Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

3 Reasons to Celebrate Valentines Day at a Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Valentines Day is quickly approaching, do you know what you are giving to that someone special in your life?  I urge you to consider the gift on an experience.  Yes, flowers and chocolates always say “You are someone special in my life”, but there’s nothing like a romantic night or two in a Bed & Breakfast to convey much more than that.  A stay at a B&B allows the two of you to really spend some quality time together, doing the things you love to do, creating memories that will last a lifetime.  Here are some reasons to consider:

  • 1 Romantic Packages.  What better way to add value to your stay than by adding a Romance package to your itinerary?  Bed & Breakfasts are notorious for having Valentine’s Specials this time of year.  For the number of B&B’s in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association, you will find that many specials, and one of them is sure to fit your style.  For example, if the two of you enjoy outdoor sports in the winter, consider staying at Justin Trails Resort.  They are offering a Midweek Sweethearts Getaway: Whisk away your Valentine for a midweek getaway and save this February! Rekindle your romance with scenic winter hikes, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding, all on their beautiful 200 acre resort! Sunday – Thursday book the Midweek Sweethearts Special and enjoy a romantic suite, cottage or log cabin of your choice, bottle of house or red wine, local Amish Chocolates, and a Farm to Table breakfast each morning.

If you enjoy a little more mystery in your life and are up for an adventure, then Lindsay House Bed & Breakfast in Manawa could be just the place for you.  Located in the Central Wisconsin River Region, in the heart of Waupaca County, you will be able to rest your mind, relax your body and rejuvenate your spirit.   Lindsay House is a lovely 1892 Victorian home, filled with an eclectic mix of furnishings, hand crafted beds, and each with a private bath.  Lindsay House is offering a fun filled evening that is sure to include a beautiful room, a great meal and some fun, local entertainment.  We know you’ll enjoy your stay at Lindsay House, “Where the joy of living is served daily.”

 

 

 

Valley Springs Farm B&B in Reedsburg has a unique offer, the longer you’ve been married, the larger your discount on your reservation!  Their  Lovers special celebrates you, a 1% LOVERS discount for each year you have been together off of the reservation price (maximum 50 years) for a stay during the month of February. They aim to make it special with homemade chocolate truffles and fresh flowers for you & your sweetheart. Be sure to mention the word “LOVERS” when you book your reservation.  Valley Springs Bed & Breakfast takes you to the tranquility of the farm, where the only noises you’ll hear are the sounds of farm animals and an occasional tractor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Valentines Day isn’t just for February 14th.  Innkeepers understand it isn’t always easy to break away for a romantic interlude during the middle of the week.  WBBA members offer a variety of specials that are good throughout the month of February, or even longer.  This allows for flexibility with your schedule, and maybe you will be able to arrange to include some local entertainment, such as a comedy club, art exhibition, or outdoor event in your visit.  The special can be as simple as a complimentary bottle of wine included with your reservation, which is what Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast is offering for all February reservations booked before February 3rd.  

In January & February the Phipps Inn, which is located in Hudson, right along the Minnesota border, you can take advantage of their Warm Your Hearts Winter Special.  Nothing can warm a heart like a box of Knoke’s Chocolates – and if it’s a heart-shaped box that’s even better! (You don’t have to wait for Valentines Day to impress that special someone with candy & flowers).

3.  Dinner can be included:   No need to stress about where to go for dinner, your innkeeper will most likely have that figured out for you.  At the very least they will be able to suggest the best places to go in the area, they may even help you with a reservation.  There are a number of B&B’s offering a dinner special of some sort, either preparing it at the Inn or collaborating with a local restaurant to offer a romantic dinner for two.  Either way, you are relieved of the stress involved in finding the perfect place to go.  Westby House Inn in Westby is offering a romantic dinner for two, right there in the Inn.  No need to worry about the weather or heading out into the cold.  With simplicity, elegance and freshness, Westby House Inn seeks to impress the pleasure of your palate.

 

So, remember, to create that one of a kind romantic getaway that the both of you will remember always, Seek the Unique and stay at a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast!

3 Holiday Decor Ideas to Brighten your Doorstep

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

We can’t get enough of those online holiday decorating slideshows. You know the ones, with pretty pictures featuring easy ideas to spruce up your home. As you’d expect, our member B&Bs do a beautiful job in that department. Here are ideas from just a few of our inns on how to transform your home from so-so to so-lovely for the holidays.

