4 Reasons You Need an Iris Inn Gift Card 16 Nov 2015, 2:00 am
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The holiday season is almost here, and that means that the madness of the shopping season will arrive soon as well. But if you’re less than impressed with stores’ garish displays of uniformed “gifts for him” and “gifts for her,” then we have an alternative you might like—an Iris Inn gift certificate.
- It’s a unique gift that will appeal to a variety of people. Not sure what to get that semi-acquaintance coworker? Drawing a blank as to what to give your mother-in-law? How about your picky brother, who already owns everything you can think of? Give them something different than the norm—a break from the “real world.”
- You don’t have to fight off the holiday crowds who jostle you around and run over your toes with their gift-laden carts. Our gift certificates are available to purchase online, so you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to pick one up.
- You’ll be done with your shopping a few weeks early. Knowing what you’d like to buy for someone for Christmas is probably the hardest part of the process, but we can help ease the trouble.
- An Iris Inn gift card offers much more than a simple, physical gift. Many gifts will wear out or be forgotten over time. Those fuzzy socks from Grandma? They’ll fray and tear after a year’s use. The iPod from your significant other? It’ll break after too many uses or become obsolete as technology upgrades. A B&B gift certificate, however, offers the chance to make fond memories that you’ll recall in years to come.
Interested? Click here to purchase your gift certificate.
A New Wine 101 Weekend for 2016! 10 Nov 2015, 1:00 am
Did you enjoy 2015’s Wine 101 Weekend, featuring Marc Supsic of Wine Living? Maybe you wanted to, but you couldn’t quite make the date work with your schedule. Whatever the case may be, you’ll have another chance to attend and enjoy three different wonderfully wine-themed weekends! Along with Wine 101, Marc will be presenting two other more challenging (but still fun and informative) weekends—Wine 201 and Wine 301.
All of these upcoming weekends include dinner, wine pairings, informational sessions with Marc, and much more, leaving you with happy taste buds and a wealth of new knowledge.
So, what will the event look like?
Wine 101: January 8-9, 2016
5:30: Virginia Wine and Cheese Pairing– We will be pairing Virginia Viognier with cheese from Caramount Farms, and Virginia Cabernet Franc with Gouda from Our Lady of the Angels.
8:30: Port and Chocolate Pairing– What day is complete without a rich dessert? This pairing will feature treats from a local chocolatier, truffles dusted with cocoa powder, and chocolates with orange, perfect paired with sweet, young, ruby Port.
8:00-9:30: Breakfast and Sparkling Wine– Your day will start with a Spanish Cava paired with a savory egg dish. What a way to wake up in the morning!
1:30: Sensory Exploration– For 50 minutes to an hour, Marc will introduce you to an aroma/flavor kit to train your palate, and as you learn, you will have the opportunity to win some prizes. (Your Sensory Exploration includes lunch.)
Dinner– Indulge in a mixed or Caesar salad paired with New Zealand (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc, stuffed chicken with tomatoes and spinach paired with a Meritage from Karamoor Estate in PA, and bread pudding paired with a Malmsey (Sweet) Madeira. If you think your mouths are watering now, just wait until it’s all sitting right in front of you!
Wine 201: February 5-6, 2016
Enjoy all of the experiences of Wine 101, but do with it with all blind tastings.
Wine 301: To Be Determined
Click here to make your reservation.
5 Reasons We Are Thankful at the Iris Inn 1 Nov 2015, 1:00 am
Thanksgiving will be here soon, but that’s certainly not the only day of the year to be grateful for all that we have. While “30 Days of Thanks” has been a trending subject on social media, we figure that a list of 30 things we’re thankful for would probably be a bit long. So, we’ve narrowed it down to 5 things that we’re thankful for at the Iris Inn:
- Our guests. Of course our guests has to be number 1 on our list! Without guests, a B&B is pointless. You make us what we are, and we are so thankful for the continued support and kind words that you offer, both in person and online.
- The view. Even after all these years of living on a mountaintop in the Shenandoah Valley, the view never ceases to take our breath away. From the colorful sunsets to the snow-capped winter scenery, the views are ever-changing and ever-beautiful.
- Breakfast. There’s no better way to start the day than with a hearty, Southern meal, and we’re thankful not only to partake in them, but also to be able to share them with our guests.
- Katie the Border Collie. Katie is beloved by all who meet her, and really, she’s more of a canine innkeeper than just a pet. Her tail chasing, people herding, and gentle manner are only a few of the reasons everybody loves Katie.
- The Shenandoah Valley. We already mentioned the view, but the Valley is so much more than just the aesthetics. There is a vibrant history and culture here that we enjoy exploring, and it includes everything from local wine to Virginia history.
Happy 30 Days of Thanks! What are you thankful for?
A B&B Run 12 Oct 2015, 1:00 am
“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’” – Peter Maher
Why is running good for you? You’ve probably heard all the reasons before, but sometimes we all still need a quick refresher:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Affordable form of exercise
- Easy to learn
- Reduces stress
- Increases flexibility
- Helps with weight-loss and muscle toning
- Increases endurance
(These facts, along with numerous others, are courtesy of RealBuzz.)
If you’re an avid runner, a jogging newbie, or you just need to wake up with a morning walk, there is a lovely area just down the road from the Iris Inn that will satisfy your exercising needs.
On South Delphine, heading towards Lyndhurst, there is a small road just past the Wildlife Center of Virginia. You can either start your run/walk at the Iris Inn and make your way on foot to the entrance of the road, or you can drive there and leave your car at the gate.
Sip & Simmer Cabin Dinner 6 Oct 2015, 8:49 am
You requested time off, arranged for coverage at work, and found the perfect babysitter and pet-sitter for your home. Now wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to worry about dinner plans during your 3-night cabin getaway? You’re in luck! Coming in January of 2016, we’ll be introducing our Sip & Simmer Cabin Dinner…all you’ll have to do is sit back and enjoy the perfectly prepared meals already arranged for you.
Order a Sip & Simmer package, and the Iris Inn’s Chef Caitie Maharg will prepare a seasonal dinner where you add the finishing touches, pair with local wines, and enjoy right in the privacy of your own cabin. Your package also includes two Iris Inn-etched wine glasses, one for red wine and one for white wine.
Here is a sample of the mouthwatering meals you can expect to enjoy as part of this package:
Appetizer: Bacon & Parmesan Potato Soufflés paired with Ponga Sauvignon Blanc
Salad: Spring Greens with Candied Pecans, Honey Goat Cheese, Fresh Figs and Fig Dressing
Main Course: Choice of Either Roasted Bone-In Chicken with Spinach and Cashew Pesto or Salmon with Spinach and Parsnip Purée both served with Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto and Broccoli paired with a Virginia blended red, the Lovingston Rotunda
Dessert: Pear and Apple Crisp with Homemade Honey Nutmeg Ice cream paired with Virginia’s Rockbridge Tuscarora White
Appetizer: Lemon Herb Risotto Balls paired with Ponga Sauvignon Blanc
Salad: Spring Greens with Radishes, English Cucumbers, Strawberries, Ricotta Solata and a Honey Balsamic Dressing
Main Course: Choice of Either Roasted Fennel and Orange Chicken with a Honey Ale Glaze or Lemon Garlic Salmon both served with Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus paired with a Virginia blended red, the Lovingston Rotunda
Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with a Sweet Lemon and Balsamic Ice Cream with Virginia’s Rockbridge Tuscarora White
Ready to book your Sip & Simmer Cabin Dinner? Click here to reserve your room, and then add the package at checkout. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Don’t Miss Stevie Wonder at the John Paul Jones Arena 1 Oct 2015, 9:52 am
“Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.” ― Stevie Wonder
Whether you’ve heard his songs on the radio or you know him as the extremely talented piano player, chances are that you’re familiar with Stevie Wonder. This Motown musician has given us well-known songs like “Superstition,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” and “Ebony and Ivory,” guaranteed to get stuck in your head in the best way possible.
And now you have the chance to see this extraordinary performer live at Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena! One November 17, 2015, Stevie Wonder will be presenting his “Songs in the Key of Life” performance just down the road from the Iris Inn in Charlottesville’s renowned JPJ Arena, and this is a must-see event for any music lover.
If you’re not familiar with this celebrated musician (however unlikely your unfamiliar may be…), here are a few pieces of trivia to pique your interest:
– Has earned forty-nine Top 40 singles, thirty-two #1 singles, 25 Grammy awards, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and over 100 million album sales worldwide.
– He has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
– He is a U.N. messenger of Peace
– He is a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, and the NAACP Hall of Fame.
– He is the youngest person to have received Kennedy Center Honors.
The Fall Foliage Festival is Coming to Waynesboro, Virginia 14 Sep 2015, 1:33 pm
“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” –Steven Pressfield
A much-anticipated annual autumn art festival is coming to Waynesboro, Virginia with a flurry of artisan fanfare. The 44th Annual Virginia Fall Foliage Festival Art Show will be held on October 10-11, 2015, and will see downtown Waynesboro transformed into an outdoor art gallery with creations of over 150 artists from all over the United States.
