The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

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Zen Tubing an Asheville Outdoor Adventure

July 21st, 2015 by Stacy Shelley

 

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We have been operating this Asheville Bed and Breakfast for almost 13 very lucky years and one of the biggest changes we’ve observed in the last several years is the duration of days our guests stay. It used to be folks would come in for a couple days to “get-away” and “recharge” – usually coming from not too distant towns and cities. More recently the average stay has    gone from just a few days to longer visits with a good number of folks even staying for a week.  Guests are coming from everywhere including a lot of international destinations.

While everyone almost certainly ventures to the Biltmore Estate for a day, or even 2, most people are looking for other adventures in and around Asheville.  We are increasingly assisting incoming guests with planning their vacation and extended stays.

Of course there is any number of outdoor activities to keep you entertained, but one of the newest and definitely most fun activity to hit the Asheville area of late is Zen Tubing.  It is the most leisurely way to enjoy an afternoon along the French Broad River.

I know what you’re thinking…..black tubes that you lug up the stream and float down and lug back up the stream and down again.  Not exactly..this is tubing in a Cadillac, or perhaps being Asheville – a fully loaded Prius, and there is no lugging involved.  The tube provides a soft and cushiony ride, has a back rest, a bottom (to protect your own) and can be hooked together with other floaters.

Zen Tubing has 2 locations that you can drop in from – the Southern route which drops in near Bent Creek, just a short ride south of Asheville and a Mid-town location that cruises through the River Arts District past a few Breweries ending just short of the Bywater, a great outdoor/indoor drinking and eating venue.  They even have a free shuttle to the Bywater parking lot.

The process is so easy- just park at one of the end destinations, get checked-in and take the shuttle to the put in.  The average time on the river is between 2 and 3 hours ending where your car is parked. They are open 7 days a week from 10:00 to 4:00. You just have to be out of the water by 7:00. The cost per person for adults is $20.00 and kids $15.00.

We took our kids out the last weekend of summer last year and had an absolute ball.  We decided on the Southern route and couldn’t have had a sweeter family outing.  We floated along with the current of the French Broad River, swam, swung from a rope, had a picnic on one of the many islands and relaxed.  Thinking of everything for a fun-filled trip, they even provided a tube for our cooler.

Please don’t hesitate to ask Pinecrest B & B to help you plan your trip. We’ve got some great ideas.  Contact  Pinecrest Inn at 828-281-4275 or visit our website at www.pinecrestbb.com.

 

April Asheville Cheese Month

March 27th, 2015 by Stacy Shelley

cheese festApril 2015 is WNC Cheese month.  WNC is home to an amazing array of Creameries and Farms.  What better way to explore Western North Carolina than meandering along the WNC Cheese Trail.  Spend an afternoon taking in the mountain beauty and sampling delicious handmade cheeses.  Visit the Creameries and farms and meet the amazing folks creating these delicacies’. Tour their facilities and learn a bit about cheese crafting.  You can even purchase cheese directly from the cheesemakers.  These award winning cheesemakers range from new operations to pioneers in the artisan cheese movement, using both goat milk and cow milk.

Throughout the month  of April Pinecrest Bed and breakfast we will be featuring local cheeses during breakfast. Pinecrest will be offering a 2 night package April 25 through April 27 which will include a map of the Cheese Trail, cheese recipes from members of the WNC Cheese Trail  and this Asheville B & B and 2 tickets to the WNC Cheese  Trail’s annual festival.  Please call 828-281-4275 for pricing details.

WNC Cheese Trail’s annual festival will be held at Highland Brewing Company on April 26, 2015 from 12 to 4.  There will be hands-on activities for kids and adults, panel discussions, workshops and cooking demonstrations. You can sample and purchase cheeses, speak with cheese-makers, and meet producers of  bread and crackers, meats, pickles and jams.

To book Inn reservations during this event or assistance planning a trip to our Asheville B & B this spring, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 828-281-4275.