The Westby House Inn & Restaurant in Westby is decked out for your holiday get away.  The outdoor scene is festive and the indoor will enchant you.

Celebrate the season in vintage style at The Lamp Post Inn B&B, an 1874 Victorian home in Fort Atkinson.

Take in this winter wonderland on 120 scenic acres of beauty at Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville.

Warmth, charm, tradition…Since 1896, generations of guests have loved the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek.

 

Whether inside or out, these Inns have been beautifully transformed for the holiday season.  So what can you do to get your home looking as lovely at these B&B’s?  Here are a few tips for decorating the outside of your home for the holidays.  you don’t have to go all out with lights and inflatables, there are ways to create a warm, inviting welcome to anyone who approaches your doorstep.

Tip #1 – Create your own Porch Pots.  Porch pots can be a great way to welcome friends and family to your property, whether they be on your porch or at the end of your driveway.  Porch pots can be expensive if you buy them already assembled, especially if you like to have several of them.  With a little planning and the right tools, you can create your own porch pots for a fraction of the cost.

A porch pot created with fresh greenery, hydrangeas and painted branches

By purchasing two Christmas Trees you will be able to get 3-4 porch pots (depending on their size) and a window box or two, again, depending on the size of your window boxes.  So, for the cost of two pre-made porch pots from the local nursery, you can create much more.  If you purchase 1 balsam fir and one white pine you will have 2 different types of pine needles that will add texture and interest to your decorations.  Once you get your trees home cut the branches off, be sure to leave the top 18-24 inches of branches on the tree, this will give you 2 tree tops for two of your pots.  If you’re fortunate to have trees on your property, save some of the branches that fall into your yard and paint them with white, silver or gold spray paint, add some glitter for a little extra shimmer.  Do you or your neighbors have beautiful hydrangea plants and are at a loss what to do with all the flowers at the end of the season?  Don’t throw them out, they add great interest to your pots and window boxes.  Those, too, can be spray painted if you like.  The best tip ever, assemble your pot before it is cold enough to freeze.  Once you have the pot put together, water it so the soil is wet.  Then, when it does freeze, the contents won’t be blowing out of the container when it gets windy.

Tip #2 – Decorate your Window Boxes.  If you have window boxes, be sure to add some fresh greenery from the trees you purchased to make your porch pots.  Using the same tips for creating a Porch Pot can be applied to putting together a window box.

Adding lights to the window box adds warmth to the display.

If you use some of the same materials in the window box as you used in the porch pot, this will help tie everything together. Adding some outdoor lights will add warmth to the display, and here in the northern part of the country where it is dark by 4:30 in the afternoon, adds some light to the house as well.  If you choose decorations that are not too seasonal, your porch pots and your window boxes will take you well into January or February.

Tip #3 – Add a wreath.  One of the easiest things you can do to add holiday cheer to your doorstep is to hang a wreath.  Whether you purchase a fresh one, or have an artificial wreath that you hang year after year.  If you have the gumption, hanging wreaths from your windows always looks beautiful and festive.

All of the B&B’s in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.  Happy Decorating!!

 

Innkeepers Share the Secret of Making the Perfect Scone

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

A scone recipe that’s perfection every time? We considered that a culinary myth until we heard from Eagle Centre House B&B. The innkeepers there swear this recipe for basic scones is foolproof. Don’t be fearful of making scones, this recipe will get you hooked.  As for what to spread on top of a scone, we like lemon curd, clotted cream, honey butter or homemade jam. We’re traditionalists that way.

 

Basic Scone Recipe

The following recipe makes approximately 12 scones

 

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. (1/3 cup) sweet butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/3 cup milk

 

