The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

New Mountaintop Zipline Launches this Month in Asheville

May 13th, 2014
navitat

Navitat Zipline (Photo by: Navitat Asheville NC)

The 2014 zipline season has begun in Asheville and it’s off to an exciting start.  This month Navitat is expected to launch its’ unprecedented zipline called the Blue Ridge Experience. The thrilling mountaintop tour high above the forest floor is being heralded as one of the Southeast’s longest and highest ziplines according to Abby Burt, Navitat’s Branding & Marketing Leader.

stacy zipline navitat

Stacy Shelley at Navitat

The Blue Ridge Experience features three pairs of dual “racing-style” ziplines, with riders zooming alongside each other against the panoramic backdrop of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Navitat’s10 ziplines, sky bridges, rappelling and forest hikes have been called some of the best zipline canopy tours in the nation by USA TODAY and Outdoor magazine, and a “must-do activity” in Asheville by the New York Times.

The Blue Ridge Experience tours begin May 10 and run daily through November. Cost is $69 per person Sunday-Friday and $79 on Saturday and holidays. Reservations are required. Visit www.navitat.com for more information or call 1-855-NAVITAT (855-628-4828) to book a zipline tour.

Need a cozy place to stay on your next trip to Asheville? Look no farther than the Pinecrest Inn, a historic Bed & Breakfast located on over an acre of wooded gardens in Montford. Our Inn is conveniently located a short 20 minute drive from Navitat and less than 5 minutes from downtown Asheville. We look forward to seeing you soon! Visit www.pincrestbb.com for more details.

Fabulous Meal at Ambrozia Bar and Bistro

April 7th, 2014

ambrozia_1We have kept very busy this winter checking out new restaurants and bars and circling back around with a few of our well-established, tried and true local favorites. I have to say we have savored some stellar food and sipped more than a few delectable cocktails over the last several weekends.

This past weekend we had a fabulous meal at Ambrozia Bar and Bistro, as did a good number of our guests of the Inn.  Sipping coffee on Sunday morning and chatting about the previous night’s experiences, everyone agreed that the food was remarkable, delicious and the chef very talented.

Ambrozia Bar and Bistro opened its doors earlier this year and is located in the fine dining desert of Asheville: a.k.a. North Asheville. The chef, Sam Etheridge recently relocated to Asheville from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His intention was to reincarnate his previous award winning restaurant in New Mexico and add a southern twist. I think it’s important to mention that several folks from his restaurant in N.M. decided to follow in his footsteps and also relocated to Asheville. Together, they have created a great venue.

Oftentimes, new restaurants are plagued with service issues and it takes some time before they gain a steady service footing.  We experienced excellent service; the staff was friendly and the attention to the customer’s needs received high marks.  There was a real sense of fluid motion and thoughtful customer service that usually comes only with a seasoned restaurant.

The focus is farm to table with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. The bar is wine focused and extensive but not ambrozia_2overly pricey. We enjoyed a lovely, reasonably priced Tempranillo. The wine was so delicious; we are now eagerly searching local purveyor’s inventory to purchase some bottles for enjoyment at home.  The menu includes snacks, platters, small plates and suppers.

We started off with the Beet salad – rosemary infused goat cheese, orange, watercress and vanilla-bean vinaigrette.  Hands down the best beet salad I have ever had. It was so creatively presented.  The Brussel sprouts -Benton’s bacon, Texas Pete Cha, compressed apples and preserved lemon crème fraiche were so delicious we had to order another plate after scarfing the first down.  The Sea scallop carbonara with fresh fettuccini, Benton’s bacon, English pea puree, parmesan foam and a 63 degree egg was out of this world.  The scallops were perfectly prepared.  Again, the creativity and the presentation were executed fabulously.  The Steak frite was a flat iron with smoked fries and a house steak sauce with gorgonzola aiollo and brussel sprout slaw.  The steak was prepared perfectly and the sauce delicious.

Several guests have told me that the Dirty burger which includes seared foie gras and fried egg and truffle fries is out of this world. Also, the NC Ahi Tuna 3 ways has been highly recommended by reputable sources who have also enjoyed their trip to Ambrozia.

We were all impressed with the presentation, taste and delivery of all our meals. Ambrozia is definitely a must visit and a great addition to the vibrant food scene in Asheville.

Find more great restaurant reviews at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast Blog. For reservation information, visit http://pinecrestbb.com/reservations/ or call 888-811-3053.

