy Kosinski and Sellers was nominated for Best Actor in A Leading Role for his work in the film, his last to be released while he was alive.

Star of The Hunger Games

Jennifer Lawrence, star of The Hunger Games

The Capitol scenes in The Hunger Games were shot in Charlotte, but scenes of Katniss’ home in District 12 were shot in the ghost town of Henry River located in Hildebran, about an hour east of Asheville. Other scenes were shot in Barnardsville, Black Mountain, Cedar Mountain, Concord and Shelby. Forest scenes were shot at beautiful DuPont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest. There are even fan tours being offered to see where the scenes shot at Dupont State Forest were filmed!

The film is being premiered at several local movie theaters and ZaPow, a downtown gallery, is hosting a Hunger Games premier party, that extras in the movie are sure to attend. Survival Workshops are being offered at Chimney Rock in conjuction with the movie. There’s no end to The Hunger Games Frenzy!

It’s all in good fun, though. You won’t see us here at A Bed of Roses hawking free Hunger Games t-shirts or giving away Peeta tote bags, but you will find a great home base for exploring Western North Carolina’s gorgeous mountains, waterfalls and trails as well as friendly guides to the best Asheville has to offer.

See the Trailer for The Hunger Games.

Films Shot in Western North Carolina:

  • 28 Days
  • A Good Baby
  • All the Real Girls
  • Alone Yet Not Alone
  • Anywhere USA
  • Being There
  • Bull Durham
  • Cold Mountain
  • Conquest of Canaan
  • Coupe deVille
  • D.A.R.Y.L.
  • Digging to China
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Don’t Fade Away
  • Firestarter
  • Fluke
  • Forces of Nature
  • Forest Gump
  • Hannibal
  • Happy Campers
  • Heavy Weights
  • In Dreams
  • King Kong Lives
  • Last of the Mohicans
  • Loggerheads
  • Loose Cannons
  • Mating Season
  • Moving On
  • Mr. Destiny
  • My Fellow Americans
  • Nell
  • Paradise Falls
  • Patch Adams
  • Private Eyes
  • Raven Fork
  • Red Dirt Rising
  • Richie Rich
  • Road to Nowhere
  • Side by Side
  • Simple Things
  • SongCatcher
  • Southern Belles
  • Tainted
  • The Boneyard
  • The Clearing
  • The Fugitive
  • The Green Mile
  • The Healer
  • The Hunger Games
  • The Hunt for Red October
  • The Journey of August King
  • The Swan
  • Trapper County
  • Waffles
  • Winter People

From the Western North Carolina Film Commission

Famous residents of Asheville:

  • Harry Anderson
  • Steve Martin
  • Andie MacDowell

Factoid:

NC has more sound stages and production houses than any other state outside of California

 

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