Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ask the Innkeeper: Part 1 What's up with Google and the Seedier Side of Innkeeping

Ask the Innkeeper is an innteractive series where the innside innkeeper at The Claiborne House B&B answers some innkeeping questions.  We can run this series as long as there are questions. We will start with a basic question or one we are always asked and move on to the seedier side of innkeeping.

Question: Why does Google say your B&B is country music themed?
Answer: Because Google says and does whatever it wants. We don't have live music onsite, we aren't decorated in red wine hues, we don't have keyless entry to the guest rooms, and we are a 5 minute walk to the Harvester Performance Center, not 8.  Here is a Google map, also from Google themselves to prove it:
We walk to the Harvester quite often, as do our guests. But we are a hilly town, so there is a gradual incline coming back up Claiborne Avenue.

But they got our website right, our phone number right and overall we can't fight city hall so we will leave it as is. We have already corrected other weird listings, so we are actually doing okay with it like that. Google has gleaned key words from dozens of pages on our website and hundreds of blog articles like the one you are reading now.

Seedier side of Innkeeping
One time a guest arrived quite under the influence and asked to play naked Twister. Among all the dozens of games in our games cupboard we do have twister, but be assured it has been sanitized thoroughly.

(BTW this is in jest, he never even found the Twister game as he fell asleep on the porch after ordering from Papa Johns.)

Send us your questions here, or on the Claiborne House B&B Facebook page here.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kick up your heels at the country store

We don't have a country store in Franklin County like they do in Floyd, but since Floyd is our neighbor we want to be sure to tell you about the fun Friday Night Jamboree at The Floyd Country Store.

We are always sharing things to see and do when you stay with us at The Claiborne House B&B here in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Above is some of the mountain scenery you may see if you take the time to look around from here to there. The drive is all part of the fun when you go to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Floyd from Rocky Mount.

They Keep on Dancin' from Doug Thompson on Vimeo.

The drive home is not for the faint hearted, we recommend you go Route 640 up Five Mile Mountain Road, it is 50 minutes (about 30 miles) from The Claiborne House and back this way or Shooting Creek Road:

Isn't it time you kicked up your heels a little bit? We all need to stop being so serious and just have a little fun!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What is there to do when we visit?

In your guest room we have a handpicked hiking lists, the best choices for our guests when they stay with us at The Claiborne House B&B
Falling Springs Waterfall
A local restaurant list, and a "What is there to do when I visit" list. For anyone in the trip planning mode, here it is for your reference, visit our website for pages and pages of things to see and do, hike, riderecreation packages and more.  We painstakingly put all of these together with you in mind.
What is There to Do While I Visit?

The Claiborne House is the perfect place to use as a hub as you are traveling. We are centrally located, and there are so many things to do, or just relax and take in the fresh mountain air.  See the basket of rack cards in the parlor basket for more things to see and do in the area.

4night/5 day itinerary suggestions:

1.     Day 1 Check in, wander our beautiful grounds or sit by the pond, relax on the porch with a glass of wine and a book. Dine at El Rio Mexican Grill on our corner (full bar), or Bootleggers Café a couple blocks walk away. Then wander on over to The Harvester Performance Center for some live music (big name bands and performers play weekly) Harvester-music. com
2.     Day 2 Wine Tasting at Mountain Wineries – we recommend Chateau Morrisette Winery and Villa Appalaccia for magnificent views from The Blue Ridge Parkway and fantastic food. Chateau Morrisette is located 1 hours’ drive from us up on the BRP at Mile Post 171 and Villa Appalaccia just one mile from that at MP 170! Or pack a picnic.
3.     Day 3 Prepare your heart strings as you visit National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, placed in Bedford as they lost more men per capita than any other place in the USA. Bedford Boys was the book written about this brave community; the movie Saving Private Ryan made after these boys. Enjoy dinner in an old train depot the Olde Liberty Station for great diner fare and award winning cheesecake. Or stop at Homestead Creamery on the way home in Burnt Chimney for fresh home churned ice cream (no additives) you can see the dairy cows out back (closed Sundays).
4.     Day 4 Visit downtown Roanoke for our quirky art museum, transportation museum, O. Winston Link museum, and some fantastic restaurants, many feature live music in the evenings. Don’t forget your camera and go to the famous Texas Tavern. Park and walk to all of these places. Parking is free after 5pm in certain lots. Walk the famous Farmers Market, take in a live show at Mill Mountain Theater and end your evening at Mill Mountain Coffee. This is just 25 minutes north on HWY 220.
5.     Day 5 check out, proceed to Black Dog Salvage (Salvage Dawgs) in Roanoke just 25 miles to Memorial Ave in Roanoke (closed  Sundays). Eat lunch at Grandin Village: Local Roots, POPS Ice Cream Parlor, Nopales (closed Mondays)

More Sites of Interest:

