The Red Chair Travels will be Visiting a B&B Near You

March 31st, 2017

The photo of The Red Chair that started a phenomenon in 2011

The Red Chair Travels is coming to Wisconsin!  The WBBA is so excited to part of this phenomenon that started 5 years ago in Cape Cod, MA. Beth Colt is the innkeeper of the Woods Hole Inn on Cape Cod.   She took a picture of this red chair perched out on a frozen pond in Woods Hole in the winter of 2011.  When she posted the photo on Facebook her computer lit up with “likes” and this simple image journeyed all over cyberspace, and landed in the in-box of a California-based photographer, who was inspired to come visit the Woods Hole Inn in the off season.  When she asked to borrow the chair she was surprised; when the fruits of her labor arrived in the mail Beth was in awe.

Captain Freeman Inn Cape Cod, MA

The red chair became a symbol, a metaphor for connections made across invisible boundaries. In 2012 Beth contacted other Inns in Cape Cod to see if they would like to “host” the Red Chair for a few days and photograph the chair’s visit.  Since then the Red Chair has visited more than 20 states in the U.S., and parts of Canada.

For Beth Colt, “the red chair is an invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place.  It is an open seat at the table of relaxation.  It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature.  It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.”

We know the Red Chair will feel right at home in Wisconsin and we are excited to see all the different adventures it has along the way.  Listed below is the schedule for the Red Chair Travels in Wisconsin.  Are you ready to Seek the Unique?  Book your stay at one of the participating WBBA B&B’s today so you can take part in the Red Chair Travels!

Dates Property City
3/29-4/3 Curriers Lakeview Lodge Rice Lake
4/4-4/8 Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast Hudson
4/9-4/13 Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast Chippewa Falls
4/14-4/18 Stewart Inn Wausau
4/19-4/22 Crystal River Inn Waupaca
4/23-4/27 Lindsay House Manawa
4/28-5/1 Franklin Street Inn Appleton
5/2-5/6 Brayton Bed and Breakfast Oshkosh
5/7-5/11 Greenway House Bed and Breakfast Green Lake
5/12-5/16 Hidden Serenity B&B West Bend
5/17-5/21 Honeybee Inn Bed & Breakfast Horicon
5/22-5/25 Inn at Pine Terrace Oconomowoc
5/26-5/29 Pedal’rs Inn Bed and Breakfast Wales
5/30-6/3 Christmas House Bed and Breakfast Racine
6/4-6/7 At The Lake House Lake Geneva
6/8-6/11 Hamilton House Whitewater
6/12-6/15 The Livingston Inn Madison
6/16-6/19 Inn at Wawanissee Point Baraboo
6/20-6/23 Ringling House Baraboo
6/24-6/27 Valley Springs Farm Reedsburg
6/28-6/31 Bowman’s Oak Hill Bed and Breakfast Wisconsin Dells
7/1-7/4 Fountain Chateau B&B Hustler
7/5-7/8 Justin Trails Resort Sparta

WBBA Seek the Unique

 

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

March 22nd, 2017

Tangy rhubarb coffee cake renews our faith that warm weather will be arriving soon.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake (courtesy of Miller’s Daughter B&B in Green Lake)

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

½ cup shortening

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups rhubarb, cut fine

Zest from 1 orange

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Topping

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the shortening, sugar, and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, and baking soda. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. Fold the rhubarb, orange zest, and walnuts.  Pour the batter into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake 35-40 minutes

Stay as a local every time to book a Wisconsin B&B. Plus you’ll sleep easy knowing all our member inns are inspected, insured and licensed. Are you ready to Seek the Unique?WBBA Seek the Unique

Spring Into New Recipes

March 20th, 2017
Veggie Pie

Veggie Pie

 

After months of cold, many are craving early spring vegetables, so we thought you might like this recipe for veggie pie.

