Montgomery’s New Bandstand 3 May 2014, 12:38 pm
Drumroll, please! The Village of Montgomery is hammering away at the new bandstand, right across the street from the Borland House. This octagonal, rotunda shape mimics the original one that had livened up the village for many years. We’re very excited about swing dancing on our lawn or just tapping our heels to the music right from the rockers on the front porch. Project will be completed early this summer. A concert series is scheduled every Thursday in July and August. Don”t miss a chance to sip some wine and join in the fun!
Wacky Women of the Borland House 4 Nov 2013, 2:22 pm
No, this is not a sneak preview of Paris Fashion Week. I, reluctantly, admit that these were Borland House guests. Yes, indeed! In fact, sightings of these wacky and wonderful sisters spread throughout the county (probably has gone viral by now). A few weeks ago these four sisters celebrated one of their birthdays in their own inimitable style. Their 3rd annual visit to the Borland House felt like a week-end long slumber party. Their laughter and energy filled our B&B and seemed to be infectious. They have the gift of being able to engage even the most reticent guest. It’s impossible not to be swept up in their fun in, simply, being together.
However, these women are not just another pretty face! Oh, no! These are, most definitely, women of substance. From Mary’s Thanksgiving dinner that feeds 2200 (really!) homeless people in Harlem to Ellie’s 750 hand-knitted ear-warmers that are given out to the homeless, these women devote their lives to spreading love and joy to all who are lucky enough to be in their presence. They inspire Bill and me to shift our way of thinking.
And, they remind us of how much our lives are enriched by each of our guests.
Antiquing Obsessions 9 Apr 2013, 4:31 pm
For me, the arrival of spring signals the start of the antique season: Brimfield, Rhinebeck, Stormville, and the bustling of our own shop, Blue Shutter Antiques, located at the Borland House B&B. As we’ve aged, a strange phenomenon has occurred: we have, actually, gotten smarter. We no longer buy the oak Hoosiers or 8-foot high primitive cupboards that we need a forklift to move to sell at shows. However, now and then, we do make an exception! You see, I am obsessed with women statues and seem to have a plethora of them here at the Borland House. I, simply, can not bring myself to part with any of them. So, when we happened upon this ethereal statue/fountain at the Pine Bush Auction last week, I fell in love.
Bill knew that I was “gone”. He, wisely, resigned himself to the fact that we would be buying her and exhibiting her in our booth at Rhinebeck Antiques Show next month. How he accomplishes this Herculean feat is a mere detail.
We showed up at the auction hoping to come away with a petite bistro set and ended up with a 350-pound, 5-foot woman. Go figure.
St. Patrick’s Day 5K Ramble & Parade 25 Mar 2013, 7:16 am
Montgomery’s 1st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and 5 K Ramble was a resounding success! Over 300 runners, joggers, and walkers braved the crisp cold air on Saturday morning. Bill and I were out there with the rest of the Village to cheer on the runners. The event highlighted the spirit and old-fashioned sense of community, very unique to Montgomery.
Cookie Monster Visits the Borland House 25 Feb 2013, 5:48 pm
This is a case of the disappearing cookies. Miss Marple, help! We always have home-made cookies and teas available to guests at any time. So, this week-end I made my Ghiradelli Double Chocolate cookies and put them in the dining room around 3:30. Nothing unusual about that. By 4:15 they had completely vanished, so I baked another batch and, once again, left them in the dining room. By 6:00, the Cookie Monster had demolished the entire plateful, so I baked, yet, another batch of cookies. Under cloak of darkness the Cookie Monster descended and made off with all the cookies, leaving behind only a few tell-tale crumbs as evidence. So, to all you Cookie Monsters, I surrender! Here is my recipe for Ghiradelli Double Chocolate cookies. Enjoy!
2 c. Ghiradelli 60% cacoa bittersweet chocolate chips
6 T. butter
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. chocolate chips, 1 c. white chocolate chips
1. Melt 2 c. chips and butter in microwave. Stir until smooth.
2. In large bowl beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in chocolate mixture. In small bowl mix flour and baking powder. Stir into chocolate mixture. Mix in chips.
50 Shades of Fun and Romance at the Borland House 27 Dec 2012, 10:20 am
The Borland House is located in an area that offers a variety of fun for a variety of people. National Geographic Traveler just named the Hudson Valley as one of the “must-see” destinations for 2013! And, it doesn’t get better than this: last summer, a couple enjoying the rocking chairs on our front porch was treated to a bit of local color. Not every B&B can offer whooping and waving as the vintage tractor parade toots by.
Winter here means snow-tubing at Thomas Bull Memorial Park, five minutes away or hiking the Mohonk Preserve or enjoying the Walkway Over the Hudson. And, it’s never too cold to enjoy the Shawangunk Wine Trail or a stroll through the Village of New Paltz.
We love the eclectic mix of guests that stays with us. At breakfast, while Bill and I are zesting the panna cottas we’re amazed at the guffawing we hear coming from the dining room. We often will find that the gay couple from the Upper West Side is helping the three retired nurses from Peoria plan their visit to Manhattan. We have even heard genetic Yankee fans engaged in witty repartee with Red Sox fanatics!
Question: What do you call a group of ten people walking down the street to go out to dinner together?
Answer: Borland House guests. We love to invite guests to join us in the parlor for wine before dinner. These intimate gatherings often have had an infectious impact. One evening, all the guests ended up deciding to go out to dinner together. (Good thing we have an “in” with the local restaurants and could get a last-minute table for ten at “88 Charles Street Cafe“).
As for romance, well, we recently received an email and photo of a guest’s newborn baby. Loved that they took the time to share the good news with us. Then, we read their last line:”and Madison was conceived at the Borland House”. We added this birth to a rather impressive list of Borland House babies.
Borland House works its magic once again.
Fire Pit is a Hit! 29 Oct 2012, 11:56 am
Question: What are Borland House guests raving about, even more than about Bill’s frittata?
Answer: the fire pit.
For the last few weeks we have invited guests to join us for wine around the fire pit before heading to dinner. Candles light the way as everyone enters through the arbor. The area is entirely surrounded by a circle of rhododendrons, creating an enticing outdoor “room”. The fire pit always seems to work its magic as we all kick back. Conversation flows and we all leave the day-to-day problems behind us.
Fall Foliage Happens on Weekdays, Too! 4 Oct 2012, 6:01 pm
Travel during the week offers wonderful perks. Rates are lower during the week and the crowds are gone till the next week-end. As innkeepers, we rarely get to travel on the week-ends and have found that we love taking a couple of days mid-week. Our mid-week jaunts have turned out to be very special.
Here in Montgomery, at the Borland House you can enjoy the restaurants (and are more likely to get a reservation at Back Yard Bistro--a 7 table restaurant near us), the foliage, the wine trail, and the Mohonk Preserve. And, you get the added benefit of fewer people and lower rates.
So, play hookey and give us a call!
Sweet Victory at Winding Hills Golf Club 27 Aug 2012, 7:37 am
My worst nightmare arrived in broad daylight. “Carol, I need you to play right now. Everyone is teeing off in 10 minutes and we need1 more player!” Bill had organized a golf tournament and called me in sheer desperation. Now, I would be perfectly happy to play golf wearing a paper bag over my head so no one would be able to ID me. But, to play in a tournament…
“No worries, Bill! I’m on my way!” Is there any doubt that I truly love this man?
I arrived just in time to be whirled off to the 18th tee with my partners: a scratch golfer and, the other, the owner of the golf club. Total humiliation was sure to follow for the next 3 hours.
Fast-forward to the last hole. Tournament is a scramble. We are tied at 10 under with Bill’s foursome, of course, who are playing right behind us. They finished their last hole and are watching us tee off. Ed hits to the left of the green. Brian goes to the right. (Bill and his foursome are already high-five-ing each other and doing their victory dance while I tee-off). We all watch in amazement as my ball sails to the green and lands within one inch, yes, one inch, of the hole! 11 under and we win the tournament!
Bill has, humbly, offered to be my caddy from now on.
Do B&B Owners Ever Take a Vacation? 17 Aug 2012, 7:27 pm
36 hours away, mid-week. How hard could that be for us to pull off? The plan was, simply, to leave for the train after we served breakfast on a Wednesday, have a friend stop by later to lock up, and return home by 6:00 PM on Friday in time to greet our arriving guests. But, the reality was like viewing a 3-Stooges movie in fast-forward.
On Monday, when none of the toilets would flush, our plumber delivered the grave news: in order to fix the problem, he needed to return with an excavator to repair a pipe buried somewhere under our driveway. He made a temporary repair to last for a day or 2, but could we really go on vacation and return to 11 guests who would not be able to flush toilets? Alas, the plumbing gods (and our plumber) were on our side. He would take care of it before we returned on Friday. No worries. Hmmm.
With vacation plans tenuously in place, we faced our next hurdle on Wednesday morning. While our guests were dining on soufflés, we had to remove the extra bed from their room, down the main staircase, to the opposite wing of the house and make it up for guests due to arrive early on Friday. However, parading the bed through the candle-lit dining room was not appealing. So, as I served the soufflés delicately garnished with chive blossoms, Bill and the bed disco-ed right out the front door. The guests never even had a sighting.
Our return on Friday became a bit problematic since all eleven guests decided to check in between 2:00 and 3:00. Go figure. Fortunately, we were able to enlist the help of a Tulane molecular biology major who had the where-with-all to check everyone into the right rooms.