Greenlake Guest House
Innkeeper(s): Blayne and Julie McAferty
Improvements at the Greenlake Guest House 25 Feb 2012, 6:05 pmWe’ve been busy making some improvements this month to our Greenlake Guest House. We’re excited about a cozy new brick paver patio we’ve installed in our front garden, along with an upgraded pathway and steps for getting there. This sunny location offers a perfect place to sit outside and enjoy a view of the lake with a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Fortunately, we were able to save all 6 of the blueberry bushes that encircle the patio, so our guests will still be able to enjoy fresh berries this summer.
We’re also in the planning phase of adding 3 new gas fireplaces so that each guest room will have its own. Each fireplace will look a little different, but they will all have GreenSmart technology which uses less energy and offers wider options for individual heat output than the older fireplaces. Hopefully all of them will be completed by summer and we’ll be able to show some new photos soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 22 Dec 2011, 9:49 pm
We want to say “thank you” to all of our guests who have made 2011 a wonderful year! They come from all over the country, as well as the world. Many are visiting friends and family in the neighborhood, and others are traveling for business or just want to visit Green Lake and Seattle.
We are now in our eighth year of business at the Greenlake Guest House, and we’re still loving it. Blayne is back to work full time, but is enjoying doing some of the guest check in’s and serving breakfast on the weekends. We have also hired 2 new assistant innkeepers; Kelsey during the week and Susanna on the weekend. They help us keep the place sparkling clean and help Julie bake all those delicious coffee cakes, muffins, and cookies.
This year, we added some new amenities for our guests: individual tables in the dining room, a new Keurig coffee maker for 24/7 availability of coffee and tea, chocolate truffles at the bedside, and a new wine and cheese hour Monday-Friday. We hope to continue improving our B&B and making our guests happy they chose to stay with us.
We are celebrating the new year with a house concert and reception on Monday January 2, from 3-5pm, with “Cricket and Snail.” Please join us if you can!
Greenlake Guest House “Top 10” Picks for the Holidays 25 Nov 2011, 10:50 pmDecember is such a fun time to be in Seattle, despite the rain and the short days. It’s cozy and bright inside, and not terribly cold for being outside. We love the Christmas Lights and special holiday shows and traditions. Here’s our “Top 10” list of fun holiday events around here this month:
1. Of course, we love the annual Greenlake Pathway of Lights. This event is always held at Greenlake on the second Saturday in December. Volunteers line the entire 2.8 mile pathway with luminaires, and thousands of people come to walk the lake and enjoy live carolers and lights. Even the kayaks and canoes are decorated with lights.
2. See a Christmas play at Seattle Public Theater’s Bathhouse Theater at Green Lake. This year you can choose from “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” or the ever-popular “Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” The Theater is a 10 minute walk from Greenlake Guest House as well as several restaurants for dinner or dessert before or after the show.
3. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker” at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall. This Nutcracker is a magical production of the popular ballet, with over the top sets and costumes designed my Maurice Sendak. Family packages available.
4. Downtown shopping: See the Christmas Star at Macy’s, take your photo with Santa, view the window displays, and ride the holiday carousel at Westlake Center.
5. Don’t’ forget to see the “snow” fall inside downtown’s Pacific Place Mall.
6. Visit the amazing Gingerbread Village inside the lobby at the Sheraton Hotel downtown. Admission is free. These houses are designed by architects, and donations benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
7. Ride the Argosy Christmas Ship and see the parade of decorated boats throughout the month of December. Join the parade, or listen to the live carols broadcast from the ship from a beach bonfire at one of 45 locations throughout the Seattle area.
8. Attend the 50th Anniversary of Langston Hughes’ joyful gospel play, “Black Nativity” here in Seattle at the Moore Theater.
9. See the sweet holiday lights at nearby Ravenna neighborhood’s “Candy Cane Lane,” a Seattle tradition since 1949.
10. For the largest area light display, we recommend driving to Bellevue’s Botanical Garden, for the annual Garden D’Lights.
Visit Seattle in October and Enjoy “Seattle Restaurant Week” October 16-27 21 Oct 2011, 10:05 pmNow is a great time to stay with us at Greenlake Guest House in Seattle and take advantage of some amazing dining deals at over 150 of Seattle’s top restaurants. Participating restaurants are offering 3 course dinners for $28, and some are also offering $15 lunches. This promotion runs from October 16-27, Sunday through Thursday nights. To see a listing of participating restaurants.
Monday night, we decided to try out celebrity chef Maria Hines’ new Mediterranean restaurant, Golden Beetle which is located in nearby the nearby Ballard neighborhood. It was delicious, and we will definitely be going back! We look forward to trying more new places before the end of Seattle Restaurant week.
Some of the other participating restaurants that are located right at Greenlake include Eva, Kisaku, and Nell’s. We have dined a number of times at all of these restaurants and can give a hearty recommendation to them all.
Other nearby recommendations include Carmelita, Stumbling Goat, and the Olive & Grape in the Greenwood-Phinney neighborhood. Ivar’s Salmon House and Tilth are good choices in the close by Wallingford neighborhood.
Not visiting us in October? Stay tuned for more special offers in November, with Dine Around Seattle.