 

Our Epicurean Wonderland Gets Bigger…Nightbell Cocktail Lounge Joins the Party

March 25th, 2014

food 2We are so spoiled by living in the epicurean wonderland that is Asheville.  Unfortunately, because of this it takes a lot to wow us these days — even with so many excellent restaurants and watering holes to choose from.  Irregardless, we feel it is incumbent upon us,  in the name of service to our guests, to research every nook, cranny,  bistro and cafe — leaving no new establishment unturned. Not snow or sleet, I digress…

As if she needed any more press, Katie Button’s new cocktail lounge, Nightbell, down on South Lexington Avenue, and right behind her restaurant Curate, turns out to be a classy, intimate setting that honors the traditional art of cocktails.

We were there on the early side of a Saturday night and so the mood was mellow and good for conversation.  Word on the street is that it really picks up later in the evening and the space around the bar could get a bit mosh-y, but in a lively, friendly sort of way.

Whatever your culinary desire, you will not have any difficulty finding something savory or sweet.  The “savory” offerings are served up in small plate portions and include hush puppies (with a honey, mustard dipping sauce), fish and chips, a lobster roll and duck and waffles (duck confit and an airy waffle).  We partook in the oysters which came with tinctures of lemon, garlic, fennel, thyme and horseradish, but some around our circle of friends much prefer the whole and unadulterated version of accompaniments.

On the sweeter side, you can have anything from root beer floats (vanilla bourbon and nitro coulant, with tart cherry and a house root beer syrup spiked with bourbon), dark and stormy cocktails (a frozen treat layered with rum, roasted pineapple, ginger beer, grilled lime, five spice and mint) to a mascarone cheesecake in morello cherry, chocolate forest and pistachio moss or petit fors.

Cutting to the chaser — Cocktails, old classics, new perspectives and out of the ordinary are the main attraction here.  The food 3focal point of the establishment is the walk up bar.  We had an (okay, maybe two)  old-fashions (with Redemption Rye and an iceburg cube – done right), a Negroni,  a Rye Sling (made with Bulleit Rye and chai infused cocchi di torino).  All great examples of what a cocktail can be in the hands of a talented tender and a little creativity.

A smaller, by Asheville standards, collection of beers (6 draft/6 bottle) and wine(a diverse palette palate of 6 – 10 selections) is offered, but nonetheless a diverse lineup to whet any discerning (or just thirsty) whistle.

The ambiance is sophisticated.  The lighting is on the darker side and there are cushioned seats toward the back with small tables to set your work of potion art down.  A perfect setting for close friends or even a romantic date if you time it right.  Straight to the top of the charts, this Asheville establishment should be put on your list as a must visit.  In honor of the cocktail.

For more on our restaurant reviews and outings around town, visit our blog at http://pinecrestbb.com/blog/.  Our Bed & Breakfast is dedicated to enhancing your culinary experience while visiting, both here with our farm to table breakfasts and around Asheville.  For reservations at our Award Winning Asheville Inn, call 888-811-3053.

 

Biltmore Estate is Blooming

March 7th, 2014
flower power2

Image Source: Biltmore Estate

Think it’s too early to visit the Biltmore gardens? Think again. A little bird told us that the tulips are already in bloom over at the Biltmore gardens looking as beautiful as ever. So don’t let the cloudy weather fool you!

The famed estate’s notorious display of spring flower power, once called the Festival of Flowers, appears to have been officially renamed Biltmore Blooms.  The spring event runs from March 20-May 23, 2014. If you’ve never been, you’re missing a real treat. How often do you get to see over 100,000 tulips in bloom? By the end of the month, the gardens will be full of blossoming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other spring time favorites. In late March and early April you can also catch blooming shrubs and trees like the forsythia, spirea, and magnolia. In mid-April visitors will see the hybrid Darwin Tulips at their peak, as well as dogwoods and redbuds.

In addition to the sheer beauty of the event (which is enough for me), you can also take advantage of these free special activities going on during the festival from March 20th-May 23rd:

  • Weekends from 11am-4pm, guests may visit “Ask a Gardener” stations in the Walled Garden hosted by Biltmore’s horticulture experts.
  • Gardener’s Place seminars; learn to create beautiful floral arrangements. Daily at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
  • Live music offered daily at the Conservatory, Antler Hill Village or Biltmore House.
  • Rose Garden – International judging May 23rd
  • Grape Stomp at the Winery: Every Saturday and Sunday 2:00 pm. – 5:00 p.m.