Mushroom Hunting Craze Sprouts in Asheville

March 23rd, 2015 by Stacy Shelley

MMSo you’ve heard all about the latest trends in foraging for food and in particular the mushroom foraging craze. Asheville even has its own “shroom expert” Alan Muskat. He’s been guiding people out into the wild to feast at mother nature’s table for over twenty years. He even founded the first and only forage-to-table company in the country. Muskat has been featured in the likes of Southern Living, Bizzare Food, Condé Nast Traveler, PSB and others.

Author of Wild Mushrooms: A Taste of Enchantment, Muskat knows the secrets to mushroom hunting. For almost two decades, he sold hundreds of pounds of wild harvested bounty to restaurants and hotels around Asheville including The Biltmore Estate, Lantern, and The Grove Park Inn.  “Wild foods,” Alan says, “are a way of feeling at home in nature.”

With practice you can learn the art of mushroom hunting too. There are books and dozens of online articles on the topic. Part of the challenge however is knowing what to look for and where to look. That’s why tours led by experts such as Muskat are cropping up all over.  There’s even an Asheville Mushroom Club if you’re already a mushroom aficionado.

We Googled the web to find out more. Turns out spring is the best time of year to hunt for Morel mushrooms.  It’s recommended that you search during the two months that are considered the peak of spring in your area. Since spring is upon us you’re probably asking just where is the best place to find a good Morel mushroom in the wild blue yonder? There are certain trees and soil conditions preferred by Morels. Those are:

  • Ash Trees (particularly white ash)
  • Elm Trees (dead or dying preferred)
  • Apple Trees (old ignored apple orchards are best!)
  • Tulip Trees
  • Burn sites
  • Areas with lots of downed trees
  • Old flood areas

Not ready to venture out on your own in search of wild mushrooms for dinner? Then book a tour and learn from the pros! Alan Muskat offers three hour foraging and tasting tours in the Asheville area. He has packages and private tours for all ages and abilities. Visit http://www.notastelikehome.org/book-a-tour.php to find out more. Whether you schedule a tour with a seasoned forager or go it alone, have fun discovering nature’s bounty and happy hunting!

If you’re ready to book your spring visit to our Asheville Bed & Breakfast call 828-281-4275 or visit our Inn reservations page to view our B&B room availability now. We look forward to seeing you soon. If you need assistance booking a tour, just let us know. We’re always here to help our guests plan their itinerary.

Asheville’s Live Music Scene Steals the Show

March 3rd, 2015 by Stacy Shelley

There are countless ways to enjoy the live music scene in Asheville, from outdoor bluegrass concerts to the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and everything in between. Live music is part of what makes Asheville special. Our musical city even has its own Lyric Opera.  The city’s strong tradition of street performers and music venues just adds to the mix of regular almost nightly- year round live entertainment, no matter what your tastes.

One free, outdoor option that’s fun for all ages is “Shindig on the Green,” which happens every Saturday night from June and August on the green surrounding the County Courthouse in downtown Asheville. The first concert kicks off June 27th.

drum circle in asheville

Drum Circle

If you like outdoor music and happen to be visiting this summer on the first Friday of the month, there’s the ever popular Downtown After 5 celebrating its 26th season with the first concert happening May 16th. After 5 is a monthly street concert held from 5 pm till 9 pm on Lexington Avenue that hosts national as well as local acts. For something less formal, check out the drum circle in Pritchard Park every Friday evening. Don’t forget your tambourine…the crowd usually gets in on the act!

Asheville’s eclectic mix of live music venues are known for hosting some of the most sought after bands in the country. No coincidence that they want to play here I’m sure!  Some of the many national touring acts that have graced our stages here in Asheville include The Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Robert Plant and others. Some of the top venues include The Grey Eagle, Asheville Music Hall, The Orange Peel, Tressa’s, Diana Wortham Theatre and Isis Restaurant and Music Hall. Whether you’re looking for bluegrass, soul, rock n’ roll, folk, funk, country or blues, it’s all right here.

If you need recommendations on where to go for the type of music you love, just ask your knowledgeable innkeepers at Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast, an award winning historic Inn located in Montford, a short walk from bustling downtown Asheville. For Inn reservations click here or call 828-281-4275.

