Waypoint House

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


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

Open for Business! Our Renovation Reveal

We made it!  We worked up until the very last day, but were ready for our re-opening on December 30, and graciously welcomed our guests!  What a delight to finally make our renovation reveal! We had a terrific New Year’s Eve and served a delicious breakfast the next morning to a boisterous crowd around the breakfast table.  We are so grateful and would like to wish everyone a very happy 2014!  Come visit us this year!

I’ll have more photos to post in the days to come, and of course the room pages on the website will be updated, but I know Jonathan is going to want to obsess over just the right angle and just the right lighting for a while!  For now, here is a photo of the updated Shore Room, which is the one I have been dying to show you all.

Renovation reveal - The newly updated Shore Room

Renovation reveal -The newly updated Shore Room

Remember what it looked like before?

Shore Room

Shore Room

Six weeks seemed like a lot of time in the beginning, but in the end it went by very quickly.  The list of things we got accomplished is long.  Shall we do an accounting?  Here we go:

  • Removed two old oil tanks; Replaced with one large, new tank
  • Removed old boiler; Added new, energy efficient boiler
  • Created a dual zone heating system to heat the guest section of the house separately from the owners’ quarters
  • Replaced valves to all radiators so all of them now function!
  • Repaired/re-pointed foundation of house
  • Repaired Front Porch, including replacing several rotting beams
  • Removed old metal roof on porch and replaced with new, custom metal roof
  • Re-routed and replaced guttering on front of house to direct water away from the porch
  • Removed old floor in back entry; Added new joists and insulation and re-floored
  • Insulated and added new dry wall to basement entry room
  • Removed and replaced basement stairs
  • Removed florescent lighting fixture in back entry/laundry room and replaced with new LED down lights
  • Relocated washer and dryer from old closet to the back entry room; added new plumbing to accommodate this relocation
  • Created a new pantry area from the old washer closet
  • Removed all aging smoke detectors and replaced with new smoke/carbon monoxide detectors – six in total
  • Removed window casings from Shore Room; Removed old window counterweights, and insulated weight well
  • Removed all paint layers from window casings, repainted and put back in place
  • Removed and replaced toe kick in Shore Room
  • Stripped and repainted baseboard molding in Shore Room
  • Removed old flimsy closet shelves in Shore Room and replaced with a custom built system
  • Re-secured bead board to walls in Shore Room where needed
  • Repaired plaster cracks in Shore Room
  • Removed wall paper from headboard wall in Shore Room
  • Repainted Shore Room, top to bottom.
  • Re-positioned ceiling fan junction box to center of room in Shore Room, removed old ceiling fan and replaced with a new ceiling fan.
  • Refinished floors in Shore Room
  • Built a new, custom headboard for Shore Room
  • Removed wallpaper from accent wall in Traveler’s Retreat
  • Repainted Traveler’s retreat, top to bottom
  • Removed wallpaper in Traveler’s Retreat bathroom
  • Repainted Traveler’s Retreat bathroom
  • Added a polyurethane coat to wood bath surround and vanity cabinet in Traveler’s Retreat bathroom
  • Added a new tile step-out area in front of the shower in Traveler’s Retreat bathroom
  • Added new, LED down lights above shower and tub areas in Traveler’s Retreat bathroom
  • Repaired plaster cracks, second floor hallway
  • Removed and replaced toe kick, second floor hallway

Quite a list when you look at it that way!  We are looking forward to a great birthday year for the house.  We think we gave her a good start and we look forward to having everyone come visit us soon so you can see all of this for yourselves.

I’ll keep posting in the weeks to come.  We have a few more details to finish out (remember those new lighting fixtures for the Traveler’s Retreat bathroom I mentioned?) so stick around.  It’s going to be a great year!


Nearing the End of Renovations!

Oh, it has been a busy couple of weeks since I last wrote!  Santa’s little elves have been working through Christmas to get ready for New Year’s Eve!

Painting, painting, painting. Details, details, details.  Lots of details.  But as we all know, it’s the little things that can make or break an experience, so we wanted to take the extra time to get through all the little specifics.  Our guests deserve that.  It meant we took on a project or two more and that we got a little behind, but in the end, I think it has been worth it.  So, where does that leave us?  Well, both the Shore Room and the Traveler’s Retreat were repainted top to bottom.  Ceiling, walls, trim – the works.  The Traveler’s Retreat bathroom also got a very nice new coat of paint to replace the old wallpaper.  While we were working in the Traveler’s Retreat bath, we also put a fresh coat of polyurethane on both the wood surround on the jetted tub and the wood vanity.  All of that woodwork really pops now.  We also took care of a spot in front of the shower where the floor needed some work.  We added a tile step-out, and it’s going to look great.  We updated the above shower and tub lighting too and they are now LED.  Hooray for being energy efficient!  As I mentioned in a previous post, we are also going to be updating the lighting at the vanity, but our chosen fixture won’t be in until January, so I’ll owe you an updated photo after that goes in!  The current fixtures are back up in the meantime.

