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Archive for the ‘Asheville Bed and Breakfast News’ Category

Honoring our Veterans This Veteran’s Day, B&Bs for Vets 2016

September 3rd, 2016 by abedofroses

People eating at a formal dining room table

Veterans enjoying breakfast at our inn last Veteran’s Day

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we at A Bed of Roses are offering free rooms to active and retired US military personnel and their spouses on November 10th, 2016.

We are proud to join the The Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association (ABBA) and the B&Bs for Vets program in this gesture of thanks to veterans for their service and sacrifice. B&Bs across the nation have been giving away rooms free-of-charge to veterans since 2008. It has been an enriching experience for all of us. The full amenities of the inn will be available, including a plated 2-course gourmet breakfast served at 9AM.

Word has gotten out early this year and many of our rooms have already been reserved for service members, but as of today, we still have one room, The Carolyn Gray Room, available. Once that room has booked we will be glad to refer you to another Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association inn with openings. All of our member inns have the highest standards and we inspect each other’s B&Bs to ensure it, so even if we are full that day you will find a welcoming high quality inn to stay in. Once all of the openings in ABBA have been filled we will make sure you get on the ABBA wait list. We do occasionally get cancellations so it is definitely worthwhile to put your name on the list!

Please call us at (828) 258-8700 to book. Guests are required to abide by all of our inn policies including our cancellation policies so we do require that the room be reserved with a credit card. We want to ensure that another Veteran will be able to make use of the donated room if you are not able to.

Thank you for your service.


Emily and Bill McIntosh



Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses. A Savory Asparagus Taragon Strata

July 25th, 2015 by abedofroses

Serve the Strata with Sweet & Spicy Sausage and a Minted Fruit Salad

Serve the Strata with Sweet & Spicy Sausage and a Minted Fruit Salad

This delicious strata is perfect for brunch with a minted fruit salad and some sweet and spicy sausage, or for a special luncheon with a nice salad and a glass of white wine. For the sweet and spicy sausage, cook as directed, put aside, wipe out pan and add jalapeño jelly. Melt the jelly and add the sausage back into the pan to warm and coat with the jelly. Yum!


Serves 8


  • 1 loaf Sourdough French Bread, cubed
  • 4 Tbs butter, divided
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced asparagus spears, top half only
  • ¾ tsp dried tarragon
  • 2 cups grated Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 8 extra large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard or to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbs dry Sherry
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ~1/4 cup milk, as needed
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese


  1. Spray a 9” x 13” glass baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray.
  2. Spread cubed bread on the bottom of the dish, covering the bottom completely to form a solid layer
  3. Melt 3 Tbs butter in the microwave and drizzle over bread cubes.
  4. Melt 1 Tbs butter in a medium saute pan and add scallions. Saute 1 minute.
  5. Add mushrooms and saute until they give up their liquid.
  6. Add asparagus and taragon and saute another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, adding milk, mustard, pepper and cayenne.
  8. Add wine and Sherry to the egg mixture and blend.
  9. Sprinke the grated Mexican Cheese over the bread cubes.
  10. Spread the sautéd vegetables evenly over the top.
  11. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole and cover with tin foil.
  12. Refrigerate overnight.
  1. Remove strata from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for ½ hour
  2. Preheat oven to 325°.
  3. Bake, covered with foil for 50 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk sour cream with ¼ to ½ cup of milk to thin just enough to make it the consistency of a frosting.
  5. Remove strata from oven and spread the sour cream mixture evenly over the top.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese
  7. Increase oven temperature to 375° and switch to confection baking if you have that option.
  8. Return strata to oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until it’s starting to brown.
  9. Let sit for 5 minutes, cut into squares and serve.

    The Strata fresh from the oven

    The Strata fresh from the oven

Beat the Summertime Heat in the Mountains of Western North Carolina

June 20th, 2015 by abedofroses

Picnic at Craggy Gardens

Picnic at Craggy Gardens

Summertime in Asheville offers so many ways to enjoy your stay, from Summer Festivals and concerts to Shakespeare under the stars. It also has some wonderful ways to beat the heat! Slip down the chilly mountain waters of Sliding Rock, go whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River or take a picnic to Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway, like we did the other day. A short and scenic drive took us from 89 degrees to 72 degrees with a refreshing breeze. The main picnic area has rolling hills and stone picnic tables, with the mountains just over the trees. But a short hike up the Craggy Pinnacle trail takes you to much more dramatic views.

Mountains for as far as you can see

Mountains for as far as you can see

There you will be treated to a 360 degree view of mountain peaks that seem to go on forever. The visitors center, just past the main picnic area, right on the Blue Ridge Parkway has a panoramic view as well, with the peaks you are looking at labeled on an open guide book just below the window, which I just loved.

