Friday, March 30, 2012

B.A.R.K.S. Garage Sale at Wild West City

My assistant innkeeper, Alice, knows I'm always on the lookout for good deals on furniture or accessories for the Whistling Swan Inn. I was almost giddy with excitement when she told me this week about the Byram Animal Rescue Kindness Squad (B.A.R.K.S) garage sale to be held at Wild West City, Netcong, New Jersey, on April 14-15, 2012.

This is the garage sale to end all garage sales, with over 200,000 - yes, I said 200,000 items. Clothing, furniture, tools, housewares, china, silver, crystal and jewelry will be on sale from 9:00-5:00 pm. B.A.R.K.S., a non-profit organization, works in association with the Byram Township Pound and has been helping stray and abandoned animals since 1973. All proceeds from the sale will benefit homeless animals like the little beauty in the photo.

With list in hand...I'll be there as soon as the last breakfast dish is put away.

... and so the adventures continue...join us.

Ros


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Uncle Floyd Comes to The Stanhope House - April 1, 2012


On Sunday, April 1, 2012, Uncle Floyd will appear on the Roadhouse Stage at the Stanhope House, which is a short three-block walk from The Whistling Swan Inn. Showtime is at 7:00 pm and tickets are $10 per person.

I was introduced to Uncle Floyd more than 30 years ago when I first met my brother-in-law, Mike, who along with his friends, was a big-time fan of his show, which aired on NJ public television from 1974 through 1998. Called the "comedic king of the Tin Pan Alley piano", this Glen Rock, New Jersey native gained a devoted following with his slapstick comedy, piano music and antics of his puppet sidekick, Oogie.

It's amazing what can happen in 30+ years. Although no longer on the airwaves, Uncle Floyd performs almost every night of the year and can still draw a decent crowd, particularly in Atlantic City.
As for my brother-in-law, he's a big-time CPA who still gets a kick out of Uncle Floyd's humor. Who knew?

...and so the adventures continue...join us

Ros


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Earn a Select Registry Loyalty Program Gift Certificate

The Whistling Swan Inn, located in Stanhope, NJ, is a proud member of the Select Registry family of distinguished inns throughout North America. Each year we are inspected (anonymously, I might add) to confirm that we are maintaining the highest level of service, quality and hospitality as set forth by the association's stringent criteria. When guests choose a Select Registry property, it is almost assured they will experience the finest in accommodations.

The Golden Quill Loyalty Program has recently been launched online. Now guests can enter their stays wherever and whenever they choose, in the comfort of their own homes. How cool is that?

It's very simple. The guest joins the program online and registers his B&B stay. The innkeeper is asked to confirm the actual stay. Once guests have accumulated 12 room nights, they will receive a $100 gift certificate directly from Select Registry that can be used toward their next bed and breakfast experience. What could be easier?

A few rules and restrictions apply, so it's always good to read the fine print. To learn more about this Association and its members or to locate a property for your next vacation, go to www.selectregistry.com.


... and so the adventures continue... join us
Ros


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main St.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Springfest Garden Show in Sussex County, NJ

I'm mad about fresh flowers. Nothing screams "spring" like a colorful bouquet, and frankly, if money were no object, I would have a floral designer fill every room in the Whistling Swan Inn with fresh flowers twice a week. But alas, money is most definitely an object, so I will have to content myself with visiting the Springfest Flower and Garden Show, which opens at the Sussex County Fairgrounds on March 15th and runs through March 18th, 2012.

The show will feature daily lectures by well known speakers, including Ken Druse, an award-winning photographer, author and New Jersey gardener, as well as celebrity chef demonstrations.

A variety of educational exhibits will also be on display. The area’s premier landscape companies are invited to Springfest each year and donate their time and resources to build innovative and inspiring garden displays.

Don't miss The Garden Café. Its exquisite décor, encourages visitors to linger while they enjoy a delicious lunch or fine pastries with gourmet coffees, teas, and wine bar.

The mission of the Springfest Flower and Garden Show is to promote horticulture, environmental stewardship and educational activities. All proceeds from the show go toward funding improvements and maintenance of the agricultural facilities at the Sussex County Fairgrounds.

The Fairgrounds are located at 37 Plains Rd. in Augusta, a mere 30 minutes from the Whistling Swan Inn. It's open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and tickets are $11 for adults. For more information call: 973-948-9948.

... and so the adventures continue...join us.

Ros


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ 07874
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Bed, Breakfast and Bridle in Stanhope, NJ

Since buying the Whistling Swan Inn in Stanhope, NJ, I've made some new friends, albeit some of them only over the telephone. My friend, Christine, manages the family-owned Spring Valley Equestrian Center, which is located in Newton, NJ, a mere 13 miles from the Inn.

