BBOnline Member SINCE 2001
 

The Iris Inn

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

Our Secret Summer Salad: Watermelon with Feta and Mint 15 Jun 2016, 1:00 am

During these stiflingly hot, pre-summer days, we all crave refreshment, whether it be by means of swimming, sipping iced tea, or holing up indoors with the air conditioning on at full blast. One of our favorite ways to beat the heat is with our cuisine, and a particularly refreshing dish that we enjoy here is our unique, Iris Inn watermelon salad:

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon Tabasco

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

One 8-pound seedless watermelon, scooped into balls with a melon baller or cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks (10 cups), chilled

½ pound feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)

1 ¼ cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)

1 small sweet onion, cut into ½-inch dice

1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt, Tabasco and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the mint and serve.

Try out more Iris Inn cuisine at our bed & breakfast! Click here to check availability.

2016’s Fourth of July Festivities at Monticello 9 Jun 2016, 11:52 am


July 4th is less than a month away, and you may already have an idea of how you want to spend this patriotic holiday—an outdoor BBQ with friends and family, a bit of swimming, a few outdoor games, and then of course, fireworks. However, why not do something unique this year that includes both a beautifully historic Virginia location as well as a special annual naturalization ceremony.

This year is the 54th Annual Independence Day and Naturalization Ceremony, where 75 individuals will take the final steps to becoming American citizens: “There is no more inspirational place to celebrate the Fourth of July than Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at [Monticello]. It is the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony in the United States outside of a courtroom.” (Monticello.org).

The 2016 ceremony will present Dr. Larry J. Sabato as the featured speaker. Dr. Sabato, the founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, is an author and editor as well as a two-time Emmy winner for his documentaries “The Kennedy Half-Century” and “Out of Order.” (That’s right; you’ll get to hear an Emmy winner speak at the ceremony!)

Fast Facts:

–          The ceremony starts is from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on Monticello’s West Lawn. There is parking at Piedmont Virginia Community College, and then a shuttle that will drive you to Monticello.

–          Tickets are free but must be reserved. (Space fills up quickly, so be sure to grab your tickets now.

–          Dress for hot, sunny weather!

–          After the ceremony, you can enjoy a Jeffersonion Open House Walk-Through Tour of Monticello.

Click here for additional information and don’t forget to book your room at the Iris Inn!

 

Fridays After Five Concert Series 1 Jun 2016, 1:00 am

Charlottesville, Virginia’s nTelos Wireless Pavilion is well-known for hosting concerts, shows, and tours of all musical genres. The list of upcoming performers for the Pavilion’s ever-popular Fridays After Five Concert Series, now in its 29th year, has recently been released, and whether you’re a die-hard fan of bluegrass, a lover of rock, or an admirer of world rhythms, you will most certainly find a band to suit your tastes.

All of the performers are local artists from central Virginia, and you will be delighted to know that all the performances in this concert series are free.  Also, part of the proceeds from concession sales will go towards local non-profit organizations. (How great does this concert series sound?)

If you aren’t able to make any of the shows during the first half of this 2016 concert series, have no fear. A list of musicians for the second half will be released sometime towards the end of June.

June 3 – The Casuals, featuring Johnny Sportcoat (with Mama Tried)
June 10 – Indecision (with Supervixen)
June 17 – Lord Nelson (with Rob Cheatham & Co.)
June 24 – Positive Collection (with Jason Burke)

Book your room at the Iris Inn, and start planning your Fridays After Five activities!

Photo by Queerbubbles

Joel Salatin: Making a Difference with Local Food in Virginia 16 May 2016, 3:00 am

Joel Salatin is a local individual well-known for promoting sustainable agriculture and for pioneering grass-farming. Furthermore, the Salatin family owns and runs Polyface Farms, which consists of 550 acres in Swoope, Virginia and has become a popular source of local, high-quality farm-fresh produce. Why are we telling you this? Because Polyface Farms is one of the three local sources that provides ingredients for our very own breakfasts here at the Iris Inn!

Joel Salatin and his expertise in the agricultural world. In an article entitled “Rebel with a Cause: Local Food Can Feed the World,” Salatin elaborates on five “cold, hard truth[s]” about the nature of the food industry:

  1. “Nearly half the world’s edible food never gets eaten.”

  2. “Distribution is the only reason people are hungry; nobody is hungry due to a shortage of food.”

  3. “There is plenty of land for farming. Unused land is everywhere.”

  4. “Science and technology have caught up with natural farming.”

  5. “We don’t need vaccines and antibiotics to keep farm animals healthy.”

One only has to look at how successful Polyface Farm has been throughout various generations to see that Mr. Salatin must be doing something right! If you would like to see Polyface Farms for yourself, there are numerous tours offered—self-guided tours, guided tours, grass stain tours, and lunatic tours.

