Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category

Spring INN Asheville Tour of B&Bs – April 16 & 17

February 15th, 2011 by Skyla Grimes

If you’re trying to figure out what to do this spring, come to Asheville and take a tour of some of the area’s finest inns, while sampling food from local, independent restaurants.

On the weekend of April 16th & 17th, the member inns of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association will be opening their doors for tours from 12-4 pm.  Fourteen inns total will be on tour over the weekend with 8 inns open on Saturday and 6 inns open on Sunday.Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association

Blake House will be open on Saturday and we have partnered with Frankie Bones in South Asheville to offer a sampling of their extensive menu for tour goers.  Each B&B on the tour is partnering with a restaurant so tour goers will have the opportunity to taste food from 14 different restaurants as part of their ticket price.

I advise purchasing your ticket online. Tickets can be purchased online through the Asheville B&B Association website for $25 for a single ticket or $40 for a couples ticket (credit card required) and your ticket is good for both days of the tour. The food alone is worth the cost of the ticket!  Tickets can only be purchased online through April 8th. After the 8th, you will have to purchase your ticket at the Asheville Shop in the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. Walk-in ticket prices are $30 for a single ticket or $50 for a couples ticket (cash or check only).  Each B&B on the tour will have a very limited number of tickets for purchase the day of the tour so purchase early and save!

This is a fundraiser, with proceeds from ticket sales benefitting MANNA FoodBank. We’re also going to raffle off a $250 Asheville B&B Association Gift Certificate. Only select B&Bs will carry raffle tickets so you should visit all the inns on the tour since you won’t know which ones will be selling the raffle tickets.

Some of the inns will also feature donations or products for sale from local businesses and artists.  This tour is not just a tour of historic homes; it’s a chance to enjoy the local culture of Asheville through its neighborhoods, houses, gardens, restaurants, and artist community.

We hope to see you on the tour!

1847 Blake House Inn B&B Announces December Veterans Recognition Free Night Stay Date

December 8th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

Announcing our December Monthly Veterans Recognition Free Night Stay Date:

  • Friday, December 17th in the Dogwood Room.

Veterans can read all about the program from our earlier blog post (link is provided below).  Not only did our Asheville Bed & Breakfast participate in the B&Bs for Vets program in November, but we have extended the benefit for the entire year!

http://blakehouse.com/2010/11/blake-house-inn-offers-monthly-veterans-recognition-program/

Why not come to Asheville during the holiday season and stay with us for FREE?  Asheville has much to offer and we are thankful to our Veterans and active duty military year-round.  If you know a Veteran who would love a trip to Asheville, NC, send them our way.

Things To Do in Asheville For the Holidays That Are Inexpensive or FREE

November 30th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

Want to come to Asheville during the holiday season, but don’t have a lot of money to spend? Well, here are a handful of cheap or free thrills!