The Equestrian Center offers horseback riding along the Paulinskill Valley Trail, which is a rail trail along the Paulins Kill River. The sixth longest trail in the state, the Paulinskill Valley Trail boasts 27 miles of some of the most breathtaking scenery in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Trail rides are given by reservation only. Please call 973-383-3766 in advance to schedule your ride. Novice riders need not be concerned, because instructions on the proper use of how to handle a horse both in the ring and on the trail are provided by the Center's instructor guides. The fee for a one-hour ride is $30 per person.

It's been a long time since I've ridden a horse. Well, OK, I've only been on a horse once, back in my early 20's, which is more years ago than I care to acknowledge. Despite being jounced around so much that I ached for 5 days, I never lost my awe of these majestic beasts, and it's clear why horseback riding is call the "sport of kings". Maybe this spring, I'll call Christine and try it again.

... and so the adventures continue... join us.

Ros

Ros Bruno
Owner/Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Guest Comfort is #1

At the Whistling Swan Inn, our guests' feedback shapes the way we do business. A comfortable guest experience is #1 on our priority list. The breakfast can be scrumptious, the linens exquisite and the room immaculate, but if the guest is not comfortable, he probably won't stay with us again.

Recently we attended an industry conference sponsored by the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) in Little Rock, AR. Held annually, the conference presents the latest and greatest on a wide variety of topics ranging from Internet presence to hosting elegant and romantic weddings at your inn.

One of the breakout workshops focused on what guests are looking for when they stay at bed and breakfast inns. Based on the survey results, most guests indicated that they did not necessarily want to sit a table in the morning and have to make conversation with strangers. They wanted choices.

Hmm, excuse the pun, but that was food for thought. By the time we'd arrived home from the airport, Tom and I had decided to reconfigure our dining room from its current state of a long table seating 10, to several smaller tables accommodating 2-4 guests. We're happy to report that guest feedback, particularly from those who are regulars, is universally positive.

... and so the adventures continue... join us

Ros

Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Romantic Getaway at the Whistling Swan Inn


I'm a sucker for romance. Since taking over the Whistling Swan Inn this past November, I've congratulated five young women who came down to breakfast sporting diamond engagement rings. The moment they walked into the dining room, their excitement was palpable and contagious.

February, of course, is traditionally the month designated on the calendar for romance, but at the Whistling Swan Inn, guests can book a romantic getaway all year long. Our romantic package includes:

  • Champagne or sparkling cider, iced upon arrival
  • Bouquet of roses
  • Chocolate covered strawberries, lovingly hand-dipped by myself
  • $50 gift card to one of our Stanhope, NJ area restaurants
Cost: $99 added to the room rate

Like I said, I'm a sucker for romance.

... and so the adventures continue... join us

Ros


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main St.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Apple Walnut Crepes at the Whistling Swan Inn


I've always been a foodie, but ironically enough, my interest in food extended only to eating it, rather than cooking it. So when we decided to buy the Whistling Swan Inn, my son, Matthew, had a lot of sage advice about what to serve my guests for breakfast.

"Basically Mom", he said, "B&B guests want good food, served elegantly, and they want it to be something they wouldn't necessarily cook themselves." So I set about finding new things to serve my guests that would meet Matt's criteria. This elegant dish is an adaptation from one I found in a cookbook tucked away on a hard-to-reach shelf.

Apple Walnut Crepes - Swan Style

Batter
3 eggs
3/4 C milk
1/4 Tsp salt
3/4 C flour
1/3 C water

Whisk batter ingredients until smooth. Lightly spray an 8-inch skillet with cooking spray and when hot, pour in a small amount of batter, just enough to thinly coat bottom of skillet. Cook both sides over medium-high heat, until golden brown. Gently remove from pan; place on cloth towel to cool slightly. Prepare the rest of the crepes. Makes 12 crepes; serves 6.

Filling
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced semi-thin
2 T lemon juice
1/3 C raisins
1/2 C chopped walnuts
3 T brown sugar
3 T cinnamon
Pinch cloves
6 T butter
1/3 light cream or half and half
1/2 C dark rum or apple juice
Devonshire cream, thinned orange marmalade, chopped nuts, powdered sugar for garnish

Toss apple slices with lemon juice. Add raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Heat butter in large pan. Saute apple mixture on medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cream and rum (or apple juice). Continue cooking for another minute or two until bubbling. Do NOT overcook - apples should stay firm. Arrange crepes on 6 warm plates, 2 per plate. Using a slotted spoon, fill with apple filling and a dollop of Devonshire cream. Fold tops in toward center. Drizzle folded crepes with thinned marmalade and dust with finely chopped nuts and powdered sugar.

... and so the adventures continue... join us.

Ros

Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn