Waypoint House

Address: 211 S Church St. Berryville, Va    Reservation Line: 540-955-8218

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Arts and Crafts Day: Fun with Architectural Salvage

This weekend Jonathan and I had a chance to get out of the house for a bit and do a little treasure hunting.  Once we found our treasures, we got to have a fun arts and crafts day.  We love anything DIY.  We kind of can’t help ourselves.  It’s a bit of an addiction.

We had heard of a store in Front Royal that bought and sold old architectural house pieces.  We’d wanted to get there for some time, and this past weekend was our chance.  Once there, looking at all the wonderful, historic pieces our minds began to swirl.

We had a vague idea that we wanted to update some of the art in the rooms and maybe incorporate a three dimensional piece.  We must have come up with a half dozen or more ideas while we browsed the aisles of the big, chilly warehouse, but finally we decided upon an idea and proceeded to just purchase one item for the time being.  Often, we find ourselves mired in more than one project at a time and ultimately we felt now would not be a good time to get bogged down.  One, simple, do-able project seemed fine to us!

However, as we are prone to do, one crafting project turned into two.  Okay, turned into three.

Let’s break this out.  So, the fun piece we bought at Architectural Old House Parts was a beautiful piece of tin that had once been part of a ceiling.  Nearly all the paint had come off the piece as it had never been properly primed before painting.  Good for us!  And it only had a bit of superficial rust that could easily be cleaned off.  All in all, the look and wear on the piece was quite wonderful.

Jonathan scrubbed it with some steel wool which got most of the rust and then we gave it a quick wash and dry.  Finally, we applied a rust inhibitor to the tin. With some lumber from the garage, Jonathan built a frame for the back.  All that’s left to do now is attach the tin to the frame and then we can hang it on the wall.  We think this will be a great piece in our parlor.

The second project for the weekend started out as a simple fix-it.  I have a full length mirror in one of the guest rooms, and I noticed last week that one of the legs had developed quite a nasty crack.  After Jonathan examined it, he determined he could get it to hold back together, but that the best course of action would be to look for a new mirror.

I started a Google search, trying to locate a similarly sized piece, when it occurred to me that we had an unused mirror stored in the garage.  When we updated the Shore Room in the winter of 2013/2014 we removed a long antique mirror from above the old “headboard” in the room.  The frame had come apart from it, and we had planned on donating the mirror, but hadn’t yet done so.  Could we make our own new frame, I asked Jonathan, and use this as our new floor mirror?  Well, after a quick inventory of the rest of the lumber, he found some pieces that were actual beams from the house from when we remodeled the kitchen ceiling in winter 2012!  Win, win, win!  Free mirror made with pieces already from the house.  A perfect reuse and recycle opportunity.

Jonathan and his trusty table saw made a channel in the wood beams to frame out the mirror and he coated the wood in clear polyurethane.  Once the poly dries, he’ll assemble the frame to the mirror.

Our final crafts project for the weekend was a fun little thing I had wanted to get to for a while.  I get lots and lots of maps here so that I can keep them available for guests.  The Virginia Department of Transportation is great at sending those out upon request.  Not too long ago I got some updated versions, so I had a pile of old maps.  I thought, what if I could create a fun little souvenir for our retail shelf using the Berryville bit of the map?  So, I purchased a few craft supplies to make cute magnets and key chains.  Once the map parts are cut to size, they are sealed with a simple Mod Podge glue.  The same glue is used to adhere the maps into the magnet base – a bottle cap, in this instance.  The final step will be to mix and pour a jeweler’s resin into the cap which will actually magnify the image underneath a bit.

So, we are about three quarter of the way done with all three projects.  Not bad for one weekend!  I’ll show you all the finished projects really soon, but for now, here are a few working photos to spark your interest.


INNspiration at Annual Bed and Breakfast Conference

Jonathan and I recently attended the Annual Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia Conference and, as always, I walked away inspired and ready to take on new tasks! We’ve had a week now to digest and process all the information we downloaded, and now it’s time to see if we can put some of those ideas in action.