  1. Lake Julian Festival of LightsLake Julian Festival of Lights – Starting December 3rd, the annual Festival of Lights runs from 6-9 pm nightly until December 19th.  This cheap thrill is a drive-thru light show located in a neighborhood around Lake Julian Park (about a mile from Blake House). The cost per car is just $5 ($10 for vans) with a portion of the proceeds going to the Buncombe County Special Olympics. A must-see for the holidays!
  2. National Gingerbread House Display – I wrote about this in an earlier post. The competition is over, but the display goes on until January 2nd.  Walking through and Gingerbread House Displayseeing the displays is free Mondays – Thursdays. New for 2010 will be gingerbread cookie workshops called “Baking Memories.” Participants will be able to create their own gingerbread cookie masterpieces with the help of The Grove Park Inn’s chefs and staff. The “Baking Memories” workshops will be available Wednesdays through Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The cost is just $10 per participant and includes a sweet take-home treat. “Stories of Gingerbread” guided tours will allow guests to go behind the scenes and get details about the construction of unusual entries as well as the workings of the judging, competition and display itself. The hour-long tours will be available Wednesdays through Saturdays at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 & under.
  3. Dickens Festival in AshevilleBiltmore Village Dickens Festival – The first weekend in December (12/3 – 12/5), Biltmore Village transforms into a quaint Victorian village with horse-drawn carriages, carolers, storytellers, and instrumentalists. Everyone will be in period clothing and the Montford Park Players will perform excerpts from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  Cost is FREE! Hours: Friday, 5:00 to 7:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm; Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm. For a full schedule of events, click here.
  4. Santa on Chimney RockSanta on the Chimney at Chimney Rock Park - Watch Santa practice his climbing skills on 315-ft Chimney Rock. Santa sightings are between 11 am – 2 pm on December 4th & December 11th. Check out the website for more details. Park admission is required and we carry $1 off coupons at Blake House!Cost per person is $14; $6 for children age 6-15; children under 6 are free.
  5. Downtown Asheville Jingle Fest – Sunday, December 5th from 3 pm – 6 pm. Cost is FREE! The first ever Downtown JingleFest will start off at 3 pm at Reuter Terrace in Pack Square Park with traditional Christmas caroling by Asheville Chorale Society, a few dance numbers from Asheville Ballet’s Nutcracker, a 6th grade African Drum group and girls choir from Delta House, the Montford Park Players portraying Dicken’s characters from A Christmas Carol,” the North Pole mailbox and a visit from Santa (the real one!), elves, reindeer and hot cider and snowman building competitions, snowball throwing contests.  At dark, we’ll go inside Pack’s Tavern to the Century Room (second floor) for some hot toddies and a special performance by Mark Keller and friends previewing their upcoming Holiday Jam benefit for Mission Hospital. More games and prizes… “Did someone say “Pin the tail on the reindeer?”  In keeping with the season of giving, people are asked to bring a blanket, gloves, scarf, etc. for ABCCM and/or cans of non-perishable food for MANNA Food Bank.  This will become an annual family-friendly (not beer-friendly until after dark), festive celebration of the season!
  6. Last, but not least, I am running a couple of VERY Festive Specials at the Inn. One special per reservation. They are:
    • BILTMORE ESTATE TICKET SPECIAL – Book a 3-night stay between 11/26 – 12/23 and receive a general admission ticket to the Biltmore Estate for half price!  Add a 4th night and receive a second general admission ticket for half price. All reservations are based on room availability and must be made with at least 48 hours notice before arrival.
    • HALF OFF SPECIAL! – Through January 5, 2011, stay 2 nights, get the third night 50% Off! – Offer valid on stays between Sundays – Wednesdays (not applicable Thursdays – Saturdays).

      • Offer valid on any room, based on availability.
      • All other Inn policies apply.
      • Days must be consecutive and in the same room.
      • 50% Discount is on the nightly room rate only.
    • SECOND PET STAYS FREE – Now through 12/23, pay the nominal $10 per day pet fee for the first pet and the second pet fee is WAIVED! This special applies for stays of two or more nights, any pet-friendly room, any days of the week.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

18th Annual Gingerbread House Competition

October 28th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

The 18th Annual Gingerbread House Competition is coming up at the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa.  There is still time to enter if you’ve ever had dreams of winning. Even children can enter and win cash prizes!

The competition date is Tuesday, November 15th. Deadline to enter is Monday, November 8th.  Full details can be found on the Grove Park Inn website.

For those who cannot make their own gingerbread house, you can admire all the work during the Display period which will run from November 17 – January 2, 2011.

And the best part is that we have a room Special going on through January 5, 2011!  Our Half Off Special gives you 50% off the nightly rate for the 3rd night of your stay (good on stays between Sundays – Wednesdays).  Check our Specials Page for full details!

It’s the End of Summer and I Can’t Think!

August 31st, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

I’m not a writer, so I can’t have writer’s block. I’m not a blogger, so I can’t have blogger’s block.  But I’ve definitely been having trouble coming up with the topics and the energy to write anything. I think it all started in June when my dog, Hummer, passed away. Since then, I began working at Eagle’s Nest Foundation and July and August have been pretty busy months at the Inn. Between being depressed about losing my baby and dealing with the summer crush as well as a new job, I feel like I haven’t had the energy or inspiration. You’d think that with all the summer action around here, I’d have no problem coming up with interesting topics.

But I can’t think of ANYTHING that I want to/feel like write about!