Bountiful Vegetable Pie (courtesy of Apple Tree Lane B&B in Waupaca)

 

1 lg. red onion, thinly sliced

4 medium yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch slices

2 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ -inch slices

1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips

1 green bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 eggs

¼ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

10 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

2 cups dry French bread cubes (try rosemary/parmesan for even more flavor)

Chopped scallions to taste

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10” spring foam pan. Sauté the onion, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper in a bowl until blended.  Stir in the Swiss cheese, cream cheese and bread cubes.

Add the sautéed vegetables to the egg mixture and mix well. Spoon the egg mixture into the spring form pan, packing tightly.  Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until firm to the touch, puffed and golden brown.  Cover with foil if needed to prevent over browning. Sprinkle with scallions and cut into wedges.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled. Delicious and a nice presentation.

Note: Try spring vegetables like asparagus, ramps and spinach. Serve with sausage and muffin on the side.

Tangy rhubarb coffee cake renews our faith that warm weather will be arriving soon.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake (courtesy of Miller’s Daughter B&B in Green Lake)

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

½ cup shortening

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups rhubarb, cut fine

Zest from 1 orange

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Topping

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the shortening, sugar, and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, and baking soda. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. Fold the rhubarb, orange zest, and walnuts.  Pour the batter into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake 35-40 minutes

These recipes are just a couple of examples of the unique breakfast dishes the member inns of the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association love to share with their guests.  Thanks to the Apple Tree Lane B&B in Waupaca for sharing this delectable breakfast dish, perfect for feeding a group of friends or family, and to Miller’s Daughter B&B in Green Lake for the rhubarb coffee cake recipe that will satisfy a crowd.  We always like to remind our readers that all WBBA members are licensed, inspected and insured.  So rest assured, you will get a good night’s sleep when you stay at a WBBA B&B, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning.  Are you ready to Seek the Unique?WBBA Seek the Unique

 

Multi-Destination Getaway: The Driftless Area

March 18th, 2017

Multi-Destination Getaway: The Driftless Area

WI Driftless Region

WI Driftless Region

Taking a page out of European travel, why not plan a trip that takes you to multiple destinations instead of just staying put. The Driftless Area in the southwest part of the state, with its deeply carved river valleys untouched by glaciers, would be a great place to give it a try.

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Loving This New Kind of Honeymoon

March 16th, 2017

Loving This New Kind of Honeymoon

If you’re one of those who said “yes” over the holidays or Valentine’s Day, we have some ideas for an adventure honeymoon, a trend that’s on the rise and that we happen to love.

She Said Yes!

She Said Yes!

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12 Great B&B’s Along the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail

March 14th, 2017

Inns Near the New FLW Trail

It was 150 years ago this year that Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Wisconsin. People are often surprised to know that Wisconsin has more FLW-designed buildings – 41 in all – than any other state. A new FLW Trail showcases nine buildings open for tours. Plan your motor route with stays at B&Bs along the way.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Milwaukee

Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Milwaukee

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Natural Twosome – Golf & B&Bs

March 12th, 2017

Wisconsin has major travel news this year. The U.S. Open comes to the state for the first time in the tournament’s history, to a public course, no less.

Natural Twosome – Golf and B&Bs

The 117th U.S. Open is being played at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, marking the first time the storied event has ever been staged in the state. Plus it’s only the sixth time it’s being played at a public course.

Golfer

We put together a list of the Top 10 Wisconsin public golf courses (and the B&Bs nearby, naturally) to help you tee up your golf getaway bucket list.

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3 Reasons to Celebrate Valentines Day at a Bed & Breakfast

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

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!!

 

4 Things Wisconsin B&B’s have in Common with The Gilmore Girls

November 28th, 2016

 

wbba-breakfastFor those Gilmore Girls fans, nothing can be more exciting than the revival of the Gilmore Girls on Friday.  This show is near and dear to the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association, for the obvious reasons.  So, what do Wisconsin Bed & Breakfasts have in common with the Dragonfly Inn?

