Tag Archives: travel

Things We Love: German Christmas Markets

One of the things I miss the most about living in Germany, especially at this time of year, is browsing around the Christmas markets, or Weihnachtsmarkte, that are found in big cities and small towns across Germany. You may have even heard of the most famous Christmas markets in Nurnberg or Munich, but my favorite Christmas market is in Cologne.Cologne Christmas Market

Sitting at the base of the huge Gothic Cathedral, the Christmas market fills the large town square with booth-after-twinkling-booth of things to delight your eye!

CologneMarket5

A large Christmas tree stands above the concert stage in the middle of the market, which is always filled with carol singers accompanied by musicians. There are booths filled with sparkling glass Christmas ornaments in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

CologneMarket7

There are booths filled with hand-crafted wooden toys, jolly wooden nutcrackers and smokers, and all sorts of gifts to take home to your family and friends.

Christmas Toys at CologneMarket
There are booths filled with giant cookies that say Ich Liebe Dich! (I love you!) and roasted nuts that smell incredible as you walk by.

CologneMarket Christmas nuts and cookies

Even bundled up in winter coats, scarves and mittens, eventually you begin to feel the cold as you wander through the booths, each more colorful and inviting than the next. It’s time for Gluhwein!

CologneMarket11 Gluhwein

CologneMarket9
Spiced warm wine, or hot chocolate if you prefer, in souvenir mugs is just the thing to warm your hands – and, after a couple of mugs, your toes and nose too!

But my absolute favorite is the booth with the chocolate dipped fruit! Christmas-Market-Chocolate Fruit

Skewers of chocolate-dipped fresh fruit – pieces of bananas, pineapples, grapes, strawberries – dipped in white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate – it is divine!

Although not found at the Christmas markets, my favorite meal at this time of year in Germany is Christmas goose.

ChristmasGooseDinnerIf you’ve never had goose, you’ve missed out. It is mouth-wateringly delicious! It tastes similar to duck and is traditionally served with Klopse (round steamed potato dumplings), rotkohl (pickled red cabbage) and roasted chestnuts – my all-time favorite German meal.

Gluhwein recipe

Although I’ll miss out on the Christmas goose and chocolate-covered fruit this year, I’ll be reminiscing while trying out this Gluhwein recipe I found on Pinterest!

It calls for 1 bottle of dry red wine, 1 cup of brandy, 1 sliced lemon, and 3 sliced oranges. To add the spice, stir in 6 sticks of cinnamon, 8 to 10 cloves, and 3 to 5 whole anis. Mix in 3 tablespoons of sugar then simmer for 45 minutes.

Prost!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

Paris Ritz Renovates Traditional Antique French Decor

I am pleased that the Paris Ritz renovation is finally completed and the hotel is open again! Here at EuroLuxHome.com we import all our fine antique furniture from Europe (hence the name!) and although some of the furniture comes from other European countries, most is from France. Paris is close to our hearts and the Paris Ritz is an icon. The building on Place Vendôme is beautiful and it is packed with antique furniture. So let’s see how it looks now, because even if we can’t all afford to stay there, we can enjoy the beautiful antique décor.

Ritz Paris Windsor SuiteThe photo above of the Windsor Suite gives a taste of what to expect. When Swiss hotelier César Ritz bought this private palace built in the early 18th century, he planned to turn it into a luxury hotel with: “All the refinement that a prince could desire in his own home.” He did a good job of it because when the Ritz opened in 1898 the most influential people started to stay there.  The Ritz boasted a private bathroom with each guest room! In those days, this was an unheard-of amenity. Boy, how times have changed. Even a Motel 6 room has its own bathroom now!

Paris Ritz Imperial Suite

In 2012 the current owner closed the Paris Ritz in order to restore it back to its former glory. The hotel is famous for its traditional 18th-century French décor, splendid and opulent, but the antique furniture and decorative items needed some work.

Ritz Paris suiteThey had craftsmen restore the antique furniture and light fixtures, and apparently the hotel expected a lot from the artisans who did the restorations. For example, some of the antique chairs were repainted 15 times to restore them to their original authentic colors!