I’m sure I could blog about the new piece of flooring in the kitchen I had done last week ($1600 later and it’s only 1/4 of the entire kitchen floor space). Or, I could talk about the Family Reunion Cruise I just returned from (I probably will share that soon). There’s also all the fun summer activities that took place in Asheville or the cool fall lineup, including the Flower Carpet at Biltmore and Octoberfest (another beer festival). There’s a wedding at the Inn this weekend that could inspire me to write and another one the first weekend in October that I’m preparing for. Lastly, I could always talk about my super sister, Jessica, and her admirable battle with breast cancer these past six months (another probably will blog).

There are definitely lots of topics to write about. I just need to find my mojo and get back into the groove.  I’d really love to hear from anyone (professional writer, blogger, or novice) what tips they might like to share with me and the general public about how they deal with the infamous “block” that invariably happens.  What can/do you do to get past it?

Touring WNC’s Family Farms – How To Do It Without Leaving the City

June 28th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

This past weekend (June 26th and 27th), my mother and I participated in the 2010 Family Farm Tour organized through the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). The annual tour presented 37 farms (actually only 36 because one we went to had a sign out saying they could not participate) all over Western NC, in 6 counties. Tour times were between 1-6 pm Saturday and Sunday.

It was sunny and HOT both days, but the people at every farm were gracious and friendly. When we thought to ask how they thought the numbers compared to 2009, everyone indicated that more people were coming in 2010 so that is a positive sign that this event is growing. YAY!

Goat at Round Mountain Creamery

Goat at Round Mountain Creamery

On Saturday, we started off at Round Mountain Creamery in Black Mountain. I wanted to go to a goat farm since I fell in love with goat cheese after trying it and loving it on a trip to Ireland with my mom in 2009. We received a comprehensive and fun tour of the machinery and processes of this Grade A operation, including visiting with the goats. There are over 300 goats on the farm and there is a complex system of separating the goats based on age, health, milking output, gender, etc. We were allowed to get up close and personal with the baby goats and I decided that one day, I’d love to have a couple as pets (maybe pygmy goats – not the kind at this farm – since they are miniature goats). I was quite impressed with the cleanliness of this place, given the amount of barnyard animals, but I guess that’s why they are certified as Grade A and must be inspected regularly and maintain mountains of paperwork. At the end of the tour, we sampled at least 6 different flavors of goat cheese and I had my first taste of goat’s milk. I loved it all! Goat’s milk is not heavy like whole cow’s milk which I think is too thick (I drink 2%, 1% or skim). The goat’s milk is close to 2% and just right. At this point, we found out that Round Mountain has just started selling their cheeses in EarthFare which was very exciting for us since there is an EarthFare just a couple of miles from the Inn. I believe they also sell as one or more of the Asheville-area tailgate markets which is great for anyone not wanting to travel far to purchase some of their products.

The second stop of our journey was the Wake Robin Farm all the way up in Marshall (I probably picked one of the farms furthest from where we were coming from). But, I wanted to visit this farm since they make brick oven-baked breads, cinnamon rolls, granola, and gluten-free products. Plus, we thought that this would be a good place to eat since we had purchased goat cheese and milk and, other than crackers, what better companion to cheese, than bread? After driving through rural countryside and winding roads, we started down the gravel driveway towards the farm, but quickly realized that the driveway was long, winding and not conducive to a parade of cars driving in both directions. There was literally no place for cars to move over for oncoming traffic (the driveway was a good 1/2 mile long) so going in and coming out, we (or other cars) were forced to back up all the way out of the driveway to allow cars to get through. This difficulty made the getting in and out frustrating and somewhat ruined the experience.  My mother felt that this farm with its access issue should not be on the tour for the simple reason that it was quite difficult to get in and out and once in, there was very little parking room for cars and people could easily get blocked in.  However, the bread was delicious and they also sell their products at some of the Asheville-area tailgate markets.

After leaving Wake Robin Farm, we stayed in Marshall and headed to the Bee Tree Farm and Vineyard. By the time we got there, it was almost 5:30 (tours ended at 6:00) so we didn’t want to stay too long. There was no real tour of anything and my mother thinks the farm is more of a commune with a yurt and tipis. The farm does make fruit-flavored wines, tomato and pesto sauces (good on some of the bread we bought), and fruit preserves. Since I don’t drink wine, I wasn’t interested in buying any, but I did try some strawberry wine (too winey for me and I didn’t taste any fruit at all). We did buy some tomato sauce and saw berry bushes and the small vineyard on the way down the driveway toward the parking area.