 

Downtown Abbey Visits Asheville

December 18th, 2014 by Stacy Shelley

abbey

Elizabeth McGovern Credit: © Carnival Films

The Biltmore Estate recently announced that it plans to host a new exhibition titled, “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times.” Designed by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, the exhibit will be open February 5 through Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 and features more than 40 costumes from the popular PBS series “Downton Abbey.”

Clothing styles from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century are marked by the true emergence of fashion trends. It was a time when women cycled their wardrobes’ appearance every sixth months, rather than every five years – as was common in the 18th century. A tasting of costumes from a “day in the life” of  Downtown Abbey characters will be showcased in rooms throughout Biltmore House in groupings inspired by the fictional show and by real life at Biltmore, the grand Vanderbilt estate of the same era.

Admission to the exhibition is included in the price of regular estate ticket purchases. Complementing the exhibition will be a series of estate-wide special events at Biltmore to be announced at a later date. For more information visit Biltmore.com or call 800.411.3812 for reservations and ticket pricing.

Check with your innkeepers Stacy and Janna at Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast to plan your itinerary while visiting Asheville. For room reservations, visit our Asheville Inn reservation page at http://pinecrestbb.com/reservations/.

 

Asheville Restaurants Open on Christmas Eve 2014

December 8th, 2014 by Stacy Shelley

Planning a visit to Asheville this holiday season? If you are, you may be looking for a list of restaurants that are open on Christmas Eve 2014. Check the list below for restaurants open on December 24th and be sure to ask your innkeepers at Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast for recommendations on where to dine. See you soon.

  • The Imperial Life
  • India Garden Authentic Indian Cuisine
  • Isa’s Bistro
  • Isis Restaurant and Music Hall
  • Jerusalem Garden Cafe
  • Karen Donatelli Cake Designs
  • Kathmandu Cafe
  • Kilwins Asheville
  • Kilwin’s Black Mountain
  • King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffle
  • King James Public House
  • Korean House
  • Laughing Mask Candies
  • Laughing Seed Café
  • Laurey’s (yum!)
  • Lexington Avenue Brewery
  • Limones
  • Little Pigs BBQ – McDowell Street
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • MG Road
  • Mikado Steak House and Sushi Bar
  • Noodle Shop
  • O’Charley’s Restaurant
  • Okie Dokies Smokehouse
  • Old Europe
  • Olive or Twist
  • Blue Ridge Dining Room at The Omni Grove Park Inn
  • Spa Café at The Omni Grove Park Inn
  • Sunset Terrace at The Omni Grove Park Inn
  • One Fifty One Boutique Bar and Restaurant
  • Pack’s Tavern
  • Papa’s and Beer
  • Piazza
  • Pisgah Brewing Company
  • Pomodoros Greek and Italian Cafe
  • Posana Cafe
  • Rhubarb
  • Rosetta’s Kitchen
  • Roux
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Sunny Point Cafe
  • Table
  • The Blackbird
  • The Writer’s Bistro at Renaissance
  • Thirsty Monk
  • Thirsty Monk South
  • Tod’s Tasties
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe – South
  • Westville Pub
  • Wicked Weed Brewing
  • World Coffee Cafe

Pinecrest B&B’s Famous Scone Recipe

November 20th, 2014 by Stacy Shelley

scone4

Blueberry Scone Recipe

Every time we serve these scones at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast someone at the table requests the recipe. Last weekend  I handed out 4 copies of the recipe , so I thought it might be worth posting on our site.  When I go on vacation I end up making these scones every morning at my kids request.  They like them full of chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Mix in whatever your tummy tells you.   These scones are lighter than the usual scone and very easy to make.

This recipe has been past down several generations. I’m not sure they were called “scones” back in the day but that’s what we call here at the Pinecrest Inn. Enjoy !

Scones

2 C Flour

4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp Salt

1/3 C sugar or 1/4 C Honey

4 TBSP unsalted Butter

2 TBSP shortening

3/4 C cream

2 eggs

* zest of one lemon

Handful of dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, chocolate chips….whatever you want to mix in.

* When using fruit I also add the zest of a lemon.

