Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast
A Great Smoky Mountains history tour 17 Jul 2019, 12:59 pm
As owners of a professionally run B&B we don’t often promote the services of Airbnb. The “book direct” rates on our own website www.andonreidinn.com are cheaper for one thing. However, we are impressed with Airbnb’s latest new “Experiences” offerings which include locally hosted tours and adventures. As part of the launch of this service one of our fine Waynesville tour companies, Leap Frog Tours, has assembled a wonderful two-day, two-night Great Smoky Mountains history tour. We are delighted that they have chosen the Andon-Reid Inn to provide the accommodations for the tour.
The Great Smoky Mountains history tour begins at the Andon-Reid Inn where you check in and enjoy our afternoon baked treats and complimentary beverages before heading off to Elevated Mountain Distilling, Haywood County’s very own award-winning micro-distillery. Suitably fortified, the tour moves onto the picturesque and historic Cataloochee Valley where you encounter the thriving herd of majestic elk and hear about the area’s history as you walk through some of the preserved 1800’s building in the area. Leaving the valley at sunset Leap Frog Tours will take you to downtown Waynesville for dinner at the taproom of the Boojum Brewery, featuring Boojums craft beers and excellent up-scale pub food. You then end the first day back at the Andon-Reid Inn where you can play pool, shuffleboard or darts in our large games room, relax on the wraparound porch or by our cozy fire pit, while away the time in our comfy and inviting guest lounge reading a good book and swapping tales of the day’s adventures with other guest, or just head off to your comfortable room for some well-earned rest.
The next morning you will enjoy one of our scrumptious made-from-scratch breakfasts and be picked up by Leap Frog Tours who’s trained wilderness guides will take you into the Smoky Mountains for a leisurely hike past gorgeous waterfalls and a picnic lunch. During your hike the Leap Frog guides will share some of the history of the Cherokee Indians that once roamed the area, talk about the founding of the U.S. Forestry Service and cover other fascinating local topics. You will then return to the Inn for some for some downtime. Feel free to ask us about our 1902 Inn’s own colorful history. Dinner is provided the Chef’s Table or Frogs Leap Public House – which are Andrea’s and my two favorite restaurants. After your delicious dinner, Leap Frog Tours will take you on a guided walking tour that recounts the history, haunting stories, and slightly sordid past of Waynesville and Haywood County before returning you to the Inn for a good night’s rest and breakfast the following morning before ending your tour.
If this two-day experience is a little too concentrated for you, Leap Frog Tours offers many of the sections as individual tours that you can take at a more leisurely pace. Alternatively, we can give you advice and directions if you want to do some self-guided sightseeing. Of course, tour or no tour, you are always welcome to stay with us at the Andon-Reid Inn. Call us on (828) 452 3089 or visit our website www.andonreidinn.com to book your room.
Fine dining secrets of Western North Carolina 1 Jul 2019, 11:07 am
There is no shortage of fine dining opportunities in Western North Carolina. That’s no secret. Places like Asheville have some renowned restaurants. Fewer people are aware that our wonderful town of Waynesville is also blessed with a plethora of excellent dining opportunities. I’ll be sharing our thoughts about our favorite Waynesville restaurants in a future article.
A few restaurants in Waynesville such as Frog’s Leap and Chef’s Table will hold an occasional multi-course gourmet dinner. These are generally wine-pairing affairs put on in conjunction with a wine distributor. On these occasions our great Waynesville chefs are “let off the leash” and their once-only menus are even more inventive and elaborate than their restaurant’s normal fare. That, however, is not the subject of this blog. Instead I’d like to let you in on a more exclusive fine dining experience that Andrea and I regularly enjoy, chef Jackie Blevins invitation-only dinners.
Jackie Blevins’ dinners are slightly different. Jackie was the chef/owner of the former Herren House B&B & restaurant. Recently, she has made arrangements with one of our local lunch establishments to take over their kitchen for three or so nights a month to offer her wonderful five course “Perfectly Seasoned” BYO dinners.
