Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Orchard Inn - 2015 Summer Getaway

An Everyday Breakfast Display 
Sleeping gnome at The Orchard Inn
The heat of the summer of 2015 has been searing in the Lowcountry, and a recent trip to SW Florida showed me that it really wasn't much hotter in the Sunshine State. So when a window of opportunity opened in a busy summer schedule to getaway to the mountains for some seasonal relief, a tradition of visiting The Orchard Inn was renewed. A quick view of their FaceBook page showed that they had availability and a phone call to Innkeeper Marc Blazer was a matter of familiar routine since this was to be a return visit for a third time. As I wrote on my Google + online review, this Bed and Breakfast is earning repeat customers with their dedication to a comfortable setting and culinary craftsmanship, and others think so too.
Room No. 7 offers a mountain sunrise view

The lucky No. 7 room, located above the Inn and with a view of Warrior Mountain, served as my private retreat with a poster bed. Downstairs in the common room an afternoon snack was being served, consisting of fresh veggies, smoked salmon, prosciutto and cheese. The flower garden behind the Inn is in full bouquet during July and nature's visitors include butterflys and hummingbirds. The bird feeders serve to attract avian beauties like the bright yellow goldfinches, red-bellied woodpeckers, cardinals and tufted titmice too. The grape trellis is home to fresh tomatoes and more that are a part of the organic menu offered for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch at Newman's Restaurant.

Attention to Detail is a hallmark of their Grounds
Exploring the grounds of the Orchard Inn always reveals some new niche to enjoy, but summer in Saluda also means a chance to enjoy the Farmer's Market on Friday afternoons from 4:30 - 6. We were surprised to find a large crowd of shoppers picking up fresh beans, corn, squash and of course some wild mushrooms. Fresh grapes and blueberries make for immediate snacks, and all the merchandise is affordable and the overall feel at the market is very friendly. They appreciate their summer visitors in Saluda, which is part of the reason I dined on Sunburst Farms mountain trout for dinner at the Saluda Grade Cafe downtown. Almost all the buildings downtown are on the historic register and they offer a glimpse into the history of a railroad town that is still surviving today.

Flowers + Mountains = Smiles
Back at the Inn, it wasn't quite cool enough to sleep with the windows open, since a forecasted Northern breeze just could not defeat the hanging humidity in the area, but a small window unit sufficed to provide a comfortable air-conditioned room. It's quiet in the Inn otherwise, and a resting slumber is almost assured here. The following morning a full service breakfast sets the stage for a great day whether it be spent in the seclusion of the Inn or out exploring the many outdoor options found nearby in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

To view past blog entries from The Orchard Inn click on 2014 - 2013

To view past blog entries from Saluda click on Coon Dog Day or Pearson's Falls or Sky Top Orchard - Green River Games

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