Monday, January 31, 2011

Solution to Your Valentine's Dilemma - An Asheville Bed and Breakfast visit!

Oh yes, Valentine's Day is fast approaching. This is the weekend of the year, besides an anniversary or a birthday, when a special celebration is definitely in order. You know, the day when the little guy (Cupid) with the bow and arrow comes by and makes sure your love is proclaimed again. What to do?

Forgot it? Already have other plans booked? We can offer a couple of solutions: One is a bit less conventional; the other is really quite conventional. Here they are:

Solution #1: ( the unconventional solution): Do a "swap" this year, so you get a special getaway weekend first and she gets a special weekend later. This year, book your Super Bowl for Saturday and Sunday nights here at our Asheville bed and breakfast. We have gorgeous accommodations with king beds in all suites and rooms, whirlpool tub with shower in each bath, fireplace in each and flat screen TV in all. The highlights are the Kensington Garden Suite and the Eaton Square Suite because they also offer fantastic quality Super Bowl viewing with a 55" LED and 42" plasma TV, respectively, with Hi Def and DVR.
What does she get in return? A lovely visit to our Asheville bed and breakfast, located in the Montford Historic District just north of Downtown Asheville, next weekend to enjoy the sites, sounds, tastes and shopping in Asheville, having negotiated a great Super Bowl view for yourself, you can offer her a second "romance only" Valentines'-like visit in March...when the weather outdoors may be warmer and more conducive to outdoor activities... and our special Winter Rates will still be in effect (and are less than on Valentine's Day weekend). Think about it!

Solution #2: ( the conventional solution): Reserve your Valentine's Day weekend getaway ASAP.( You can easily book online by using the "Check Availability, Rates and Book" in the upper, right-hand corner of any page at ) Then choose her favorite romantic flowers, chocolates and beverage, give us a budget, and we'll help get them in for you, if you like.

Either way, it's a win for you and for the one you love. Romance, understated English-style elegance and a truly friendly and relaxed atmosphere are waiting for you at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast. See you soon!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Asheville, NC is Also a Craft-Beer City

Asheville, North Carolina is known for many good things. Beautiful mountain views, more artists-per-capita than any other city in America, the grandeur of Biltmore Estate, great one-of-a-kind eateries, terrific bed and breakfast inns (oh, yes!) and ...amazing craft breweries.

The history of craft-made beer in Asheville and the surrounding area goes back to the early 1990s. The first one in Asheville's city-limits, the Highland Brewing Company was established in 1994 along with Barley's Taproom on Biltmore Avenue in Downtown. Just three years later, Two Moons Brew and View (now called Asheville Pizza and Brewing) and Jack of the Wood/Green Man Brewing came along. And to make sure you could experience the full spectrum of this art, the first "Brewgrass Festival" was held. 2011 will mark this festival's fifteenth year.

The first decade of the 21st century has seen more new breweries open along with a regular column in the Asheville Citizen-Times devoted to beers, called The Beer Guy. Those new additions included French Broad Brewing (2001), Pisgah Brewing (2005), Bruisin' Ales (2006), The Wedge Brewery (2008), Craggie Brewing (2009), Oyster House Brewing Company (2009), Lexington Avenue Brewery (2010). And a "Belgian brew pub" with 150 varieties of beers and ales called The Thirsty Monk opened in 2008.( Stay tuned: this year they plan a 'nano-brewery', too.) Plus, 'The Asheville Brews Cruise' tour of micro-breweries in the area will make it easy for you to find, visit and taste these local craft beers. And, don't worry, our Asheville bed and breakfast will make sure you get directions to locate the tour and savor some of these.

Is it any wonder that Asheville was voted "Beer City USA" in a national online poll and the 'Beer City Festival' debuted in 2010? The creativity of Asheville NC rolls on!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, Asheville NC: This Asheville Bed and Breakfast Has Been Busy

" Busy?", you say."I thought that January is more like a 'slow season' in Asheville ..." And you would be correct. What we mean is that, at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, we have been renovating, keeping things in 'tip-top-shape' in this glorious historic house. Our philosophy is that the home, with its historic origins, should provide a feeling of understated elegance that one would find in the world of the early 1900s, but also ensure that your bed and breakfast stay includes the up-to-date amenities that the 21st century has to offer. And it's all designed to help make your next visit to Asheville truly relaxing, soothing and filled with terrific memories.

So what's new? Well, Kensington Garden Suite has a spacious private sitting/ media room. You can curl up quietly with a good book and dream the hours away. Or watch the 55" LED HiDef TV that's also 3-D, plus a Blu-ray disc player. Any movie, sports event or TV show in HiDef is a great experience...the characters look as if they're ready to step out of the picture. And the DVR allows you to speed through advertisements, if you find them less than entertaining.

Kensington Garden Suite,like all our accommodations, has a lovely and comfortable king size bed. It's a cherry four-poster bed with elegant, custom-made draperies on its half-tester canopy. After all, what would the bed and breakfast experience be without a truly restful night's sleep? The bedroom also features a corner fireplace with an oak mantel that is original to the house...a warm fire can feel very cozy when the weather is chilly outside. And also, the two full, marble and tile baths, each with a state-of-the-art Sanijet whirlpool with a 'rainshower' above, provide luxurious bathing and relaxing hydro-therapy.

Queen Mary's Garden room also was renovated recently. It is our smallest room but it does not lack any of the lovely features you require to make your bed and breakfast visit to Asheville restful and memorable. The bed is king size with a mahogany sleigh headboard. The fabrics are soothing shades of ivory, taupe and white throughout the room. A wall-mounted flat screen TV with DVD, corner electric fireplace plus a pair of wing-back chairs add comfort. And the lovely bath with Sanijet whirlpool and rain shower above, custom surround of marble and tiles, European towel warmer are designed to make your experience at this Asheville bed and breakfast unhurried and truly relaxing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Asheville Weekends Mean Entertainment: Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, Asheville NC

You can always count on Asheville NC to provide entertainment and excitement. Even the Winter weekends deliver just that. While it may be quiet elsewhere, Asheville is alive with entertainment. Here are just a few of the events coming up.

This weekend starts us off with the 20th annual Big Band and Swing Dance weekend. Thursday and Friday evenings have dance and music from the Big Band era of the 1940s. And the Saturday evening event starts at 8pm and features the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. All these fun events are at the Grove Park Inn and Resort here in Asheville.

And if jazz is your 'thing', then the weekend of January 28th and 29th will be a treat. This year the 19th annual Jazz Weekend will feature New Orleans jazz. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Ellis Marsalis Quartet are among the great entertainment you'll find.

And looking ahead, on the March 11th and 12th weekend, the 23rd annual Comedy Classic weekend. More laughs, more fun from stand-up comedy specialists.

Check out for more information. And come to Asheville and with us at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn for luxurious relaxation in the Montford Historic District...convenient to all that Asheville NC has to offer. See you soon!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Asheville Bed and Breakfast is "snow free"!:Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, Asheville NC

I believe it's in one of Jane Austen's novels where a mother instructs her daughter that, rather than revealing family matters to strangers, she should "restrict your remarks to the weather or state of the roads". Well here we are about 200 years later and Miss Austen's characters, heeding the advice delivered in her novels, would feel right at home at our Asheville bed and breakfast because that's all Asheville has been talking about these days: the weather and the state of the roads.

We have good news
: The weather is warming up, the snow is melting (yay!) and the roads are dry! ( And some of the lovely landscape...the parts where you don't have to drive...still have enough snow to look like the proverbial 'Winter Wonderland'.)

So fear not, intrepid travelers! You can visit our Asheville bed and breakfast and get rid of some of the "cabin fever" that naturally comes with feeling that you cannot leave your own home for days at a time! Here in North Carolina, Asheville's restaurants, superb wines and beers and widely acclaimed music venues, galleries and bookstores are all in gear, just waiting for you to arrive. We look forward to making your acquaintance!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Comfort Food to Warm a Winter Night in Asheville NC:Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn

It was a long-standing family tradition before I came to Asheville NC to start Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn...and that was 18 years ago. In fact, it goes back to the early 1970s. It is the tradition of homemade French Onion Soup.

Ahhh, the fragrance of soup cooking slowly, filling your home with steamy smells for hours. And then you get to savor a simple feast of soup and baked French bread rounds sprinkled with grated Swiss cheese. That's truly comfort food.

In my household this tradition started a couple of decades before I came to Asheville now, nearly 40 years ago...and it began as a New Year's Day meal. After all, New Year's Day is often a 'day-off' and often cold. And in my house it was also typically filled with the Rose Parade and various 'Bowl" games topped off with a televised, live performance of the annual Strauss Concert from Vienna. So all that adds up to family time at home...often a very scarce commodity. So simple, fragrant and almost 'fool-proof' food was the exact right thing for such days.

I always wrapped and saved the bones from a holiday standing rib roast in the freezer to make the beef broth on New Year's Day for the French Onion Soup. You need not make your own broth for the soup, a good canned beef stock will do nicely. But if you do make your own it has at least 2 benefits: 1. It takes a long time and the house is filled early in the day with those lovely smells. 2. You have the satisfaction of having created the masterpiece that is French Onion Soup, 'from scratch'.

There are many variations on French Onion Soup and you almost can't go wrong. You will probably modify any recipe after you try it once or twice so it tastes exactly as you like it. I hope you'll have a cold Winter day to do chores or relax around home and then enjoy this simple but wonderful meal.