Running your own business means you are constantly innovating to find new and better ways to do things. It’s no exception for innkeepers. We strive for a consistency in terms of superior service that our guests have come to expect, and I think we have found a really good business model that roots itself in providing modern, comfortable accommodations while reflecting old fashioned hospitality and service. It can be easy to slide into complacency once you’ve found a groove, but that’s definitely NOT something we want to do here. We are constantly looking for fresh ideas to help complement our business. So, if we can find a new way to reach more guests, or a new product that will increase the comfort of our guests once they arrive, we’re up for giving it a try.

This conference has me thinking of all kinds of great things from blog ideas to room décor upgrades, new breakfast recipes and more. I’m looking forward to working on these ideas and then sharing with you all over the coming months as we continue to innovate and implement a better and more unique B+B experience. I hope to see you back here much more frequently. We’re looking forward to a stellar 2015!

Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia

Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia


A Busy Fall!

So, here’s the truth guys: I’m terrible at blogging because one little technical glitch and I become a complete idiot with regards to all things computer.  Yes, I was having technical issues with the posts and so that’s one of the main reasons for the long delay between updates.  That and we had a tremendously busy summer and fall so far!  Which, of course, we are extremely grateful for. So here’s the fall update for 2014.

We did finally get our summer Deck Beautification Project completed.  I think I mentioned in my last post we were getting ready to tackle that, but we were waiting on the dove family to hatch a set of eggs.  You see, a pair of doves decided that the eaves of the back porch was a perfect place for their nest.  Well, they hatched not one, not two, but three sets of chicks this summer!  They have moved on for the season, so we proceeded with our update project.

The first order of business was to finish off the ceiling.  Once that was done (leaving the opening for the dove family, of course) we added a ceiling fan and festive lighting. We also painted the back wall to match the house color.  Finally, we replaced a few boards in the deck and then put on a new coat of paint on.  We’re very happy with the upgrades as it makes an already relaxing spot even more enjoyable now.

While we were at it we added a fresh coat of paint to the front deck as well.  A nice fresh coat of paint can make a big difference and we also used a paint with an anti-slip additive as an upgrade.  Safety first, guys!

Here’s a couple of fun little videos for you all to enjoy.  The first one shows us as we rock out the painting of the back deck.  The second is just us goofing off as we enjoy the fruits of our labor.  Finally, the third video shows the painting of the front porch.

Have a great week everyone and I hope you can come visit us soon!

-Rachael

 

 


It’s Our Two Year Anniversary!

Can you believe it? Today is our two year anniversary of opening the doors here at Waypoint House! We’ve had such a busy spring, that this slipped up on us pretty quickly.

So, how about a little update since my last post? Despite the rough winter, the garden mostly pulled through like a champ.  The tulips, daffodils, irises, peonies, and roses all bloomed nicely.  Now the many varieties of lilies are showing their colors.  The sage, mint and oregano in the herb garden all came back and flourished.  The vegetable garden is starting to come along nicely also, though we did seem to be behind a few weeks because of the cooler temperatures.

We finished up some exterior painting that was part of our 2013 Renovation Plan but got put on hold due to the cold that came in so quickly in November.  Now we are taking on a Summer project of beautifying the back deck.  It was already a pretty nice place to relax, but we are adding a few nice finishing touches there.

We seem to have a little mourning dove family that has decided it wants to nest in the eaves of the back porch ceiling.  The ceiling is “unfinished” and our plan was to cap it off completely, but now, “Bay #2” of the eaves will remain permanently open for this little family.  They nest in the same place year after year and mate for life.  They hatched one brood this spring already and it was a real treat to see the young birds learning to fly in the sanctuary of our backyard!  Two more eggs are currently in the nest, so I guess mama and papa dove trust us being around!  I suppose we should name them now!

