A Locavore Getaway: Eat Local, Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
You may have read Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’; you may check the posts on The Splendid Table’s ‘Locavore Nation’ blog; you may shop at your local farmers market. Whatever piqued your interest in eating the locavore way – getting most of your food from local or regional sources – you are not alone. In fact, the term ‘locavore’ was the 2007 word of the year, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary. I Love Inns (www.ILoveInns.com) has found several B&Bs that specialize in menus featuring locally-grown items, so you can plan your next vacation at a bed and breakfast that follows the locavore philosophy.
Pick your own veggies in the Virginia foothills
The William Cox Inn is located on 28 acres at the eastern edge of the Shenandoah National Park near Charlottesville, VA. It’s hard to decide where to look first at this expansive country B&B – the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the large porch, the gardens of sustainable vegetables and berries where you may pick your own breakfast, or the rustic historic walls and windows of the 230-year-old home containing the dining room and two of the seven guest rooms. The rooms are named for the native Virginia trees that grow on the Inn’s grounds and feature King, Queen or two twin beds. The River Cabin, a log building with its own front porch and sleeping loft, offers privacy and the soothing sound of the Roach River.
Tea and homemade sweets are available each day, with a nightcap of hot chocolate in the winter months and a Saturday evening wine tasting in the library. But the breakfast menu is what really sets the tone for guests wanting to try the local cuisine – Virginia ham, applewood smoked bacon, farm-fresh eggs scrambled with local goat cheese and garden-fresh spinach, waffles with Virginia maple syrup, and locally-roasted coffee from the Righteous Bean. The Inn hopes to offer dinner in the near future; in the meantime, you certainly won’t go hungry with a bountiful, locally-grown breakfast served in front of the fireplace in the William Cox dining room!
From-scratch breakfasts in the mountains of North Carolina
At the newly-renovated Red House Inn in Brevard, NC, you can spend your day visiting one of the 260 waterfalls in Transylania County – but you’ll have to push yourself away from the breakfast table, overflowing with locally-sourced, homemade delights. A B&B in the continental style, chef Daniel uses English-style bacon and sausage from Lumberton field-reared pigs, the freshest and most colorful local eggs, healthy multi-grain English muffins from a downtown bakery, and fruits harvested in season and frozen or from Poppies, the local gourmet farmer’s market. Even the coffee is roasted in a special Red House blend to order at the Brown Bean in Brevard. Special dietary requests are accommodated happily with advance notice.
In addition to those amazing breakfasts, the five guest rooms at the Inn have been renovated to provide modern comforts while retaining the period features of the home, such as the original pine floor and the sash windows. High quality mattresses come from Blue Ridge Bedding and the beds are made with luxurious linens. Satellite television with two movie channels and a high-speed wireless Internet connection provide all the modern conveniences of technology. As a special bonus, the artwork displayed throughout the inn is on loan from the in-town Bluewood Gallery.
Farm-to-table cuisine near Atlanta, Georgia
Named as a combination of the words ‘serenity’ and ‘be’, the Serenbe B&B in Palmetto, GA, began as a farmstay bed and breakfast but has grown into a true getaway managed in accordance with environmentally-friendly philosophies. Guests can stay in a restored 1903 farmhouse, a converted 1930s-era horse barn, the Lake House with a large screened porch, or in two newly-constructed Earth Craft rated cottages. Several guest rooms have jetted tubs and all rooms include full use of the pool, hot tub, cabana, gardens, croquet lawn and lake. Over 900 acres of trails wind through the property and over 100 farm animals, including llamas, donkeys, horses and pigs live on the Serenbe farm. Guests are welcome to help feed and care for the animals with the staff’s assistance, and you can check on the arrival of babies on the farm on the inn’s website!
A full country breakfast is served every morning and The Farmhouse restaurant is open four nights a week and Sunday afternoons, serving balanced dishes made from seasonal ingredients from both the Serenbe farm and local farmers. Diners are offered a three-course, prix-fixe meal in the evenings, while the Sunday menu recaptures a family-style supper with traditional southern dishes done with a creative touch. Guests at the B&B are treated to a traditional Southern afternoon tea at 4:00 and sweets at bedtime. Youngsters of all ages will enjoy the hay rides and campfire marshmallow roasts that are often a part of the evening’s activities.
If we haven’t listed an inn that meets your needs at the moment, remember than many bed and breakfasts work with local farmers and merchants – ask any of our member inns what local ‘flavor’ you might experience while enjoying their hospitality.
Jeanne Muir of the Thomas Shepherd Inn in Shepherdstown, WV, says ‘We prefer to use local products for our breakfasts – my eggs are delivered weekly from a local farmer and our bacon and sausage come from nearby farms in Maryland. We’ve developed relationships with our local farmer’s market vendors and are buying a CSA (community-support agriculture) share for vegetables and flowers this year.” We’re sure other innkeepers will be glad to share their nearby shopping secrets with you!
Browse through the 19,000 Bed and Breakfasts and country inns that specialize in other events and locations that may interest you. Many of the properties listed above are also in the best-selling bed and breakfast guidebook Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns with a Buy-One-Night-Get-One-Night-Free Certificate. ILoveInns also offers Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates, a perfect solution to help celebrate any occasion.
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