Marie Antoinette Room Paris RitzAntique objects and art still fill the Ritz Paris after the renovation, and some of the suites replicate the furnishings that reflect the décor styles of the famous names that once stayed at the hotel. For example, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Coco Chanel, and Marcel Proust all had their individual styles. This is the Salon Proust:

salon Proust Paris Ritz

The New York-based French architect and designer Thierry W. Despont was in charge of this precious renovation. Yikes, he had to carry a lot of responsibility. He had to keep the essence of the hotel but also allow for modern technology to be included, and hey… as a New York architect he certainly knew that they had to upgrade the air-conditioning system!

It seems that the renovations at the Paris Ritz have been very popular. It looks like they did a great job of it. If you’ve stayed at the Paris Ritz since it reopened, tell us about it on the blog or even send some photos… we’d love to see them!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Charming Victorian Inns for a Cozy Getaway

If you’re looking for a cozy getaway this fall and winter, these charming Victorian inns are picture perfect! These beautiful Victorian homes have been made into inns and decorated in period style, including antique and vintage furnishings and fine antique-inspired furniture.

Hamilton-Turner Inn

The Hamilton-Turner Inn in Savannah, Georgia, was built in 1873 to be the home of Samuel Pugh Hamilton, known as “The Lord of Lafayette Square.” It was the first residence in Savannah with electricity. When the electric lights were turned on in 1883, those watching the house light up were afraid it would explode!

Hamilton Turner Inn Victorian Inn style

The mansion was featured in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” as the location for many wild parties and the lavish decor really gives a sense of Savannah’s opulent style.  The individually designed rooms and a separate carriage house feature details like antique four-poster beds, claw foot tubs, romantic fireplaces and ornate draperies.

Chanticleer Inn

Chanticleer Guest House in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, has a very different feel! This rustic retreat (above) in a renovated 19th-century farmhouse and barn is decorated with period antiques and surrounded by forest and ponds. The country charm makes this a lovely place for a relaxing weekend getaway curled up by the fireplace, but there is plenty of pampering too with whirlpool tubs and tasty breakfasts delivered to your room!

Jeweled Turret Inn Victorian Inn

The Jeweled Turret Inn (above) in Belfast, Maine, is a more traditional Victorian B&B, and a Landmark on The National Register of Historic Places. Built on Penobscot Bay in 1898, the Victorian house has been restored and decorated in classic Victorian style including some lovely antique furniture and collectibles. Outside, guests can relax on two verandas with porch swings.  tourmaline-room Jeweled Turret

The “Tourmaline Room” shown above is decorated with antiques, lace, chintz, and a marble-topped bureau, and the bathroom features birds-eye maple woodwork and a Victorian claw-foot tub. The “Amethyst Turret” is a popular honeymoon room, located in an octagonal turret complete with a four-poster bed AND a fainting couch! It’s clearly designed for romance so the hero can sweep the heroine off her feet in several parts of the room!

If you know a beautiful Victorian Inn that you’d love to recommend to our blog readers, please leave a comment or tell us on our Facebook page.

And if you want more Victorian Inn inspiration, I hope that you’ll enjoy my earlier posts on Romantic Victorian Inns and Historic Inns.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail & Mary Todd Lincoln Home

We had a great time recently when we hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and visited the Mary Todd Lincoln home – it’s full of antique furniture!

A&GIt all started when our nephew, Matthew, came and stayed with us for about 10 days this summer. He spent a good deal of time hanging out with Greg and learning to fix computers and cell phones. We drove him back to Columbus, Ohio, and then took a few days making our way home as a summer vacation.

Greg is a huge baseball fan. One of his bucket list items is to see a game in every national stadium, so of course, we stopped in Cincinnati at the Great American Ballpark to catch a Reds game.

Bourbon

We drove on to Lexington, Kentucky, to hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! Greg and I love small batch bourbons and are on a quest to find our favorites.  This is our second trip along the Kentucky Bourbon trail, as we visited the Maker’s Mark distillery several years ago.

Bourbon barrels

This time we stopped at Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace and Willet Distillery. It is very interesting to tour the production facilities and see how each business operates.

Copper StillEven better, we get to experience the tastings at the end of the tour!  So far my absolute favorite is Basil Hayden, with Maker’s Mark a close second. Greg really likes Wild Turkey 101 and Maker’s Mark, but he says he still has many yet to try before he can call a winner.

Mary Todd Lincoln Home Dining RoomWe also toured the Mary Todd Lincoln House. It was the first house museum site restored purely to honor a First Lady and it is filled with beautiful antique furniture. This is the dining room. I actually never knew that Mary Todd came from a very wealthy and politically connected family before she married Abraham Lincoln, so it was fascinating to see her childhood home.