Combine dry ingredients then cut in butter and shortening until it resembles fine crumbles.  Add  1 lightly beaten egg and 3/4 of cream. I usually add the cream slowly mixing then adding more.  You want the dough to be very sticky not wet (see photo). You may not need all of the cream. Add fruit and lemon zest at the very end and mix just till integrated. Do not over mix the dough.

Using an ice cream scooper drop 8- 10 rounded spoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle sanding sugar. White granulated sugar will work just fine, I just like the way sanding sugar gives a sparkly shine.

Bake on 350 for 20 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Chiesa a Great New Addition to the Montford Restaurant Scene

November 13th, 2014 by Stacy Shelley

Last Saturday evening my husband and I strolled down the street to try the new neighborhood restaurant. It’s awesome that we now have another fabulous restaurant guests can venture to just steps out our door.

Chiesa, Church in Italian, is a new venture by Robert and Melisa Willingham, seasoned restaurant owners from Baltimore.  The Willingham’s felt that Asheville was the perfect setting for their opening a home-made pasta-centered, neighborhood-style Italian restaurant.

What use to stand in the place of Chiesa was a rundown vacant Church.  It was very exciting to watch the amazing transformation of this old property.  The end result is a very comfortable interior and a great addition to this historical neighborhood.

And now to the food.  The menu is small but focused and features selections from local purveyors….such as Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Dynamite Roasting, City Bakery,  Blue Moon Water,  Ultimate Ice Cream, and Mountain Foods.  One of the best features is the House-Made pasta, but it was a difficult decision between that and dessert.

We started the evening with Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear. It was scrumptious, especially after we drizzled a little balsamic vinegar over it.  The featured pasta the evening was Fettuccine and it was delightful. I had the sautéed  (HG) Sweet Italian Sausage with Tri-Colored Peppers over  Fettuccine and my husband had the Braised Chicken Thighs with Saffron, Mint and Green Olives. Both dishes were delicious and not heavy. The pasta could not have been more tender and light. If you need that “stuffed” feeling you won’t get that here. The portions are just perfect and not overwhelming.

chiesa logoThere were also several options for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free dinners including  Sauteed Zucchini, Carrot and Squash Ribbons in a Garlic- Shallot Lemon Butter and Fettucini with Basil- Mint Pesto and Walnut Pesto. There were several salads and seasonal soups such as Sweet Potato and Thyme Soup with Toasted Pumkin Seeds and Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup.

For dessert we were treated to a divine Housemade Bread Pudding with a Carmel Glaze. Be sure to ask for a scoop of Madagascar vanilla ice cream from Ultimate Ice Cream on the side.

We found the prices to be very reasonable, especially considering the quality of the ingredients. The wine list features Italian wines and is also very reasonable.

Especially looking forward to Spring when the outside patio will be in full swing. Welcome to the Neighborhood! See your innkeeper at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast for walking directions.

 

Biltmore Estate Holiday Ticket Special Now Available

October 19th, 2014 by Stacy Shelley

biltmore xmasCelebrate the holiday’s at America’s largest home; Christmas at Biltmore Estate starts November 7 through January 11th. Be dazzled by the magic of Biltmore’s Candlelight Christmas Evenings. Step back through time, take a candlelight stroll and see hundreds of wreaths and poinsettias, thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, dozens of decorated Christmas trees, gingerbread houses and choirs singing carolers.

Purchase your day time holiday tickets to Biltmore Estate now through Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast  and receive the added benefit of receiving a 2 day admission, plus an optional Candlelight evening upgrade. Our tickets are valid for any consecutive 2 day entry.  Adult Daytime tickets are $52.00 and with the Candlelight Christmas upgrade, just $68.00. Taxes are included. Be mindful that Gate entry at the Biltmore on Saturday’s in December and the 2 weeks of Christmas and New Year will be $74.00 plus tax and an additional $15.00 plus tax for the Candlelight upgrade.

Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast Inn can procure your tickets and make your Candlelight reservation. Candlelight Evenings are by timed entry and must be reserved. Please call 828-281-4275 to book your stay and purchase your Biltmore Estate tickets.

