Friday, July 24, 2015

Nick's Notes 7.24.2015-Restoring the Porches at Abbington Green


Restoring the Porches at Abbington Green

I still marvel at how beautiful our home is and can only imagine how grand it looked when it was first built in 1909. What comes with purchasing a century old home, is the commitment to keep it as beautiful as it was originally. That's why restoring the porches was so important to us as owners.

Guests enjoy spending time on the porches and they are part of the character of Abbington Green. In the 1900's, porches were known as "Breathing Porches." It was believed that breathing fresh mountain air would help you live a longer healthier life. People used to die earlier than they do today. Another belief was that breathing mountain air could help cure Tuberculosis. They believed this so much that there were numerous institutions in Asheville for Tuberculosis patients. An interesting fact: George Vanderbilt built Biltmore Estate in 1895 in Asheville because his mother had Tuberculosis and was in an institution in Asheville.  

It took us time to find the right carpenter to restore our porches.  Below are the 'before' pictures showing some of the issues:

I have to commend David, our Carpenter, who worked on the porches for 3 weeks to bring them back to their grand glory. Take a look at David’s work: 





Pretty spectacular, and they look the way they originally did-down to the detail of the light blue ceiling. Do you know why in the south you paint the porch ceiling light blue? Blue ceilings are popular and have been popular in the south for centuries. It is said that a blue porch ceiling protects the house and the occupants of the house from evil.  Some people also believe the blue paint repels insects, leaving the porch bug-free and pleasant during those long summer evenings and afternoons. A theory is that insects prefer not to nest on the blue ceiling because they are "fooled" into thinking the blue paint is actually the sky.
The porches at Abbington Green are an integral part of the experience of staying at the Inn. Whether taking a moment to sit and read a book or when the group gathers during Social Hour, the porches come alive with laughter and good times. In their new beautiful state the Southern Tradition of spending time on the porch will continue for years to come at Abbington Green. See you on the porch!

All the Best, Nick

Friday, July 3, 2015

Nick's Notes 7.3.2015-It's 5 o'clock at Abbington Green!


It's 5 o'clock at Abbington Green!


Years ago I purchased this beautiful antique marble top table that I loved. It's moved around with me to several states........Illinois, Florida and now North Carolina. Movers never enjoyed moving it based on the weight and the fragile marble. Our beautiful table now has a purpose and prominent location in the living room. This is now where we set up our 5 o'clock Social Hour each day.
As Steve and I planned out purchasing an Inn, we knew we would have a social hour daily for guests to mingle together and for them to get to know us too. The tradition started Day 1 when we moved in on September 30th, 2014. We closed on the property at 9 AM and when 5 o'clock rolled around there was wine and cheese for our guests...............and the moving truck still in the driveway unloading.

Our social hour consist of local NC Cheeses from the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail, Hot Appetizers, and Wines. 
For more information about the Cheese Trail visit www.wnccheesetrail.vpweb.com

Our themes change daily from Southern Foods, Italian favorites, and yes, Greek Mezedes. On Greek night, it brings back memories of when my parents entertained at our house. Fresh baked Spanakopita (Spinach Pies), Hummus and Pita Bread, and Dolmades (stuffed Grape Leaves).
Guests continue to comment on Trip Advisor how much they love our 5 o'clock Social Hour. It gives them the opportunity to share with others what they did for the day in Asheville, where they are going for dinner, and to get to know each other and us. Lady "Amber" Abbington occasionally makes a guest appearance when guests want to meet her too. She always appreciates the extra attention! One of the reason people come to a Bed and Breakfast versus a Hotel is exactly what takes place at social hour........having that interaction with other guests and the owners.

We are so fortunate to have a very large living room with two sofas and chairs for guests, with a large fireplace for the winter months. During the spring, summer and fall the porches get a lot of use during social hour. Guests love taking in the mountain view and feel the cool breezes. 

I love this part of my day and enjoy spending time with guests! They continue to enrich the wonderful memories I treasure so much!


All the best, Nick