We think Jackie’s cooking is fantastic and never miss a dinner. Made with great seasonal ingredients, her food is well balanced, beautifully prepared and presented, and is served in sensible portion sizes that will leave you satisfied without feeling stuffed. Also, unlike a fully fixed menu, she also offers a choice of entrée and dessert. We have attached the latest menu for her July dinners to give you an idea of what you could expect (yum).
We particularly love the BYO aspect of these dinners. The BYO format gives us a rare opportunity to delve into our private cellar and enjoy a special bottle of wine that we couldn’t normally afford at restaurant prices. You could do the same or pick up a special bottle (or two) locally at one of Waynesville’s excellent wine merchants such as the Classic WineSeller.
Jackie’s dinner dates vary, numbers are limited and you need to book in advance. If you are staying at the Andon-Reid Inn, we will send you a “what’s on in Waynesville” email nearer to the time of your visit that will include information on Jackie’s forthcoming dinners as well as many other Waynesville events. If you want to plan further ahead you could also apply to get on Jackie’s invitation list by emailing her on [email protected]
The Andon-Reid Inn is not far from Jackie’s venue so be sure to combine a stay at the Inn with your fine-dining experience. Relax and enjoy our mountain views and comfortable, elegant guest suites, and complement Jackie’s dinner with our delicious made-from-scratch breakfast and afternoon treats. Just call us on (828) 452 3089 or visit our website www.andonreidinn.com to make a reservation.
America gives Vegemite a thumbs up! 17 Jun 2019, 8:45 am
Last Saturday, June 15 was international Vegemite day. As I had explained in a previous post, we decided to celebrate this momentous occasion by offering our guests a sample of Vegemite prepared the true Australian way.
As it happened, all our rooms at the Andon-Reid Inn were full on the 15th, providing us with a statistically significant sample set for our experiment. I suspect, however, that this was a coincidence and not due to people eagerly booking rooms to participate in the Vegemite challenge.
Vegemite on buttered toast points was duly offered to our guests in between the first breakfast course (mango, peach & yogurt mousse) and the main course (sweet potato and honey pancakes with maple-brown sugar butter and a fluffy ham, cheese tomato scramble). The outcome of the challenge was a pleasant surprise. 50% of our guests actually professed to like the stuff and earned the coveted accolade of “happy little Vegemites”. A “bonza result mate” as we would say down-under. The full scores are shown in the graph below.
In case you’re wondering what “happy little Vegemites” means, here is the link to the 1960’s jingle https://youtu.be/JUxun4OZXS0 and here are the lyrics so you can sing along.
We’re happy little Vegemites
As bright as bright can be.
We all enjoy our Vegemite
For breakfast, lunch, and tea.
Our mummies say we’re growing stronger
Every single week,
Because we love our Vegemite
We all adore our Vegemite
It puts a rose in every cheek
Even when it is not international Vegemite day we always keep Vegemite on hand in the innkeepers’ personal pantry. If you would like to give the great Aussie spread a try at any time, call us on (828) 452 3089 to book your room, or book directly on our website www.andonreidinn.com and we’ll be happy to oblige. Of course you’ll also enjoy our delicious made-from-scratch breakfast to compliment (or compensate for) the Vegemite experience.
The Kritter Kitchin’ at the Andon-Reid Inn 6 Jun 2019, 3:41 pm
As you will probably know we attempt to keep the Andon-Reid Inn allergy free and hence we have a no-pets policy. Outside the four walls of the Inn, however, we are very critter friendly. For example, Bibb the cat is enjoying her 19th year of dining pleasure at the Andon-Reid kitchen door despite nominally belonging to the Smathers-Gaultier house (the big white Queen Anne Victorian) next door.
In the same vein, Bibb has an older brother “Shadow” who lives in the house across the street. Shadow is a handsome lean and somewhat motheaten old grey tomcat with incredibly long legs. In his glory days Shadow was the scourge of chipmunks, squirrels and other small creatures. On more than one occasion I witnessed Andrea chasing Shadow across the Andon-Reid Inn lawn, trying to get him to release his hapless prey. Shadow’s hunting days are largely behind him now and he has been coming to join Bibb for breakfast and get an afternoon snack. Fortunately, both cats seem to get along quite well though Bibb rules the roost.
