Posts Tagged ‘At Willow Pond B&B’

Breakfast is Reason #1 to Stay at a B&B

May 6th, 2015 by linda

What makes staying at a B&B so special? This blog series will give you 10 good reasons why B&Bs in Michigan are special destination lodgings you need to experience. We’ll give you one good reason one per post, so plan to come back often.

Breakfast is included in your stay.

Breakfast at a B&B isn’t an add on for which you pay an extra fee. Nope: breakfast is part of the package, both a convenience and a cost savings. A few B&Bs limit their menus to continental spreads, but most offer a multi-course gourmet meal, hot and fresh from the kitchen every morning.

Click the image to see which B&B serves this fresh fruit courses like these strawberries with edible flowers, topped with a creme fraiche skimmed from organic milk.

Click the image to see which B&B serves fresh fruit courses like these strawberries with edible flowers, topped with a creme fraiche skimmed from organic milk.

Which B&B turns everyday mornings into extraordinary culinary delights? Click the photo to find out. Which B&B turns everyday mornings into extraordinary culinary delights? Click the photo to find out.

Fresh-baked breads of all shapes and sizes are a must at most B&Bs - including this one, featuring chocolate-chunk-French-Toast muffins with Blueberry Sauce. Now click the image. Fresh baked goods are a must at most B&Bs – including this one, featuring a chocolate-chunk-French-Toast muffin with blueberry sauce. Click the image to discover who made these.

What happens if you're in too big a hurry to sit down to breakfast? Click the photo to see which inn packs you this breakfast to go!What happens if you’re in too big a hurry to stay for breakfast? Click the photo to see which inn packs you this breakfast to go!

B&Bs invented "farm to table" long before it was trendy. Click the collage to see which B&B serves their own hens' eggs and their own bees' honey on hot, fresh biscuits. B&Bs invented “farm to table” long before it was trendy. Click the collage to see which B&B serves their own hens’ eggs and their own bees’ honey on hot, fresh biscuits.

You can enjoy breakfasts like these at home whenever you can’t get away to stay at a Lake to Lake-member bed and breakfast inn. Pour over our printable, online recipes or order our cookbook as a gift or your personal kitchen resource.

Spring Makes Itself Known at Michigan B&Bs

April 10th, 2015 by linda

early thunderstormSpring is making itself known at bed and breakfast inns across Michigan. Yesterday brought the first thunderstorms of the year and they were signature Michigan boomers. Leaving a trail of puddles and rainbows in their wake, their bluster signaled the official start of the growing season. With promises of warmer days and sunshine all this week, we are at the threshold of a powerful new life cycle. Virgil A. Kraft put it most eloquently when he said, “Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”

Johnny-Jump-Ups are jumping out of the ground at LogHaven Bed & Breakfast and Barn in West Branch, in the Huron National Forest in  the Northwest part of the state.

Johnny-Jump-Ups are pushing out of the ground at LogHaven Bed, Breakfast & Barn in West Branch, in the Huron National Forest in the Northeast part of the state.

At Dewey Lake Manor B&B near Brooklyn in Southeast Michigan, the resident feline shows her softer side.

At Dewey Lake Manor B&B near Brooklyn in Southeast Michigan, people aren’t the only ones appreciating the early blooms.

 

 

Californians know it's  spring when the swallows come back to Capistrano. Innkeepers at At Willow Pond B&B in Fenwick, near Greenville in Southwest Michigan, know it when the martins come home to roost and raise their young right in their own backyard.

Californians know it’s spring when the swallows come back to Capistrano. Innkeepers of At Willow Pond B&B in Fenwick, near Greenville in Southwest Michigan, know it’s spring when the Purple Martins come home to roost and raise their young right in the B&B’s backyard.

 

Hardy pansies can handle dips in temperatures below freezing. Victoria Resort B&B is already greeting guests with pots of gaily-colored pansies at their front door near the Lake Michigan shoreline in South Haven.

Hardy winter pansies can handle dips in temperatures even below freezing. Victoria Resort B&B is already greeting guests with pots of these gaily-colored blossins at their front door near the Lake Michigan shoreline in South Haven.

