Waypoint House

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

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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.

 


Exciting Things Ahead – New Ideas for 2014

We just keep going with updates around here.  Never let it be said that we fear change!  We’re not the types to be satisfied with “good enough” and so we continue to find new and better ways to bring an excellent experience to our customers.  So, with that in mind, I’ve been working in the kitchen on some new ideas for items that I hope to incorporate into our menu rotations.  I’ve had a few good successes and a few things I need to tweak still, but we are progressing.  It also looks like we are going to be making some changes to our website soon.  Right now the site isn’t very mobile friendly, but we are going to remedy that and freshen up the site in the process.  Fresh and New for 2014 seems to be our motto right now!

Next month the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia will also be hosting its annual conference, and last year I came away with a lot of ideas and energy, so I am sure it will be the same this year!  Look forward to some good posts around that time!

In the meantime, I thought I would share a recipe that I had great success with in the kitchen this week: Cranberry Orange Scones.  If you’ve had the impression your whole life that scones are hard, dry biscuits, I think your mind will be changed once you try these!  Enjoy!

Waypoint House Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Glaze

For Scones:

1/4 C Half and Half
1/2 C Orange Juice, divided into (2) 1/4 cup portions
1 Large Egg
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Orange Extract
2-1/4 C All Purpose Flour
1 Tbl Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
8 Tbl (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes
5 oz Dried Cranberries

For Glaze:

Reserved juice from soaked cranberries (see below)
1/4 tsp Orange Extract
2 to 2-1/2 C Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Begin by soaking the dried cranberries in 1/4 cup orange juice.  Let soak for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine half and half, remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, egg, brown sugar and both extracts in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Cut in butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until texture resembles coarse corn meal.  Drain the soaked cranberries, reserving the remaining orange juice for the glaze.  Add the cranberries to the flour mixture and stir to coat.  Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and stir to combine.  Mixture will be sticky.  Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead lightly to finish combining the ingredients.  Divide dough in half and form two round balls.  Press dough balls to flatten, approximately 1/2″ thick and 5″ in diameter.  Pat with just enough flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.  Cut each flattened circle into 6 wedges with a floured knife.  Transfer scones to an un-greased baking sheet and chill for 10-15 minutes in refrigerator.  Cut scones can also be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for later use at this point.

Once scones have chilled, bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before glazing.

While scones cool, mix together reserved orange juice from soaking the cranberries and orange extract.  Whisk in powdered sugar gradually until you get a thick, yet pourable glaze.  When scones are cool, place them on a wire rack with paper underneath to catch the drips, then drizzle the glaze over the scones.  Allow glaze to dry slightly before serving.



Waypoint House Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Glaze

Waypoint House Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Glaze