Farm-to-Table is a wildly popular trend, found in fine dining rooms around the country. Owner, founding innkeeper and farmer Al Granger at Glasbern Inn in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley (about an hour from Philadelphia) was doing farm to table long before there was a buzzword for it. Since 1985, the inn has grown from a six-room bed and breakfast to a luxurious country inn with 34 rooms in 7 historic buildings. How often can you enjoy an heirloom tomato at a restaurant that is so fresh it is still warm from the afternoon sun?! The cattle and sheep you see grazing in the pastures on the farm will also be on the menu. Breakfast is also a special treat with super fresh eggs and homemade pork sausage from Glasbern’s pigs. You can dine in either their soaring elegant 1800′s bank barn or the cozy tavern. The cuisine ranges from elegant composed plates in the fine dining room to a fabulous and hefty Glasbern grass-fed burger in the tavern.

The rooms are also pretty amazing…but that merits its own post!

In the last year Glasbern launched a new website by White Stone Marketing – check it out. They did a great job telling the story of this complex property.

We’ve got hundreds of high-res images from our shoots over the last 7 years at Glasbern on our press site, Jumping Rocks Media Bank. For access and password, send us an email.

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View of Glasbern cattle from the Pack House Suites

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Burger from the tavern featuring Glasbern’s grass-fed beef

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Butternut Squash Apple Soup from the Glasbern Dining Room

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Fireside breakfast featuring eggs and sausage from Glasbern’s pasture

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Hours-old lambs at Glasbern’s farm

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We were recently invited back to re-shoot a few rooms which were remodeled at Fairthorne Inn in Cape May, NJ. Boy were we surprised…Rarely do we see such a dramatic change of direction in terms of decor–and so totally positive! Like the vast majority of guest rooms in Cape May, the rooms were Victorian. But not any more.

Ed and Diane Hutchinson, long-time innkeepers at Fairthorne (20+ years!) previously owned two separate, adjacent Victorian buildings; they’ve sold one and now are easing into retirement, operating just one of the buildings as a 4-room B&B. The seem very relaxed, happy and enjoying the dramatic changes at the Inn.

The before and after images are interesting and really kind of inspiring. Check them out…

 

BEFORE, Julia’s Room

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They removed that in-room tub and opted instead for a luxury shower in the bathroom

AFTER, Julia’s Room

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Yes, this is the same room!

 

 

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After removing the in-room tub, they created a beautiful luxury shower

BEFORE, Ashley’s Room

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Victorian details in Ashley’s Room

AFTER, Ashley’s Room

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The new Ashley Room is updated…not totally contemporary, with floral bedding and period artwork–a nod to the Cape May Victorian tradition

 

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The exterior is typically charming, Victorian Cape May. Lots of fun surprises await guests when they enter!

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We are in the midst of an extended trip to the southwest, shooting several inns in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico. While shooting here, we’ve been struck by the exotic nature of this part of our country. More than any other region in the US, when you’re here (particularly outside of the cities) you feel as though you are in a foreign country–the intersecting cultures, the architecture, the weather, the landscape–all of it combines to convince you that you have left the US. You’re definitely not in Vermont, Dorothy!

Casa Escondida, a charming B&B in the small town of Chimayo feels particularly exotic. In a remote location, it feels like an ancient adobe hacienda on a ranch, far from civilization. We loved all of Belinda’s decor–the rugs, the weavings, the pottery–it is lovely. The iconic front porch was a perfect place to revel in the silence (although a beast to shoot!).

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Facade of Casa Escondida in Chimayo, near Santa Fe NM 

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Casita at Casa Escondida with Traditional Kiva Fireplace 

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Long Driveway to Casa Escondida with a Killer New Mexico Sunset

Upon leaving Casa Escondida, we traveled to The Bobcat Inn, another adobe-style inn on a hilltop just outside Santa Fe, with gorgeous views in every direction. This is a really special spot, with a fantastic patio where guests relax and take in the view. We loved the decor here as well, with many of the rooms decorated with a refreshing sense of whimsy.