Mary Todd Lincoln Home parlor This is the Mary Todd Lincoln House parlor. The house was originally built in 1803 as an inn, before it became a private home in 1832. I always love a good historic home museum, and I can highly recommend this one if you’re in Lexington, Kentucky. I found it on Trip Advisor, my favorite travel mobile app.

Sanders Cafe

Finally, we stopped at the Sanders Cafe in Corbin, Kentucky, home to Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken!

KFC Kitchen

You can actually see the original kitchen where the Colonel worked out his original recipe, and of course you can eat lunch there.

Aimee and the ColonelEntrepreneurship is near and dear to my heart, and Colonel Sanders is one of my business heroes, so I greatly enjoyed this stop.

I admire that Colonel Sanders never gave up. He didn’t actually make his fortune until later in life, years after he sold his original cafe, hotel, and gas station in order to break even with his debts.

It was a fascinating end to a short but sweet summer vacation!

Where have you been traveling to this summer? Have you hit any historic sites? Tell us in the comments… we’d love to hear about it!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Graceful Getaways in New England

If you feel like a getaway in New England this year, we’ve got three beautiful suggestions of places to stay!  Anyone who has followed my series of posts on travel and historic hotels, knows that I love finding places to stay that have a sense of history or are beautifully furnished with antique furniture or in antique style. These three Grace group hotels make me want to pack my bags!

Mayflower Grace Hotel

Mayflower Grace hotel with antiquesThe Mayflower Grace is a great country retreat, just a short hop from New York City (about a 2 hour drive) in the scenic Litchfield Hills in Washington, CT.

The boutique hotel and spa is located on 58 acres of landscaped gardens and a collection of 18th and 19th century art can be viewed throughout the hotel.

The rooms are furnished with very good taste and plenty of antiques and antique-inspired decor. For example, the hotel features antique rugs and antique four-poster beds. Grand mahogany wood fittings, marble and Limoges look very VIP!

Mayflower hotel with antiques

Not surprisingly, the Mayflower Grace was named one of The 7 Most Romantic Hotels in North America by Travel & Style. It’s a great base for scenic hiking trails or going antiquing. It’s also near Connecticut’s oldest art house movie theatre, the 1927 Bantam Cinema.

The Vanderbilt Grace Hotel

Vanderbilt restaurantThe Vanderbilt Grace is an historic boutique hotel in Rhode Island. Formerly Vanderbilt Hall, the vintage Newport mansion was built by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt in 1909.

Guests can expect to be greeted with a glass of champagne on arrival and canine guests are even treated with special doggy meals. I love that idea! I bet our pups Jake and Rudy would love that idea too, and then all the cats would want to come as well. So shhh! Don’t tell them!

As the hotel is near the waterfront, rooms are named with a maritime theme such as the Admiral Suites and Captain’s Loft Suites. This is the very fancy restaurant called Muse. There is also a rooftop bar to watch sunset over the harbor.

White Barn Grace Hotel

White Barn restaurant

The White Barn Grace (previously the White Barn Inn & Spa) in Kennebunk, ME, has been a local landmark for 150 years. The hotel has its roots back in the Civil War era, when people stayed at the old Boothby Boarding House which grew from a farmhouse into a hotel. Many additions and renovations later, it has grown into a luxurious retreat and the original barn has become a AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Artifacts from the old barn were saved to show in a display loft.

If you have a favorite hotel, B&B or other getaway that has a historic story or is decorated with antiques, let us know in the comments box below. We’d love to take a tour with you!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

 

August Home Decor and Antiques Roundup

The last month has been great but very busy for Greg and me! If you’ve been busy as well and you haven’t had chance to check in here on our home decor and antiques blog, here’s a roundup of the posts you missed!

Antique French Hunting ChairsFirst, save money on a treasure for your home with our discount code to get 15% off new, vintage, and antique furniture and home accents. Our End of Summer and Labor Day sale runs through September 9, 2015.

Order anything at EuroLuxHome.com and you’ll get 15% off everything (as well as our always-free shipping) when you enter the coupon code at checkout: CELEBRATE

If you need some inspiration about how to mix antique furniture into your home, this recent client spotlight about our antique Chinese opera bench shows just how easy it is! Antique Chinese opera benchOur client Suzan G. chose well when she bought the Late Qing Dynasty hand-carved bench and put it in her hallway in Santa Barbara, CA. It makes a terrific style statement and fits brilliantly into a contemporary home.

