The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Archive for the ‘Asheville B&B’ Category

Asheville Restaurant Review: Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder

April 2nd, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

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As Asheville has emerged as a premier food destination, it’s become more difficult for new venues to find the space to cut out of the market. This makes opening a restaurant even more risky than normal. The competition is fierce out there.

Into the ring comes a brash new contender, Seven Sows, a collaborative effort between chef Adam Bannasch of Zambra, chef Mike Moore of Blind Pig Supper club and Jason Caughman of Pisgah Brewery. Seven Sows celebrates southern cooking and serves dinner and weekend brunches that feature local and heirloom products and a bar that focuses on bourbon.

We ventured out with friends to investigate this new eatery during its opening week. There were several birthdays around the table and I have to say that some members of the party were giddy with anticipation.

Through the doors, we found the décor rustic, nothing fancy – but definitely down home and welcoming. Authentic barn siding here. Tin roof there. A wall painting of a lady holding a ham. Nothing pretentious – you are here to eat, or drink, or both. No hoity-toity here – just good food and drink.

rest3And the menu – what fun! But, I get ahead of myself. Drinks first. It would be safe to say one of the better selections of Bourbon and Rye in the area. Actually, the selection of Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Scotch, Brandy, Rum, Gin, Vodka, Tequila and Apertif’s are all top of the line. My husband chose the “Larceny” – for its name and he was rewarded by the butterscotch aroma and smooth, smoky flavor that warmed its path. Half of the party selected a bourbon of personal fancy (no easy choice given the list) and the other half chose grapes (of the fermented variety). Both halves were pleased with the selection and their decisions. Being a Bourbon enthusiast my husband could not resist following up the “Larceny” with a signature cocktail, a Buffala Negra (W. L. Weller 12 Yr Bourbon, Fresh Basil, Aged Balsamic, Fever Tree Ginger Ale, Simple Syrup concoction) that shoots up the charts as one of Asheville’s top elixirs.

For appetizers and to get into the theme, we sampled: Shaved Country Ham Board with selections of Benton’s Tennessee Month and Mangalitsa and Colonel Newsom’s Aged Kentucky ham. Pickled vegetable, grilled bread mustards, Texas Pete Mayo, and Sweetgrass Dairy Appalachian Cheese.

And Cone O’ Chicken Cracklins and the Buttermilk Hushpuppy Basket (with hot pimento cheese). We turned our gazes on to the entrees. Not one of our self-described “foodies” was adventurous enough to try the Pig Head Meatloaf with apple chutney, pickled mustard seeds, Southern Appalachia Sorghum, crispy pig ear and grilled bread, but maybe next time and after a few more bourbons.

We did have and enjoy the Mountain Goat with Brunswick Stew (and cornbread). No self-respecting southern kitchen could hang its sign if there were no fried chicken wasn’t coming out of it. No offense Gramma, butrest4 this buttermilk fried chicken with crawfish mac and cheese and giblet and egg gravy — oh my.

And more items you would not expect on a “new Asheville” menu. The Laughing Seed (a very popular vegetarian restaurant here in Asheville) is not laughing at this lineup of southern fare. Beeler’s Farm grilled Duroc Pork Chop, Quail, Foothills Braised Pork Shank and Dry Aged Cab Ribeye to name a few.

Given the birthday celebrations, we ordered one of each of the desserts, sampled and passed them around theres2 table — partaking in Crème Brulèe, Blueberry Buckle, Butterscotch pudding and a sweet Fudge sauce, marshmallow, Cheerwine Syrup treatment that elevated the traditional Train City’s Moon Pie. I was surprised not to see any banana pudding, but not a complaint was heard and none of these particular decadent treats made it around the table twice.

Side Historical Note: The south’s favorite snack food, the Moon Pie originated in 1917. During the 1930’s, the Moon Pie found its place in Southern folklore as part of the “working man’s lunch.” Coal miners and laborers would enjoy the biggest snack on the rack, a Moon Pie and a 10 ounce RC Cola each for a nickel.