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Patio at Bobcat Inn Santa Fe – Guests Love this Space

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The Moody and Inviting Living Room at Bobcat Inn

 

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“Egg Bakers” were delicious and beautifully presented at Bobcat Inn

One of the highlights here was Amy’s  breakfast creation called Egg Bakers, a guest favorite, similar to shirred eggs, but with a twist. Interestingly, the vessels looks local, but are anything but–they are from Japan! Here is the recipe:

Egg Bakers

Yields 4 servings

4 eggs

4 slices Canadian bacon

4 Tbs half and half

4 Tbs Monterey Jack cheese

4 Tbs green chile

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Spray pottery ramekins with cooking spray. Line ramekin bottom with a slice of Canadian bacon. Crack egg over bacon. Pour one tablespoon half and half over, and layer in a tablespoon of green chile, salt and pepper to taste.

Top with one tablespoon of cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, longer or shorter depending on how you like your egg. Serve with fresh salsa for a southwestern flair or hollandaise for a more traditional approach. You can substitute tomato for bacon, which is also delicious.

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We recently returned from our 6th or 7th visit to The Swag, a (justifiably) legendary country inn on mountain top, bordering The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, not far from Asheville, NC. Whenever someone asks us “what is your favorite inn?”, The Swag inevitably ends up on the short list. Deener and Dan Matthews have created something remarkable over the past 31 years, and are still at the top of their game. On this visit, we focused on the abundant activities and events available right on the property or nearby: waterfalls, national park hiking trails, hilltop vistas, mossy verdant nature walks, the Thursday night barbeque and the daily pre-dinner social hour. We brought in models to make this all come to life, which really worked well. While there, we also did a few food shots.

To see more images of rooms, etc., check out our special spotlight on The Swag in the “Projects” section of our website.

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Sunrise activities on The Swag porch – the best time of day up here

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Couple near Hemphill Bald, resting after a hike

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An early morning hike on a national park trail

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A very special place on The Swag Property: Gooseberry Knob at dawn

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This waterfall is a great destination hike from the inn

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After your hike, imagine cleaning up for dinner in this fantasy fireside outdoor shower. Not roughing it!

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Guests enjoying hors d’oeuvres on the porch before dinner–a Swag tradition

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Thursday night is barbeque night..and just behind the grill is the entrance to the National Park

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A typical dinner entree: a seared salmon fillet with beets and greens from the Swag gardens

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Another great spot to relax: The Gazebo at Gooseberry Knob

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One of the stops we made on our last extended swing through New England was visiting long-time customer Squam Lake Inn in Holderness, NH. Innkeepers/Owners (also chef, restauranteurs and all-around entrepreneurs) Cindy and Rae run one of the most fun inns around. Simply put, it has a fabulous vibe. It’s not something easy to describe…nor is it easy to create. But they’ve done it and it’s a total joy to be there. (Kudos to the staff. What a positive, upbeat–and beautiful–group they’ve got working there!) A few years ago on a shoot, Cindy first introduced us to The St Germaine Cocktail - check out our post on that cocktail and recipe. Here is yet another creative and refreshing summer cocktail we wanted to share. During the summer, Cindy and Rae introduce a different garden-driven cocktail each week. Great idea, right??

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Strawberry Basil Gimlet from The Squam Lake Inn

Strawberry Basil Gimlet at the Squam Lake Inn

  • Muddle 2 strawberries and fresh basil leaves
  • Add 2 oz Bulldog Gin
  • 1 oz. St Germain Elderflower liquor
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice

Mint can be substituted for basil if you wish

 

While at Squam Lake Inn,  we also shot the newly-renovated Eagles Nest Suite. This is their first luxury bathroom. We thought the new bathroom was especially fun, cheery and very much infused with that Squam Lake Inn vibe.

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New Bathroom in Eagles Nest Suite at Squam Lake Inn

 

 

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