Best Fall Activities in Asheville

October 7th, 2014 by Stacy Shelley

Fall Foliage in Asheville North CarolinaThere’s no shortage of great fall activities in and around Asheville to keep residents and visitors busy in at this beautiful time of year in Western North Carolina. The question then becomes, what are the best fall activities? Here we’ve attempted to compile a list of the top 10 things to do near Asheville this fall. Check out our list:

  1. Tour the Blue Ridge Parkway and the scenic 193-mile section near Asheville for the best leaf peeping and mountain view this fall. Be sure to take a blanket, jackets and a camera as you set off to explore one of America’s most scenic roadways. Check with your Innkeeper for recommendations on the best overlooks and stop-offs. Check out not to be missed spots like Skinny Dip Falls, Chestoa View at Milepost 320.8 and the Folk Arts Center.
  2. Take in the views by zip lining through the wooded hillsides around Asheville. Navitat Canopy tours have been called “one of the best in the nation” by USA Today. Right outside Asheville, Navitat is the adventurer’s way of experiencing nature with a little adrenaline rush thrown in to keep it interesting.
  3. Head south for a day in the Town of Lake Lure. Try Trout fishing in the Rocky Broad River or rent a bike and check out the Town’s new trail system at Buffalo Creek Park. The best way to see the leaves is with a guided boat tour of the lake. Call the Lake Lure Marina for details at 828-625-1373.  Or check out the Lake Lure Arts Festival, October 18-19, 2014.
  4. Visit nationally acclaimed Chimney Rock State Park for a trail hike you’ll not soon forget. The trails range in skill level from easy to strenuous. Click here for Trail Maps. Just 25 miles south of Asheville and situated close to Lake Lure, the Park is located in Hickory Nut Gorge, home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species, making it one of the most bio-diverse parks in the state.
  5. Spend a day at the legendary Biltmore Estate. Tour the Biltmore house, sample your favorite wines at the Winery, have lunch at Cedric’s Tavern, take in a hike along the French Broad, a Segway tour,  horseback riding or just enjoy a peaceful stroll through the gardens. The opportunities are endless.
  6. Soak in the hot natural mineral waters in your own private tub at the Hot Springs Spa. Follow that up with a relaxing massage for two or other spa treatment. Sit in a rocking chair on the porch gazing at the mountains after you take in the waters and a massage. You’ll thank yourself later. It’s the epitome of relaxation.
  7. Take a tour of Asheville’s many breweries. Behind-the-scenes guided brewery tours are a great way to sample local beers and tour the area at the same time. You’ll learn about the nuances of different beer styles and get the inside scoop on the brewing process. Asheville Brew Cruise offers a range of public and private tours.
  8. Canoe, kayak or raft down the French Broad, Pigeon, Nantahala, or Nolichucky Rivers. Whitewater Paddling magazine named Asheville, North Carolina, as a “Top 10 Whitewater Town.” There are so many ways to get White water rafting Asheville NC lodgingout on the water and take in nature this fall, just pick your favorite river destination, select an outfitter that operates on that river and start paddling! All companies provide rafting guides, so no experience is necessary. A few to choose from are the French Broad Rafting, Green River Adventures and Nantahala Outdoor Center.
  9. Go west young man! West to the town of Cherokee, about an hour from Asheville. Cherokee is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and rich with tradition, history plus interesting museums and shops. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian tells the story of the Cherokee people and sets the scene for the Cherokee Heritage Trails. The nearby Oconaluftee Indian Village is a Living History Museum portraying life in an 18th century Cherokee Indian village.
  10. Check out one of the many fall festivals Asheville is famous for. One of our favorites is The Fall 2014 LEAF Festival, October 16-19, offering an unstoppable lineup of performing artists and a plethora of community dances to partake of including Salsa, Swing, the Waltz, contemporary, Contra; plus poetry and puppetry and a sampling of healing arts workshops and folk art exhibitions. This event sells out fast. For tickets visit http://www.theleaf.org/tickets/.

No matter what you do in Asheville this fall, make our Asheville Bed & Breakfast your home base. Enjoy a sumptuous, three course, home cooked breakfast made from locally sourced meats, breads, cheeses and more. Then let our amazing hosts Jenna and Stacy help you plan your daily adventures. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Visit www.pincrestbb.com for more information or click here for Inn Reservations.

 

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