The breathtaking grounds of the Biltmore were designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. When you go, be sure take a picnic lunch and a blanket for maximum enjoyment.

We highly recommend purchasing your tickets through the Biltmore Estate by clicking here. Biltmore offers tickets at a reduced rate when purchased 7 days in advance. Of course we can also assist you with obtaining tickets once you arrive and help you with your daily itinerary. For room reservations at our award winning Asheville Bed & Breakfast, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

 

Fire on the Rock Chef’s Challenge Dinner & Lodging Package

February 21st, 2014

Stay at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast and enjoy a gourmet breakfast, plus dine as a Gourmet Cooking Competition Judge of the Fire on the Rock Chef’s Challenge Dinner. Enjoy a 3 course dinner (6 dishes) using a secret ingredient.  Diners will judge the dishes and determine the winner.   This is statewide series of dinners taking place in Wilmington, Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.  A Grand Prize Dinner will take place Raleigh.

Who: The 17 Inns of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association are partnered with the following participating Restaurants in Asheville:  Strada, Videla, Isis, Seasons, The Gamekeeper, Ambrozia, King James Public House and LAB.

Where:  All dinners take place at the Lioncrest on the Biltmore Estate.

When:   Monday and Tuesday Nights 6:30-10PM in March.  3/10-11, 3/17-18, 3/24-25 (semi-finals) Package is not available for the final on March 31.

competition dining

Package includes:

  • (1) Night’s lodging at an Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association Inn (www.ashevillebba.com)
  • (2) Tickets to Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series “Fire On the Rock”
  • (2) Wine Glasses from NC Wine & Grape Council
  • (1) Bottle Cackalacky Sauce (sample size)
  • Free dessert for two @ Ambrozia
  • Free dessert for two @The King James Public House
  • 10% off lunch or dinner @ Seasons Restaurant
  • $10 off $25 purchase (alcohol not included)@LAB
  • One complimentary Chef’s choice appetizer with the purchase of a bottle of wine @Strada Italiano
  • Buy 2 Signature drinks and get your choice of 1 complimentary Tapas @The Social Lounge
  • Savor the Inns of Asheville:  Cookbook of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association (not available at all Inns)

Please contact Pinecrest Inn Bed & Breakfast directly for package pricing and availability.

A Look at Asheville’s Vibrant River Arts District

February 21st, 2014

The Asheville River Arts  District, or RAD as it’s called, is the best place to dig up a big heaping slice of Asheville and shop for great art to boot. Visitors can watch local artists as they create one of a kind masterpieces right before your eyes. RAD has studios of almost every imaginable kind, most open 7 days a week, all year long. You name it; it’s all here from art galleries and pottery studios to doggie day care, hair salons, night life, bakeries, a theater, restaurants and more. Plus wellness workshops, painting and photography classes, lectures and almost else anything you can think of to stimulate the senses and help tap into your creative side.

Check out some of the classes available at Roots + Wings School of Art @ 342 Depot Street, The Asheville Darkroom @ 109 Roberts Street, The Village Potters @ 191 Lyman Suite #180, Asheville Glass Center @ 140 Robert Street, or the Cloth Fiber Workshop @ 122 Riverside Drive.

mag fields river arts district

The Magnetic Theatre

Not ready to commit to a class but want to partake in the fun? Then check out the 1st Fridays at the RAD or 2nd Saturdays starting March 7th. The River Arts District sponsors a series of art focused weekend events across the WNC region. Participating artists and businesses hold kiln openings, art retrospectives, art installation, museum openings, gallery receptions, music, theatre & dance performances, open studio days & more. Check out the calendar of events starting next month to find out what’s up and coming this spring.

RAD is also home to the legendary 12 Bones Smokehouse, the White Duck Taco shop, Wedge Brewing Company, Clingman Café, the Grey Eagle and many other fantastic places to dine and enjoy live music near the river. If you haven’t been to the River yet, put this little gem of a destination on your list of great places to visit in Asheville and get going!

For a complete list of studios, restaurants and things to do at the River Arts District, check out http://www.ashevillerad.com/visit/.  For accommodations at our award winning Asheville Bed and Breakfast just a short ten minute drive from the river, call 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com for room availability. We hope to see you soon!