Place the baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.  Sift the measured flour twice with the baking powder and salt.  When I was a young girl learning to cook my mother had a flour sifter for this task, it was a contraption that reminded me of a coffee can, had a mesh bottom, and a handle that was squeezed to turn a blade near the bottom to move the flour around and push it through the sieve.  I don’t happen to have a handy tool like that, so I just used a fine mesh metal strainer I use for washing and draining fruits and vegetables, and held that over a bowl and shook the strainer to get the flour to go through.Sifting Flour  If you would like to add some variety to this basic scone recipe this is the point where you could add some orange zest and dried cranberries, or lemon zest with dried blueberries.  Chopped nuts also add another layer of texture and flavor.  Dice the fats into the dry ingredients, then lightly rub in with cool fingertips or a pastry blender until completely blended.  The butter and shortening will look like small peas or oatmeal when it is fully incorporated with the flour.  Make a well in the center and stir in the milk.  Lightly mix with a fork until the ingredients form a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead very lightly fEagle Center House Sconesor about 1/2 minute to a loose, smooth dough.  The trick to making a nice light scone is to handle the dough as little as possible, yet it is important to get all of the flour incorporated with the butter and shortening.  Roll out with a rolling pin or pat with the hand to approximately 3/4 inch thick.  Stamp out with a 2 inch cutter or cut into triangles with a sharp knife, I also like to use a pizza cutter.  Lightly knead together any trimmings and roll and stamp out again.  Lift with a spatula onto the hot baking sheet, placing 1 inch apart.  Brush only the tops with lightly beaten egg or milk.  Bake toward the top of the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.  Lift onto a wire rack with the spatula to cool.  If this is your first attempt at baking scones you may feel frustrated with the dough making process, but trust me, persevere and you will be thrilled at the results. Even if your scones don’t look like they are ready for a photo shoot in the culinary magazine, they will taste light, and buttery and, quite frankly, fantastic!

Seek the Unique – Wisconsin B&B’s with a Theme

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

 

For those who seek a more unique experience when travelling a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast will be sure to fit the bill. We all know Wisconsin’s Bed and Breakfasts are well known for their personalized service and scrumptious breakfast. But did you know innkeepers are knowledgeable on the local activities and history of their community? The innkeeper will be able to fill you in on the local lore and legends of the area and provide stories that will inform and inspire you.

When is a B&B more than just a bed and a breakfast? When it’s a microbrewery, a lighthouse, a celebrity hangout, a farm, a golf course or an art studio. Themed B&Bs are big on talk-value with your buddies and huge on enjoyment for you.

Take the Inn at Windmill Farm in Door County, with its studio and gallery where one of the hosts, Ed, leads watercolor classes. He has been an artist fMorning Mist Studio_Gallery Inn at Windmill Farmor over 35 years and teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute Ed’s work can be seen at Windmill Farm in the Morning Mist Studio/Gallery in the historic barn. Your other host, Frank, has a great background in fine antiques and has great pieces for sale at Lupine Antiques at Windmill Farm in the historic barn.  In addition, he brings to the Inn an extensive knowledge of landscape design.

The Silver Star B&B Inn near Spring Green has rooms themed to famous photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, EdwSteiglitz-Steichen room at Silver Star B&B Innard Steichen, John Szarkowski, Monor White, and Julia Margaret Cameron. The photographers honored had a significant impact on the industry, contributing to the development of photography as an artistic medium.

Visitors will find original fine art and photography displayed throughout the inn, reflecting the passion of the owner. The Silver Star B&B Inn is also located less than 10 miles from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and the House on the Rock.

There’s Brewery Creek Inn in Mineral Point with its own on-site craft brewery. A three story lime stone building on Commerce Street, there are five rooms located above the Brewpub Restaurant.  Two on the second floor and three on the third.  The Brewery Creek Brewpub is an intimate space with exposed stone walls, hand hewn timbers and beams, supporting posts and a beautiful bar. The BrewPub is closed by 10:00 pm, which guarantees quiet for the guests lodging in the rooms above. They brew all of their own beer in their own brewery.  Jeff focuses on European style ales, both modern and antique.Crafted Beer at Brewery Creek Inn

 

 

Door County Lighthouse Inn is just that, an inn with architecture that mimics the storied lighthouses of the region. Each room is tastefully decorated with a nautical theme which reflects the rich maritime and navigational history of the area. Each of these lighthouDoor County Lighthouse Innses are located a short distance from the Inn and are great places to explore. Door County’s lighthouses, many of which were built in the 1800s, have saved countless lives as they guided ships to safety. Today, they stir hearts as symbols of strength and protection.

 

 

 

Lake Orchard Farm Retreat in Sheboygan is a working farm but it also has a golf course and clubhouse.  Located near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Golfing at Lake Orchard Farm Retreatour operating farm has rolling fields, natural woods, fruit orchards and a Lake Michigan view. If that isn’t enough to entice you to visit, they have a 9-hole golf course with a clubhouse they provide for guests to use at no additional charge.  When the weather isn’t nice enough to play outdoors, they have a lounge area with a pool table where guests can gather and spend time.