Yesterday Jonathan finally got to build the custom headboard for the Shore Room.  I think he purposely saved it until last so he could have something fun and creative to work on!    We made it all from reclaimed pallet wood and it is very cool.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.  It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to get all the furniture back in to see how it all pulls together!  Jonathan also worked on some really nifty wall decor to add to that room too, made from more reclaimed wood.  Of course, all the great beach photos will go back in, but having a few new pieces is a real bonus!  The floor was also refinished, and we couldn’t be happier with that.  The floor really sparkles now.  Finally, we worked on some custom closet pieces to replace the rather flimsy shelves that were originally there.

We repaired a few plaster cracks in the second floor hallway ceiling and it is now ready for a fresh coat of paint too.  The new toe kick went in along the second floor hallway, and that little detail really makes a big difference in my opinion.  One thing we did not get to on this go around, but is still on our hit list, is to refinish all of the spindles going up the stairs to the second floor.  Again, they’ve had one too many coats of paint over the years, so it’s time to go back to the start.  Maybe that will have to be our project next Christmas!

The new plumbing went in for the laundry room and the machines have been relocated.  We are still deciding on the final flooring option for that room, so again, I will owe you another update!  Also, we’ve claimed the old laundry space for the pantry, but we plan to get some nice shelving to go in there to make it very organized and efficient.  Another update to come!

For now, here are some photos of the work to date.  I’ll have the photos of the finished Shore Room and Traveler’s Retreat Room up in the next couple of days.  All of the major construction is done now, so I am planning a massive clean up and furniture load in tomorrow.  See you back here soon!


End of Week 3 Update

I definitely owe everyone an update of the renovation projects!  We’ve been busy with multiple tasks, but we also took some time off to spend with family over Thanksgiving.  Oh, did I mention that we hosted Thanksgiving for all the family – both my side and Jonathan’s –  at the house during all of this?  Yes, we are psychotic.  We also took this past Friday off to go to Williamsburg for a full gathering of Jonathan’s family to celebrate his Grandmother’s 100th birthday!  Jonathan’s Gram is quite a remarkable lady, and a Pearl Harbor survivor too, so there was no way we were missing that!

Okay, so what has happened since the last update?  All the radiators have been serviced and the new boiler is up and running like a champ!   So toasty warm!  Jonathan, and our contractor, Matt, finished up the porch repairs and moved on to the porch roof.  The old metal roof came off, a new sub-roof was laid, and the roofing contractor came in and installed our new, custom, standing seam metal roof.  All the guttering was re-routed as well, and it all looks terrific!  We are so very happy to know that all the guttering has been corrected so there will be no more water damage to the porch.

We were hoping to have the Shore Room completed a little quicker, but after all the detail work we put in so far, we decided now was also the time to refinish the floors in that room, just to cap everything off.  We always knew we wanted to do that someday, as there is a spot where a stair used to be that is discolored.  Even though it wasn’t originally in our plan to do it now, we decided it was really just prudent to add it in.  So, hopefully the refinishing company will be in next week to start the process.  It will take about 5 days total, including the drying time.  We also need to work on the custom headboard for the room.  Trust me, when you all see the photos of the finished room, it will be worth the wait!  I think it is going to be just stunning!

In the meantime, I’ve also moved on to the painting/updating projects for the Traveler’s Retreat.  The wallpaper in the bathroom and the single accent wall in the main room is down.  Removing wall paper is always a process!  We have a little wall patching to do and then the painting can begin.  We will also be installing new lighting fixtures in the bathroom, but our chosen style is on back order until January, so that will be a quick project for next month.

We’ve also begun the process of insulating our back room entrance to the cellar.  It was always a very cold little room in winter, and it’s where we keep our servers, so that was not very pleasant for the equipment.  Because of some exploratory work Jonathan had done last year, we believed the current walls had newspaper in them for their “insulation.”  Since we are going to be basically walling in the old walls, Jonathan decided to take a closer look, and make a couple of larger test holes in the room to take a peek.  Lo and behold, there were plenty of old newspapers, dating back to 1928!  We tried to remove and save a few pieces, but due to the heat and cold over the years, the paper was extremely fragile and all but crumbled as we touched it.  We decided it was better left where it was, to stay part of the history of the house.  So, the newspaper insulation stays, and our current will go on top, and someday, maybe somebody else will find it again!

Finally, today Jonathan and the contractor started with the removal and restructuring of the back entry floor.  This area is also going to become the new laundry room, and the floor had been plywood sheets screwed down on top of hardwood.  We also knew that the floor underneath felt “soft” and after getting up the plywood and the old hardwood (not original to the house, we think) we discovered that the joists were on 32″ centers – much too far apart to properly support the floor boards, especially considering we are going to be adding the weight of a washer and dryer.  So, additional joists were added in and the floor was leveled today.  Tomorrow the insulation and sub-flooring should go back in.  We have yet to decide what our new finished floor will be, but we think we will go with hardwood again.  We had hoped to re-use the old hardwood, especially if it was original to the house, but it was not in as good of shape as we had hoped, plus, it is our suspicion that it may not be part of the original construction anyway.

There’s still more to come as we prepare for the laundry room transfer and finish up the rest of the details for the guest rooms.  Be sure to check back in again soon!