Asheville’s elevation is about 2,200 feet but we are surrounded by the mountains of the Blue Ridge as well as the Black Mountain Range. An hour north of Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway is Mount Mitchell. At 6,600 feet above sea level it is the highest point east of the Mississippi and can easily be 20 degrees cooler that downtown Asheville. An hour to the south of us is Mount Pisgah at 5,721 feet.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

The waterfalls of Dupont State Forest are just 40 miles from downtown Asheville. Four entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are within 60 miles from downtown Asheville. We are surrounded by incredible natural beauty and refreshing mountain streams. At the end of the day you can explore our vibrant restaurant/music and theater scene rejuvenated. But save room for our gourmet breakfast in the morning!

Art Deco Architecure in Asheville. Ellington’s City Hall Re-emerges from Behind It’s Scaffolding.

July 28th, 2014 by abedofroses

Asheville's Art Deco City Hall

Asheville’s Art Deco City Hall

Asheville City Hall is about to emerge, renewed from a 6 million dollar renovation project that began in November 2012. The scaffolding and netting has begun to come down and by the end of the year we will again be able to fully appreciate one of Asheville’s architectural jewels. Several Art Deco buildings of rich variety can be found in Asheville and we count ourselves very lucky to enjoy the ornamental detailing they reveal.

The Architecture of downtown Asheville is incredibly varied and spans several styles popularized between the 1880, when the railroad arrived and doubled Asheville’s population, and the early 1930s, when the Depression hit Asheville hard. At that time construction ground to a halt due to Asheville’s decision to pay off it’s debt rather than go bankrupt. In the 50 years that it took to accomplish that feat many historic buildings were spared from the destruction wrought in the name of urban renewal.

The City Building and the Courthouse were both built in 1928

The City Building and the Courthouse were both built in 1928

In 1928 both the conservative neoclassical Buncombe County Courthouse and the glorious Art Deco Asheville City Hall were built side by side, offering a striking and delightful contrast in styles. Architect Douglas Ellington designed City Hall as well as several other important Art Deco buildings in the area. The First Baptist Church is an Ellington design. A lovely tiled dome topped with a copper cupola sits above the octagonal main auditorium.

The dome of the Baptist Church designed by Ellington

The dome of the Baptist Church designed by Ellington

Art Deco decorative patterns adorn a more neoclassical design here, as it does on the Federal Court House built in 1929 and designed by James Wetmore and the Grove Arcade. The Asheville High school by Ellington has many similarities in style to City Hall. Ellington’s S&W Cafeteria in the heart of downtown drips with rich Art Deco detailing as well. The Wick and Green Building, housing Wick and Green Jewelers is a lovely Art Deco design that originated as a gas station!

Art Deco Detailing on the S&W Building

Art Deco Detailing on the S&W Building

When visiting Asheville be sure to take advantage of one of the Historic Asheville tours.

  • The Asheville Urban Trail is a self guided tour designed by volunteers and created by the City of Asheville to improve Asheville through public art. Symbols representing five historical eras are carved into pink granite along the trail and each of the 30 stations along the walk includes a piece of art or a bronze plaque that describes it. Urban Trail maps are available at Pack Place, The Visitors Center, many downtown stores and most B&Bs, including A Bed of Roses.
  • History at Hand offers guided tours of Downtown, the Montford Historic District and the Historic Riverside Cemetery, located right here in Montford.
  • Asheville Tours also offers a 90 minute guided Downtown Architectural History Walking Tour.
  •  Asheville Mountain Magic offers a self-guided walking tour on their website that is informative and covers all of the architectural styles displayed downtown. 

    Beautiful tile work adorns the S&W Building

    Beautiful tile work adorns the S&W Building






Innkeepers’ Secrets: Fresh Home-baked Cookies from Scratch in a Flash

June 21st, 2014 by abedofroses

Cookies for now and later too

Cookies for now and later too

Nothing beats warm cookies made from scratch the old fashioned way. But we’re all busy and sometimes it seems like too much trouble for just a few cookies. Innkeepers need to have fresh baked cookies available every day whether they have two guests or 14 guests and we can’t get away with anything but the best homemade recipes. Guests expect variety too! You can’t put out the same cookies all week. The way we do it is to make large batches, bake only the number of cookies we need and quick-freeze the extra dough in individual cookie portions.

Place the dough in a glass baking dish

Place the dough in a glass baking dish

The next time you need cookies you take only the number you need out of the freezer, let them defrost on the cookie sheet for a few minutes and bake. Instant cookies that taste just a delicious as they did the day you mixed up the dough!

A one-tablespoon ice cream style scooper is an invaluable tool for this job. Once you’ve scooped and placed the dough you’re baking today onto cookie sheets, scoop the rest of the dough into large glass baking dishes, just far enough apart that they don’t touch each other.