Discover these and other fine Michigan B&Bs in Michigan’s premier online B&B directory, where you can rest assured that every inn listed is certified “quality inspected and approved.”  That means each B&B is guaranteed safe, clean, comfortable, hospitable and professionally run by innkeepers who know and use best practices. Relax. Enjoy.

Michigan B&Bs Share Promises of Spring

March 27th, 2015 by linda

They haven’t appeared quite yet — those magical first signs that spring has arrived. So our Michigan bed and breakfast inns got together some of their favorite early-springtime photos to remind you to keep the faith: the season is almost here.

At Willow Pond B&B, Fenwick

Sandhill Cranes

In recent Facebook posts, At Willow Pond B&B’s innkeeper alerted us to the babble of Sandhill Cranes flying overhead on their return to Michigan to nest. Pitched somewhere between a chitter and a chortle, their song is as distinctive a harbinger of spring as the sweet warble of the robin. Click on the image to hear their unmistakable sound.

Dewey Lake Manor, Brooklyn

Pussy WillowPussy Willows will soon be on display at Dewey Lake Manor. Did you know their slim, white flowers have no petals? Instead, the blossoms are soft, furry cylinders called catkins.

 

 

 Prairieside Suites, Grandville

ForsythiaYellow Forsythia are among the very first flowering  shrubs to say hello to spring. Where you see Forsythia today, you’ll see Lilacs tomorrow, and that’s a promise.

About spring, Anne Rivers Siddons wrote this in “The House Next Door”:
Forsythia that I thought had been dozed into oblivion sprang up
and misted the foundations with lemon icing I yearn for all winter.

 

Victoria Resort B&B, South Haven

Good bye pinecones and silk flowers. No matter how exquisitely fashioned, nothing compares to a morning cup of coffee enjoyed while feasting the eyes on fresh-cut daffodils and hyacinth straight from the the garden. Ahhh, Spring.

Good bye pinecones and silk flowers. No matter how exquisitely fashioned, nothing compares to a morning cup of coffee enjoyed while feasting the eyes on fresh-cut daffodils and hyacinth straight from the the garden. Ahhh, springtime.

Join us every week for another peek into springtime until the real deal arrives. Then, we’ll live it rather than just dream it. Discover all the great places to get away this spring, featured in our online B&B directory. Take advantage of seasonal, spring-fling discounts and deals available at many of our member inns. Lake to Lake-member B&Bs are inspected and certified for quality, safety, cleanliness and professionalism. And that’s a promise, too.

Just Baked Baked-Goods Make B&B Breakfasts the Best

February 19th, 2015 by linda

Leonard at Logan House in Grand Rapids serves its creative take on the tradition muffin: Chocolate-Chunk French toast with Blueberry Sauce. Yum.

Leonard at Logan House in Grand Rapids serves its own creative take on the traditional muffin: Chocolate-Chunk French Toast with Blueberry Sauce. Yum.

Michigan B&Bs don’t just serve up a mean muffin: they fresh bake their breakfast breads every day. Each batch is designed to delight their overnight guests, who enjoy their first meal of the day “on the house” as part of their stay. Their stay also includes complimentary sodas and assorted beverages, coffees and teas and “bottomless” cookie jars. Sometimes, the innkeeper whips together a delectable evening dessert and offers a glass of wine. Try getting this at a chain motel.

Dove Nest B&B takes advantage of Michigan's abundance of home-grown fruits, serving this Blueberry Bread with berries fresh or fresh-frozen. Fine the recipe here.

Dove Nest B&B takes advantage of Michigan’s abundance of home-grown fruits, serving this Blueberry Bread with berries fresh or fresh-frozen. Find the recipe here.

Adventure Inn not only serves these delicious Apple-Cinnamon Crisscross Rolls, it shares the easy, make-at-home recipe in our online cookbook.

Adventure Inn not only serves these delicious Apple-Cinnamon Crisscross Rolls, it shares the easy, make-at-home recipe in our online cookbook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Schooner Manitou, a tall-ship B&B that plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay, muffins, biscuits and more are all backed fresh each morning , on board in this wood-burning stove. How's that for authentic?

