The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Posts Tagged ‘Asheville B & B’

Spring Flowers Blooming in Asheville, NC

May 30th, 2013 by stacy

peonieThe spring gardens this year are magnificent at our Asheville bed and Breakfast. Everywhere you look flowers are blooming.  We have been cutting peonies (my favorite flower) all week for the Inn.  The scent throughout the house could not be lovelier.  I will be so disappointed when we see the last of them, which unfortunately is going to be soon.  I won’t be sad too long because next up to bloom will be the Hydrangeas, another favorite of mine.  As of today, we still have blooming rhododendron, azeleas and Mountain Laurel.  In the perennial garden there are hostas, astilibe, Bellflower, Green and Gold and native Jacobs Ladder just to name a few.  We have a slope of iris and blooming rose bushes that will continue through summer.

Our perennial garden is way out of control and will need some love and care this fall.  We will be doing a lot of separating and replanting in the fall.  There is no shortage of space for us to keep expanding the perennial garden.

azaealasWe have had a lot of rain this spring which has been a blessing and a curse. The yard is really green and lush but the gardens have been plagued with a lot of weeds.  It seems the 20 yards of mulch we laid in April has been of little help keeping the weeds at bay.   Almost every day you can find my dad out in the yard on his knees working away pulling weeds. He use to maintain the entire yard and gardens, but  it’s become a little too much for him to handle so, Jose our “yard guy” has  been doing a great job keeping up with the  almost 2 acres of gardens and yard.

Just a few blocks away from this Asheville inn is the Botanical Gardens of Asheville. There you will find a collection of 600 species native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains.   The Garden is home to 50 species that are considered uncommon, rare or endangered.  Within the ten acres that comprise the Gardens, a walking trail forming a half-mile loop leads visitors across bridges spanning streams, through meadows, and over a woodland ridge to a wildflower cove. At this time of year the slopes are covered with thousands of flowers such as Trilliums, Crested Dwarf, Spring-beauties, Wild Geranium and Foamflower.  As we move into Summer the gardens will be full of members of the Aster family such as Joe-pye Weed, Blazing-star, Goldenrod and Coneflower. For a full description of blooming flowers by month, please see their website. Admission is free but a donation is recommended.

blooms- 6It’s also a great time to visit the North Carolina Arboretum.  The 434-acre public garden in the Pisgah National Forest is located at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, just a 10 minute drive from Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast . There are over 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails. For a short but beautiful hike we recommend the Azelea Collection Trail (.5) mile. The trail takes you through the National Native Azelea Collection and the Fern Loop. The Fern Loop takes you along a natural mountain wetland where you will encounter a Rhododendron thicket. Admission is 8.00. For more information visit their website.

Although spring and early summer are a gardener’s paradise, natural beauty abounds all year round in Asheville.  All of the pictures were taken at this Asheville B & B. Please visit our website www.pinecrestbb.com or give us a call 888-811-3053 for more information or booking your reservation.

 

 

 

Oven Roasted Tomato Frittata at this Asheville Inn

August 30th, 2012 by stacy

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

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

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

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.

 

 

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

December 1st, 2011 by stacy

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.

Spring into Pinecrest B & B the Last Two Weekends in March and Save an Additional 10%.

March 14th, 2011 by stacy

If you are thinking about a last minute weekend escape warming temperatures in Asheville  is a wonderful way to shake off those winter chills.  Book at this Asheville Bed and Breakfast and get an additional 10% off the already reduced winter rates. And we are waiving our usual 2 night weekend minimum, so a one night escape is possible.   Enjoy Asheville before the Spring crowds arrive.  Only two more weeks before Biltmore Estate tickets return to seasonal prices so take advantage of the reduced ticket prices.  Mention our Spring Fling special when booking and get an additioanl 10% discount. Let this Asheville Inn be your start to Spring.

Visit us at www.pinecrestbb.com to book reservations at our historic Asheville B & B or call 888-811-3053.

Flowers are a Bloom at this Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast

April 24th, 2010 by stacy

Everywhere you look around Asheville flowers are blooming, and our lovely Asheville Bed and Breakfast with it’s lush gardens, is no exception. Whether you are walking through our rolling green yard, strolling through town, touring the Biltmore Estate or hiking through Bent Creek’s Azalea Park, you’ll see blossoming flowers, tree and shrubs everywhere you look. After the winter Asheville experienced it’s a wonder anything has surfaced this spring.

Here at this Asheville  NC  Bed and Breakfast we have just finished weeks of landscaping, which included planting over 20 new shrubs of varying types. We’ve planted Azaleas, Endless Summer Hydrangeas, Otto Luykens, Rhododendron and  Schip Laurels.  We planted a new perenial garden around the patio, which is already blooming like crazy.  Our groundskeeper is complaining that he needs a week off  from laying yards and yards of mulch.

At the Biltmore House they are celebrating their 25 year anniversary of the Festival of Flowers. As you enter the estate on the main road you will find Tulips, Redbuds, Crabapples, Dogwoods, Fothergilla, Viburnums, Piedmont Azalea, Carolina Silverbell, Japanese Mahonia, Candytuft, Cornel Pink Azalea, Creeping Phlox, Celandine Poppy, and Foxglove.

The estate’s walled garden is bursting with Tulips, Tulips, and more Tulips! Candytuft, Creeping Phlox, Fothergilla, Dicentra, Chinese Wisteria, Pansies, and Virginia Bluebells.  The Shrub garden is a blaze with Hawthorns, Kerria, Heather, fragrant Viburnums, Lilacs, Forsythia, Oregon grape Holly, Warty Barberry, Early Azaleas, Crabapples, Creeping Flox, Windflowers, Solomon’s Seal, Diicentra Japanese and Chinese Wisteria. There are also the Spring and Azalea Gardens to see.  During their celebration, April 3rd through May 16th, you can enjoy live music daily in the Winter Garden and in the Conservatory.

The Biltmore is also offering free seminars daily at A Gardener’s Place:

  • 1:00 p.m.: Creating five-minute centerpieces: fast and easy arranging.
  • 2:00 p.m.: How to “wreath” your door into spring.
  • 3:00 p.m.: Learn the basics of growing roses.

Don’t forget you can purchase your tickets to the Biltmore Estate at our lovely Asheville B & B while you’re here.

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