This is fine southern cooking treated with creativity and respect. I don’t remember Mama serving up any such fixins.’ A great place to visit before you head out on your dirt track date or go to see a show.

Here at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast we’d be happy to secure you a dinner reservation during your visit to this Asheville Inn. Please call our toll free 888-811-3053 or visit our website at www.pinecrestbb.com

Asheville’s Day Spas and Wellness Retreats

March 8th, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

massageWhen visiting Asheville, you don’t have to look far to find some of the best spas in North Carolina – from the historic salt baths of the Grove Park to the more contemporary offerings of Spa Theology in downtown Asheville. At Spa Theology visitors experience the best of both worlds. Traditional spa classics like hot stone and couple’s massage are guest favorites, or choose from one of the more natural spa treatments Asheville is known for, like green tea clay facials and vegan nail services. You’ll even find a Chakra Balancing Wheel in the Spa’s boutique to help you balance your energy. Spa Theology proudly offers paraben free Privai botanical based skincare products. Schedule your spa treatment by calling 828-255-4171.

To clear the mind and body, head over to Sensibilities Day Spa, one of Asheville’s oldest and most renowned wellness retreats. Try one of their signature body treatments like Grounded in Nature – the detoxifying body treatment with blue-green algae and mineral-rich clay. Or treat your face to a yummy Hydrench Facial infused with a blend of decadent chocolate mousse, macadamia nut, almond and coconut. Call 828.253.3222 to book one of their many rejuvenating body treatments.

Voted as one of the top 20 resort spas in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler, The Spa at the Grove Park Inn comes with a never-ending array of fringe benefits topped off with fantastic mountain views. Purchase a day spa pass for $90, and just lounge around the iconic Inn’s spa for the day. Get ready for waterfall Jacuzzi tubs, a mineral based lap pool, eucalyptus-infused steam room, cold plunge and more. Or book any spa treatment and enjoy the extra amenities at no additional charge. Spa guests will find the usual resort fare… cozy robes, lockers and a fully stocked dressing room, but you’ll also find lots of cozy reading nooks by roaring fireplaces, and a café that serves light fare and wine. The 43,000-square-foot subterranean spa is sure to please even the most discerning spa goer. Call 800.438.5800 for spa reservations.

The innkeepers at Asheville’s Pinecrest Inn Bed & Breakfast are always available to make recommendations as well as assist our guests with their spa reservations. We’re conveniently located less than 10 minutes from all of our featured spa destinations. For more information about our historic Asheville B&B, visit www.pinecrestbb.com.

Christmas Gift Buying in Asheville, North Carolina.

December 5th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

What a splendid city to find just the right present for Christmas gift giving. Asheville has more than 200 shops, over 30 art galleries, dozens of antique malls and stores. The best part is almost all of these shops, galleries and antique stores are locally owned allowing you the opportunity to find a one-of-a-kind gift.

The North Asheville Tailgate Market at UNCA Asheville will be hosting their 10th Holiday Bazaar on December 8, 15 and 22, 2012 from noon to 4 o’clock. The market will be selling local produce, baked goods, artisian cheeses and a variety of local foods. In addition to the usual finds the Bazaar will feature local artisans crafts, art work, Christmas trees and wreaths. It’s a lovely market and always interesting.

There is also the Biltmore Villages Shops located just outside the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. There you will find over 40 local shops, 10 restaurants and cafes. Stroll the tree lined brick sidewalks, meander through the shops and pop into Chelsea’s Tea room for afternoon tea.

This Asheville Bed and Breakfast we would enjoy the opportunity to assist you in planning an afternoon of shopping, eating and walking. To make holiday reservations at our Asheville Inn, call 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com for availability.

