Last Saturday Dan and I did something that we haven’t done for quite some time. We took a day and went on a local adventure that included boutique shopping and fine dining.
When we share with people where we live, a lot of people will respond with, “all the way down there”. What they don’t understand is that in 45 minutes, you can be in some amazing small towns and villages. Along the way, you will see some of the most beautiful Appalachian countryside as an added bonus.
As I write this, I am trying to remember the last time that I was on a major 4 lane highway. Honestly, I can’t remember.
Morgan County is small. It is one of the smallest counties by population ranking at #85 out of the 88 counties in our great state of Ohio. However, our county neighbors a few of the larger counties in our state which makes Morgan County a great home base and central to a lot to see and do.
So last Saturday we ventured over into neighboring Perry County and spent the day in historic Somerset. Like McConnesville, Somerset has a beautiful downtown square with a few unique restaurants and stores. It is SO worth the drive.
As you know, we are big social media buffs, and we are blessed with a few good friends in Perry County. Lately, we have been seeing a lot of buzz online about a new shop and restaurant located in the heart of town - a french restaurant, and a second-hand western shop. It got our attention. Well, perhaps it was the thought of baked brie and wine, but do not hold that against us.
After checking in with our weekend guests and making sure that they were well cared for, off we went, traveling those back country roads into Perry County. Our first stop was for food. Of course, one can’t shop hangry. At least this girl can’t.
Our goal was to shop, and eat at three local restaurants for the day. Not only were we trying to fill our bellies, but also help support small local businesses who need all of our help now more than ever.
We landed in town around 11:30 am, and it had to be 5’oclock somewhere. We thought a glass of wine and appetizers would fit the bill for this stop, and the new Epicerie et les fleurs did not disappoint.
Epicerie is located right off of the square on Main Street. It’s a vibrant looking building with a very charming and rustic feel on the inside. They even have enclosed outside seating with heaters for cooler days. For this day, we chose inside for the rustic appeal. Mismatched chairs and tables combined with hardwood floors and wood beams gave such a cozy feel. I am sad to say that we were so focused on the food that I totally forgot to take interior photos.
We stop dead in our tracks for a good brie. We found that and then some with baked brie topped with fig jam, a side of scrumptious olive tapenade coupled with amazing bruschetta, and crusty french bread. All of this was nicely complemented with a wonderful suggestion of good Pinot Noir.
As we scoured their menu, we drooled over their homemade dessert listing. Remember, we were on a mission to visit three restaurants. With shopping to do, time in between meals would be short so we had to skip the dessert this time and get our retail therapy on. We know that we will be returning to Epicerie.
Then it was off to our second stop of the day, Mid Western Second Hand. This carefully curated second-hand shop was just perfect. I did snap quite a few photos in this tastefully decorated boutique. The wool blankets might have had me drooling, but the selection of fine second hand, name brand denim jeans and shirts made my heart stop. Not to mention, the pricing is good too.
We both picked up some jeans, and I snagged a Woolrich flannel for the upcoming winter months. My favorite by far was a holiday gift that I secured for a certain family member. I so wish I could divulge, but I promise to share it when the time is right.
From Mid Western we ventured over to the unique shop of Gypsy Hawaii Boutique. Here, they feature a variety of local artists’ wares including handmade jewelry, original paintings, artisan tie-dyes, crystals and so much more. We picked up a couple of cute little handmade gifts for our two youngest grandchildren. Definitely a shop worth the stop.
We also popped into the Antique store and browsed their floors. We are always on the look out for unique items for the Inns at 8th & Main.
After an afternoon of traipsing around the square, we popped in to Strong and Company for a beer, an appetizer and the end of the OSU game. This family owned and operated restaurant was a great stop to rest our feet and prepare for our next meal.
Our final meal of the day was from the historic Clay Haus serving the Somerset area with fine German inspired and American cuisine since 1978. They tag themselves as the “Little country cookery with German influences”. Homemade potato cakes and fine prime rib coupled nicely with a red blend wine. We finished with coffee and a fresh baked cream puff. It was a meal fit for a King and Queen.
The Clay Haus is much like the Stone House. It is an old, historic building of the 1800's. It was built by a cousin of President Andrew Jackson. The president himself was a visitor there.
Overall, it was a successful day out supporting neighboring local businesses. We are so happy that we took the time out for this day trip. It again, reminds us that our home, the Inns at 8th and Main, is the perfect place to call home base for a few days - the perfect place to lay your head with close proximity to first-rate shopping and dining.
It’s a rainy Sunday morning here in Southeastern Ohio as we sit in the living room with our morning coffee listening to the sounds of guests meandering about their rooms. It’s odd because we were getting in quite the rhythm of our weekend breakfast routine. We traditionally serve a full, gourmet breakfast in our dining room every weekend morning, but it’s time to pivot back to a more safe and restricted routine for not only our guests, but ourselves as well.