So, on day one, we were able to visit only 3 farms. It probably could have been more had I planned better, but I had no idea how long it would take at each place. I definitely planned better for day two.

On Sunday, we chose farms that were closer in proximity to each other, and thus, we were able to see 3 farms in half the time it took on day one. We started out at Holler Ministries in Fletcher. I wanted to visit this farm because they offer egg/chicken shares for purchase. The farm is close to the Inn and I was excited to see that I could purchase a share of organic, grass-fed chicken eggs. A share is a dozen eggs a week and it’s possible to purchase chickens from the farm in the future if I decide to keep egg-laying chickens at the Inn. The Ministry also runs a summer Christian youth mission camp and they have an African-style village set up for the camp. This camp is training for service in Third World countries. Our tour provided us with a better understanding of how an African Village is set up. It really puts things into perspective for those of us in modernized countries. Holler Ministries also operates a community garden and they donate extras to local people in need. This particular farm was started in the 1930s by the current owner’s grandfather and we got to see a couple of buildings that his grandfather built by hand 80 years ago. It was nice to see this property still operating by the same family.

The following pictures show the African-style village on the farm:

African style hut being built at Holler Ministries

African-style hut being built at Holler Ministries

African hut, Holler Ministries

African hut, Holler Ministries

 

Inside an African-style village multi-purpose building

Inside an African-style village multi-purpose building

After leaving Holler Ministries, we traveled to McConnell Farms in Hendersonville. This farm has just about everything you can think of from fruits and vegetables to nursery plants. It’s a huge operation and they sell to various Asheville-area tailgate markets as well as onsite at their own retail place. The memorable part of this farm is the fresh-made ice cream! Of course we had some and it was so delicious and creamy. I ate some blackberry chip ice cream and Mom had old-fashioned strawberry ice cream. Here, my mother was talking to the owner about fig trees since they grow them, but he actually referred her to another grower whose trees (Celeste) would probably do better where we live. At about this time, we could see a storm coming so we jumped in the car and headed to Stepp’s Plants.

Stepp’s Plants is located in Flat Rock and along with plants and flowers, they also grow fruits. There were no nursery plants available because they sell 80% annuals and their season is in the spring time. We went on a short tour of their crop fields where we could see raspberries just about ready to harvest and blueberry bushes. While here, it did start raining so it turned into a short visit. We did find out that they participate in Hendersonville’s Garden Jubilee in the spring which we have attended so we’ll be sure to check them out next year.

After leaving Stepp’s we headed over to Fields of Gold Farm in west Hendersonville, but they were closed. So, we decided to end our tour at this point and headed back home, stopping at my favorite sushi restaurant, Umi, in Hendersonville for a late lunch.

The one farm I did not get to visit was the Maple Creek Farm in Burnsville (about an hour from the Inn).  Maple Creek Farm is the only commercial maple syrup producer in NC. Hopefully, I can find some of their products at a tailgate market. There are several tailgate markets around Asheville, in addition to the WNC Farmers Market. The closest to the Inn is the Asheville City Market – South which is approximately 3 miles away. Some of the farmers on the Farm Tour probably sell their goods at this or any of the other dozen tailgate markets around the city and Buncombe county.

So, for $25, my mother and I spent some fun bonding time while exploring the mountains and farms of Western NC, learning about the bountiful foods, plants, and animals that contribute to the surrounding communities. I am thrilled to have been a part of the tour because I got so much more out of the experience than just the tour itself. To see what is going on around this part of the state makes me proud to live here and I plan to continue doing my part to help sustain the way of life provided by WNC farmers. So for anyone who wants to support the local farmers without driving all over the place, just visit one of the local farmers markets and “take the tour” there. You’ll be glad you did.

To learn more about WNC’s ASAP initiative, visit: www.asapconnections.org. Or, to find farms and take your own tours or for a listing of tailgate markets and hours, go to www.BuyAppalachian.org.