Exploring the River Arts District, Asheville NC

October 1st, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

This past weekend we explored the up and coming River Arts District. It’s been a while since we ventured down there in the evening and “wow” has it grown. There are several new galleries, restaurants and even an electric bike shop. We met up with our good friends who happen to also own a Montford bed and breakfast just a few doors down from us on Cumberland Avenue. It’s always nice to have an innkeeper friend you can call on at five till 9 in the morning when you realize you are missing one of the key ingredients for your breakfast, like butter or eggs and even 2 slices of bacon. Thanks James and Susan. They have been great friends and a source of support in many ways.

We began our evening at The Magnetic Field – a bar, restaurant and theatre venue. This is a great place to catch dinner and a show. The plan included dinner and the first performance of the evening (at 7:30). On this particular evening, they were featuring “MILF the Musical” and later in the evening “No she didn’t…Good Girls Gone Bad and the Dances that Happen” — probably not a show that has been cleared for family entertainment.

I am usually a wine drinker and rarely venture down cocktail road, but our friends were very excited about a favorite drink that was fortuitously featured on this special evening out and so we all went along for the ride. Our friends first experienced this delicacy while visiting Peru and have rarely seen it on a menu in the homeland. So if you go…even if it’s not on the menu, see if you can order a Pisco Sour Cocktail. You won’t make any friends with the bartender – it is a high maintenance drink –but this concern will melt away after just one and you can restore the relationship with a decent tip. This cocktail was invented in Peru around 1900 and uses Pisco, a Peruvian grape brandy and “it’s to die for!” The brandy itself is a bit stark, but when skillfully mixed with the other ingredients (sugar, egg white, lime juice), it becomes a smooth, frothy refreshment pleasure. Avoiding the risk of damaging a long-established relationship with your favorite bartender, I am going to include the recipe at the bottom of the blog so you can try this at home.

The dinner menu is small but focused on quality and features local and seasonal ingredients. I had local trout that was on a bed of butter beans and sea island peas over a lovely cauliflower puree and surrounded by a brown butter sauce. The portion was the perfect size and just scrumptious. My husband enjoyed the flat iron steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, local shitake mushrooms, sautéed greens and a Cabernet demi-glaze. The meat was very tender and the sauce a perfect accompaniment to the plate. Our friends enjoyed a plate of local cheeses, crab bisque soup (which had a nice little kick) and peel and eat shrimp which were a good size and fresh and tender. The service was also “spot on”.

As can be the case with dinner theater, the dinner component can be quite lacking. This is not the case at The Magnetic Field. This restaurant can stand on its own merit. Everyone had a great meal and great fun at the “theater” portion of the evening.

Next on our list is the Junction (which is located just up the block from Magnetic Field) and is also focused on local and seasonal ingredients. It is rumored they just may have the best burger in town…as self-proclaimed experts on the topic; we’ll be the judge and let you know. For more recommendations on great dinner spots don’t forget to ask your innkeepers at this Asheville bed and breakfast.

Pisco Sour
• 1/4 cup (2 oz.) pisco (grape brandy)
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites
In a blender, whirl 3 ice cubes, Pisco, sugar, fresh lime juice, and egg whites. Whirl until smooth (you’ll no longer hear the ice cracking against the side of the blender) and serve straight up in a martini glass with a dash of aromatic bitters and a wedge of lime.

For more information or to book a room visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053. We look forward to hosting you at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast very soon.

Oven Roasted Tomato Frittata at this Asheville Inn

August 30th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

It’s that time of year again when my garden and our local tailgates are overwhelmed with tomatoes.  These last few weeks we have had a glorious production of cherokee purple, sun gold cherry and plum tomatoes. Since we have been eating them in salads, as a salad, in fresh tomato sauce and any number of other ways, I decided to experiment with oven roasting them. I drizzled approximately 2 Tbsp of olive oil onto a rimmed baking pan. I then tossed in some fresh thyme and oregano. I halved a variety of tomatoes in similar size and placed them on the baking pan in a single layer.  I roasted them in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours. They just need to be soft and wilty.  I placed them in mason jars and refrigerated. They will keep this way for about a week and can be frozen.