·         Blue Ridge Institute and Farm Museum” in Ferrum (10 minute drive)
·         Hunt for Fairy Stones at “Fairy Stone State Park” (1 hour drive)
·         Visit Patrick Henry’s house “Red Hill instigator of the Revolution (1 hour 15 drive)
·         Thomas Jefferson’s Summer home “Poplar Forest” in Forest Va (1 hour drive)
·         Appomattox Courthouse where the Civil War ended and The Museum of the Confederacy where they house General Lee’s sword and uniform and more (1 hour 40 drive)
·         Virginia Military Institute and the home of Stonewall Jackson (1 hour 15 drive)  & “Virginia Safari Park drive thru fun
·         Lynchburg (downtown museums, neat restaurants, shops, civil war sites) (1 hour drive)
·         Mountain wineries with festivals and events (1 hour drive)
·         Swimming and sun-bathing at our lakes and our beaches Smith Mountain Lake, Philpott Lake (50 minute drive)
·         Hiking (all over the place, “Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve” is just 2 miles drive, see the list attached to this)
·         Golfing World Famous Courses “The Westlake at Smith Mountain Lake (50 minute drive)
·         Boat Rentals – Kayaking, Pontoon, Speedboat, Jet Ski, SUP, Sailing (25 minute drive “Bridgewater Plaza” Smith Mtn Lake)
·         Fishing – Citation brown trout in our rivers or citation Striper in our lakes (Depends on where you go, 45 minute+ drive)
·         Tour The Blue Ridge Parkway picnic and sight-see, Go to the scenic Mabry Mill (50 minute drive+)
·         Stock Car Racing in The Blue Ridge at “Franklin County Speedway (Sun nights Jun-Oct a 20 minute drive) and NASCAR at “Martinsville Speedway” (the paper clip! 35 minute drive)
·         Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail with our local wing-dings walk to “Harvester Performance Center in downtown Rocky Mount for live music (5 minute walk), or drive up the famous “Shooting Creek Road” past the moonshiners to reach the “Floyd Friday Night Jamboree” (50 minute drive).

Visit our website for pages of things to see and do in this area with web-links and directions:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Date Night Alert POCO is coming to town!

Y'all POCO is coming to the Harvester Performance Center October 21, 2016 and bringing along FIREFALL.
NO WAY! Poco is coming to Rocky Mount! I love love love Crazy Love... Eagles fans, America Fans, Little River Band fans, Country Rock fans, Piano bar Fans, this is POCO and you get FIREFALL as well. 

This will be the show of the year for lovers - book now with us before it sells out. October 21 Friday (we have a two night min all October Weekends) make it a getaway.  

Don't let the leaf peepers steal your thunder, bring your lover to Rocky Mount, Virginia is for lovers yawl.

In the Heart of the Night - the piano bar 
guy played this EVERY night at Humphreys by the Bay where I worked in San Diego.  

And Firefall is coming back to the Harvester, these guys will soft rock your socks off. Just remember I love you and it'll be alright...

Tickets here. Book your room here.

And walk to this show from The Claiborne House B&B in downtown Rocky Mount if you want to.

Fortunato è favoloso

Fortunato has been on our list for quite some time, since it opened earlier this year. The news is spreading fast that this is one the best new restaurants in Downtown Roanoke. 
Exceptional service, attention to detail and clarity when ordering made our visit to Fortunato worthwhile. 

Everything is locally sourced and made from scratch at this fine restaurant, and you could tell.
Our server told us he had just visited Border Spring Farm in Patrick Springs Va where the lamb was purchased and made into the meatballs for Tony, which also had ricotta and raisin in a Marinara with Fontina. I had Rucola, an arugula salad with pistachios, citrus, olive oil, Gorganzola and anchovies.
I can't find the photos, but I had Porchetta: Leaping Waters Pork braised over creamy Anson Mill's polenta with a broccoli rabe (rapini).

Tony had Punta di Petto:
Red Wine braised NC Beef Brisket over risotto with Caciocavallo.  

Both were delicious.

We finished off our meal with handmade cannoli (not filled pre-bought shells)
...and a Limoncello aged 80 days.
Fortunato is an Italian Restaurant located in Downtown Roanoke serving handmade pastas, Neapolitan Pizzas, craft cocktails, wine and beer. 
Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, Virginia, Fortunato is the region's only traditional Italian kitchen & Neapolitan style pizzeria. 

Combining both modern and rustic architecture to create an atmosphere that encourages patrons to eat, share, and be family. From the unique Italian wine list and original cocktails to the house made pastas and locally sourced vegetables and meats, Fortunato will be a dining experience you will keep with you.

One of the cool things about Fortunato is they were featured on a TV episode of SALVAGE DAWGS (another great Roanoke family-owned and operated business) where they went to the auto junk yard, found a Chevy Van and turned it into a piece of art for the wall of Fortunato. We love this idea, it still had the side mirror and blinker light covers on it. We recommend a visit Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke here.

Wednesday nights sit at the bar and you will have 1/2 price pizza and it was tempting, very.

104 Kirk Avenue, Roanoke Va (540) 400-7315 or click here to make a reservation (For door to door directions from The Claiborne House B&B just click here, it is 25 miles from Rocky Mount - there is on street parking, anytime after 5PM.) 
As with all of our blogs, the information was up to date when published, if they change hours of operation, menu or close we are not responsible, so check online or call first. Give them your business you won't regret it.

Fortunato è favoloso