In the meantime, word of easy pickings at the Andon-Reid Inn must have gotten around the neighborhood animals as we have acquired a third regular diner, a Chihuahua named “Backpack” who belongs to the house on the corner of Daisey Avenue. Backpack is a very comical character with short legs, a tongue he regularly forgets to retract into his mouth and a huge Napoleon complex. He can usually be found yapping his way up the Andon-Reid Inn driveway in the mid-morning to perform the useful task of cleaning out whatever is left in Bibb’s bowl. Some mornings we have all three critters dining together and have named this cohort the “Breakfast Club”
Having cleaned all available bowls, Backpack will generally start yapping again until we feed him double his body weight in scrambled eggs, sausage or similar leftover from breakfast. This almost never seems to be enough so Backpack will then continue to yap requests until I have had enough of him, decide to rescind our hospitality, and (gently) shoo him back down the driveway toward his house. Throughout this process, Backpack will trot a short way in front of me, turn to yap his defiance, and then get moving again until he finally yaps his way home. You really can’t help but laugh – he is small but he is convinced he is mighty!
I am sure Bibb, Shadow and Backpack would love to meet you too (on the off chance that you might have some food). If you would like to make their acquaintance then call us on (828) 452 3089 or visit our website www.andonreidinn.com to book your room. Please note, Bibb and Shadow are both stone deaf and Backpack is rather short on common sense. We do ask, therefore, that you look out for them as you approach the Inn as they may not automatically get out of the way of your vehicle. Otherwise, the Breakfast Club awaits you.
International Vegemite Day – June 15 30 May 2019, 6:55 am
I’m very proud of this, but as the old saying (more or less) goes “You can take the boy out of Australia, but you can’t take Australia out of the boy”. To this end, we have decided to celebrate International Vegemite Day at the Andon-Reid Inn this coming June 15.
If you have never heard of Vegemite, it is Australia’s national spread for toast. A black salty concoction made from yeast and very rich in B vitamins. We are introduced to it from an early age and it is as deeply embedded in Australia’s national food culture as peanut butter is for Americans. Vegemite is even name-checked in Men at Work’s old 1982 hit song “Down Under”.
Vegemite is a binary foodstuff i.e. you either like it or hate it. There is no in between. We want to give our guests the chance to make up their own minds. Therefore on June 15, in addition to our delicious made-from-scratch breakfast, the Andon-Reid Inn will honor International Vegemite Day by offering our guests a toast point sampler of Vegemite, prepared the true Australian way.
You can decline the offer (no worries mate). You can try Vegemite and hate it, in which case you can still brag that you survived the Vegemite Challenge. Or you may actually like the stuff, in which case you can proudly proclaim yourself to be a “happy little Vegemite” and learn to sing the Vegemite song from the 1960’s advertisement that all Australians of my generation grew up singing https://youtu.be/JUxun4OZXS0 .
We still have some availability for the weekend of June 15 at the Andon-Reid Inn, so if you’re ready to take the Vegemite Challenge, or if you just want to enjoy the beauty of the season in the Smoky Mountains, call us on (828) 452 3089 or book directly on our website www.andonreidinn.com .
Groundhog day(s) 19 Jun 2018, 8:55 am
April showers bring the flowers but May rain knocks them down again (I just made that second bit up). Actually, it’s no secret that we had an unusually wet May in the North Carolina mountains. For a while the weather was making me homesick for England. The rains have now well and truly passed, thank goodness. We are finally able to bask in seasonal spring sunshine and things are in full bloom again.
One side effect of May’s rain was to back up our lawn service’s workload. The intervals between recent mowings have consequently been a little longer than usual and as a result the grounds at the Andon-Reid Inn have at times been more of a country meadow than a venue for a genteel game of croquet or lawn bowls.
This lush lawn vegetation, however, has provided guests with some unexpected opportunities for nature watching from the Andon-Reid Inn wrap-around porch. I did not follow up Andrea’s suggestion that we get a goat to keep the grass down, but the tasty grass and clover has made some of the local groundhogs more intrepid and wide ranging. You can now frequently see them munching away in the middle of our mountain view. We named the first one we saw Gretel (as in Gretel the Groundhog) and of course once we saw her charming chubby partner he had to be called Hansel.
