BBOnline Member SINCE 2001

The Iris Inn

191 Chinquapin Dr, Waynesboro, Virginia 22980
Innkeeper(s): Dave & Heidi Lanford

Veritas Vineyards and Winery Christmas Caroling Party 1 Dec 2016, 12:46 pm

carolingIf you’ve come to stay with us, or simply checked out our website, you may have noticed a trend.

We are all about the wine, particularly wine from local vineyards.

I love Veritas Vineyards and Winery.  With a high caliber wine selection, beautiful scenery, and cozy atmosphere, it’s a prime destination to visit near our inn.  A lot of guests wonder if area wineries and vineyards will be closed during the winter months.  No way!  Not only is that not the case, but many host lovely holiday events, like Veritas’ Christmas Caroling Party.

Friday, December 9th, the vineyard and winery will host extended hours during which you can enjoy mulled wine, local beer and cider, desserts, cheese and charcuterie plates, and of course, Veritas wines.

Area university, UVA’s a cappella group, The Virginia Sil’hooettes, will put on a special Christmas caroling singalong performance.  There is no entry fee and no reservation required, so don’t miss this event!  Here’s a video of The Virginia Sil’hooettes performing Christmas songs with another area a cappella group.  Feel free to listen to it on repeat while you get in the holiday spirit.

Veritas’ normal tasting hours are Monday-Friday 9:30-5:30, and Saturday-Sunday 11:00-5:00.   Like many area wineries, they are only closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

For more information about area vineyards and wineries, check out our Shenandoah Vacation Guide.  And if your thirst for winter wine activities is as insatiable as ours, look into our upcoming Wine Weekends.

Don’t forget to book a room here at the Iris Inn.  We look forward to having you!

Shop Local on Small Business Saturday 2016! 23 Nov 2016, 12:00 am

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Small businesses are the heart of a community, offering “advantages to the surrounding community that large big box retailers cannot offer. Understanding those advantages can encourage customers to support their local merchants” (Chron).  Small Business Saturday is “day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country,” and, as you may have guessed, the Iris Inn will be participating with a few special offers for one day only.

Remember those warm, soft robes that you slipped into during your Iris Inn getaway? How about the rich, bold coffee that you sipped while cozied up in the sheets of your bed? Bring back the memory of a stay at the Iris Inn by giving one of these gifts to a loved one for the holiday season. On November 26, 2016, Small Business Saturday, shoppers everywhere will be enjoying special deals at local businesses. Watch your email inbox for discounted pricing on some of our Iris Inn merchandise!

In the meantime, you can shop small anytime with these wonderful Iris Inn souvenirs:

–          Iris Inn Christmas Ornament
–          Luxury bathrobes
–          Packages of The Queen’s Beans Coffee
–          Iris Inn Coffee Mugs
–          Hand Milled Wildflower Soap
–          Bedsheets
–          Gifts Cards

Give us a call or send us an email to order your Iris Inn product! Or, of course, you could always book a stay here and collect your item in person. We can’t wait to see you!

4 Reasons You Need an Iris Inn Gift Certificate 18 Nov 2016, 12:00 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.

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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Cheers to Chocolate Chess Pie! 7 Nov 2016, 12:00 am

“As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contained the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.” –Sandra Boynton

 

Photo Credit: Markmark28

Photo Credit: Markmark28

Whether you want something new and delicious for your upcoming Thanksgiving meal, or it’s a cheat day on your diet and you need some sugar stat, then we’ve got everything you’re looking for. This chocolate chess pie, which was published in the Virginia Bed & Breakfast Cookbook, is not only a longtime favorite of ours, but is also particularly easy to make (especially if you use a pre-made pie shell). So, without further ado, here is the recipe for our Iris Inn chocolate chess pie:

Ingredients:

1 9-inch pie shell
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
Dash of salt
1 small can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cocoa

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Want to try out our recipe? Share the results with us on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, using the hashtag #IrisInn!

Two New Brews to Choose! 17 Oct 2016, 12:45 pm

From the Brew Ridge Trail to the Shenandoah Beerwerks trail, the Iris Inn is located to some wonderful (and-award-winning) local breweries with a huge array of offerings. (Click here for our last blog, which featured Seven Arrows Brewery in Waynesboro.) We’re celebrating the recent opening of two new breweries who have joined the ranks of delicious Virginia craft beer. Keep reading to learn more.