On the Schooner Manitou, a tall-ship B&B that plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay, muffins, biscuits and more are all baked fresh each morning , on board in this wood-burning stove. How’s that for authentic?

 

These Banana-Nut Muffins are one of dozens of varieties the innkeepers at The Painted Turtle Inn serve to delight their guests.

These Banana-Nut Muffins are one of many varieties The Painted Turtle Inn serves its guests.

In South Haven, the heart of Michigan's blueberry belt, Victoria Resort B&B fashions treat after blueberry treat all season long.

In South Haven, the heart of Michigan’s blueberry belt, Victoria Resort B&B fashions treat after blueberry treat all season long.

 

 

At Willow Pond makes honey from its own bees and invites you to drizzle it over hot fresh biscuits.

At Willow Pond B&B makes honey from its own bees and invites you to drizzle it over hot, fresh, homemade biscuits.

Are you hungry yet? Ready for a B&B get-away? Search our website for all one hundred of our member inns all across Michigan. Print out innkeepers’ favorite breakfast and dinner entrees, baked goods and “sweet endings” from our online recipe book to make in your own kitchen.

“B&B” Means Bountiful Breakfasts

February 6th, 2015 by linda

You can talk about food all you want, but the next best thing to eating it is seeing it. Enjoy these bountiful breakfast entrees offered by our Michigan bed and breakfast inns.

Huron House B&B   and   Adventure Inn B&B

Bountiful blog snip Adventure and Huron

Apples naturally make us think of a sweet flavor, but the seasoning combination brings a more savory flavor to the table at Victoria Resort.

Apples naturally make us think of a sweet taste, but the seasoning combination brings a more savory flavor to the table at Victoria Resort.

This past fall, Victoria Resort B&B owner Jan Leksich was stocking up at a local farm stand when she spotted a recipe for a quiche made with apples. Intrigued, she brought it back to her team of innkeepers who quickly added their own magic. First, they started with a homemade crust. Then they taste tested. They voted to change the onion component, add some sage, exchange the Swiss for sharp cheddar –and a week later the final recipe was ready for guests. The guests’ vote? Delicious!

At Willow POnd breakfast entreeNowhere is breakfast fresher than At Willow Pond B&B, located in the heart of Amish country midway between Grand Rapids and Lansing. The peppers are from their garden. The eggs are from their chickens who have their own following on the inn’s Facebook page. The toast is from a homemade light honey-banana whole wheat, and you can find the recipe right here in our online cookbook. The bacon is “Walnut Creek” from the Country Pantry, a Mennonite store in the nearby village of Sheridan, where the innkeepers vie with horse and buggies for a parking space.

Bountiful Kingsley House Creme Brulee French Toast

You can make the Kingley House Creme Brulee French Toast yourself. It will look like this and taste fabulous.

Creme Brulee French Toast was a menu favorite at Kingsley House B&B even before the new owners purchased the inn last year. It’s so good, they kept it for the pleasure of those staying with them in Fennville, just minutes from the Lake Michigan shore. Adapted from a recipe in Epicurious that was later shared by a B&B in Maine, innkeepers Chris and Brenda Brzys often serve it with maple-glazed smoked sausage Chris prepares on his smoker. To taste it, either give yourself the gift of a getaway at Kingsley House, or fix it yourself using the recipe shared once again — with you.

Kingsley House Creme Brulee French Toast

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread (We like to use challah bread)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation
In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature. Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot French toast immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Want more great breakfast recipes? Visit B&B Recipe Favorites online and choose from about 400!

Michigan B&Bs: Beyond Breakfast

January 28th, 2015 by linda

While “Breakfast” is the second “B” in B&B, many Michigan inns pride themselves on going Beyond Breakfast, wowing their guests with taste treats in the evenings and the afternoons.

Huron House B&B

Huron House B&B Treats

At Willow Pond B&B

At Willow Pond cake

Adventure Inn B&B and Torch Lake B&B

Beyond Blog 3

Find a hundred more inspected and approved B&B-member inns

Endless cookies

Visit our online cookbook to discover Michigan innkeepers’
favorite 
recipes — for breakfast and beyond. 

The Overlooked Breakfast “B” in Michigan B&B

January 8th, 2015 by linda

Fresh fruit with edible flowers, topped with a creme fraiche skiimed from organic milk forms a fantasy first breakfast course at Historic Webster House in Bay City.

Fresh fruit with edible flowers, topped with a creme fraiche skimmed from organic milk forms a fantasy first breakfast course at Historic Webster House in Bay City.

We’ve spent months talking about how a B&B’s architecture makes it unique from other lodgings and from other bed and breakfast inns. We’ve talked about the warmth of innkeepers’ hospitality and we’ve talked about luxury beds and bedding. We’ve talked about location. How did we miss rhapsodizing about that all important second “B” in the B&B equation? When we say “B,” we’re talking about more than breakfast: we’re talking about great food, real food, farm-to-table food — fresh food, home-made food, delicious food.

At Willow Pond B&B near Greenville collects your eggs from the chicken coop fresh each morning and serves hot, fresh-baked biscuits with their own pure home-grown honey.

At Willow Pond B&B near Greenville collects your eggs fresh from the chicken coop each morning and serves hot, home-baked biscuits with their own pure home-grown honey.

Country Hermitage B&B just outside Traverse city is surrounded by cherry orchards, the source of fresh cherry-stuffed pancakes served alongside locally-processed sauce-free, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork.

Country Hermitage B&B just outside Traverse city is surrounded by cherry orchards, the source of fresh cherry-stuffed pancakes served alongside locally-processed sauce-free, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork.

The wondrous part of the food experience is that staying in a B&B costs no more than staying in a chain motel or hotel when you add in the extra cash you would dole out for a hot and healthy breakfast for two, bottled waters, sodas, coffees, teas — often even a glass of wine — not to mention evening treats and “endless” cookie jars….. all the necessities of life come free when you stay at a B&B.

Stay tuned for our next featured food installment, appearing here soon! You can make it easy on yourself by subscribing now so you never miss a post in the future.

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More of Michigan’s Best B&Bs – Part 5

March 7th, 2014 by linda

Our member B&B’s are among the world’s finest — only better, because they are here in Pure Michigan. At each of them, you’ll experience touches of local color you won’t find anywhere else. Discover At Willow Pond B&B, Glen Arbor B&B and Voyager’s Inn B&B. Each is distinct from the other, yet each is distinctly Michigan.

At Willow Pond, Fenwick (SW)
At Willow Pond horseback

A handful of Michigan inns are worlds unto themselves. Take At Willow Pond B&B, for example, located in Fenwick just outside Greenville. Their hens freshly lay the eggs you’ll enjoy each morning. You can slather Claire’s hot-from-the-oven baked goods with honey from their own bees and jams from their own fruit. There are horses for riding, 25 acres of all-season grounds brimming with wildlife and trails, a stocked fish and swimming pond and a hot tub under the stars. Lest you picture a traditional farmhouse, picture instead a new and contemporary rustic wood-sided home complete with a real wood fireplace that crackles with warmth all winter long, WiFi throughout and satellite TV in four spacious guest rooms with private baths. It’s just an hour from Grand Rapids, Lansing and Mount Pleasant. What are you waiting for?

Glen Arbor B&B, Sleeping Bear Dunes Area, (NW)
Glenn Arbor new exterior

Glen Arbor Google Site MapIf you know Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, you only need to see this snip of Google map to envision the dunes and the water and the wonder that is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along the Leelanau Peninsula. When you visit this piece of paradise, named last year by “Good Morning America” viewers as the “most beautiful place in the U.S.”, why not make your vacation headquarters an inn that turns special into spectacular – an inn like Glen Arbor B&B? Its spacious rooms, decorated in sunny yellows and summer-sky blues, are designed to accommodate a range of guests from couples to families with older children. Set in the heart of the Village of Glen Arbor, it’s an easy walk to artisan shops, boutiques, galleries, pubs, fine dining, canoe liveries…. So what are you waiting for?

Voyager’s Inn, Three Rivers (SW)
Voyager's Inn music_parlor

With its massive oak and cherry pocket doors, hardwood floors, gingerbread scroll work and a grand staircase, Voyager’s Inn is a showcase of the Victorian era’s finest craftsmanship. Despite its historical roots, its amenities are state-of-the-art from private baths and WiFi throughout to luxury sheets, hypoallergenic bedding, cable TV and central air. Like the finest B&Bs everywhere, Voyager’s Inn serves complimentary hot and cold beverages around the clock as well as sweet treats in the Parlor every evening. (Nope. No extra charge.) Its signature breakfasts are legendary for fresh, local produce, dairy products and meats. Just minutes from Kalamazoo, the B&B is located on a friendly residential street in the small town of Three Rivers, where the St. Joseph River meets its tributaries — the Rocky and Portage rivers.

Have you stayed at one of these B&Bs? Share your experience with us by “rating your stay.”

These are just three of 100 Michigan inns that are quality-inspected members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. Discover all the other wonderful places to stay and play on our website. You can count on them to deliver every measure of quality.

Amish and Mennonite Shopping Surround this Michigan B&B

February 9th, 2012 by linda

Claire and Jerome Vandenberg are innkeepers at At Willow Pond B&B in Fenwick, just outside Greenville and northeast of Grand Rapids. Claire and Jerome have secrets…. secrets they are willing to share with you provided you keep them under your hat. Promise?

At Willow Pond is smack in between two communities so self-contained, they are sometimes perceived as reclusive. They have shops with food stuffs and fabrics, furniture and quilts and hand-made lace you would never know were there if the innkeepers weren’t willing to tell you. That’s because the Mennonites to the east and the Amish to the northwest aren’t online and often don’t even have telephones. They don’t advertise anywhere, except by word-of-mouth. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a sign in a front yard — and that’s your only clue to these secret gems sprinkled throughout the rural countryside.

The Country Pantry

Claire says they shop at The Country Pantry, a bulk food store and more at 6440 E Carson City Rd in Sheridan,  989-584-6291. The store features a deli with delicious meats and cheeses and a wide variety of produce the owners and nearby farmers grow. It also features baked goods and homemade snacks, hand-made lace and amazing chiming clocks and…. And the owners breed Labradoodles. Business cards and a sign out front are the extent of their advertising.

Whitetail Hollow

The owners are friends of the family that owns Whitetail Hollow. Their store is out in the country and features beautifully-crafted rustic, hand-made log furniture. They also offer a wide variety of decor and gift items, candles, blankets, art and more. Like The Country Pantry, Whitetail Hollow has no presence on the World Wide Web and doesn’t advertise. The store is located at 5139 Town Hall Road, Sheridan, 989-291-5599.

Miner Road Fabrics is another Mennonite-owned gem of a find at 9617 Miner Rd in Carson City, 989-584-2163

The Amish are another story. North of the City of Greenville and south of Lakeview, discover Farm Country Cheese House, which makes and sells “Artisan-style Amish Cheese.” It is not owned by Amish: the Amish make the cheese. And while it does boast a website, it also posts a sign saying “No Pictures.” That’s why there are no pictures of it or any Amish store in this post.

Here, more than 25 varieties of cheese are made from grass-fed cows, hand-milked by the Amish who own them. You can watch them make the cheese from behind a huge viewing window, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Within a couple miles of the cheese house, you can also visit Mary’s Bake Shop as well as a rustic hand-made furniture store and numerous homes with signs advertising quilts, rag rugs and hand-made baskets. Just stop in, any day except Sunday.

Amish? Mennonite? What’s the difference? Sara from The Country Pantry told Claire that while their beliefs are essentially the same, there are a few simple differences. Amish worship in people’s homes; Mennonites have a place of worship. Amish have beards; Mennonite don’t. Both dress modestly, although the Amish are more plain while the Mennonite wear color. Both use horse and buggy and work their farms with horses. Mennonite have phone and electric power; Amish do not.

If you’d like to explore these extra-well-kept secrets, At Willow Pond invites you to stay with them and take it all in.  Besides giving you a luxurious night’s sleep and freshly-laid eggs in the morning — even a horseback ride or a fishing pole for the pond, Claire will make sure you have directions to these and other hidden-away shops just waiting-to-be-discovered.

NOTE: We’d LOVE you to comment on this post. Please scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to do so.

 

 

 

 


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