Tomatoes prepared this way are divine! The best way to devour these sweet and lovely treats is on good crusty bread. My husband likes his bread grilled with a little olive oil. Crumble on some good goat cheese, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a piece of heaven.

Unfortunately, this is not really breakfast fare and I was determined to use these tomatoes in a dish  at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast.  My own favorite breakfast always includes eggs and tomatoes so a frittata seemed the best way to highlight the intense flavor of these tomatoes. Of course good local crusty bread could also be served with this meal.  If you can’t roast your own, your local specialty grocer should have them and if necessary you could substitute sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. You will need a deep 10 inch oven safe saute pan. I prefer cast iron but any oven ready pan will do.

I decided to create an oven roasted tomato, smoked mozzarella and basil frittata. I served this to guests (guinea pigs) last week who could not stop raving about how good it tasted or how pretty the plate looked. So this morning I decided to make it again and take pictures as I prepared it. I also took pictures of the guests but promised not to show them. One guest suggested I take a picture of his empty plate as he scarfed down the last bite….thus the last photo.  My thoughts were that I’d write a blog and include the recipe with photos.  As I loaded the pictures onto my computer I realized I could turn the photos into a video.  Please understand if you watch the video …it has no sound and was published and edited by an amateur. ..me.

The great thing about frittatas is they are easy and quick to make. More importantly you can put almost anything in them.  I used smoked mozzarella because I thought it would marry well with the tomatoes and it melts incredibly well.  It has that gooey effect and does not completely disappear. Another good cheese would be goat cheese.  We have the most amazing local cheese farms in and around Asheville. I am particularly fond of Three Graces Dairy and Spinning Spider Creamery.  Next I am going to make a frittata with chives and goat cheese, from one of these farms.  My kids want me to make a ham and swiss without the tomatoes ….we’ll see.

I could eat tomatoes everyday this time of year.  To me the saddest part of summer ending is the end of fresh tomatoes from my garden. Please come visit our Asheville Inn and let us feed you well. For more information call 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com.

Oven Roasted Tomato, Smoke Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Frittata

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ Tbsp unsalted butter

1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted tomatoes in oil

2 shallots sliced thin or small yellow onion

½ cup cubed smoked mozzarella

7 eggs beaten

¾ cup milk

Handful fresh basil chopped

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat oil and butter.  Add shallots and sauté until soft and golden.  Mix egg, milk, basil and pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Pour egg mixture over shallots. Sprinkle in cheese and tomatoes.  Cook over medium for approximately 5 minutes or until sides look set. Put in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until firm. Let it sit for 5 minutes and serve.

Gluten Free Restaurants in Asheville, NC

August 28th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Kale Salad from Posana

It seems that lately we have been seeing a lot of guests with different dietary needs.  The big one these days is gluten intolerance.  So it’s a good thing they are vacationing in Asheville, because this is just a fabulous place to visit and live if you have any type of dietary challenges.  At our Asheville Inn we embrace these challenges and find ways to insure that all our guests needs are met.  We recently had a lovely lady visit us who was a vegetarian and gluten-free. She authors a gluten free blog and wrote a wonderful article on her site Gluten-Free Cat about her experience at Pinecrest B and B.  She posted lots of pictures of our breakfasts and the desserts I got for her from my friend who is a professional gluten-free baker, Dolci di Maria.

As stated in previous blogs we have vegetarian restaurants, a vegan restaurant, a drive through vegetarian “fast food” place and a gluten-free restaurant.  I send guests to Posana Cafe, the gluten-free restaurant all the time.  In fact it is not unusual for them to go back several times during their visit.  So this  weekend I met up with some friends at Posana to confirm that the food is as good as everyone says it is . I was not disappointed.