And don’t forget to book your room at the Iris Inn to try out mouthwatering breakfasts made from Polyface products.

5 Reasons You Should Have Your Wedding at The Iris Inn 9 May 2016, 2:00 am

Your wedding day is something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, so of course you want it to be as close to perfection as humanly possible. Whether you’ve hired a wedding planner or you’ve received inspiration from obsessively pinned Pinterest boards, your nuptial ceremony is a reflection of your personality and of a couple’s promise. Everything must be just so, and the Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast is here to make it happen.

For many in the wedding planning stages, selecting the right location can be stressful. But go ahead and cross off any other venue suggestions, because we’ve got you covered right here in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Why? So glad you asked:

  1. The Scenery. We’re tucked away in the mountains, shielded with trees, and perched on an overlook where you can scan the whole Valley. Seriously, how can you go wrong with a Blue Ridge backdrop?
  2. The Option of an Indoor or Outdoor Ceremony. If you’re a lover of the outdoors and the weather is right, then stand proudly with your betrothed on the front steps of the Iris Inn. If you and your guests are more comfortable indoors, then you have the option of promising your vows on top of the library balcony while your guests watch from the Great Room.
  3. The Intimate Setting. A wedding at the Iris Inn means a maximum of 44 guests, so you don’t have to worry about inviting your father’s friend’s neighbor who you met at that one Christmas party a few years back. Share your day with those closest to you and your significant other.
  4. The Wedding Package: We offer a special package that includes everything you would need for your ceremony and reception—a Special Justice, a bridal bouquet and boutonniere, a full reception dinner, professional photographer, and two-tier wedding cake.

Let us take the stress out of the planning. Request more wedding information here.

 

Admire the Art of the Blackburn Gallery 2 May 2016, 10:57 am

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ― Pablo Picasso

We are thankful to be located in an area so close to a number of amazing activities. From wineries and breweries to lush hiking trails and scenic drives, there’s always something to do nearby. One activity that we suggest is browsing local art galleries, and if you need a good place to start, then we suggest the Blackburn Gallery in Nellysford, Virginia just off of the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Blackburn Gallery is a “veteran owned family and friend run gallery with a passion for art and giving back.” Boasting beautiful displays from both regional and visiting artists, it’s the perfect place for “new and experience collectors alike.” You’ll find amazing collections of paintings and photographs, glass and pottery, jewelry, sculptures, woodwork, and more. (We especially love the Gallery’s vision, which is to enrich the lives of all we encounter through the vision of artist.”)

Besides the displays for viewing and the artwork for purchasing, the Blackburn Gallery also provides workshops, tours, and classes for interested individuals of all ages, as well as photography mentorships and custom art commissions (which would make amazing gifts!).

If you can’t make it to the Gallery, or you decide after visiting that you wish you would have purchased a piece of artwork or two, then check out their original fine art and their fine art prints for sale online.

We look forward to seeing you here at the Iris Inn for your artsy adventure!

 

 

 

An Adventure in Arts and Crafts, Crozet, Virginia 17 Apr 2016, 7:41 am

The season of spring seems to go hand-in-hand with arts and crafts festivals, doesn’t it? Maybe there’s something about the emerging warmth that sparks creativity, or maybe it’s humanity’s reflection of nature’s originality. Whatever the case may be, we love local festivals, so we’re definitely looking forward to the 36th Annual Crozet Spring Arts and Crafts Festival on May 7-8, 2016, just down the road in Crozet, Virginia.

FESTIVAL FACTS:

– The event will feature over 100 fine art and craft exhibitors and will take place at Claudius Crozet Park.

– There will be Virginia wine and beer tastings, so make sure you have your ID on hand!

– You’ll have your own festival soundtrack as live music plays throughout the event

– Admission for adults is $6, and parking is FREE

– The festival is a Certified Green event, striving to “minimalize its environmental impact.”

– The event is non-profit, with proceeds going towards Claudius Crozet Park.

– Crozet, VA is only 20 minutes from Charlottesville and only 20 minutes from the Iris Inn, so it’s the perfect distance for a day-trip! After a night at the Inn and a hearty breakfast to fuel your day, head to the festival and then on into Charlottesville for an evening of downtown shopping and eating.

– The festival also happens to be taking place on Mother’s Day Weekend, so it’s the perfect chance to treat your mom to a Virginia getaway or to pick up a beautifully unique piece of artwork as a gift.

We look forward to seeing you for your arts and craft festival vacation! Click here to book your Iris Inn room, cottage, or cabin!