 

The The Livingston Inn in Madison is the place where prominent filmmakers stay during the annual Wisconsin Film Festival in April and the innkeepers have the inside track on tickets for their guests. The Livingston InnThe Wisconsin Film Festival is presented by the UW-Madison Arts Institute in association with the Department of Communication Arts. Founded in 1999, the Festival presents an average of 150 film screenings over 8 days every spring, making it the largest university-produced film festival in the nation.

So you could say the overarching theme here is to try something different the next time you travel.

5 Romantic Getaways in Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

What motivates people to give B&Bs a try? The answer is often tied to romance, with charming inns naturally giving off a romantic vibe, and not just for Valentine’s Day. Here are inns that clearly love a good romance package:

Westport Bed and Breakfast, in Manitowoc, offers everything needed for romance with that special someone in your life. It can’t get better than their “Most PopulaElegance at Westport Bed and Breakfastr” Romantic Getaway package complete with flowers, chocolate and champagne. When you start to get a little restless and are looking for something to do, Manitowoc has much to offer. Try visiting the Rahr-West Art Museum. It was built in 1891 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but I bet you didn’t know it is also home to Sputnikfest because a piece of Sputnik IV landed in front of the mansion in 1962. So you say you’d rather spend some time outdoors enjoying everything Mother Nature has to offer? In the Manitowoc area there is no shortage of fun, take your pick of snowmobiling, cross country skiing, indoor skating, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Check out the Manitowoc-Two Rivers Visitors website for more ideas.

Romantic and Enchanting - Honeybee Inn B&B

For that perfect romantic getaway, your hosts at the beautiful Honeybee Inn extend a gracious welcome.  Guests can retreat to one of four distinctly romantic and enchanting guest rooms. For an excursion you could visit the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association. It is less than a 20 minute drive from the Honeybee Inn and has a variety of exhibits and events throughout the year. Outdoor activities abound at the beautiful Horicon Marsh. The Friends of the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center can help you figure out the best way to spend time with your loved one while enjoying the beauty of nature.

A delicious and romantic breakfast is served by candlelight at Naeset-Roe Inn, located in Stoughton. It Candlelight Breakfast at Naeset-Roe Innis guaranteed to top off your weekend of romance. Stoughton has a strong Norwegian heritage, so it is only natural that you would find such attractions as The Nordic Nook, and the Viking Brew Pub. If you are interested in learning about the local history, the Luke Stoughton House is a great place to start. If you are interested in catching a play, the Stoughton Village Players can be found right on Main Street.   Lake Kegonsa State Park has over 5 miles of cross-country ski trails and 1+ miles of snowshoe trails. For the more adventurous, you could also try your hand at ice fishing.

Listed in the nation’s top 10 romantic inns, White Lace Inn, in Sturgeon Bay, will provide everything Warm and Cozy - White Lacee Innyou need for the ultimate gift of a cozy and romantic getaway. Weather permitting, the Sturgeon Bay Historic Walking Tour has a downloadable/printable .pdf map that offers a unique opportunity for visitors to take a self-guided walking tour of some of the most beautiful neighborhoods and shops in Wisconsin. The Door County Maritime Museum will help you connect with Sturgeon Bay’s historic working waterfront and the impact Lake Michigan has had on the area.

Here at  Albany House Bed & Breakfast, in Albany, they take pride in helping guests have the bestAlbany House Bed & Breakfast experience possible.  Your romantic getaway will surely become that weekend you talk about for years to come. The New Glarus Woods State Park is only a 20 minute drive from the B&B and offers both cross country skiing and snowshoeing. If you like taking a drive in the country and looking at the various types of barns in the area, Green County has a Barn Quilt tour to get you out and about & enjoy the farm country. The Green County Tourism website has information about this and many other things to do in the area.

No matter your definition of romance, one of the 120 Bed & Breakfasts that belong to the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association will be able to help you reconnect with that special someone in your life and you can create an adventure the two of you will remember for years to come.

 

Award Winning B&B Recipe

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Ever think of a B&B breakfast as being a buffet?  The Port Washington Inn features their Door County Cherry Bread Pudding, as favorite on their brunch buffet. The innkeepers here emphasize quality ingredients and buffet items made from scratch, no shortcuts, and that makes their full breakfasts second-helping worthy. The dish was a favorite with the Judges of our Innkeeper Cook Off contest…perhaps it will become your favorite brunch dish!