Retrofit Sink Chest French styleAnother client, the interior designer Edwin Miller, got creative with our new, antique-inspired chest of drawers.

As you can see from the Retrofit Sink Chest blog post, Edwin thought the French style chest would convert into an excellent sink chest.  He’s right – it looks great in his client’s guest bathroom!

Browse all of our client spotlights to see other beautiful homes. We love seeing these photos showing how our customers feature antique and new furniture and lighting from EuroLux Home in their spaces.

EuroLux Booth at Antique Tobacco Barn

Talking of spaces… we just expanded one of ours! We moved into a booth that is twice the size of our old one at the Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville, NC. We also gave it a major makeover. This is the end result but you can see all the work that went into it in our blog post about our new big and bright Antique Tobacco Barn space.

Leeds Castle EnglandIf you’re thinking about a trip to London, England, any time soon, you must check out my post about the beautiful and historic Leeds Castle, packed with antiques and gorgeous architecture. If a day trip from London isn’t enough, you can even stay overnight at the castle.

Currey Shell SideboardFinally, even though summer is nearing the end, my post about Sea Shell Decor and Furniture proved that it can be summer all year round in your home.

Shell is a lovely and unique natural material. I gave examples of shells in everything from furniture like this shell-encrusted cabinet to shell-strewn chandeliers and throw pillows.

We hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and enjoy these last days of summer.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our discount code on antiques and new furniture and home decor while doing your Labor Day shopping. You’ve got till midnight on September 9, 2015, to grab yourself a deal!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Stay at Beautiful Historic Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle in England has been called “The Loveliest Castle in the World” and it’s easy to see why! The castle is the perfect day trip from London. But if you want to stay for longer, visitors can not just tour the amazing castle and grounds, you can stay there too!
Leeds Castle EnglandLeeds Castle is in the English county of Kent, which is known as ‘the garden of England.’ The castle is nearly a thousand years old and it’s set in the middle of a fabulous moat, just like the stuff of legends.

Leeds Castle EnglandThe first stone fortification was built on this site in the 1100s and when Eleanor of Castile bought it in 1278 the castle came into royal hands. Over the centuries, it has been associated with a total of six queens of England. In the 1500s, King Henry VIII had a big makeover done on the castle to make it a truly resplendent royal palace for him and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Leeds Castle Banqueting Hall

This is the banqueting hall and you can just make out a portrait of King Henry VIII over the fireplace. Henry didn’t travel lightly… when he visited Leeds Castle in 1520 he took a crowd of 5,000 courtiers and retinue with him! The king was on his way to France for the famous ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’ meeting with King Francis I.

Leeds Castle Drawing Room

Leeds Castle is full of original European antiques and exquisite architectural details. This is a wood-paneled drawing room.

Leeds Castle

What a lovely library! Look at the row of large porcelain vases lined up above the bookshelves as well as the urns on the mantelpiece over the fire. The old books look so handsome but I wouldn’t want to have to dust this room!

Leeds Castle Maidens Tower Bed and BreakfastIf you plan to stay at Leeds Castle you have various choices including B&B, holiday cottages, and glamping. This is one of the bed and breakfast rooms in the 16th century Maiden’s Tower, decorated in period style with modern touches. Breakfast is served in a 17th Century oak-beamed restaurant.

Leeds Castle Knights Glamping Fantasy Camping

Or you can try glamping (glamorous camping) in one of the Medieval style Knight’s Glamping striped pavilions in the castle vineyard. The pavilion tents are so posh that they sport four poster beds with cotton linens and you can keep warm on a chilly night with a wood stove.

Leeds Castle is about an hour from London and there’s a lot to do on the 500 acres of formal gardens and parklands. Try punting on the moat, watch a falconry display, or explore the maze formed by 2,400 yew trees.

Check out my posts on other English Castle Hotels and French Castle Hotels for more unique and historic European vacation ideas. Send us a postcard if you go!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

English Castle Hotels

If you love the romance of English history, lore and legends, you’ll be pleased to know that you can experience the romance for yourself by staying in an English castle! I blogged before about how to take a castle vacation at Château de Bagnols in the Beaujolais valley and in other French castle hotels. But today we’re hopping across the Channel to sneak a peek at the English castles that could tempt us to put on our wimples and go for a visit.