Posana Cafe is located located in downtown Asheville on Historic Pack Square.   We sat outside on the patio on an unseasonably cool August night. There is probably no better people watching spot than Pack Square.  Posana Cafe has a self described Contemporary American Cusine menu which features local seasonal ingredients. With the emphasis on seasonal the menu naturally changes frequently.   One of the staples of the menu however, is the Kale Salad, which I could have eaten 2 pounds of easily.   The Kale is minced and tossed with pumpkin seeds, currants, lemon and olive oil and outstanding  Three Graces Dairy  manchego cheese.  I love kale but if you don’t,  this salad will surely convert you.  Next up was a roasted beet and peach salad with Three Graces Dairy Feta cheese.  Again….very good.  Lastly we had the gnocchi, which was equally divine.  Sadly we skipped dessert, which some say is their best effort. Our server was very professional and pleasant.

All in all a very good experience that you do not have to be gluten free to enjoy !  For more information on how Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast can accomodate your dietary needs, please call 888-811-3053 or email at innkeeper@pinecrestbb.com.

 

 

Trolley Tours are a Great Way to Experience Asheville

August 8th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Taking you on an adventure this time around, we have a guest blog from my parents (Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast resident innkeepers), who ventured out with some friends of theirs visiting from Indiana.   There isn’t a better way for them to get a good feel for our fair city than to hop aboard a historic trolley tour.

And so, off they went to the Asheville Visitor Center to board the Gray Line Trolley. The Visitors center is 5 blocks from this Asheville Inn. The trolley tours are fully narrated by a professional tour guide, who is well versed in historic tid bits about the city of Asheville. One great thing about taking the trolley is that you get to let someone else hold the wheel – letting the driver worry about traffic and parking and allowing you to enjoy the sights without causing any traffic mishaps.  Plus, the ticket is good for 2 consecutive days and you are allowed to hop off the trolley at any one of the stops and get back on when you feel like it. Every 30 minutes the trolley glides by each stop. The cost is 21.00 per adult and 10.00 for children ages 5 – 11.  They also offer AAA and AARP discounts of 2.00 per ticket. For your convenience we sell the tickets from our Asheville  bed and breakfast .

After departing the Visitor Center, the trolley made its way through the Montford Historic District, which just so happens to be where our Asheville Bed and Breakfast is located.  This District Montford retains more than 600 buildings, most of which were built between 1890 and 1920, and includes a variety of architectural influences reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville during the turn of the 20th century.

Famous Asheville architect (and supervising architect of the Biltmore House) Richard Sharp Smith designed many of the residential homes in Montford. Smith’s architectural leanings contribute to the character of this area.

Montford has always been primarily residential, but also has a history of including several board houses and sanitariums (for the treatment of tuberculosis and other ailments) included in the neighborhood mix.  In recent years, Montford has developed into a bed and breakfast community with numerous inns included in the mix.

Also within the Montford Historic District is Asheville’s Riverside Cemetery,  It is the cemetery where you will find the final resting place for Thomas Wolfe and William Sydney Porter (better known as O. Henry) as well as Confederate General Robert B. Vance and North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance, among other Asheville luminaries.

The large houses that line the streets of this neighborhood reflect a more prosperous time in Asheville.  Montford and Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The district is located an easy walk or bike ride from downtown Asheville.

Unfortunately, it misses passing our inn — also a “Robert Sharp Smith” — by a block. Their trolley cruised by an old home which years ago was a sanitarium. It is where Zelda Fitzgerald, the beautiful debutante flapper from Alabama who inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age stories was a patient and where she died in March of 1948.

After leaving Montford, the trolley meandered through the Grove Park neighborhood until it reached the Grove Park Inn. It is here that George Vanderbilt stayed during his first trip to Asheville. My parents and their friends decided to jump off the trolley and check out the Grove Park Inn, more specifically the spectacular view of the mountains from the terrace. The trolley guide informed them it was this terrace where George Vanderbilt looked out and decided he would buy all the land he could see.