In a large heavy saucepan with a lid: Brown 6 cups thinly sliced onions with 3Tablespoons butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Cover, cook over low heat about 15 minutes until the onions are soft.

Uncover and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar to help brown the onion. Then cook uncovered for 45 minutes more over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with 2-3 Tablespoons flour. Stir and cook 3 or 4 minutes to coat onions.

Add 2 quarts of boiling beef or other stock. Cook partially covered for 45 minutes... or longer, to suit your schedule.

Cut French bread into 1/2" slices, place on cookie sheet and toast in 325* oven for 15 minutes. Brush each slice with olive oil and toast 15 minutes more. Sprinkle slices with grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese.

Ladle soup into bowls and float a slice of bread in each bowl. (Add a teaspoon of cognac to each bowl if you like.) Serve with a simple salad and extra French bread. Then savor the fruits of your labor!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Super Bowl and Asheville Go Well Together:Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, Asheville NC

Oh yes! NFL Playoffs are beginning and it's time to start planning for your Super Bowl XLV watching event. And this year, why not plan to watch it on Sunday, February 6th, 2011 at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn!

I'll bet you're thinking, 'Why would a luxurious bed and breakfast inn in the Montford Historic District of Asheville North Carolina be a great place to watch the Super Bowl? What do they have that will make it new and different?' Good questions. And we have good answers. The answers are, "BIG TVs" and "HiDef".

Yup, we have flat screen TVs in all our rooms and suites, but this year we have 2 Suites that have great TVs for Super Bowl watching. The 500 square-foot Kensington Garden Suite has been renovated recently to include a king bedroom, marble baths with whirlpool, two fireplaces and a comfortable sitting/media room with a 55" LED HD 3-D TV plus a Blu-ray disc player. It also has DVR feature so you can control the ads...Some people love and look forward to the flashy new ads that are aired for the first time every year during the Super Bowl. Some of those ads are really brilliant each year...So you can watch them, too...or not. And the huge Super Bowl half-time show can be a really incredible extravaganza... (and occasionally really controversial!)

Or, book the Eaton Square Suite, a spacious 750 square-foot suite in our Carriage House that includes a comfortable sitting room, dining area, a full kitchen, 2 king bedrooms, custom bath with double whirlpool and includes 3 TVs...and one is a 42" Plasma TV with HiDef and DVR plus a DVD/VCR player.

It's definitely true that our Asheville bed and breakfast is not going to be the venue for a wild, mess-up-the-place party. It will never be 'wild' or 'messy' here, of that you can be sure. But we also assume that you don't like (or have) those parties, either. So if something more subdued where you can enjoy great football and the company of your friends, where the game, the show, the ads and something good to eat is what you have in mind, then Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn could just be your answer to a great evening of football!

Book either Kensington Garden Suite or Eaton Square Suite to include Sunday night, February 6th. Enjoy all the fun of Asheville NC for the weekend, then enjoy the big game on Sunday evening. Get some friends to join in, too...after all, if you've booked either of the TV Suites, your friends can book other rooms or suites here at Abbington Green and can join you for the Big Game on February 6th, 2011! (We'll also be happy to help you arrange a casual catered party meal, if you wish.) And, oh yes, lavish breakfast the next morning is included, served on crystal and china Monday, right at 9am... (or, if you choose, Continental-breakfast-to-go...just this once!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast: It's a New Year but the Christmas continues a little longer

Happy New Year, one and all! But wait! Do we have to put away Christmas decorations now? For those of us who really love the lights, the sparkle and also the feeling of the Christmas Season, looking for reasons to keep the decorations and the cheery feeling going at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast is pretty easy. So the answer is a resounding, "No, we don't want to put this holiday away yet!" One good reason is because we have not reached the "Twelfth Day of Christmas" fact, it's only the "Eighth Day of Christmas" today.

You probably recall the song that begins, "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree"...and you may have heard on the news about how much it would cost this year to provide all the items on all twelve days for your true love...

Anyhow, on the 'eighth day of Christmas', aka today, the 'true love' is set to receive "Eight Maids-a-milking" plus "seven swans-a-swimming, six geese-a-laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree." Wow. I thought I had storage problems! Where would you put all that?

Back to the original subject: not putting away Christmas decorations yet. Since, according to the song, we have not run out of things to give or receive in the "Twelve Days of Christmas", Christmas will be cherished at our bed and breakfast in Asheville NC. When we reach the end of those twelve days, then comes Epiphany on January 6th, and my neighbor has always said that "Russian Christmas" (on the Orthodox Christian calendar) is on January 7th... only then will we begin the process of boxing up the trees ( 9 full-size), lights ( thousands of LEDs), the Christmas china and crystal, and the rest of the decorations until next time. Meanwhile, all of the sparkle continues to light up the Winter night and make us smile.