Hever Castle, Kent

Stay at Hever Castle in England

Hever Castle is famous for being the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second of King Henry VIII’s six wives. Henry was never going to win “Husband of the Year” and poor Anne came to a very unfortunate end. But first she made her mark on history by giving birth to a little girl destined to be the future Queen Elizabeth I.
This impressive double-moated medieval castle was built in 1270. It’s thanks though to the American William Waldorf Astor that the castle is so well restored today. He gave the castle a facelift and to keep it authentic his workmen use the same materials and tools that the Tudors used!

Hever Castle Inner Hall

You can stay at Hever Castle or just visit to enjoy spaces like this amazing Inner Hall with walnut panels and columns. During the Tudor years it was the Great Kitchen, cooking up feasts for the household after their hunting parties, no doubt.

Augill Castle, Cumbria

Augill Castle CumbriaIf you’re visiting the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales in the north of England, you’ll find Augill Castle a convenient and mighty impressive place to stay! It’s been named English B&B of the year and it offers Gothic towers and turrets, antique furnishings and 20 acres of grounds with a tree house!

Augill Castle room Queen Victoria

Built in 1841 as a country residence for a Victorian gentleman, Augill Castle has a library, its own cinema, and 15 guest rooms for travelers to stay in.

This is the Pendragon room and it is said that Queen Victoria stayed in this room on her way to her Scottish country castle of Balmoral.

In addition to that stunning four poster bed, the room has a carved oak fireplace and arched leaded windows. The bathroom boasts stained glass windows and a Victorian cast iron claw footed bath.

 

 

Amberley Castle, West Sussex

Amberley Castle

Visitors should be safe in this 900-year-old castle… it’s surrounded by a 60-foot-high castle wall and a twin-tower gatehouse with a portcullis that is closed each night! During the 14th century the castle was the Bishop of Chichester’s Summer Palace. Now it’s a hotel including a restaurant with suits of armor and a 12th century barrel-vaulted ceiling.

Amberley Castle hotel room

Bedroom decor includes antique furnishings, original fireplaces, and four poster beds – one room even has access to a tower! Peacocks roam the 12 acres of grounds with 1920’s topiary and statues, and you can play tennis, old-fashioned English croquet, or golf on the 18-hole putting green.  It’s easy to stay at Amberley Castle if you are traveling though London as it’s less than 60 miles from the city. It’s also near the seaside town of Brighton which is well known for its antique shops!

If you’ve ever stayed in an English castle – or a castle in France or anywhere at all – we’d love to hear from you!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Hot Springs, North Carolina

As small business owners, it is sometimes hard to get away from the business and just take a few days off to relax. But we’ve arranged a belated Valentine’s getaway for ourselves. We’ll spend a night in Asheville and re-stock our booth at the Antique Tobacco Barn. I’ve been meaning to “get on the bus” for the LaZoom Comedy Tours of Asheville – it looks hilarious!

Then we’re off to our favorite spot in the woods – Hot Springs, North Carolina. We love to stay at the Iron Horse Station Inn which is actually three adjoining historic buildings right on Main Street.

Iron Horse Station Inn The original inn was built in 1929 while today’s restaurant and tavern was originally built prior to 1890 and was formerly a haberdashery and later a movie theatre. We love the original brick exposed walls, the heart-of-pine flooring and the stamped tin ceilings throughout the cozy Inn and Tavern.

Iron Horse Station Tavern

The food is very good and they always have an interesting selection of hand-crafted, local North Carolina beers on draught. I once had a super delicious Oyster Stout there that I just can’t seem to find again – maybe this time!

Our agenda is to relax! As you’ve probably guessed, Hot Springs is famous for the natural hot mineral water springs.

Hot Springs North CarolinaSince 1778, folks have been traveling to the Hot Springs just to soak in these natural mineral baths, which range from 100 to 104 degrees year-round. It was even a popular stopping point for travelers during the American Revolution. The water is pumped into your own private Jacuzzi tub in secluded open cabins with views of Spring Creek and the French Broad River.

