Thursday, April 3, 2014

Where Can I Tour a Country Estate?

Every two years the Women's Association of Morristown (NJ) Medical Center conducts its signature fundraiser, "Mansion in May", which raises thousands of dollars to support the hospital's programs. The group selects a country estate in either Morris or Somerset County and invites renowned area interior and landscape designers to turn it into a spectacular showcase, which attracts thousands of visitors.


This year's mansion, located in the tony burg of Peapack-Gladstone, is Blairsden, the 500-acre, 62,000 square foot mansion built by New York financier, C Ledyard Blair. Designed by the firm of Carrere and Hastings who also built the New York Public Library and the Frick Museum, the house is one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States.

A mile-long driveway leads up to the house. The estate also features twenty acres of formally landscaped gardens, tennis courts, plunge pools and pavilions. ...and the Newport glitterati thought THEY had the monopoly on luxurious living!

The tour is open from May 1st through May 31st. Tickets can be purchased either online or at the door. Advance tickets cost $40 per person, but after April 30th, the price goes up to $50

Offsite parking is available at:

USET Fowler Road Field
576 Fowler Rd.
Gladstone, NJ 07934

A free shuttle will take you from the parking lot to the mansion. There is no parking at the estate, and it cannot be accessed on foot.

Insider's tip:

Regardless of how luxurious the fabrics are or how glossy the furnishings, do not touch anything. The tour is conducted by volunteer docents, and they take their job very seriously. Two years ago when I toured Glynallyn, I got reprimanded three times in 10 minutes.


Ros


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main St.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369
www.whistlingswaninn.com
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Where Can I Bicycle Near Stanhope, NJ?

Okay, so there's still snow on the ground. However, I'm optimistic that warm weather is just around the corner. We've turned our clocks ahead, which has always been the harbinger of Spring for me. 

The Whistling Swan Inn is running a special during April and May for all you cycling enthusiasts. We are very close to the Sussex Branch Trail, which is an old preserved rail bed. Let it be said that I have not ridden this trail, nor do I intend to, but Tom is an avid cyclist, and I have it on his authority that this is one of the best in the state of New Jersey. 

The trail takes you through 21 miles of changing scenery. You'll go through forests, farmland and small towns in this bucolic corner of the New Jersey Skylands. You'll pass through rock cuts, woods, fields and past the pristine Cranberry Lake. There's wildlife along the way; keep on the lookout for beaver, mink, deer, muskrat, fox and otter. There's nothing more interesting than seeing animals frolicking in their natural habitats.

Now for the special ... with any two-night stay in April or May, we will provide you with a complimentary loaner bike (or you can bring your own if you want), a customized bike trail map and a delectable picnic lunch.

Got cabin fever after this horrible winter? Oil up your bike, get out that helmet and come to the Whistling Swan Inn this Spring for some fun and exercise.


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main St.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369
www.whistlingswaninn.com
Check availability
Follow us on Pinterest
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Monday, March 3, 2014

What Can I Expect from a Bed and Breakfast?

Welcome to the
Whistling Swan Inn
Over the past 25 years, more people are choosing to stay in bed and breakfast inns over the large hotels. One of the best things about a B and B is that each one is unique and offers the type of personalized hospitality that chain properties simply cannot provide. And yet, some misperceptions about the B and B experience still exist. That being said, here's what you can expect when you visit the Whistling Swan Inn.

1. Privacy

Privacy is a concept so dear it's guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, and you'll get it here. We'll be around and available, but never intrusive. If you want to know about the history of the house, things to do in the area or why I decided to become an innkeeper, I'm delighted to tell you. But there is no mandatory socialization with either the innkeepers or other guests. No one will summon you to tea in the drawing room at precisely 4:00 pm like on Downtown Abbey

2. Scrumptious food

Our breakfasts have been touted consistently by our guests. It's served buffet style with two hot entrees and all the accompaniments, so you can stroll down anytime during the breakfast hours to help yourself. Enjoy it at an intimate table for two or on the veranda in nice weather. Read the morning paper if that's your Sunday routine. No one will hold you captive at a communal dining table. You can even take a breakfast tray up to your room if you wish. Hungry or thirsty before or after breakfast? There's a 24-hour hospitality bar with my signature chocolate chip cookies and other snacks and beverages available.

3. Your own bathroom

One of the more popular myths about B and B's is that guests have to share a hall bathroom. Another popular interpretation of a private bath is that while it's private for your room, you have to step across the hall to use it. Not here. Not ever. Each room has its own private bath en suite, which loosely translated from the French means "part of your room".  So, you don't have to worry about being seen in your jammies. 

4. Five-star amenities

You don't have to sacrifice luxury when you come to my inn. Each room is elegantly appointed with exquisite bed linens, cushy robes and fluffy towels. Toss some bath salts into the Jacuzzi tub and relax. Forgot your shampoo, body lotion or hair dryer? Don't fret - we've got them.

5. Modern conveniences

While it's true that the Whistling Swan Inn is a restored Victorian mansion, the architecture is the only thing that predates the 21st century. There are ample power strips for your electronic devices. Yes, I did say electronic devices. Each room is equipped with a flat-panel TV, DVD player and expanded cable, so you don't have to miss that college basketball game. Some even have I-pod docking stations. If you must stay connected with your office or Facebook friends, we have WiFi, and it's free. Best of all, there's not a doily or antimacassar in sight.

6. Personalized service

At the Whistling Swan Inn, it's all about the guest. You can expect warm hospitality from the moment you enter the door. You'll get shown to your room, not pointed toward it. The entire staff is here to ensure you have everything you need. You have but to ask.

All these features stack up to a one-of-a-kind getaway experience. Why not come see us and experience it for yourself?


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main St.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369
www.whistlingswaninn.com
Check availability
Follow us on Pinterest
Follow us on Twitter