Are you a lover of photography? A watercolor fanatic? A jewelry obsessive? The Fall Foliage Festival has these offerings and a whole lot more. From sculptures to printmaking to pottery and glasswork, a host of different mediums are represented among the more than 200 booths at the festival.
Besides the fine arts and crafts, you’ll also have a chance to sample some local craft beer and gourmet food while musicians accompany you in the background.
This festival is the perfect opportunity to find gifts for those hard-to-buy-for people in your lives. Every piece is unique and hand-crafted, so you know you’re going home with something special. (It’s also a great chance to support the local community and help out small businesses!)
Downtown Waynesboro is only minutes away from The Iris Inn, so grab your suite, cottage, or cabin now, and prepare for an art extravaganza. Click here to follow the festivals official Facebook page to stay up-to-date with the latest information.
Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing: An Artsy Adventure 7 Sep 2015, 4:45 am
“As difficult as it is to master, glass blowing, in even the simplest piece done by a novice, is simply magical, which, perhaps, has helped this archaic form of art has live on.” –Memorials.com
Have you ever watch the process of glassblowing? It is an absolutely fascinating display of art that is almost like blowing a bubble and then shaping said bubble with careful movements, additional heat, and an artistic eye. This is the magic that happens in Staunton, Virginia’s Sunspots Studios.
You may have heard us mention Sunspots before, and that’s because we’re huge fans of their work, displays, and hands-on activities. Not only do they feature daily glassblowing demonstrations, but they also offer a gallery and gift shop where you can peruse and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces—jewelry, vases, paperweights, hummingbird feeders, oil candles, ornaments and more. And speaking of ornaments, one of our favorite aspect of Sunspots Studios is their “Blow Your Own Ornament” activities.
Every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. , you have the opportunity to join a professional glassblower in crafting your own ornament. There is nothing quite as satisfying as holding a creation of your very own, especially one that makes a beautifully unique souvenir or a special gift for friends or family. Create a traditional ornament to hang on your inevitable Christmas tree. Choose a glow-in-the-dark ornament to add a holiday radiance to your decorations. Craft a pumpkin ornament that will perfectly accompany your fall décor. Every piece is unique, and the best part about blowing your own ornament is that it is uniquely YOU!
Sunspots is only 20 minutes from the Iris Inn, so if you’re on a B&B getaway here, take a bit of time for a one-of-a-kind glassblowing adventure.
Pumpkin Pancakes are a Popular Dish 1 Sep 2015, 1:00 am
“Oh how we love pumpkin season. You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin…. We anxiously anticipate it every year.” –Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer, October 2010
Heidi’s pumpkin pancakes are a favorite fall treat among guests at the Iris Inn, and it’s easy to see why—seasonal flavors of cinnamon and cloves, a light, fluffy texture, and warmth for the stomach on a chilly morning.
If you’d like a taste of our B&B in your own home, then indulge in this recipe for Heidi’s Famous Pumpkin Pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Combine first 8 ingredients, and stir well.
Combine eggs, buttermilk, and oil in a bowl, then add to flour mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle. Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked; turn and cook other side. (Unused batter can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.)
Yield: 18 (4-inch) pancakes.
Eat and enjoy!
4 Reasons to Visit the Shenandoah Valley in the Fall 17 Aug 2015, 8:55 am
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus
- The Scenery. Of course the number 1 reason for visiting the Valley in the fall has to be the foliage. The rich green of summer slowly shifts into a brilliant display of red, orange, and yellow, and what better place is there to see it happen than from the top of a Virginia mountain? Whether you’re hiking a local trail, taking a scenic drive, or enjoying the view from one of our porch chairs, the emergence of autumn is a splendid sight to behold. (The Virginia Department of Forestry will continually update their Fall Foliage Report as the changes happen, so stay up-to-date with their website.)
- The Fall Foliage Festival Art Show. Fall is a work of art in and of itself, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate other artistic displays. For one whole weekend, “the streets of downtown Waynesboro are turned into an outdoor art gallery,” hosting the talents of a myriad of local artisans. You’ll find everything from traditional paintings to woodworking to jewelry, so if you’re looking for a souvenir of your Valley getaway, or you’re in need of a gift, this is a great opportunity to pick one up. This year’s festival will take place on October 10-11, 2015.
- The Apples. From apple pie to apple cider to apple butter, this fruit bursts onto the scene in autumn. Enjoy the apple-themed merriment at Chiles Peach Orchard’s “Fall Into Fun” Festival, or pick your own ripe, juicy apples at Seamans’ Orchard.
- The Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. “Taste a bounty of heirloom fruits and vegetables and learn about organic gardening and seed-saving during this fun, affordable, family-friendly festival — unlike any other — held on the breathtaking West Lawn of Jefferson’s Monticello.”