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Random Row Brewing Company, Charlottesville: This new Cville brewery is the product of two former healthcare employees. While healthcare and beer brewing don’t seem particularly interchangeable, the transition from one to the other was seamless and resulted, especially after owner Kevin McElroy placed 2nd out of 500 Dominion Cup Homebrewing competition. Not too long after that, their passion for brewing could spread into the professional realm. Now Kevin and his wife Shannon strive to “make high quality, locally brewed beer accessible, interesting, and enjoyable, by providing a unique, educational, family-friendly and ever-changing taproom experience.
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Basic City Beer Company, Waynesboro: Located in Waynesboro’s historic Virginia Metalcrafters’ building, this brand new brewery is open for business. “Conceived in the ruins of a lost time,” Basic City Beer has a unique goal that includes both discovery and reclamation, blending the bygone eras of Waynesboro with new brewery discoveries. It really is the perfect combination for a brewery located in a historic, abandoned building! Click here to take a look at their lagers, IPAs, and stouts they have available to quench your thirst.

Click here to reserve your room at the Iris Inn, where you can rest and refresh during your beer-based adventures. We’re ideally located only a short drive away from both of these breweries, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Cheers!

 

Indulge in Great Beer at Seven Arrows Brewery 10 Oct 2016, 1:00 am

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” –Dave Berry

Seven Arrows in Waynesboro, VA Virginia is only a quick drive away from the Iris Inn and is ready to offer you an excellent variety of beverages to quench your thirst and fulfill your taste for a top notch craft brew. Seven Arrows is the product of Aaron and Melissa Allen, a couple who offers experience in chemical engineering, software engineering, and a love of good, quality beer.

Let’s take a quick peek at the brews on tap:

Harvested Apple Lager—”Using 30% cider from the Pacific Northwest, the beer offers amazing aroma of fresh apples.” What a perfect fall brew!

Eventide Red IPA—“Based on an American Style IPA” with a “prominent hop aroma with a piny/spicy character.”

Sinistral Wheat—a Bavarian style wheat beer with a creamy gold color, fluffy white head, banana, and cloves.

Aurora Pils—a Bohemian Pilsner-style brew with a spicy, floral flavor and a deep burnished gold color.

The Witching Hour Black Lager— am alty, chocolate beer with hints of roasted and caramel malt flavors.

Hermenator Doppelbock: A seasonal winter beer with intensely malty, chocolate, toasty, and caramel flavors.

Click here for a full list of Seven Arrows’ brews. If you’re finding your mouth watering for a taste of this Shenandoah Valley craft brewery, then be sure to check it out on your next visit to the Iris Inn! (There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a fall view from the Inn with a drink in hand.)

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October is Virginia Wine Month! 3 Oct 2016, 1:37 pm

October is one of our favorites time of the year, not only because of the resurgence of pumpkin spice flavors, the bright fall foliage, and the spooky fun of Halloween, but also because it just so happens to be Virginia Wine Month. We’re fortunate enough to be located a quick drive away from some of Virginia’s top wineries, so keep reading to take a look at a few of our favorites. And of course, book your stay at the Iris Inn for a truly relaxing, vinous vacation.

Veritas Vineyard, Afton: Combining the technology of the modern era with traditional vinification principles, Veritas Vineyard produces some incredible regional wines that have won various awards. And while winetasting here is excellent on its own, you also have the opportunity to enjoy a number of annual events, where delicious food, talented live performers, and starry night skies complement your drink selection.

Jefferson Vineyards, Charlottesville: Take a step back in time and browse the very first vineyard to bring viticulture as we know it to Virginia. Thomas Jefferson began his vineyards to craft quality wine entirely in and of Virginia, and we think this Founding Father would be pretty proud of all the vineyard has accomplished today.

King Family Vineyards, Crozet: This beautifully located vineyard is known for both is excellent wine and its fun polo matches. Although polo season is almost over for the year, there are still a couple of matches left, so if you’ll be in the area, check out these free events! (Plus, King Family wine is always available at polo matches, so what could be a more relaxing way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon?)

