Monday, September 30, 2013

Wait for it - a Water Feature at the Whistling Swan Inn

When I was a kid growing up in rural central New Jersey, a lot of my friends had ponds, creeks, rills or streams in or around their yards. My ritzier pals had fountains or waterfalls as part of the built-in swimming pool. We called them "ponds", "creeks" or "fountains". Today, they're called  "water features". A water feature...kind of like calling raw hamburger steak tartare.
Step 1 of the new water garden

But okay, I'll go with the flow (pun intended). At the Whistling Swan Inn, my New Jersey bed and breakfast, there is a hill in the back where nothing grows. So, we're putting in a water feature, which consists of a pond at the top corner of our English garden and terraced rocks with water cascading down them.

Once completed, we plan to have a cozy sitting area where guests can relax with morning coffee or an evening bottle of wine set against a backdrop of burbling water. We might even have fish! However, there is much work to be done before we buy those water plants.

The digging, is done. Tom spent an entire day with a mini excavator, rented from my pal, Eric, owner of Sussex County Rental Center. The photo at right is not a crime scene, despite the tape and six-feet deep hole at the bottom....it's Step 1 of what will be a beautiful enhancement to the Inn's landscape, designed for the enjoyment of our guests.

Check back, as I will be posting updates as each step of the process is completed.

Ros

Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main St.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369
www.whistlingswaninn.com
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Follow the Whistling Swan Inn on Twitter



It was inevitable. The Whistling Swan Inn now has a presence on Twitter. Ever the researcher, I looked "Twitter" up on Wikipedia.org and found out more than what I wanted to know or need to know for my purposes.

Since its founding in 2006, by yet another undergraduate college student, Twitter has grown exponentially, and today is the third-highest ranking social network. Currently there are 200 million users and 400 million tweets daily! That's a lot of chirping.

Now I have to learn to tweet using only the 140 characters they allow. Talk about being terse! So what will I tweet about? Because tweets are visible to the general public, I'll use this vehicle to increase awareness about the Inn, goings on in the NJ Skylands region and other stuff to help bring business to Stanhope, NJ.

My followers should be watching for "tweep" only specials at the Inn. "Tweep", in case you were wondering, is a portmanteau of Twitter and peeps, so please follow me in order to take advantage of these upcoming special deals.

Ros

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

Monday, September 16, 2013

Celebrate Oktoberfest in the Skylands of New Jersey

"Don't even think about
a weenie costume for me, Mom"
This morning after my guests checked out I was perusing Yahoo when a picture of dachshunds racing caught my eye. Each year in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oktoberfest kicks off with the "Running of the Weiners".

Doxies are dressed up in hot dog bun costumes and run approximately 75 feet to their owners. I had to laugh. Somehow I cannot imagine my Lucy, AKA the Red Devil, submitting to a weenie bun costume and racing on cue. But apparently, this is a big deal and a highlight of this Oktoberfest celebration. Who knew?

Oktoberfest is also a big deal in northern New Jersey and  has kicked off this weekend at the Black Forest Inn, my favorite German restaurant, located a mere mile away from the Whistling Swan Inn.

On Saturdays and Sundays from September 14th through November 3rd, you can enjoy an authentic German Oktoberfest celebration, which features traditional German cuisine, live music and imported German beers. Reservations are required, so if you're a guest at the Swan this fall, and want to get in on the fun, book your table early. The event will have everything but the weenie races. To see that, you'll have to content yourself with the photo below.



Black Forest Inn
249 U.S. Highway 206 North
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-3344
www.blackforestinn.com

Ros

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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Recipe Corner - Baked Omelet Roll with Hollandaise Sauce

Easy and elegant - always a hit
This is an easy, elegant breakfast or brunch dish. It's a Whistling Swan Inn guest favorite, and I've experimented with different fillings to add a little variety to the buffet.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or spray with Pam) a 9 x 13 baking pan. In the blender combine eggs, flour, salt, pepper and milk. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until set, approximately 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheese and pop back in the oven for 3 minutes until cheese melts. Carefully loosen edges of omelet from pan. Starting from the short end, carefully roll up omelet. Transfer seam side down to serving plate. Garnish with Hollandaise sauce and either fresh chives or tarragon. Slice into 6 equal size pieces.

Variations:

  • 1 C chopped spinach - spread on omelet and sprinkle with cheese
  • Saute chopped broccoli, mushrooms and onions - spread on omelet and sprinkle with cheese
  • Instead of plain cheddar cheese, try the four cheese Mexican blend for a little spice


Tips:

  • It helps to rotate the pan halfway through the cooking process
  • This can go from "done" to "burned" very quickly, so I always watch it carefully.


For all you cooks out there who may put your own spin on this recipe...let me know how it goes.

Ros


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

Monday, September 9, 2013

Grey Towers National Historic Site - Milford, PA

It's not often that Tom and I can take a break from our responsibilities as innkeepers of the Whistling Swan Inn. However, this Labor Day we took the day off to do something fun. Accompanied by Tom's brother, Mike, and sister-in-law, Karen, we headed out to Milford, PA, a small, quaint town, approximately 45 minutes from our bed and breakfast, to tour the Grey Towers Historic Site.

Facade of Grey Towers

Steeped in history, Milford was the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, two-time governor of Pennsylvania and the first director of the United States Forest Service. Grey Towers, his summer estate, was built in 1886 and sits on 102 acres overlooking the Delaware River.  Particularly fascinating to me was "The Finger Bowl", an outside dining room consisting of a raised pool surrounded by a flat ledge. Food was passed family style by floating bowls and platters across the water.  For the small sum of $8, visitors can tour both the chateau and the spectacular grounds.

The Finger Bowl - a unique dining experience
The roast beef is delicious, but the
biscuits are a little soggy.

Before the tour, we did a little shopping and had a great lunch at the Waterwheel Cafe. This is not your usual lunch place - the selections are quite gourmet and feature homemade soups and sandwiches prepared with the freshest ingredients. The dinner menu also looked wonderful, featuring some interesting entrees such as Cassolette de Coquille St. Jacques and Crispy Hazelnut Pork Chops.

Milford is also somewhat famous for its celebration of independent films, under-seen classics, plus silent and historical films originally shot in the area. The Black Bear Film Festival will take place on October 18, 19, 20, 2013. 

So, come on down to Stanhope, NJ - relax at one historic mansion, tour another, eat some great food and catch some flicks.

Grey Towers Heritage Association
570-296-0630


Waterwheel Cafe
150 Water St.
Milford, PA
570-296-2383

Ros

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Highlands Festival at Waterloo Village - A celebration of all things local

The Highlands Festival will be held at Waterloo Village on Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 10:00 am - 9:00 pm and Sunday, September 22, 2013 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Produced by the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, the Festival will feature local musicians, foods, crafts,
Exquisite hand-made goat milk soap, locally made at
Secret Garden Soap of Madison, is one example of what
will be featured at the Highlands Festival.
canal rides, historic building tours and guided nature hikes.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Prices are $15/online and $25 at the door. Waterloo Village has a major historical significance in New Jersey and has been the venue for performances by such renowned acts as The Beach Boys, Judy Collins, James Taylor and the Metropolitan Opera.

Best of all, you can stay at the Whistling Swan Inn, which is only one mile from Waterloo Village.


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