Pop the frozen cooked into a zip lock bag

Pop the frozen cooked into a zip lock bag

Put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Take them out of the freezer and with a little twist of the wrist you can take each cookie off of the baking dish and throw them into a large zip lock freezer bag. Return to the freezer until the next time you crave that home-baked goodness. We keep several different kinds of cookie in the freezer so we can change them every day or mix and match, so be sure to label the bags. Easy!

Spring is Officially Here! April in Asheville.

April 7th, 2014 by abedofroses

Magnolia blossoms

Magnolia blossoms

The Cherry Blossoms and the Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom, but the real sign of Spring in this city tucked in the mountains is the first Drum Circle of the season!  This past weekend kicked off the Spring Season in Asheville with the first Drum Circle on Friday night in Pritchard Park and the season’s first Downtown Asheville Art Walk. Biltmore Blooms is already in full swing as well, as more and more of those flowering bulbs are filling the gardens of America’s Largest Home. This week also marked the opening of the North Asheville Tailgait Market at UNC, a long awaited harbinger of good eating ahead. Before you know it every weekend will be hosting a street festival with live music, art and great local food. After a cold cold winter across the country we’re all ready for that!

Pritchard Park Drum Circle

The Drum Circle in Pritchard Park

The Drum Circle is a must-see tradition in Asheville that will get you moving! Every Friday night dozens of drummers come together at little Pritchard Park in the heart of downtown and all kinds gather to dance, tap and enjoy the rhythm that you can literally feel from blocks away! Great people watching too!

Glass hands

Meditation in Pink by John Littleton & Kate Vogel at the Blue Spiral Gallery

Asheville is a mecca of artists and crafts people. Another Friday evening tradition takes place on the first Friday of every month from April until December. More than 20 downtown galleries, studios and museums host the Downtown Asheville Art Walk from 5-8PM. All are within a half mile radius so you can take a leisurely stroll and see why Asheville is called the “Paris of the South”. Many serve up light hors d’oeuvres with their art to wet your appetite for one of the myriad of independent local restaurants that will dot your path.

Asheville is also known for keeping it local. Our excellent independent restaurants stress fresh farm to table cuisine and with over 17 local tailgait markets we all can share that local flavor. Our favorite is the North Asheville Tailgait on the UNC campus. In a lovely shaded setting, the market is a social gathering place as well, with live local music, crafts and baked goods along with the farm fresh food. You’ll find local cheese makers, jams and sauces, even hot foods and native plants for sale.

farmers market

The North Asheville Tailgate Market

Spring in the mountains is truly a special time.

A New Year’s Retrospective of 2013 from the Pens of Our Guests

January 10th, 2014 by abedofroses

Online reviews are wonderful- there’s no better way of getting the word out there about a place you love (or not!). But the things guests write in our guest books are so much more personal and expressive! We don’t get a chance to read them every day, but how rewarding it is when we do! They share not only their feelings about their stay at A Bed of Roses, but what’s happening in their lives- their new marriage, their baby coming, their travels and the new places they discovered in Asheville. And the hand drawn illustrations are the best! Here are a few of our favorites from 2013.

We love the little drawings!

We love the little drawings!

April 1, 2013

Our first trip to the cool city of Asheville was made perfect by our gracious hosts Bill & Emily. They love what they do and it shows! We enjoyed downtown, (especially Jack of the Wood pub) and our travels and hiking through the Blue Ridge Parkway (do hike the Frying Pan Tower!) We will definitely be back!

Joel and Andrea

Fort Wayne IN


Recipe for a perfect day in Asheville:

  1. Wake up in a lovely room. Enhance your shower with plushy towels and a chic robe.
  2. Ease into the morning with hot coffee on the porch. Breath deeply. Relax.
  3. Get fueled for the day with a large and sumptuous breakfast by Emily & Bill Stir in some stimulating conversation.
  4. Add a hike along the Laurel River and a drive through Autumn Splendor on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  5. Return for a short nap, with Fall air drifting through the windows (after a cookie!)
  6. Enjoy a famously succulent dinner at the Grove Park Inn – world class tastes & view.
  7. Come home to the SWEETEST B&B in Asheville.
  8. Turn out the lights and dream about tomorrow’s breakfast!

Thanks, Emily & Bill for your TLC! Blessings!

Cathy & Rusty

Olympia Washington

People come from all over the world to experience Asheville.

People come from all over the world to experience Asheville.

Dec 2013

We came to Asheville for our last couples getaway before we have our first child in April. Emily and Bill provided a warm atmosphere and a lovely home for us to enjoyl I am sad to be leaving behind the cozy Carolyn Gray room and Emily’s amazing breakfasts! Thank you for everything!

Zack and Taylor

April 2013

We had a wonderful stay high up in the cozy “nest” with the best breakfasts, very delicious and creative*, we had yet during our 7 weeks travel through the Eastern U.S. Emily and Bill are wonderful hosts. Thank you very much.

Barbara and Wolf

Athens, Greece

*not to forget with beautiful Baroque music


The brief message and the wonderful little sketch made this one like a Haiku poem.

The brief message and the wonderful little sketch made this one like a Haiku poem.

November 5th 2013

Beautiful house and

beautiful hosts.

Delicious breakfasts.




Dec 2013

As a honeymooning couple, we needed a cozy retreat to relax and spend time together. Emily & Bill provided us (along with the help of Judith & the cats) with the most perfect spot to spend our first days together as a married couple. They provided the most caring and heartfelt service and we were blessed with the hospitality! We will try to take on their sweet tradition of a candlelit dinner together in our married days to come! Thank you for everything!


Raj & Sara

PS Breakfast was superb!

May 2-13

We came to A Bed of Roses to celebrate our first year of marriage. This was our first time experience staying at a bed and breakfast and our standards are now set HIGH. Emily and Bill are such lovely hosts and know how to make your Asheville experience incredible. Ensure you attend breakfast EVERY morning to enjoy their sensational breakfast creations!

Ben and Kara

And thank you to all of our guests for making this another exceptional year at A Bed of Roses! This is why we love this job!

Emily & Bill


A Bed of Roses




Tree Falls on Owner’s Quarters: This Innkeeper is Counting Her Blessings This New Year’s Day

January 1st, 2013 by abedofroses

Tree Damage_0003

A large tree fell on our owner’s quarters

The deafeningly loud crash and flash of light that woke us from our sleep in the middle of Christmas night was definitely not Santa and his sleigh landing on the roof! High winds and rain conspired with insects that had done their damage hidden from view to crack a giant pine tree in our neighbor’s yard and hurl it across the alley onto the roof over our bed. Miraculously the power lines behind our owner’s quarters broke the fall so that only a large branch punctured our roof rather than the entire tree trunk. Stunned and groggy from an abbreviated night’s sleep we ventured out into the rain to find out what happened and take stock of the damage. It was almost 5AM by that time and we had a house full of guests to serve breakfast to. So with half the power out we lit candles, figured out what was working and what wasn’t and came up with a plan for breakfast for 8 over the stove that didn’t require the ovens. This was a first- cooking by the light of a flashlight! We managed to pull it off before the power company shut us down completely to remove the tree. Electricians, appliance repair people, insurance adjusters and roofers are still being dealt with, but we’re back in full operation and incredibly grateful to be alive. After a season of things breaking, a sick kitty that has required a months worth of treatment on the heels of Bill’s October hospitalization it would be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like life is just responding to one crisis after another. I must admit I indulged in a bit of self-pity. But this New Year’s Eve we chose to take stock of all of the challenges we did meet and all the things we accomplished this year. We truly have had a great year.

Antique sconces now light up our goodies

Antique sconces now light up our goodies

Besides meeting the challenges of breakfast under duress the other day and operating the inn with one innkeeper down in October, we’ve met all of our little challenges with success as well. A broken CD player that I put totally out of its misery when it tried to steal my favorite Christmas CDs, pushed us to finally go digital with our sound system for the inn. I had always wanted to find the time to research systems and hook the sound up to our computer, but now I was forced to do it! I couldn’t be happier with our new Sonos system, operating by WiFi to wireless speakers. Business has been up since last year too. December was our busiest yet with lots and lots of people taking advantage of our Biltmore Candlelight Evening Package. This past year I was elected to the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association Executive Committee  (ABBA) as Secretary, a post I’ve been enjoying and have just been re-elected to. After numerous production delays, we finally succeeded in replacing all of our robes at the inn with new, plush hunter green ones. Table and bed linens have been upgraded and we’ve added a “new” antique carpet and comfy chair to the parlor as well as a reproduction Victorian lamp to the foyer. We upgraded the Turret Suite, changing the carpet and adding a Tiffany lamp and 2 antique chairs. We painted and got new wicker furniture for our cozy front porch as well (see our improvements!) We started the year off by lighting up the kitchen! We added several recessed lights to brighten up our work-space and installed the antique sconces that we brought with us from Boston over the antique buffet where we serve afternoon tea and goodies. And we ended the year with a beautiful and incredibly life-like new 9 foot Christmas Tree from Balsam Hill to match the outstanding garlands we got from them last year. We definitely dressed up the inn for the holidays! As we go into the New Year we hired painters come in this week and re-paint all the guest rooms. We just chose new plush carpeting that will then be installed in the Oliver Davis and Carolyn Gray rooms. And then we will take a well-deserved vacation in St. Martin! We look forward to returning rested and so gratefully alive to a freshly painted and improved inn to start the season again. Happy New Year!

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



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.