The moist early spring has also resulted in a particularly large and active crop of fireflies in the hedge at the bottom of our property. One even made it through an open door at our owner’s quarters last night and was flashing on and off above our bed until we shooed him out.
Finally, for all of you who have asked after her, I am pleased to say that despite the vet’s direst predictions, Bibb the cat is still very much with us and is about to turn the ripe old age of 18. She was particularly picturesque snoozing in the sunshine among the clematis and I am happy share a snapshot of her for all her fans.
If you want to meet Hansel and Gretel, or if you are here in the next week or two and want to come on my 10 minute tour of the Andon-Reid Inn’s “un-synchronized” fireflies, or if you just want to say hi to Bibb, then now’s the time to take advantage of great seasonal rates and come and enjoy a stay at the Andon-Reid Inn. Just call us on (828) 452 3089 or visit our (new) website https://www.andonreidinn.com/ to book your room.
Wing or Sprinter? 12 Apr 2018, 12:56 pm
Film maker Peter Wier is probable best known for movies such as Dead Poets Society and the Truman Show. However, back in the 1970’s in my native Australia I recall seeing an earlier, somewhat apocalyptic, Peter Wier film called The Last Wave. The catchphrase for that film was “hasn’t the weather been strange lately”.
The same might have been said for the weather in Western North Carolina earlier this year. Normally we have four delightful, well-defined seasons with a clear transition between each one. This time around things were little different. In February we had early spring-like sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70s while in late March our hyacinths and tulips popped up only to be beaten down by a light (but not particularly welcome) late snowfall. For a while it looked like we would have to invent a name for this new hybrid season. We came up with “Wing” and “Sprinter” and when we polled our guests the latter became the preferred choice.
I’m happy to say, however, that we don’t need the new season name anymore. A proper Spring seems to have finally arrived in the mountains. Our Honeysuckle and Dogwood are now in bloom. Our perennials are starting to poke through, and our flower beds have been newly mulched ready for the traditional Mother’s Day spring planting.
Beyond the Inn, Russ Avenue’s cherry trees profuse blossoms bring Sakura time in Kyoto to mind, and in the Smoky Mountains the wildflowers are starting to come into their own. In fact we went on a short, pleasant hike to Mouse Creek Falls just last week and were greeted by a carpet of Yellow Trilliums and Blue Violets along the trail as well as the new green growth on the forest floor and in the trees.
Spring is a truly wonderful time to stay at the Andon-Reid Inn and experience Mother Nature coming back to life. The weather is mild and generally sunny with cool evenings. The town and its restaurants are less crowded – and our nightly rates are a little lower too. We’d love to see you here to share the season with you. Call us or book directly on our website… and remember our price match guarantee… if you spot a bona-fide lower rate for our rooms elsewhere on the internet call and let us know and we’ll do our best to match or beat it.
Vroom Vroom 20 Feb 2018, 6:31 am
Nobody would accuse me of being a great driver. I’m more slow and cautious than fast and thrilling. For that reason, despite loving all things automotive, I have always resisted the urge to treat myself to a fancy sports car or motorbike. My driving style just wouldn’t do it justice and I am perfectly happy with my practical and comfortable Jeep Cherokee.
But a man can still dream can’t he? So, I am always very glad when one of our guests at the Andon-Reid Inn shows up in a fancy vehicle. At least I can then vicariously live out some of my petrol-head fantasies. For instance, over the last few years I have been delighted with the fair share of fine automotive machinery visiting the Inn. I recall a parking lot full of Corvettes in all different colors, some truly amazing Harley Davidson bikes, top of the range BMW and Audi sports cars, car clubs who had a grand old time renting the entire inn, and even the largest and most tricked-out Dodge Ram truck I have ever seen that just squeezed though the driveway.
