Posts Tagged ‘Fresh and Local’

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.

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.

Blog subscribe

Michigan Food and Michigan B&Bs: A Combo for All Seasons

March 18th, 2012 by linda

There are a lot of pleasures we can’t enjoy in this “between seasons” time of year. But the one pleasure we can enjoy any time of year is food. Enjoy world-class culinary experiences all across Michigan, regardless of the weather. Transform an afternoon or evening of “foodie” delight into to a one-tank-of-gas mini vacation by staying overnight in another of Michigan’s culinary staples: a quality-assured, professionally-inspected Lake-to-Lake-member bed and breakfast inn.

Photos Courtesy Ken Fedraw, Grand Victorian Inn, Bellaire.

During any season in Saugatuck, you can schedule a “Culinary Walk” to discover the tasty secrets behind the Saugatuck and Douglas retail facades — or a “Delicious Drive” to a variety of farm-to-table venues with Hungry Village Tours. This is the premier way to experience the “fresh and local,” “food to fork” movement of area farms and creative artisan producers. Earlier this year, we told you about “Salt of the Earth,” a culinary destination in itself, located close to Saugatuck in downtown Fennville. SotE is just one of many flavorful stops on a “Delicious Drive” tour.

Then enjoy a great night’s rest at any of dozens of B&B’s near and along the Lake Michigan coast — here, and here, and here. Awaken to a home-cooked breakfast, from bountiful and farm fresh to elegant and gourmet. The choices are endless and provide the perfect flourish to a getaway of culinary delights.

Head north to the Old Mission Peninsula’s award-winning Chateau Chantal, near Traverse City. Park your car and enter a sprawling, elegant chateau that might be set in the heart of French wine country — except for the sparkling panoramas of the  west and east arms of Grand Traverse Bay that surround it. A winery, a vineyard and a B&B, Chateau Chantal specializes in cooking classes including Wine Immersion on March 31 and instruction on creating home-made Italian pastas and sauces on April 21. If the Chateau’s B&B is full up, choose from among these clean, comfortable, safe and completely unique area inns.

Whatever part of Michigan you choose to visit, you’ll find wineries. And where there are wineries, there’s food and B&Bs. Select a promising wine district here. Then select your bed and breakfast lodging here.

Zingerman’s Deli and Bakehouse in Ann Arbor is a tourist attraction in its own right, offering “Bake!” and “Bake-cations” weekend and week-long cooking classes.  Learn to bake  “Cin-ful Cinnamon Rolls” on March 24. Make tasting Ann Arbor’s culinary delights a day-long trip. Then enjoy a European-style breakfast after a luxurious night’s sleep at Vitosha Guest Haus. If Vitosha is full, nearby Chelsea is home to The Chelsea House Victorian Inn and Waterloo Gardens B&B. Chelsea is also home to the renowned four-star “Common Grill” downtown — a culinary destination and delight all on its own.

Keep a “weather eye” on upcoming blogs for other foodie fun that doesn’t care whether it’s raining or snowing.  Scroll to the very bottom of this page and tell us your favorite Michigan culinary destination.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Michigan B&Bs Invite You to Explore Winter’s Secret Gardens of Delight

January 6th, 2012 by linda

Welcome to the first in a series of secrets our Michigan Bed and Breakfast members are going to share with you…. and only you. So shhh. Don’t tell.

Our first secret garden is a true delight, revealed by Paulette Clouse, innkeeper of J. Paules Fenn Inn B&B in Fennville. Now, you might think visiting Fennville in the middle of winter is…. well…. dull? You would be so wrong. These next two months are when Fennville comes alive with the Salt of the Earth Mid-Winter Concert Series providing world-class musical entertainment every Sunday night starting January 8 and continuing through February 26.

Starting Sunday, January 8 with the Midnight Cattle Callers performing country swing; and ending Sunday, February 26 with Riely O'Connor, Molly Moon, Dave Boutette and Josh Rose in the "Winter Songwriters Summit," enjoy concerts at 7 p.m. every Sunday evening. Table reservations are a must. Call 269-561-7258.

 

Salt of the Earth in downtown Fennville promises “Honest Food and Friendly Folks.”

First, a word or two about Salt of the Earth. It’s a rustic, unique and authentically-American restaurant that specialzes in fresh and locally-grown foods and artisan breads. It advertises “honest food and friendly folks.”  It takes pride in listing its local food sources on its website. For example, there’s Crane Orchards, another signature attraction in Fennville; CJ Veggies in nearby Zeeland; Mud Lake Farm in neighboring Hudsonville, Farm Country Cheese House just north of Grand Rapids in Lakeville — and a raft of other local sources. Isn’t it refreshing to know the food you are eating is fresh and produced in Pure Michigan gardens, fields and pastures?

Shoud you go, be sure to make reservations in advance — both for the music and for lodging. If J.Paule’s Fenn Inn is full up, The Kingsley House is a half-mile away and Heritage Manor Inn is just six miles out.

Search for nearby B&B’s here. Or use this handy search tool, pictured left, located on the home page of the Lake to Lake website.

If you’re new to our blog, you need to know that B&Bs are not only a better way stay, B&Bs that are members of the association are the best way to stay. They are virtually guaranteed to meet, if not exceed, your every expectation for comfort, safety, cleanliness and professionalism. First to become a member, then regularly thereafter, Lake to Lake members must pass intensive “Quality Assurance” inspections conducted by third-party professionals, passing a demanding checklist of more than 100 standards. When you choose to stay at a Lake to Lake-member B&B, we promise you can “rest assured.”

 

 

 


»