A Winter Visit to Biltmore

February 11th, 2014

While most of Asheville’s one million plus visitors come in the summer or fall, winter can also be a great time to visit with bm houseits unobstructed views and clear bright skies. If you’re lucky (weather depending), you might even catch the first sighting of some daffodils or tulips. The mild weather and free audio guides this month make February an especially great time to visit the Biltmore Estate. Winter also offers the lowest admission prices of the year, just $39 per ticket. Season pass holders can enjoy extra perks this month, like two free guest passes and extra discounts on estate shopping, dining, behind the scene tours and more.

From January 20th through March 19th, flower lovers can take advantage of a complimentary 45 minute Orchid Talk in the conservatory. The Biltmore features an amazing orchid collection if you’ve never seen them. Reservations are recommended and can be made the day of your visit at any Guest Services location. Don’t forget to tour the winery for complimentary tastings and unique gift ideas for those wine lovers back home.

Biltmore offers not only the largest home in America, but over 8,000 acres of lush grounds, hiking, kayaking, river rafting, biking trails, horseback riding, and much more! Discover all that Biltmore Estate has to offer on your next visit.

For tickets & information or other suggestions on where to visit while you’re staying at our award winning Asheville Bed & Breakfast, just check with your innkeepers Janna and Stacy. They are always ready to assist with anything you need. For Inn reservations visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3853.

 

Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast in Asheville Wins 2014 Travelers’ Choice Award

January 24th, 2014

The Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast in Asheville, NC was voted #12 of the Top 25 B&Bs and Inns across the United States by TripAdvisor. “Wow, this is huge! What an honor,” said Innkeeper Stacy Shelly who has co-owned and operated the Inn TC 2014with her parents Janna and James Martin since 2003. For a full list of the Top 25 Inns across the U.S., visit ttp://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Hotels-cInnsBB.

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest and most trusted travel site just released its 2014 Travelers’ Choice Award winners. The 12th annual global awards honor the top rated hotels in the world in categories including Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Family, Luxury, Romance, and Small Hotels.

More than 7,000 properties received awards. TripAdvisor uses an algorithm that measures the quality and quantity of the ratings from millions of TripAdvisor traveler reviews and opinions to identify the Travelers’ Choice properties. “For those seeking inspiration for their 2014 travel planning, this list of spectacular accommodations that received 2014 Travelers’ Choice awards is a perfect place to start,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. The entire list of Travelers’ Choice Award winners can be found at http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice.

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Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast is located near downtown Asheville, North Carolina in historic Montford. The 1905 English Tudor style B&B inn is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Inn has been owned and operated by Stacy Shelley, Janna and James Martin since 2003. Visit www.pinecrestbb.com for more information. 

Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast Review by Carolina Epicurean

January 23rd, 2014

Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast 

(Originally published at http://carolinaepicurean.com/2014/01/pinecrest-bed-breakfast/)

January 16, 2014

Searching online for the perfect place to stay when you’re traveling can be stressful. If you’re like me, you look at lodging websites, carefully examining ALL the photos – especially shots of breakfast, if it’s offered. Then you go to TripAdvisor, Yelp, or both, reading reviews and looking at ALL their photos.

Your search for places to stay in Asheville just became easier! After a most wonderful opportunity came my way in the form of an Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association invitation to tour some of their Inns along with my friend Nichole Livengood, of Gap Creek Gourmet, I feel confident recommending any of their member Inns.

Who knew there were so many unique Asheville area Inns and Innkeepers!?! We’re not talking cookie-cutter by any stretch of the imagination. This article is part of a series in which you’ll get a feel for some of the seventeen B&Bs that are part of the Asheville Association.

Carolina Ep_InnPinecrest Bed & Breakfast

Sometimes I like the anonymity of hotels, but more often than not, B&Bs are my cup of tea. Innkeepers are a special breed. They like people and often like to cook lovely afternoon snacks and special breakfasts.

I’d seen Pinecrest B&B many times when parking for the annual Asheville Greek Festival held at the church next door. Last month my friend, Nichole Livengood (Gap Creek Gourmet), and I had the opportunity to spend the night.

Nichole arrived in time to enjoy what she describes as “the best brownie she’s ever had”, one of the homemade desserts Pinecrest Innkeeper Stacy puts out each afternoon for guests. By the time I checked in, it was too close to dinner for a brownie, but I shamelessly secreted one of them away for later that evening.

Early risers find their way to the bright sun porch for self-serve coffee or tea. In the evening, wine is available here.