The pièce de résistance however, arrived at the Andon-Reid Inn a short time ago when one of our guests stopped overnight en-route to a Ferrari owners club charity rally. There it was – a low, sleek symphony in shining Ferrari red, idling with an impressive throaty rumble. I must admit it looked rather good parked outside the Andon-Reid Inn and (once I had stopped drooling) I had to take a few pictures to establish future bragging rights.
If you are a motoring/motor biking enthusiast, then the area around the Andon-Reid Inn has some great winding mountain roads for you to try out – you know the type they use in car advertisements that are subtitled “professional driver on closed circuit do not attempt”. Our roads range from the gentle scenic meandering of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the awesome “Tail of the Dragon” with its 318 curves in 11 miles. Even if your automotive talents are, like mine, more modest, there is so much to see, do and enjoy at the Andon-Reid Inn and surrounding areas that you should really come over and give us a try.
The Spreading Chestnut 26 Jun 2017, 12:08 pm
Not many people know that Andrea misspent a bit of her youth becoming the queen of Tetris. In fact she is still a dab hand and can score in the millions if she puts her mind to it. This may not seem too relevant for her role as innkeeper but actually it underlies a fabulous talent for spatial visualization that has come in very handy – especially when redesigning our guest rooms.
Take for example the Chestnut Room. This is the Andon-Reid Inn’s most economical guest accommodation but is a charming lodge-themed room featuring a wall fully paneled in wormy chestnut planks recovered from the original 1902 carriage house. The Chestnut Room has a comfortable queen sized bed, gas-log fireplace, sitting area, all the usual Andon-Reid Inn amenities and a nice en-suite bathroom with traditional tub-shower.
However, for quite a while we felt that we were not making the best of the Chestnut Room. Despite being reasonably spacious (around 300 square feet) it felt a little more cramped than it should have. I couldn’t pinpoint the cause and we left it alone until one late winter afternoon while we were doing a deep clean of the room. Having pulled all the furniture out for cleaning, Andrea’s Tetris skills came into play. She shuffled the furniture around, including turning the bed 90 degrees to nestle in front of the bay window.
The transformation of the Chestnut Room was nothing short of incredible. The feel of the room opened up completely and there was now much more space around the sitting area. This prompted us to replace some of the old oversized furniture, including swapping the old highboy with a table that now comfortably accommodates the mini fridge, Keurig, wine glasses and ice bucket.
The remodeling of the bedroom motivated us to refresh the bathroom as well. We have added a new granite countertop and sink, and have replaced the fading striped wall paper with a bright coat of fresh paint.
Guests staying in the revamped Chestnut Room have been very pleasantly surprised by the changes. We we hope you will too. Book on line or give us a call on (828) 452 3089 to reserve a few nights at the Andon-Reid Inn and come and see for yourselves.
Artistic inspiration at the Andon-Reid Inn 27 May 2017, 3:05 pm
In April I wrote about Bill Kaman, a fine Texan musician who had made a return visit to the Andon-Reid Inn. Well it appears that the muses must have been talking to one another as they have been inspiring more artists to visit us.
We recently enjoyed the company of renowned Franklin NC painter Jon Houglum and his wife Carolyn. Jon and Carolyn were staying here with a dual purpose. They came both to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary (congratulations again to Jon and Carolyn) and to participate in the Waynesville “Quick Draw” event http://wncquickdraw.com .
“Quick draw” is an annual lively art event where professional artists race the clock to start and complete a work of art in one fast-paced hour while you watch. The artworks are auctioned off and the proceeds are used to benefit the arts in Haywood County. This year’s event was held at the beautiful Laurel Ridge country club http://www.laurelridgeexperience.com .
To warm up for the Quick Draw event, and also because a stand of trees at the Andon-Reid Inn inspired him, Jon set up an easel on our lawn and produced a marvelous oil painting of the scene. The painting is now sitting on the mantelpiece of the Andon-Reid Inn’s 1902 entry hall until it is fully dry. It will then be framed and hung at the Inn in a prime location for all our guests to enjoy.
If you want to know more about Jon and his work, look him up at http://www.houglumfineart.com . If you would like to see the painting, view the scene that inspired it, or just enjoy a relaxing time in wonderful Waynesville, why not book a stay at the Andon-Reid Inn. We would love to see you.