Celebrating My 40th Birthday – Asheville Style

June 6th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes


This past week, I turned the big 4-0 and Asheville turned out to be the perfect place to celebrate it in style.

A few of my Twitter friends organized a pub crawl since I love beer and Asheville is Beer City USA 2010! Gary (@AskAsheville), Amanda (@AVLCustomCloset), Maria (@SalonBlueRidge), and John (Maria’s boyfriend) met at Barley’s Tap Room (@BarleysTapPizza) where we sampled some of the 50+ craft beers on tap, along with some pizza. Barley’s has 2 floors; the first floor is the main restaurant area and the second floor is where the pool tables are (no food served upstairs). It’s a big place and stayed crowded the entire time we were there, which was a couple of hours.

On the way to our second stop, we passed Pritchard Park and enjoyed a little of the Friday night drum circle. The Park was packed and the drumming was very entertaining. By then, it was dark and we could see the police circling. I guess they allow the drum circle until a certain time, but there were many under-age kids around and want to avoid anything inappropriate. I must say that I have never spent any time downtown at night and was quite amazed at how crowded the city was. Everyone, local and tourist, was out in force, enjoying the street entertainment and balmy weather.

The second stop on our crawl was Thirsty Monk’s Pub (@monkpub). Here, we tried something called a Flight, which had 4 sample size beers from light to dark. I tried the Highland Cattail Peak Wheat (light) and the Green Man IPA (medium) with a citrusy taste. I was actually surprised that I liked the medium beer because I usually don’t. We also met up with a couple of other Asheville Tweeters, John (@SimplyWired) and his friend (no Twitter handle that I know of).

Next, we headed over to Athena’s which was a small club. Definitely not a pub, but I did drink a bottle of Highland Gaelic Ale. There was a little dancing. I got a good chuckle. While dancing with Amanda and Maria, a man came up to our group and gave me a very back-handed compliment. He said that although I was the oldest of our group, I had some good moves. Years ago, I might have been offended, but I actually laughed. I appreciated that he thought I danced the best of the three, for an old lady. :)

Our last stop on the tour was Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues Club. There was live music, but not a lot of people there. I had a beer, I can’t remember what kind. Everyone else started doing shots of Patron (tequila), but that’s not my thing. For one, I hate tequila. Second, I wouldn’t mix beer and liquor. The consequences are not good. One interesting thing about this bar was the huge jar of condoms outside the bathroom for patrons to take with them. I had never seen anything like that before, but thought, nice idea. Safety is good.

By the time we finished at Tressa’s, it was 1:30 am and I needed to get home and sleep before getting up to cook breakfast for guests at the Inn on Saturday morning. On the way home, I stopped at Ingles (@Ingles) for some strawberries and blueberries. I was home and in bed by 2:00 am, a time I haven’t seen in a long time.

This birthday celebration was fun for several reasons: 1) I haven’t been out in a couple of years or on a pub crawl in about 15 years! 2) I met some really nice people through Twitter, and 3) while I was on the crawl, we were all FourSquaring our locations which post to my Facebook Page and family and friends around the country were commenting while we were crawling.

I am solidly in favor of the social media movement. It has allowed me to connect and re-connect with family, friends, and people from my past through Facebook. And, I have been meeting new business contacts and friends locally through Twitter and FourSquare. The sharing and exchange of information via text messages, photos, videos, and blogs has opened up a whole new world to me. If not for Twitter, I would not have enjoyed such an interesting birthday celebration. If anyone is thinking about jumping on the social media bandwagon or has resisted joining, I highly recommend that you reconsider. It’s a great way to connect with the big world out there. Maybe your next celebration will be different and unexpected.

Kick Back and Kook’s Culinary Weekend: Feasting with Brew HAS BEEN POSTPONED!

May 26th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED – WE WILL POST THE NEW DATE SOON!

Dates: June 4-5, 2010

Where: 1847 Blake House Inn Bed & Breakfast,150 Royal Pines Drive, Asheville (Arden), NC, http://www.blakehouse.com/

Tickets are still available!

Davin McCoy & The Coming Attractions are honored to be able to play two days at this festival which is going to be great fun and proceeds from this event go to eliminate Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the #1 genetic cause of death in children under the age of 2. Fight SMA with food and while sampling Asheville’s best beers and listening to GREAT live music!