Afton Mountain Vineyards, Afton: At this mountaintop vineyard, you’ll enjoy a variety of award-winning wines and some absolutely breathtaking Virginia scenery. After all, as the winery says, “grapes don’t grow in ugly places.” (Trivia: Certain vines at Afton Mountain are more than 35 years old, making them some of the oldest vines in Virginia.)

Ready for your Virginia Wine Month vacation? We look forward to seeing you here soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sip & Simmer in Fall and Winter 20 Sep 2016, 7:47 am

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Guests are raving about our Sip & Simmer Cabin Dinners, and if you’ve seen photos of Chef Caitie’s culinary creations, then you know why! “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.”

You’ll feel like a gourmet chef, complete with your very own hat and etched Iris Inn wine glasses. Chef Caitie will have all of the ingredients ready to go for you in your cabin, so all you’ll have to do is follow a page of instructions for your mouthwatering dinner.

Want to re-create one of the recipes you experienced at a Sip & Simmer Cabin Dinner? Maybe you’re just in need of a new recipe for your repertoire. Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking for Fall/Winter Sip & Simmer Recipes, then keep reading for Caitie’s current collection. (Click here for more information about our Sip & Simmer Cabin Dinners.)

 

Fig Dressing

2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

4 Tbsp. Fig Jam

2 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar

½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 ½ Cup Vegetable Oil

*Blend first 4 ingredients until well blended. Slowly add oil until dressing comes together. If dressing is too thick add water 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.

 

Balsamic Dressing

2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

3 Tbsp. Honey

1 Clove Garlic

½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1 ½ Cup Vegetable Oil

Salt to taste

*Blend first 4 ingredients until well blended. Slowly add oil until dressing comes together. If dressing is too thick add water 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt.

 

Candied Pecans

4 egg whites

2 cups granulated sugar

1 lb. pecans

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine egg whites and sugar. Toss pecans in mixture until well coated. Lay pecans out on a well, greased sheet pan. Bake for 14-21 minutes in 7 minute increments, mixing the pecans after each time. Bake until crispy. Let cool and enjoy!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

1 ½ cups Butternut squash, diced

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup white wine

1 ½ cup Chicken stock

½ cup butter, unsalted

¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss Diced Butternut squash with 2 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. Salt & 1 tsp. black pepper. Bake for 25 minutes until tender. In a medium sauce pan heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Sautee Onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add Arborio rice and coat with oil. Add White wine and let reduce by ½ stirring constantly using a wooden spoon. Add Chicken Stock ½ cup at a time, letting reduce by ¾ each time. Add butter, cream, cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper and squash. Cook until Al dente.

 

Lemon Herb Risotto Balls

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup white wine

1 ½ cup Chicken stock

½ cup butter, unsalted

¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest

1 tsp. Fresh Basil, Chopped

1 tsp. Fresh Parsley, Chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

Breading:

1 ½ Cups AP flour

3 whole eggs

1 ½ Cups Bread Crumbs

2 Tbsp. Salt

2 tsp. Black pepper

1 Tbsp. Dried Parsley

1 tsp. Lemon zest

4 cups vegetable oil for frying

*In a medium sauce pan heat 2 Tbsp. oil. Sautee Onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add Arborio rice and coat with oil. Add White wine and let reduce by ½ stirring constantly using a wooden spoon. Add Chicken Stock ½ cup at a time, letting reduce by ¾ each time. Add butter, cream, cheese, lemon zest, herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook until Al dente. Spread cooked risotto onto a sheet pan and place in the fridge until chilled. Roll into golf ball sized balls. To set up the breading, mix 1 Tbsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper & ½ tsp lemon zest with the AP flour. In a separate bowl beat the eggs. In another bowl combine bread crumbs, remaining salt, pepper and lemon zest and the dried parsley. Coat each risotto ball in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Heat oil in a frying pan to 350 degrees. Fry each risotto ball until golden brown transfer to a paper towel lined plate, cool slightly and enjoy!

 

 

Bacon Parmesan Potato Soufflés

4 small red bliss potatoes

4 slices cooked bacon

1 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup shredded Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

*Slice a small portion off of each end of the potato so that it will be able to sit evenly on the cut side. Then cut the potato in half horizontal. Take a melon baller and scoop out the center of the potato being sure not to make a hole in the bottom of it. Boil in salted water for 10-15 minutes or until just tender. Chop the bacon and mix it with the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and place in a piping bag. Fill the center of the potatoes with mixture and bake at 350 degrees.