2017 Wine Weekends at the Iris Inn 16 Apr 2016, 10:00 am

Wine 101: January 6 – 8, 2017

This wine filled weekend include dinner, wine pairings, informational sessions with our wine expert, Marc Suspic; sensory exploration, and much more, leaving you with happy taste buds and a wealth of new knowledge.

Pricing: 25th Iris Inn Anniversary pricing $196/couple from now through August 1, 2016. Starting August 2, 2016: $246/couple

Friday

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.

Saturday

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: January 27 – 29, 2017

This weekend will include dinner, wine pairings, informational sessions with wine expert, Marc Suspic; a sensory exploration, and much more, leaving you with happy taste buds and a wealth of new knowledge. It’s all the fun of Wine 101, but amps up the challenge with blind wine tastings! The sensory evaluation/blind tasting occurs over a lunch and will also include a blind competition—Virginia wine vs. the Old-World.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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– Menu (prepared by Chef Caitie Maharg):

– Spring greens with English cucumbers, radishes, strawberries, ricotta solata and a honey balsamic dressing

– Shrimp & Grits

– Apple crisp with maple, bacon & bourbon ice cream

Stay tuned for more information about the specific wines you’ll be enjoying! We look forward to seeing you at this wine lovers’ weekend! Click here to book your room now.

Wine 301: February 24 – 26, 2017(including an offsite winery tour!)

This wine filled weekend include dinner, wine pairings, informational sessions, sensory exploration, and much more, leaving you with happy taste buds and a wealth of new knowledge.

Pricing: 25th Iris Inn Anniversary pricing $196/couple from now through August 1, 2016. Starting August 2, 2016: $246/couple

Friday

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.

Saturday

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!

11:30: Winery Tour– Marc will introduce you to the process of winemaking with a tour of a local winery. (Your winery tour 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!

Why You Should Choose an Iris Inn Cabin for Your Extended Stay Vacation 6 Apr 2016, 1:00 am

So, you’ve started making plans for a much-needed, extended getaway. You have your itinerary pretty well planned out, your belongings ready to pack, and you’ve called a friend to check in on your house while you’re gone. There’s only one thing left to do—decide on lodging reservations.

Many individuals choose extended stay vacation rentals for various reasons. As a recent Iris Inn reviewer stated, “My husband and I are veterans of vacation rentals and prefer rentals to staying in inns because we like our privacy and we like to cook when we travel. We’ve never been big on enforced intimacy with strangers over the breakfast table–it’s just not our thing” (TripAdvisor). Oftentimes, travelers are worried about forced interactions with other B&B guests, particularly during breakfast. A getaway is a time of privacy for these travelers, and staying in a rented facility seems ideal because of the solitude.

But guess what? The Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast provides more secluded options for these very travelers! We offer both cottages and cabins, the latter of which were purposely built as extended stay retreats. With a full-sized kitchen, a personal washer and dryer, hot-tub, and screened porch, our cabins have everything you need for extended stay lodging.

“I really liked the ‘best of both worlds’ concept of the private couples’ cabins adjacent to the inn,” says the aforementioned  reviewer. “The situation of the cabins, the way they are built for total privacy, the finishings, the shower access to the hot tub, even the solar blinds… There are no trade-offs in the cabin.”

Ready to book your cabin stay? Click here to check availability.

Explore Virginia’s Historic Garden Week 1 Apr 2016, 1:00 am

Lush gardens, historic homes, and warm walking tours with good company—nothing celebrates the arrival of spring like Virginia’s Historic Garden Week, and the annual event is fast approaching! “Every April, visitors are welcomed to more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during ‘America’s Largest Open House.'”

The first garden tour nearby the Iris Inn is on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at Morven Estate in Charlottesville: “Morven, a three-story brick manor house built in the late-Georgian/Federal Style, dates to 1820. The land on which it sits was part of the original Carter family land grant and was known to Thomas Jefferson as ‘Indian Camp.’” The estate was passed from Jefferson to his adoptive son William Short. It was then passed on to others until it was finally owned by John Kluge, who generously gifted the estate to the University of Virginia. A bit of trivia for you: “Morven” is a Scottish word that means “ridge of the hills.”

The Staunton, VA tour will also be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016, exploring the historic beauty of the Queen City. “Highlights include: artists painting landscapes en plein air, flower arrangers creating stunning floral presentations, and budding young classical musicians serenading guests as you leisurely stroll along garden paths.”

On Monday, April 25, 2016, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the University of Virginia’s gardens just across the mountain Charlottesville, VA:  “The relationship between the Garden Club of Virginia and the University of Virginia goes back at least 68 years, when the club restored the University’s Pavilion Gardens with proceeds from Historic Garden Week.”

Book your calendar, and reserve your room at the Iris Inn. You won’t want to miss out on this indulgence in history, gardens, and springtime in Virginia.

Photo by John Menard