The event is hosted by Chef Angela McKeller who has been featured on The Food Network and is a great supporter of the band. This event supports Angela’s favorite charity: The Hope and Light Foundation.

If you are looking for a culinary event to spice up your summer then put June 4-5, 2010 on your calender. The “Kick Back and Kook: Feasting with Brew” event is taking over The 1847 Blake House Inn! Angela McKeller teams up with local micro-breweries in Asheville (rated BEST in the country for microbrews!) and offers an exploration of taste featuring seasonal, local ingredients and evening cooking classes as separate events (details below), including an Iron Chef Competition with prizes!

Don’t miss it! Best “Kooking”, Jamming, Brewing event of the summer! For weekend packages that include accommodations, please contact the Innkeeper, Leslie Kimball, at 888.353.5227 or 828.681.5227, http://www.blakehouse.com/. Want to add an extra night or two so you can explore Asheville, the Biltmore, the breweries? Come a day early, stay a day after and you’ll get a 10% discount off the nightly rate for the extra night(s).

To buy tickets (which will sell out fast!) go to http://www.kickbackkook.com/store.php.

Events:

Friday, June 4, 2010:
Beer and Truffles

2:30 – 4:30pm
$29 per person, or attend both Fri & Sat Afternoon classes for the just $47! Limited tickets available, buy tickets in advance to guarantee your spot!

Think beer and chocolate don’t go together? One of Asheville’s most popular microbreweries will come by and explain the ins and outs of brewing, the difference between one brew and another and give a presentation on how to pair beer with chocolate! Angela McKeller of “Kick Back and Kook!” will be offering her recipes for three types of Chocolate Truffles you can make at home, but taste them now, taste the chocolate and beer together yourself to see just how compatible these flavors really are! Think it’s never been done before? Think again! Also, live music by Davin McCoy and The Coming Attractions will make this an afternoon to remember!

Soufflés Made Simple
6:00pm – 9:00pm

$45 per person. Reserve your spot early, limited to just 25 students!

Angela McKeller will take you further down the culinary path, deep into the heart of Paris. Or at least you’ll feel like that is where you are! French for “puff up”, Angela will demonstrate just how easy these seemingly difficult, but impressive dishes are for dinner and dessert! On the menu: Shrimp Soufflé with Creamy Dill Sauce; Spinach and Ricotta Soufflé and Dark Chocolate Soufflé. Bring out your inner Julia Child, get ready for Summer and say “Bon appétit!”

Saturday, June 5, 2010
Simple Summer Desserts Sampling and Brew Tasting
1pm – 3pm

$29 per person, or attend both Fri & Sat Afternoon classes for the just $47! Limited tickets available, buy tickets in advance to guarantee your spot.

Angela McKeller will offer samples of the most delicious summer dessert recipes she’s developed and encountered during her culinary career. On the menu: Chef Mike Carrino’s Cherry and Apple Tart to Angela’s own Flambéd Brandied Peaches to Chef Jerry Solomon’s Zabayon, a simple but delicious Italian custard served with mixed berries, you’ll experience it all! And yes, these all go great with your favorite beer! While this is a sampling of desserts and beers, it is also an opportunity to get to know Chef Angela McKeller, ask her as many questions as you can think of about these delicious desserts and become acquainted with one of Asheville’s best microbreweries and their brews!  Again, live music by Davin McCoy and The Coming Attractions will make this afternoon experience even more amazing.

Iron Chef Competition!
6:30pm -9:30 pm

$65 per person.  Reserve your spot early, limited to just 25 students!

Who will win? The Salad Spinners or the Wire Wisks?! “Kooky” prizes to the winners!

Paired off into two groups, munching on some of Angela’s most popular dips while you “kook”, two teams will go head to head, competing to see who can create the best meal of the evening! Who judges? You do!

Everyone is given a score card to fill out without anyone else seeing. On a scale of 1-5, you try each others dishes and rate them, putting the score cards in a bowl for Angela to tally the scores while you finish dessert. The winning team gets a prize as “kooky” as Angela is!