The start of this new year also gave us the chance to introduce some packages and special add-ons to the rooms.  If you haven’t seen what we have to offer check out our Specials page here on the website – http://waypointhouse.com/reservations/promotions-specials/.  We’ve got more planned too, so stay tuned for that!

All in all, we are enjoying being busy and greeting guests each week!  We are so happy to be here on our anniversary, looking back at all we have accomplished in such a short time.   More importantly, we look forward to the many more things we can do to give our patrons the very best experience while visiting here!

Thank you to all of the wonderful people who have stayed with us in the last two years.  It was a pleasure meeting all of you!  Come back and see us again soon, or, if this is your first time visiting our site and you’ve not yet had a chance to come stay with us, go ahead and give us a call to make your reservation.  We’d love the opportunity to meet you, too!

With All Our Gratitude,

Rachael and Jonathan Worsley

 

Dove Nest

Dove Nest

Lilies in the Waypoint House Gardens

Lilies in the Waypoint House Gardens

 


Bed and Breakfast Conference Excitement!

I just got back from a two day conference in Richmond hosted by the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia. The Association does a great job all year long of providing members with information and education, but the conference is also a great chance to catch up with your fellow innkeepers and really talk shop.

My dear Jonathan went with me this year, and on our three hour drive back home today we chatted away about all the great things we picked up and all the new ideas we had that we now want to implement here at the grand old inn.

One of the most exciting features of the conference this year was the first ever cooking contest, and I was a participant!  The criteria were that your dish had to be either vegan, gluten free, or dairy free.  There were five participants all together and we each could come in with our own recipe, but we only had 40 minutes to cook.  One other catch:  No equipment was provided by the facility so we had to come in with all our own gear.  That part was actually not much of a problem for me.  Remember, I spent 6 years as a professional stage manager and toured with a road show for 6 months and also worked in off site catering for more than seven years!   Now, the hotel had a problem with us tripping breakers when four hot plates, two toaster ovens, a griddle and an immersion circulator all got plugged into the same circuit!  But then, to the rescue came my dear husband, Jonathan. Remember, he had 10 years of experience running high end special event lighting for concerts and the like!

Well, I was still a bit nervous though come go time, as there were some pretty good chefs among my competition.  I was feeling really good during the event however, and had a great time talking with all the spectators as I explained my dish and answered questions.  Talking and cooking at the same time can be quite a challenge if you are not careful!

My recipe hit the trifecta for the recipe requirements in that it is both gluten free and vegan (and therefore dairy free). I made a Dijon and Chive Tofu Scramble. Don’t let the T-word scare you.  This is a great recipe and looks and tastes just as good as any scrambled egg dish you could ever make.  Plus, the benefit for most innkeepers is that all of the ingredients can easily be obtained at your local supermarket, just in case that last minute guest also has dietary restrictions.  This dish does not require a special trip the the natural foods store.

So, with all of that said, what you really want to know is how I did, right?  Drum roll please…….A very close second place!  I lost the top spot by just two judging points!  But, I was very thrilled with the outcome, and after handing out samples to the crowd, heard nothing but rave reviews on the dish.

Are you interested in the recipe now?  Give it a try, and let me know what you think!  And trust me, tofu can be delicious!

Waypoint House Dijon and Chive Tofu Scramble

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20-30 minutes Servings: 4

¾ tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ tsp Pepper
1 Tbl Dijon Mustard
¼ C Almond Milk
2 Tbl Chopped Fresh Chives
(1) 14 oz block Firm Tofu
½ Tbl Olive Oil

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to create a seasoning slurry. If your tofu is packed in water, remove it from packaging, cut it into 6 or 8 slices, and pat it dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering, add tofu slices and fry 10-15 minutes, flipping half way through, until slices begin to brown slightly. Break up the slices with your spatula to begin to create a scrambled egg-like texture. Add the seasoning slurry and chives and cook another 10-15 minutes, stirring well so the tofu has a chance to absorb all the seasonings. Serve warm.

*For an entire gluten free and vegan meal, serve with freshly made home fries or hash browns and fresh fruit.