hamilton-house

Hamilton House Whitewater, WI

Let’s face it, it’s usually the charm and character of the B&B itself that catches the eye and lures us in.  Remember how Lorelei borrowed money from Luke so she could remodel the Dragonfly Inn?  For most, an old Victorian is what usually comes to mind when we think of a bed and breakfast.  A welcoming front porch, a beautiful entry with a wooden staircase that has been restored to its original luster and glory.  A parlor with some comfortable, overstuffed chairs to sit back and relax, or maybe the dining room with the built-in china hutch and the sparkling crystal and silverware.  The Dragonfly Inn was a mid-century modern, and, thanks to Lorelei,  had it’s own personality. You will find plenty of B&B’s in Wisconsin that are full of personality.  Whether it is an old Victorian or a restored Farm House-such as Antiques With Inn in New London, a mid-century modern, or contemporary urban B&Bs, cabins on the water, or historic estates- like the Hamilton House in Whitewater.

You also have options for the type of getaway you are looking for.  Did you want to spend a couple of nights in the city, maybe do some shopping at your favorite stores, or catch that comedian you’ve been meaning to see for quite some time?  Maybe some time in the country or a small town will help you relax and reconnect with that special someone in your life.  No matter the pace you are looking to set for your getaway, you will find a Wisconsin B&B to fit that style.

Let’s not forget the best asset of any B&B is the innkeeper.  Your innkeeper will greet at the door and help you get settled into your room.  Are you looking to just relax before you head out for dinner?  The B&B most likely has a common area, such as a living room, where you can sit back and relax.  Some even offer a complimentary glass of wine with a fruit & cheese platter.    Once you’re ready for dinner, your host will be happy to help you select the right restaurant for the type of dining experience you are looking for.  Are you celebrating a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary?  The innkeeper will be able to describe the fine dining restaurants in the area.  Maybe you prefer to live like a local and head to the neighborhood bar & grill.  Since your hosts live in the area, they will know the best places to eat.  You won’t find a more knowledgeable concierge anywhere.

What about the bedroom, you ask?  Well, let’s set the record straight, all of the Bed & Breakfasts in the WBBA have private baths, so this eliminates the excuse for having to share a bath.

Romantic getaway at the Honeybee Inn

Romantic getaway at the Honeybee Inn

You’ll find your bedroom to be chic and luxurious; some have whirlpool tubs, others have claw foot tubs, or a walk-in shower with multiple shower heads.  You may find your room big enough it has a sitting area with a beautiful fireplace.  It certainly will be a great space to unwind and spend some romantic time with your honey.

The amenities WBBA Inns offer is what will keep you coming back time and time again.  Most inns offer free wi-fi, free parking and free snacks.  But let’s not forget the most important amenity of all, Breakfast!  For starters, just like Lorelei, most of us can’t get going in the morning without a great cup of coffee.  Who better to serve that up than an innkeeper?  They make pots and pots of it every day, so they know what’s good, some even grind their own beans.  Just as the B&B’s each have their own personality, so do the innkeepers and the breakfasts they prepare.  Some like to offer a gourmet breakfast, served on the finest china and crystal.  Others offer some of the best comfort food you’ve ever tasted.  Many innkeepers are great home chefs in their own right, and love perfecting recipes or coming up with new ones of their own.  So, you don’t want to have breakfast with a bunch of people you don’t know?  At most inns this won’t be a problem, many offer in-room dining for breakfast.

Breakfast at the Red Forest Inn, Two Rivers WI

Breakfast at the Red Forest Inn, Two Rivers WI

Don’t forget to Seek the Unique and book your stay at a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast.

In honor of the Gilmore Girls reunion we have partnered with Milwaukee.citymomsblog, GreenBay.citymomsblog and Madison.citymomsblog to give away an overinight stay at one of Three Inns across the State of Wisconsin.  The grand prize winner will get to select which inn they would prefer – Pedal’rs Inn, Cameo Rose Inn, or Crystal River Inn.

Another winner will win a $100 WBBA gift card and a third winner will walk away with a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association cookbook.  You can register to win on Facebook.

**This offer expires November 30, 2017. Based on availability. Not valid on holidays or special event weekends and other blackout dates may apply. Therefore, must mention at time of reservation. No cash value. Cannot be combined with other offers or specials. Credit card deposit may be required at time of reservation. Valid identification and credit card required at time of check-in.