Next stop: the Thomas Wolfe House.  Your trolley ticket allows you free admission to the historic home where the writer, Thomas Wolfe lived as a boy. Mr. Wolfe is also buried at the Riverside Cemetery.  Hopping back on board, the trolley headed toward downtown and into Pack Square.  Following the depression, many art deco buildings were constructed and through the years the city has tried to retain the architectural heritage by maintaining and restoring these beautiful structures.  After driving through the square the trolley made its way over to the Haywood Hotel. Everyone was ready to stretch their legs so they hopped off and wandered around downtown for a while. They strolled through the Woolworth building which houses 2 floors of artist galleries and an old fashion soda fountain. They then crossed the street and indulged in some sinfully delicious chocolate at the Chocolate Fetish, a local Chocolatier,some might say “chocolate artists.”

Rejoining their fellow tourists, and a few locals enjoying the tour, the trolley made its way down toward the French Broad River.  The River Arts District is currently experiencing a major resurgence and is quite the happening place these days. Several breweries are moving in and more restaurants are surfacing in this lively center of art, artists, galleries and studios.

The trolley then headed south to Biltmore Village. Biltmore Village was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1890′s as a classic planned community at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. Today the Village is a cottage community of shops, restaurants and art galleries. At this point everyone was getting hungry so they departed the trolley and walked around the Village, which has tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks. They ended up at Chelsea’s Tea Room for afternoon tea and finger sandwiches. They sat outside in the lovely courtyard and despite the warm temperatures they really enjoyed themselves…even the men. As they strolled back to the trolley stop they passed some of the original buildings, such as All Souls Church (now All Souls Cathedral) the church built for the Vanderbilt’s, the old train depot which is now a restaurant, and some of the original estate cottages.

Although you can take the entire tour in about an hour and a half, this little adventure took all of 5 hours.  Crazy kids!

For more information or to book a room visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

Our Asheville B & B Association has a New Look !

May 2nd, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is a member of the Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association.  For over a year now the ABBA has been working on a new Logo,  new Website and an interactive Kiosk, which will be placed in our Asheville Visitor Center. Visitors can engage with a touch-screen interactive display on the kiosk and select a Bed & Breakfast based on individual needs. Guests can  can book online right at the kiosk, or make a phone call, to secure their stay.

The Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association is comprised of some of the most beautifully decorated historic Inns in Asheville.  And while each of these 16 homes is charming in their own way, they are not memories of grandmother’s house.

On May 8, 2012 we will be unveiling the new Kiosk, website and logo at  our ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Asheville Visitor Center.

To visit our own historic Asheville Inn, go to www.pinecrestbb.com today.

 

 

TripAdvisor Recommends Visiting Asheville

February 28th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

TripAdvisor has announced that Asheville is one of 15 destinations on the rise for travel and tourism. According to their website, travelers are raving about this mountain town, and creating quite a buzz. This comes on the heels of another designation by TripAdvisor in October, 2011 when Asheville was voted by the website’s users as being a Top 10 Destination for Food & Wine.
Here’s what TripAdvisor had to say about Asheville:
There’s something about Asheville that makes its blend of remote Appalachian charm and cosmopolitan sophistication seem perfectly natural. The city abounds in cultural attractions and events, many stemming from the literary greats who have lived here. Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg and O. Henry all once called Asheville home. The city has historically been a resort for the wealthy. But there’s also a friendly, small-town atmosphere; the city has a way of making visitors feel right at home. Located at the confluence of two rivers and nestled in the mountains, Asheville is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, who have their pick of hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning and many other activities. So breathe in the fresh mountain air, take a spin along “America’s most scenic drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway, and soak up the beauty and spirit of this lovely mountain city.
For reservations at our Asheville Inn, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

 

Gift Certificates from this Asheville Bed and Breakfast for Gift Giving.

December 1st, 2011 by Stacy Shelley

A Gift Certificate from Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is a great idea for Holiday gift giving, anniversary, honeymoon, birthday or any other special occasion. To make the recipients stay even more special we can arrange for sparkling beverages, locally made chocolates, in-room massage, dinner reservations, excursion planning and Biltmore Estate tickets.  Biltmore Estate tickets purchased through Asheville B & B allow entrance to the Estate two consecutive days.

To order a gift certificate, please call 888-811-3053 or email us at innkeeper@pinecrestbb.com.

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