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Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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Christmas tree at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

No, I’m not going to break out in song (that’s a good thing for anyone within earshot). but I wanted to share our Christmas tree with you at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  One of the nice things about living in an old house is that our foyer is huge by today’s standards.  We put our tree at the staircase so guests can enjoy all sides of it as they head up to the guest bedrooms.

Nutcrackers on the Dining Room mantel

In addition to the tree we have an army of nutcrackers throughout the house.  A recent guest wanted to know how many we have.  The answer is too many when it comes to packing and unpacking them but I suspect there are a couple hundred of them standing sentry around the the house.  Here are a few of them that are in our dining room, making sure the our guests are being looked after.

More of them

Speaking of an army of nutcrackers looking after our guests, this time of year we need to take time out of our busy schedules and think about our military, especially those troops that won’t be home to celebrate the holidays with their friends and family because they are deployed defending our freedom.

That’s enough…Yes, there are still more in the dining room.

We also need to pray for the families of those that won’t be coming home because they gave their lives fighting for our freedom.  Freedom isn’t free and thousands of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have paid the ultimate price for us to enjoy the life we have and freedoms we enjoy.  My Christmas wish is that we could have peace on earth and goodwill towards man.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Kathy and Mike at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  We hope that 2012 was a good year for you and we wish you much success in 2013.

My Best Clam Chowder

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recipe, gluten free

My best Clam Chowder

I hope you don’t think we serve clam chowder for breakfast!  We don’t, but this recipe is so good I wanted to share it with you. During the cold winter months a bowl of hot soup is very comforting.  This is a great dish to make for the family or invite friends and neighbors on those chilly winter nights.  We will sometimes make three or four different types of soup and have the neighborhood over for a soup and salad night.  The neighbors bring the bread and salads and we provide the soup.  This one is always a favorite, best of all, it is quick and easy to make.  If you are ever staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast during one of our soup and salad nights this will become one of your favorite dishes also.

Ingredients:

  • 6 (6.5 ounce) cans of chopped NOT minced clams
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes (cubed 1/2 inch)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 quart half and half cream
  • 3 strips thick bacon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet.  When the bacon is done, remove bacon and set aside and leave the bacon grease in skillet.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  While that is cooking, open the 6 cans of diced clams separating the clams from the clam juice.  After the vegetables have cooked for about 5 minutes add the clam juice and continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour until smooth.  Add the half and half and corn starch.  Stir constantly until thick and smooth (about 15-20 minutes).
  4. Add the vegetables to the cream and continue to stir until combined and hot (don’t bring to boil).  When the mixture is hot, add the clams.  Don’t cook clams too long or they will be tough and chewy.  When clams are heated through (1-2 minutes) stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately with a crusty bread and salad.  Crumple the bacon into small pieces and add bacon on top of the chowder in the bowls.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Celebrate New Year’s Eve

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Welcome the New Year at the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, VA with our Celebrate New Year’s Eve package.

This package includes your choice of room in the mansion ($339) or carriage house ($359) for one night, an early check-in time between 2:00-4:00 pm, a $75.00 dining gift certificate at one of our fine downtown restaurants, a celebratory toast at midnight and our decadent 4-course breakfast on Tuesday.  You may add Sunday evening at a rate of $179 (mansion) or $199 (carriage house) to make the start of the New Year extra special.

Interested in a massage or body treatment?  Visit our web site to review the massage and body treatments offered in our on-site Massage and BodyWorks Studio or close out 2012 with our December signature treatment, Peppermint Perfection.  This treatment combines  a refreshing, stimulating body scrub followed by a Swedish massage using a Peppermint Scrub and Peppermint Cream reminiscent of our childhood and thoughts of candy canes.  This treatment is $150.00.  Please call at least 72 hours in advance of your arrival to book this add-on.

Call us at 434.846.1388 and mention the New Year’s Eve Celebration package.  This offer cannot be combined with any other special, discount or voucher.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

$121.20!!

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During the month of December, to celebrate the 12th month of 2012, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, VA is offering a very special two-night stay.

Stay two nights and your second night will cost only $121.20, yes, only $121.20.  Your two night stay includes your room of choice, our legendary 4-course breakfast each morning, our luxurious room ammenities and concierge-level service with assistance in planning your day and dining.  Take advantage of our on-site Massage and BodyWorks Studio where you can enjoy our Peppermint  Perfection Body Care treatment (a scrub & massage) that will refresh, stimulate and envelope you in scents reminiscent of your childhood.

This special pricing is valid December 1-29, 2012.  You must mention this special pricing when making your reservation.  Not available with any existing reservation and cannot be combined with any other special, voucher or discount.  Pricing does not include taxes.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to make your December 2012 reservation.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Cranberry Breakfast Panini

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Cranberry Breakfast Panini

 

Thanksgiving is almost here.  Since we will all have leftover food items in our refrigerators and pantries, why not use extra cranberry sauce and cranberries, as we do at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast’s, in our November signature dish?  We have been serving this all month but it would make a delicious breakfast Thanksgiving morning or as a treat on Friday before heading out to shop.

Cranberry Breakfast Panini

  • 1 loaf challah or french bread
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or cream

 

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Add cranberries and boil for about 3-4 minutes.  The cranberries will pop as they expand.  Drain the cranberries and do a rough chop of them, leaving large pieces of cranberries.  Next combine the cream cheese, sugar and cranberries together in a small bowl.   Put a liberal amount of this mixture on a piece of bread then add another piece of bread on top (like making a sandwich).  Beat eggs, orange zest, vanilla extract and milk together in a large, shallow flat bottom bowl.  Dip both sides of the stuffed bread into egg mixture.  Brush melted butter on both sides of panini press.  Place coated bread in press, heat 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Slice panini on the diagonal, dust with confectioners’ sugar and arrange on plate.  Serve with Cranberry Syrup.  Makes 4-6 servings.  Note:  you won’t use the entire bag of fresh cranberries in this recipe so put the bag of leftover cranberries in the freezer.  They freeze well and can be used throughout the winter in other recipes for cakes, muffins and breads.  Besides, this is the only time of year you can buy fresh cranberries in this area.

Cranberry Syrup

  • 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • dash nutmeg
  • dash cinnamon

 

In small saucepan melt cranberry sauce and butter.  Add maple syrup and spices.  Stir to combine.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

We wish you and yours a happy and filling Thanksgiving and hope to see you on your next visit to Lynchburg, Virginia.

Fun in Lynchburg Returns!

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Once again things will be hopping in downtown Lynchburg.  This Friday, November 16th the Downtown Diva Crawl returns with divas of all ages on the town!

Beginning at 5:00 pm (and lasting until 8:00 pm) your inner diva can meet other divas at the Lynchburg Community Market where you will receive your tote bag filled with goodies and a discount card with special diva offers.  Then travel up and down main street where you will visit our local downtown businesses and restaurants to get a headstart on your holiday shopping, enjoy delicious special menu items, and discover all that downtown has to offer.

 

If your taste runs more toward wine, then Saturday, November 17th between 11:00-5:00 you will want to spend time at Thomas Jefferson’s personal retreat, Poplar Forest.

Once again the Poplar Forest Wine Festival will welcome 14 Virginia wineries, food from local purveyors, shopping experiences with local crafters and artisans, live music throughout the day and “Mr. Jefferson” discussing his love of wine.  All events will take place rain or shine in heated tents.  House tours will be available at a reduced rate.  Tickets cost $25 at the gate and include a wine tasting glass.  A good day should be had by all attendees. 

 

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast still has a room or two available this weekend if you would like to include an overnight in a 1878 mansion in downtown Lynchburg to your weekend.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to make your reservation.