Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wine Tasting Weekend Part Two: The Rockford Inn

As previously mentioned, I booked our suite for the weekend at The Rockford Inn back in November. We were originally considering staying at a cabin near Flint Hill Vineyards/Century Kitchen (recommended by the Chef at Century Kitchen; vineyard and restaurant to be discussed later). However, although it was lovely, it was a) way too large for just the two of us and b) was more like a timeshare, meaning, no food was provided but a full kitchen was. As we really wanted to try at least two restaurants while there, this just didn't make sense. So, I started checking out B&Bs and decide this one looked to be about the nicest (plus fairly reasonable, although it seems to me that B&Bs have some agreement amongst themselves about what rates to charge for what sort of room, fulls vs. continental breakfast, etc.)
First off, I really liked the fact that I could look at each of the three available rooms on-line (pictures), check availability, and make a reservation. Within minutes of so doing, I had a confirmation email. A few days before we were set to check in, I sent an email inquiring as to whether the rooms had mini-refrigerators. I thus entered into a several email conversation with Hannah, one of the owners, who told me there were not fridges in the rooms BUT we were more than welcome to use the fridge in the kitchen; plus, she would have complimentary sodas, water and "snacks" available as well. I asked her about the two restaurants we were considering; she told us we couldn't go wrong with either and also suggested a few others in the area (along with detailed directions from the inn to each). Finally, she sent instructions on how to get to the inn from various starting points.
We arrived at the inn around 4:45. It was just starting to get dark; many of the lights were turned on inside so it was very inviting. When we walked in the door, there was a note from Hannah to call her cell and she'd come right over (she and her husband Doug live next door). While waiting for Hannah, we found our room, The Vineyard Suite, which was located upstairs (running the entire length of the 2nd floor). We discovered a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and two glasses waiting for us in our room (from Stony Knoll, where we had just been tasting a half hour previously!)
Hannah arrived and gave us the run-down, which was quite simple. No one else had booked that weekend so we had the house to ourselves. True to her word, there were sodas and water in the fridge in the kitchen; plus, a huge bowl of nuts, another of dark chocolate kisses and a covered tray of yummy looking cookies on the side board in the kitchen. She asked us what time we wanted to eat (we agreed on 9:00 am Saturday and 8:30 am Sunday), told us a bit more about a few more restaurants, and left us to our own devices.
As it turned out, we were so stuffed from our late lunch that we elected to just hang out in the house/our room that evening. We went outside to smoke a cigar on the back porch (no smoking, of course, inside). It was delightful; cool but clear and almost completely quiet save a lone dog barking off in the far distance. We enjoyed our wine and each other's company.
The next morning we headed downstairs (a very steep set of stairs, I might add)
for breakfast. We were a bit early so it wasn't quite ready. No matter; we had a cup of coffee in the kitchen (complete with a roaring fire) and talked to Doug and Hannah. Doug provided quite a bit of background/history of the inn; built in 1848, always been in his family, his aunt had owned it, they bought it when she died and turned it into a B&B. They bought land next door and built a house there. While we were talking, their dog Floppy (a terrier mutt) came to the door; stone deaf, as it turned out, but very cute. They rescued Floppy 12 years earlier when his former owners left town in the middle of the night and left poor Floppy behind. My heart broke a bit when Hannah talked about Floppy waiting outside on his porch for two weeks, waiting for them to come back for him. Of course, they never did and Floppy went on to have a much better life with Hannah and Doug. As an aside, I'd place Hannah and Doug somewhere in their fifties; they have two children, 27 and 24.
Breakfast our first morning included fruit with yogurt, an egg and bacon casserole, bacon and sausage, cheese grits and biscuits. There was enough food there for a full house so, suffice it to say, we did not leave the table hungry and, in fact, did not eat again that day until roughly 6:00 pm. While we were eating, Hannah brought us a few brochures about some of the (very many) wineries in the area and also information regarding other activities going on that day. Of course, we already knew we were going to go to a few wineries, so, we appreciated her recommendation on which ones we may like.

We had a great day tasting (more on that in the next entry) and returned to the inn around 7:30 or so that evening. Fairly well exhausted, we did not do too much that evening.
The next morning, Sunday, we woke to rain splattering on the tin roof and the aroma of fresh coffee and bacon wafting up from the kitchen. I was sort of sorry we couldn't simply go get coffee and laze around in bed awhile listening to that rain, but, we'd said we'd be down at 8:30 so they could get done in time enough to go to church (BTW, there are an inordinate number of churches in the area; we couldn't figure out where that many people came from to fill up the congregations!)
Breakfast Sunday was truly delightful. In addition to fruit and yogurt, there was a Praline French toast casserole with raspberry sauce (she'd strained the seeds out) plus sides of bacon and sausage. We both ate more of this than we probably should have (but, again, we didn't end up eating again until dinner that evening).
We'd had our fill of wine tasting the previous day so elected to get cleaned up, load up the car, and head out. Although check out time was 11, we were assured we could take as long as we wanted. As it was, though, we were driving away by 10:15.
We really liked this inn and will more than likely return at some point, perhaps even with a few friends in tow to fill up the other two rooms.
Mrs. B


Mr. B said...

Great summary honey!

Had a great time - we will definitely have to do this again sometime in the future.


Anonymous said...

sounds wonderful, Amy!