Pudding: 
¼ cup butter, melted
1 loaf of bread, cut into cubes
6 large eggs
3½ cups milk (2% or any, including some half & half, if desired)
½ cup Wisconsin maple syrup
1 cup dried Door County Cherries
raw sugar
Preheat oven to 450°F. Melt ¼ cup butter in a jelly roll pan. Add the cubed bread to the pan. Place in oven and toast until nicely browned (watch carefully!). While bread cubes are toasting, use a blender to blend the eggs, milk and maple syrup. Place toasted bread cubes into a large bowl and pour the liquid from the blender over them, mixing well. Add this mixture to a previously well-buttered 9×13-inch baking pan. Add more milk (or half & half ) so the level of liquid in the pan is approximately equal to the level of the bread. Sprinkle the dried cherries over the top, mixing them throughout the pan. Sprinkle lightly with raw sugar. Bake until the middle is firm and the top is nicely browned (approximately 1 hour).
Sauce:
frozen tart cherries, pitted
frozen sweet cherries, pitted
raw sugar
For the sauce: Purée equal amounts of tart and sweet cherries, sweetened to taste with raw sugar. For a thicker sauce, leave cherries whole and lightly sweetened to create a sauce as they thaw.
Innkeeper Tip: We use two of our small loaves of homemade wheat bread. Make sure you have enough toasted bread cubes to fill a 9×13-inch pan, slightly heaped, as they will be absorbing some of the liquid.
Picture yourself enjoying breakfast on the porch of Port Washington Inn.

Picture yourself enjoying breakfast on the porch of Port Washington Inn.

 

Wisconsin Landmarks Bucket List

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Silver Star B&B Front Porch

It’s not unusual for a bucket list to be tied to those landmarks that define a place. In Spring Green, it’s a performance of Shakespeare under the stars at the American Players Theatre; enjoy a gentle sleep at Silver Star B&B located on a bucolic 340-acre estate. In Green Bay, it’s a tour of the just-renovated Lambeau Field; spend the night at Astor House B&B. Run away to Circus World in Baraboo; overnight at Pinehaven B&B or Inn at Wawanissee Point.  Check those off the list!

Silver Star B&B Deck

Silver Star B&B Deck

3149

Pinehaven B&B

 

Astor House Receives Award

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

The Green Bay Historic Preservation Commission, at its 14th annual Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony, awarded the Astor House B&B with a Culturally Significant Award. This award recognizes a building that contributes to or exemplifies cultural trends in the City of Green Bay. The Astor House was the home of Dr. Julius Bellin, founder of Bellin Hospital. Since 1999, Greg (deceased) and Barb Robinson have welcomed guests at the 5 guest room B&B. Of course, being located in Green Bay, Packer weekends fill up fast!

Washington House Inn inducted into Trip Advisor Hall of Fame!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

We are proud to announce that Washington House Inn has been recognized as a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame winner!  The ‘Hall of Fame’ was created to honor those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years.  When you, the guest, take the time to share your experiences, you are assisting other travelers to find the B&B  Inn that is tailor made for their getaway.

Set in a historic 1886 Victorian cream city brick building in Cedarburg, Washington House Inn is luxurious lodging within walking distance of historic downtown restaurants, shops, a local winery and brew pub and seasonal festivals.  Guests are pampered by the boutique hotel’s thoughtful amenities, including warm flickering fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and steam showers, and a deluxe continental breakfast.

Find your tailor made getaway at WisconsinBandB.com

 

Historic charm blends perfectly with modern amenities at the Washington House Inn.

Exposed stone walls hints at the Washington House Inn's 150 year history as the first hotel in Cedarburg. As additions of cream city brick were made to the wood frame structure, the hotel operated continuously.

Exposed stone walls hints at the Washington House Inn’s 150 year history as the first hotel in Cedarburg. As additions of cream city brick were made to the wood frame structure, the hotel operated continuously.

Quilts – keep one close!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Quilts – it’s a good idea to keep at least one close by here in Wisconsin! There’s an Amish Quilt Auction in Amherst (between Stevens Point and Waupaca) Saturday May 16 (www.maderauction.com) featuring over 300 quilt and wall hangings. We’ll recommend getting an early start – Artha Sustainable Living Center B&B is within a few miles, and the Stevens Point, Manawa, Waupaca, and Weyauwega B&Bs are less than a 30 minute drive. Make your reservations / mark your calendar for the August 29 quilt auction too.

Warmth under the 'wedding ring' quilt at Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

Warmth under the ‘wedding ring’ quilt at Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

Keep the chill away at Willow Pond B&B and Events in Weyauwega

Keep the chill away at Willow Pond B&B and Events