Hot Springs is actually one of the few towns actually on the Appalachian Trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I recently read Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild” and was very inspired by her memoir of walking the Pacific Coast Trail. (If you haven’t seen Reese Witherspoon’s performance in the movie version of Wild you should – it is Oscar-nominated!) It has been one of my bucket-list goals to walk at least part of the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, which is a medieval pilgrimage route from Paris, France to the Western coast of Spain. I think that would make a great 50th birthday trip in a few years! So perhaps we’ll also officially start training and do a little hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

MaxPatch Appalachian Trail

There is a spot not too far from town called Max Patch, which is on the Appalachian Trail. It is a very steep hike to an elevation of 4629 feet with 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We last visited three years ago but I’m looking forward to climbing it again. A relaxing soak in the hot springs, gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and my sweetheart by my side – sounds like my kind of belated Valentine’s getaway!

At MaxPatch Appalachian Trail

If you’re looking for your own getaway inspiration, you’ll find some ideas in my recent post on Romantic Victorian Inns or in our other posts on historic getaway destinations from Bed & Breakfast Inns to European castles.

Or tell us all about your favorite get-away spot in the comments!

 

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

 

 

Romantic Victorian Inns

These romantic Victorian Inns aren’t just for Valentine’s Day – you can enjoy them all year round. The Victorian era was one of the most romantic in terms of architecture and home decor, although I’m not sure I’d do so well without our modern-day amenities. Thankfully, visitors to these four Victorian inns get all the romance AND the Wi-Fi!

The Oaks Victorian Inn, VirginiaThe Oaks Victorian Inn

The Oaks Victorian Inn on Main Street in Christiansburg, VA, has a very romantic story to tell. Major W.L. Pierce built the inn in the late 1800s for his bride, Julia. They lived happily ever after and had seven children. This is the Julia Pierce Room at the Inn, which was once Julia’s own bedroom. It’s been decorated with a Victorian bed and a hand-painted slate fireplace and the bedroom boasts a Jacuzzi tub big enough for you and your sweetie. Outside, you’ll find a garden with 300-year-old oak trees and a pretty porch.

The Victorian Inn, CaliforniaCalifornia Victoria Inn Parlor Room

The Victorian Inn in the Victorian village of Ferndale, CA, makes a delightful base to explore California Redwood Forest. Built in 1890, the Inn boasts boasts vintage fixtures and furnishings in its rooms. This is the Victorian Parlor room with an antique armoire and a red velvet Victorian couch in the bay window sitting area.  The VI Restaurant steps into the 21st Century with a mix of classic and contemporary Californian cuisine. That’s probably just as well, as Victorian food isn’t always a good fit for our taste buds today!

The Victoria Inn, Maine

Romantic Bed in Victoria Inn Bethel Maine

This charming bed in The Victoria Inn in Bethel, ME, looks so tempting. The romantic inn is a restored 19th century building filled with period Victorian decor and furnishings including lace-draped beds just like this one. Bethel became a vacation destination way back in the 1800s when city dwellers visited to enjoy the refreshing mountain air. The allure is apparently timeless; Ski Magazine said that The Victoria Inn was one of the 10 best inns in New England.

Innisfree Bed & Breakfast By-The-Lake, North Carolina

Romantic Victorian Innisfree Inn NCThis is nearly in our backyard! The Innisfree Bed & Breakfast By-The-Lake is a AAA Four Diamond property overlooking Lake Glenville near Cashiers and Highlands, NC.  It is perfectly placed to explore the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains but I reckon it would be hard to tear yourself away from the house itself and the 12 acres of grounds filled with gardens and woods.

Barrett Suite Innisfree Victorian Inn North Carolina

Rooms at the Innisfree are named after Victorian personalities, including one named for the queen herself: Victoria’s Grand Suite with a mahogany four-poster bed. Then you’ll find the Lord Tennyson suite with a private veranda, chandeliers, a fireplace, and a tub for two overlooking the garden, and the Barrett Suite, shown above. This romantic boudoir boasts a canopied four-poster bed with French lace and a fireplace. During the day, guests relax in the sunny parlor, and by evening Irish coffee is served beside the cozy fireplace. Guests go for dinner in the inn’s octagonal Tower Dining Room lit by chandelier.

If you want to give your spouse or significant other a hint for a romantic weekend away, just send them a link to this blog post. (Hello Greg!)

We’d love to hear about your favorite romantic Victorian inns too. Meanwhile, don’t forget our Valentine’s discount for your special person or just as a gift for your home.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.