Uncork your Romance at one of Walla Walla’s B&Bs

Of the many things that our group of innkeepers likes so much about what we do, it is seeing couples enjoy each other on these getaway weekends.

There is something about a B&B that means you are leaving your routine and obligations behind for just a short time and rediscovering why your significant other is really so significant!

Innkeepers witness it every weekend and we are always delighted to see our B&Bs’ work their magic.

As busy career couples who are also parents, daughters and sons, you are so busy juggling your many hats that getting away for together time is usually long overdue.

You rushed to get out of town, now the stress of the week slowly releases as the miles click by. You have chance to talk about things that matter or just hum that song on the iPod. Make a stop for an espresso, a bit of lunch and maybe a winery or two.

Check in, unwind in the comfortable and casual surroundings and maybe take a late afternoon nap. When was the last time you did that together?

At dusk, a relaxed dinner at a charming bistro, a walk through our historic downtown, maybe a night cap in a wine bar. Then back to your chosen B&B for a peaceful night’s sleep.

By morning, the smell of coffee and thick-cut bacon stir you from that extra hour or two of delicious sleep. After a wonderfully prepared breakfast of local fresh products, you have a whole day to enjoy Walla Walla and one another.

With another 24 hours of unstructured time, your biggest decision will be what is the next winery you get to visit and where is the best picnic site in the valley.

In fact, we’ll do our best to make sure that by the time the car points back home, you’ll be planning a return visit.

And your innkeepers will be ready to welcome you back to Walla Walla.

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Return guests are the highest compliment

Having return guests is the highest compliment for an Innkeeper.  When guests from Portland checked in for Autumn Release Weekend after having been here five times previously I was eager to hear their plans.  They do a lot of internet research and know which wineries they will visit and between us have made dinner reservations for the 3 nights. They reported each morning at breakfast what a good time they had had and what good food and great wine they had enjoyed.  They really make the most of the 3 days visiting 4 to 5 wineries each day and dining each evening at one of our fabulous restaurants, again enjoying a bottle of local wine.

They are morning walkers and made their way to Main Street before breakfast to purchase a few goodies (Bear Claws, etc) from Walla Walla Bread Company to take back home and prolong the week-end.   They travel extensively so I feel especially flattered they have made reservations for next year.

Thank you Walla Walla wineries, restaurants, shop keepers and residents for making Walla Walla such a wonderful experience for our guests.

Penny Bingham
The Maxwell House


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Bend Bulletin: Cycling through Walla Walla Wine Country

I can think of many reasons to visit this southeastern Washington community. And I’ve just added another one to the list.

A city of about 32,000, Walla Walla is rich in culture and history. As the home of Whitman College and the Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Walla Walla has a small but vibrant downtown with several fine restaurants. It also has more than a score of outstanding bed-and-breakfast inns and guest houses to complement its numerous other lodging options.

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Country roads, pedal power and wine tasting

Being a casual bicycle rider I know how great it is to ride around Walla Walla but recent  guests took it to a higher level. They arrived with their cycles for a planned “power ride” before breakfast.

The following morning when I got to the kitchen to make breakfast, I was surprised to see them on the front porch waiting for coffee.  It seems our Walla Walla night life was so good they got to bed too late to get up early. Now they would be joining the others for breakfast before heading off.

So much for the “power ride!” Quickly, their plans changed to a more leisurely meander to the south of town to visit the dozen or so wineries in the area.  They spent a great day biking from winery to winery, stopping to enjoy a Mediterranean Platter on the patio at Northstar Winery. Several wineries offered to deliver their wine back to the B&B for them.

The next morning, they got in their “power ride” using the new Walla Walla Valley bike map as their guide.  On arriving back to the B&B, they exclaimed that biking is terrific in Walla Walla as the shoulders are wide, the automobile drivers are courteous and the hills, if any, are rolling.

Penny Bingham, The Maxwell House

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Innkeepers’ Secret: Great Breakfasts

All the B&B’s in Walla Walla love to pamper our guests with special breakfasts all year long. However, this time of year, it is especially easy due to the abundance of wonderful, local strawberries and raspberries.  Walla Wallans  go to Klickers to get the best strawberries in the whole state, possibly the nation and I love having my own raspberry patch.

I love to make Crepes or Aebleskiver smothered in hot strawberry syrup sprinkled with powdered sugar or scones with raspberry jam and Devonshire Cream. YUM!!

-Penny Bingham, The Maxwell House

Check out this video from the Solvang Restaurant. Not in Walla Walla, but they know Aebleskiver!

AEBLESKIVER
1 ¾ c. flour
1 ¾ c. milk
2 eggs (separated)
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 ¼ t. rapid rise yeast

Mix egg yolks, milk, sugar and salt together.
Whisk in flour.
Beat egg whites and add to batter.

Let stand in warm place about one hour.

Brush vegetable oil in the wells of your Aebleskiver pan. Pour in batter, filling wells almost to the top.

Make quarter turns with your bamboo skewer or knitting needle. (see video for technique).

Serve with various syrups and powdered sugar.

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Morels, some local wine and a cozy front porch

My guests from the Seattle area were just getting settled in when fellow innkeeper from the Inn at Blackberry Creek called to see if I had a room available for a couple from Toronto.  They arrived moments later, tired and hungry, wondering where to have dinner.  They decided on Whitehouse Crawford and I called for their reservation.  They were eager to walk the 10 blocks after the long day in the car.

At breakfast the next morning, they were excited to share the story of their dinner.  Whitehouse Crawford had an abundance of morel mushrooms that they enjoyed as an appetizer and was willing to sell them a pound.  We decided that the Seattle couple would bring the wine and everyone would meet on the front porch at 5pm to enjoy the mushrooms. I went to Klicker’s Produce to get a Walla Walla Sweet Onion needed to saute with morels and to Olive Marketplace and Café on Main Street to get bread and cheese.  Two bottles of wine were brought to the festivities, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Otis Kenyon and a Syrah from Red River. The front porch weather could not have been better (after all it was the first day of summer!) and they enjoyed life in Walla Walla at its best.

-Penny Bingham, The Maxwell House

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One week in the life of a Walla Walla Innkeeper

Life is never dull in Walla Walla but last week was particularly fun.  It began on Saturday with Fort Walla Walla Days.  The Fort is always open and full of history but on this special weekend, the cannons from the Civil War were firing and the enactment soldiers were “living the history”.

Tuesday afternoon, I attended our recently formed Walla Walla Sweets Baseball team play the Wenatchee Applesox. Of course, an afternoon at the ballpark would not be complete without a hot dog from Jacobi’s concession stand.

On Thursday evening, we packed a picnic and drove five miles west to Blue Mountain Lavender Farm.  Karen, the owner and lovely hostess, served us lavender lemonade after we picked our bundle of lavender and sat in the beauty of the lavender field and had our picnic.  Then, we did a little shopping at her fabulous gift shop.

On Friday evening, The Kirkman House, our local heritage museum, sponsored a volunteer appreciation at the Walla Walla Foundry, which specializes in casting contemporary fine art in bronze, silver and aluminum.  The food and wine were wonderful and being in the “art garden” on the beautiful spring night was very special.

Busy as I was I still had time to ride my bike downtown twice to enjoy an ice cream at Bright’s Candies shop on Main Street.  Coming to Walla Walla can be an EVENT filled time so hopefully you can plan for more than just two days.  The Walla Walla B&B’s will be happy to get you in touch with all the local happenings.

-Penny Bingham, The Maxwell House

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