On the menu:

Team 1:

* Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs in a Red Wine and Balsamic Reduction
* Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli in a Mushroom Cream Sauce
* Lemon Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis

Team 2:

* Baked Brie en Croute with Caramelized Walnuts
* Chicken Provençale
* Crepes with Strawberries and Rich Chocolate Sauce

With Asheville as the backdrop, who could ask for anything more? Beautiful scenery, delicious food, fun, kooky cooking classes, beer tastings, live music, the Biltmore Estate just around the corner and some of the best microbreweries around.

Beer, Food & Fundraising: A Combination That Can’t Miss

May 18th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

In just a few weeks, the 1847 Blake House Inn B&B will be proudly hosting the Kick Back & Kook Culinary Event: Feasting With Brew. The dates of the events are Friday, June 4 & Saturday, June 5. We almost changed the date due to another event going on in Asheville the same weekend: Beer City Brewfest. However, there are some major differences between the two events:

  • The Beer City Brewfest is ONLY on Saturday, June 5th while our event is on Friday AND Saturday. So people can attend both!
  • The Beer City Brewfest is a beer-focused event. Our event is primarily a culinary event with beer pairings. The focus of Feasting With Brew is not on the Brew; it’s on the FOOD with the BREW!
  • The Beer City Brewfest is not pet-friendly, but we are!!!
  • Ticket prices for the Brewfest are $35/each; our ticket prices are only $29 for each day, with cooking classes offered Friday & Saturday nights for $45 & $65 each respectively.
  • Feasting With Brew is a FUNDRAISER! All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Hope & Light Foundation (information below). Eat, drink & mingle while supporting a great cause!
  • Feasting With Brew will include raffles and silent auction items including a FREE night stay at the Inn, the cookbook: Passion on a Plate and apron from Chef Angela McKeller, items donated by local Asheville shops, plus other local arts & craft items. This event is about so much more than beer.

Of course I have a bias for the Feasting With Brew events, but I am in no way dissing the Beer City Brewfest. The timing of our events still allows people to attend both!  Following are the full details of our Kick Back & Kook Culinary Event: Feasting With Brew:

Tickets can be purchased HERE as well as on the day of the event at the Inn. There is a DISCOUNT if you buy tickets for Friday & Saturday! If there are any Asheville businesses that would like to sell tickets, please contact Angela McKeller. Ticket sellers can make a little $ for each ticket you sell!

Book a room at the Inn for the weekend (at least 2 nights) and receive a 10% discount off the ticket price of ANY event you attend! Plus, the FIRST room reservation for that weekend will receive a FREE 1847 Blake House Inn B&B soup mug. The mugs just arrived this week!

Hope to see you there!

Earth Day – What it Really Means

April 11th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. It will be celebrated on Thursday, April 22 in many ways and in many countries. But what does Earth Day really mean?

In the US, Earth Day as it was named, is celebrated on April 22nd, having first started in 1970. Around the world, Earth Day is called different things and celebrated at different times, but the concept is still the same. It is a day (or period of time) for people to appreciate and focus on the Earth’s environment, either through events, fundraisers, celebrations, and other types of activities geared toward awareness.

In Western NC, we too, celebrate Earth Day. Some of the activities planned here include:

At the Inn, I try to be aware of the purpose of Earth Day year-round, through an ongoing effort to green the Inn and to reduce waste and the environmental impact of operating this place. I wrote an earlier blog on my efforts at becoming green and those are ongoing.  Even today, my son built a 4′ X 7′ garden box so that I can start growing my own vegetables, herbs and fruits for use in cooking here at the Inn. While a small gesture, it’s just one step in a checklist of things I am doing around here to become more eco-conscious.

As travelers, we all have the responsibility to pay attention to the amount of trash we create while on the road (we tend to produce more trash away from home than at home). We should also pay attention to the practices of the places we stay at and eat at and support those businesses that make an effort at eco-friendliness.  In Asheville, there are plenty of accommodations and restaurants that are going green. Check out Posana Cafe and Green Sage Coffeehouse Cafe and you’ll be impressed, not only with their food, but with their “greenness.”

For me, Earth Day is something I try to be conscious of all year. But even if you only celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, many people can do a lot of good. Come to Asheville during our Earth Day celebrations, and you will receive a 40% discount off the 3rd night of your stay (between 4/13 – 4/27).

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