Our new Keurig coffee maker 31 Aug 2011, 6:57 pmOn the recommendation of friends, we decided to purchase a Keurig coffee maker for the inn. This coffee maker brews a great tasting, single serving of coffee in less than a minute. We have been amazed at how much our guests have been enjoying it, even in the summer. It’s been fun to try out a variety of coffees, including flavored and decaf varieties. So far, the favorite seems to be Green Mountain Breakfast Blend, followed closely by Tully’s Kona Coffee. Now guests can enjoy fresh coffee and tea 24/7.
Summer Concerts at the Ballard Locks 26 Jun 2011, 9:20 pmOne of our favorite recommendations to guests is a trip to the Hiram Chittenden Locks, located in nearby Ballard. The Locks, built in the early 1900’s, are similar to a mini “Panama Canal” that separates the salty water of Puget Sound from the fresh water from Lake Union and the Ship Canal. It’s a lot of fun to pack a picnic and watch the tug boats and pleasure boats navigate the locks, as well as to see the salmon going through the fish ladder. The gardens are also gorgeous!
For the 22nd year, the locks will be hosting free concerts on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, usually starting at 2pm. Here is the complete concert schedule
Before or after your visit to the Locks, we recommend lunch or dinner at nearby Ray's Boathouse for some of the best seafood in town.
Spring Brunch Bake Success! 3 Apr 2011, 12:30 amThis morning I made a recipe I hadn't done in at least a year, called "Spring Brunch Bake." It's a strata with sautéed asparagus, sweet red pepper, and sweet onion with cheddar & jack cheese. Delicious! I think it's time to add this entree back to the regular line up in honor of spring. It's also great with a little chopped ham added, although I usually serve the meat on the side because we host so many vegetarians.
Here is the recipe:
Spring Brunch Bake
1/2 cup butter
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into one inch pieces
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
2/3 cup sweet onion, chopped
8 cups cubed French bread (I usually remove the bottom crust)
2 cups shredded cheese, divided (we use Costco's 4 cheese shredded blend)
1 cup cooked cubed ham (optional, usually I don’t use it)
8 eggs (or 1 carton egg beaters)
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Melt butter over medium heat in medium sized skillet. Add vegetables and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 3-5 min. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, and seasoning. In a buttered 9x 13 baking dish layer bread cubes, ham, vegetables and 1 cup shredded cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees 45-55 min. until golden and puffed. Sprinkle remaining one cup cheese evenly over top and bake until cheese melts. Serves 12. ( I often divide into 2 equal sized glass 8x8 pans and freeze half for another time).
Win a Seattle Bed and Breakfast Getaway! 21 Mar 2011, 10:10 pm
In honor of Mother's Day, we are participating in a Seattle B&B Getaway Contest sponsored by the Seattle Bed & Breakfast Association. The winner will win a getaway package good at any Seattle B&B Association member inn, including our Greenlake Guest House.
Here are the details: MOM ALERT! WIN A SEATTLE B&B GETAWAY!
We know you are overworked, send us a funny video about why you deserve a night away for two, with dinner and a spa treatment and a delicious breakfast the next morning. Winners will be announced May 6th, deadline to enter is April 22th. You can enter the contest from the Seattle Bed & Breakfast Association Facebook page or website at www.lodginginseattle.com. Will you help us spread the word? Or enter the contest-I'm sure you have some great stories about yourself or your mom!
I (Julie) remember those days of being so tired and overwhelmed as a new mother. One clear memory I have is driving with my baby in the backseat in his car seat. I drove around the corner and heard something slide…it was the car seat with my child in it! I was so tired that I had completely forgotten to strap in the seat. I quickly pulled over and strapped him in, feeling terribly guilty! I could have really used a good night’s sleep in those days.
We innkeepers love to pamper our guests with wonderful breakfasts and comfortable beds. Submit your story and you could win the package!
King's Speech is the Winner! 27 Feb 2011, 9:52 pmBlayne and I enjoyed watching the Academy Awards tonight! We were thrilled that “King’s Speech” won the Best Picture award, since it is was our favorite movie this year. I wonder when it will come out on DVD?
As you may know, Greenlake Guest House has a collection of Academy Award “Best Picture” movies dating back to 1927, as well as many of the movies nominated for Best Picture. This year we have already collected “Toy Story 3” and “The Social Network.” Come visit us and check out the collection!
Our New Dining Room 29 Jan 2011, 3:21 pmAfter over 6 years of hosting guests at our big oak dining table, Julie decided to mix things up a little and set up some smaller tables. Instead of one table that seats 8-10, we now have 3 tables that seat 2, 3, or 4 guests. We moved the dining room hutch to the sunroom to make a bit more space.
Now, the most popular seat in the house is the table right in front of the window with the best view of the lake and our hummingbirds.
One of our favorite parts of the morning is enjoying lively breakfast conversation with and among our guests. We are happy to report that having the smaller tables has not kept our guests from sharing stories with each other and with us. Our guests wanting a bit more privacy also seem to appreciate having their own table.
We still offer our “hearty gourmet” 2 course breakfasts with unlimited juice, coffee, and tea. We start with a fruit course, followed by either a sweet or savory entrée that change daily. Current guest favorites are the Chevre and Fresh Tomato Quiche and our Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Berries. Egg entrees come with a choice of a fresh baked pastry or multigrain toast. Bacon, ham, or sausage, or vegetarian sausage is always served on the side. We also offer an assortment of cereals and our homemade granola for those with lighter appetites.