Carolina Ep_Inn3It’s the perfect spot for reading the morning paper, catching up on email – via good Wi-Fi throughout the B&B – or chatting with other guests.

There’s something about breakfast around a large, beautifully set table, exchanging stories with a group of interesting folks.

This morning, we started off with a fresh strawberry parfait, banana bread, coffee or tea.

Followed by our choice of French Toast (bread from Asheville’s beloved City Bakery) served with home-made syrup,Carolina Ep_Inn5 and local Hickory Nut Gap sausage patties or, Oven Roasted Tomato and Smoked Mozzarella Frittata with Hickory Nut Gap sausage patties.

Both were delicious.

After breakfast, Nichole and I spent some time chatting with owner Janna and her co-Innkeeper/daughter, Stacy, in . . . you guessed it, the kitchen. It’s a testament to Janna and Stacy, the cooking/baking magic that happens in this nice, but utilitarian space.

Carolina Ep_Inn4

When you stay at Pinecrest, be sure to ask about the famous architect that designed a major addition to this 1905 Historic Montford area home, why it was so unusual that he took on residential work, and the possible reason he did so.

Intrigue…

Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast
249 Cumberland Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
828-281-4275
http://pinecrestbb.com/

Historical Places to Visit in and Around Asheville

January 17th, 2014

If you’re seeking some great historic sites to visit while in Asheville, check out some of the places on our list.

1.     Thomas Wolfe Memorial

The Thomas Wolfe home, built in 1883, now serves as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. The rambling Victorian building he grew up in (his mother’s boarding house) was immortalized as “Dixieland” in his famous autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel. The novel has never gone out of print since its publication in 1929, keeping interest in Wolfe alive and attracting visitors to his historic home at 48 Spruce Street in Asheville.

2.      Carl Sandburg Home

Writer, poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg died on June 22, 1967. After which his wife Lilian donated his home to the state of North Carolina to become a National Park. The park’s vast historical and cultural resources include 264 acres of pastures, ponds, small mountains and hiking trails, as well as a total of fifty structures, including the Sandburg’s residence and goat barn. Books, personal belongings, awards and photographs highlight the 22 years of his life Sandburg spent residing at Connemara in Flat Rock.

3.      St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s was constructed in 1914 in a cruciform plan in an English Gothic Revival style, incorporating the “correct” ecclesiastical style of Edwardian Anglo-Catholicism.  Prominent local architect Richard Sharp Smith designed the building and much of the interior furnishings. St. Mary’s is the only Anglo-Catholic church in North Carolina.

4.      Riverside Cemetery

cemetary

The Riverside Cemetery dates back to 1885 and encompasses 87 acres of rolling hills and flower gardens overlooking the French Broad River.  Riverside is the burial place of many of Asheville’s most notorious citizens including Thomas Wolfe, William Sidney Porter (better known as O. Henry), Zebulon B. Vance, Thomas Patton and confederate generals James Martin, Robert B. Vance and Thomas Clingman.

5.      Grove Arcade

Dr. Edwin Wiley Grove, a wealthy patent medicine manufacturer and real estate developer had the Grove Arcade built between 1926 and 1929, as a massive commercial mall with covered pedestrian thoroughfares and rooftop terraces. It was the most ambitious project conceived by Grove. During WWII the Arcade Building was occupied and modified by the Federal government and eventually housed the National Climatic Data Center until the 1990s. Today the Arcade’s Tudor Gothic Revival style is one of Asheville’s landmark architectural showplaces.

6.      Church of St. Lawrence

The Church of St. Lawrence was designed and built by Rafael Guastavino, an architect and builder who came to Asheville to work on the Biltmore House in the mid-1890s. After completing his work at Biltmore, he sought an alliance with friend and architect Richard Sharp Smith to design the Spanish Renaissance Revival Church of St. Lawrence in the early 1900’s. Construction was completed in 1909.  The entire Church is built of tile or other masonry materials. The center dome is reputed to be the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America. The churches basilica interior features Spanish woodcarvings dating back to the mid-17th century.

Our Pinecrest Inn has its own historical roots dating back to Asheville’s boom in the early 1900’s.  The 1905 English Tudor style B&B, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. In 1913 Richard Sharp Smith, the lead architect for the Biltmore Estate was commissioned to design an addition to the house, making it even more significant. The name ‘Pinecrest’ was officially deeded to the house in 1928. Today the elegant home operates as an Asheville Bed & Breakfast located in the historic Montford district. For reservations or information visit www.pincrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

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