 

Spinach Cashew Pesto

½ cup unsalted cashews

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 ½ cup fresh spinach

½ cup olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

*Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parsnip Spinach Puree

3 parsnips, peeled

2 ½ cups heavy cream

1 cup fresh spinach

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

*Cut Parsnips into chunks and place in a medium sauce pan. Cover with heavy cream and cook over medium heat until tender. Remove parsnips from cream and place in a blender with ¾ cup the cooking cream, spinach, cheese, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Blend until smooth.

 

Apple & Pear Crisp

1 ea. Fuji apple, peeled & diced

1 ea. Bosc pear, peeled & diced

2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted

1 Tbsp. vanilla

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

 

Crisp Topping:

½ cup butter, unsalted, chilled

½ cup AP flour

½ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup oats

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauté pan melt butter. Add the diced pear & apple, vanilla, brown sugar & cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until caramelized. Place in two 8-10oz ramekins. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar & oats. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the apple filling. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

 

Honey Nutmeg Ice Cream

4 large egg yolks

1 cup whole milk

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

7 Tbsp. honey

1 scant tsp. nutmeg

1 ½ cups heavy cream

*In a medium sauce pan bring milk, nutmeg & salt to a boil. In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks with sugar, temper with milk. Return to the stove and bring to 180 degrees, whisking continuously. Strain and stir in honey & cream. Chill and run through ice cream machine according to ice cream machine instructions. Transfer ice cream to container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

½ cup fresh rhubarb, diced

½ cup fresh strawberries, quartered

2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted

1 Tbsp. vanilla

¼ cup granulated sugar

Crisp Topping:

½ cup butter, unsalted, chilled

½ cup AP flour

½ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup oats

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauté pan melt butter. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, vanilla & sugar. Cook over medium heat until caramelized. Place in two 8-10oz ramekins. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar & oats. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the rhubarb filling. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

 

 

Sweet Lemon Balsamic Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

6 large egg yolks

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest

*Combine heavy whipping cream, whole milk, and 1/2 cup sugar in heavy large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring cream mixture to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl until very thick, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens and thermometer inserted into custard registers 180°F, about 3 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard into large bowl set over another bowl of ice and water. Cool custard completely, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Boil balsamic vinegar in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 6 minutes. Cool syrup in pan. Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is done, spoon in balsamic syrup & Lemon Zest and churn 3 to 4 seconds longer to swirl. Transfer ice cream to container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

 

 

The Fall Foliage Festival is Coming to Waynesboro, Virginia 12 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

“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 45th Annual Virginia Fall Foliage Festival Art Show will be held on October 8-9, 2016, 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 room, 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.

September is Here, and Oktoberfest is Coming! 2 Sep 2016, 8:39 am

Is anyone else excited about that nighttime chill in the air that hints of the fall weather to come? We love summer and all of the warmth and relaxation that it brings, but that nip of autumn promises more seasonal magic in the near future, and we can’t wait for it. One of our favorite parts of fall is Oktoberfest, a celebration of the season, of good beer and great friends, of Bavarian culture, and of folk festival fun. Check out these two upcoming Oktoberfest celebrations near the Iris Inn:

Oktoberfest 2016, Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, VA: “Where other than Bavaria can you visit an actual German farm during Oktoberfest? Only at the Frontier Culture Museum!” Oktoberfest in Staunton, VA takes place at a popular living history museum on Saturday, October 8, 2016. You’ll have the chance to enjoy mouthwatering traditional food, live music, delicious German beer, and more.

Oktoberfest 2016, Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, VA: Who celebrates Oktoberfest better than a local craft brewery? Blue Mountain in Afton, VA is ready to party with more than a week of fall-themed fun from October 1, 2016 to October 9, 2016. Enjoy the music of a live Oompah Band, Oktoberfest trivia, brewery tours, a keg toss competition, brunch, and the rich, hearty taste of Blue Mountain’s 13.5 Ofest Oktoberfest Lagerbier. Furthermore, the brewery will be offering a special German menu all week to pair with your beer selection.

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Ready for some fall fun at one (or both!) of these Oktoberfest Celebrations? Book your room, cottage, or cabin, at the Iris Inn! We look forward to seeing you here soon.