We have always maintained a safe, clean environment here at the Inns at 8th and Main from cleanliness, to our interactions with our guests, as well as their interactions with other guests. Unfortunately, like everywhere now, time calls for a more stringent routine here at the Inns at 8th & Main.
Last weekend we started going back to our delicious in-room gourmet, continental- style breakfast just to be a little more cautious. From my homemade muffins, cookies, and specialty yogurt, to fresh fruit and orange juice, all are nicely stocked in the room prior to our guests' arrival. Let’s not forget our in-room gourmet coffee from Tayst Coffee too. It may not be the sit down, dining room style breakfast we so enjoy serving, but it's still a breakfast made with care and will satisfy any traveler.
Nothing has changed on the cleaning front though. We still clean and disinfect like mad and will continue to do so long past COVID. In between guests, all rooms and private baths are aired out and scoured, and all linens, including shower curtains and mattress covers, and bed spreads, are removed, changed out and washed for each new guest. Door knobs, remotes and other high traffic surfaces are also cleaned and disinfected.
In addition to our normal extensive cleaning regime, we have implemented extra measures to keep our guests as safe as possible:
* We use Eco-friendly disinfectant cleaner throughout our home as approved by CDC guidelines
* Public areas are being cleaned multiple times during the day
* All common door handles are regularly disinfected
* Antiseptic wipes are provided in each guest room
* Hand sanitizer spray bottles are located throughout the property
We do all of this with care and love. Because even in these rough times, we want our guests to feel not only safe, but spoiled and pampered. This is another reason that we encourage you to #bookdirect. By having a conversation with you prior to your stay, this helps dissipate any concerns that you may have staying with us. In addition, we social distance and limit all interaction, and if requested, provide you with a faceless, touchless check in.
All of these things are easily accomplished because we are small. With only three guest rooms, all with private bathrooms, private halls and entrances, large groups or crowds are easily avoided. Another nice thing is that you can easily rent the whole house, and ensure that your family bubble stays safe.
Further, we currently are not accepting any reservations for first floor events. There is no doubt that these are challenging times, but we feel that we must make the health and welfare of our guests and staff as our top priority and that is why we have decided to hold off on all events.
When staying at our family-owned bed and breakfast, remember that health and safety is just as important to us. This is our livelihood and home, and we want to stay just as safe as you. We do all of this with love and care, and in hopes that when the time comes, and life takes on its new normal, that you will come back and visit us for the full MoCo experience.
We hope you Stay Small. Stay safe. Stay Inn. And remember to #experiencemoco!
- Innkeeper Amy
Welcome to my first blog post. It seems appropriate that I release it now, as we come upon the one year anniversary of the start of the restoration of the Stone House.
I know most of you will agree with me that 2020 has been some kind of a year. However, as I walk through the halls and rooms of the Stone House, I am reminded of all the things that we have accomplished in this past year, the strangest of times.
Dan and I started taking on limited guests in June and now every weekend the house is booked with three rooms fully open and operational. Our list of little things is long but hard to tackle with guests underfoot. So for now we do what we can, and we wait for slower times. Our main focus is to spoil our guests, and from the feedback, we seem to be doing a great job of that.
We are always on hand to greet our guests and show them around on arrival. I love hearing from them that the pictures that they have seen on social media or our website do not do the house justice. It truly needs to be seen and experienced first hand.
From all the little details that we have put into the rooms, the amenities, as well as the common areas, we truly have curated a space that encourages one to relax, enjoy, and create memories with their loved ones. So often life gets in the way of doing just that, but here at The Inns at 8th and Main, we give our guests the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of a few days away from the real world - a place to reconnect with those who matter most.
A favorite of ours has become breakfast. Together, Dan and I prepare simple foods that warm not only the palate but the heart too. We set the table in fine old linens and dishes of yesterday’s past, and we pamper our guests by serving them and encouraging them to savor these morning minutes.
Full breakfast gatherings are a rarity in today’s modern world, but here at the Inn it’s a reminder that a nice morning meal can set the tone for a beautiful day. It’s also an experience that is long remembered after one departs and these savored memories brings guests back to the Inn, and usually with an additional friend.
If you ask any of the guests that have stayed with us this past year, I am pretty confident that they will agree that it is a grand experience here at the Inn and that no matter where you live, near or far, you will not want to miss an opportunity to stay at the Inns at 8th and Main.
Here is a little breakfast recipe that we tried out this past weekend, and with the holiday season upon us, cranberries are in abundance. Remember, you can always freeze a bag or two and have these delectable Orange Cranberry Muffins year-round.
From the Recipe Box at the Inns of 8th & Main