Get the latest news and happenings from Innkeepers Chuck, Helen & Dixon Dedman!
Also see: Current Blog | 2012-2013 Blog
October 11, 2011
What a memorable month we have had here at Beaumont Inn. That is a great understatement, as we have had the best month to rival any month in recent history. Why? Drum roll please. The sixth generation Innkeeper has arrived! Elizabeth gave birth to Elizabeth Simms Dedman on Saturday, October 1 at 5:45pm. She weighed 6 pounds 11ounces and was 19 inches long. Mom and baby are doing great and Daddy Dixon is on cloud nine. We will call her Simms and, of course, she has already captivated our hearts. As this is our (Helen and Chuck) first grandchild, we are spellbound by the beauty and magic of it all and look forward to visiting with Simms (almost) every day!
Other events which kept us busy while we awaited Simms’s arrival were the numerous Fall Festivals in our immediate area. Great annual events such as Mercer County’s Arts Festival, the Pioneer Classic Car Show, Shaker Village’s Harvest Fest, and numerous rural town festivals have offered the citizen and tourist alike, a great celebration of small town seasonal celebration. If you missed them this year, mark your calendar to join us next year for this special time in Kentucky.
Of course, Keeneland Fall Racing is under way and will race through the end of the month. Along the Bourbon Trail, the Distilleries will begin to decorate for the Holidays next month which certainly makes the Trail experience even more spectacular. And a new event which follows Kentucky’s Alltech World Equestrian Games of 2010 will be the Alltech National Horse Show 2011 held at the Kentucky Horse Park the first week of November. It is America’s oldest indoor horse show and we expect lots of horse enthusiasts from around the country to join us for this great event
We are offering several Pre-Holiday and Holiday Packages for the savvy traveler, so check them out at http://www.beaumontinn.com/packages . It is a beautiful time of the year! Come join us, meet our precious Simms and experience a special time in Kentucky!
September 14, 2011
RHHS May court, 1971
Brian Goddard and Aunt Anne Cherry
Cousins at Newburyport
Summer Reunions By Helen Dedman
This was a summer filled with reunions for me and it was fantastic. It started with my 40th high school reunion in May. Chuck and I drove down to my hometown, Rock Hill, SC for the reunion of the Rock Hill Bearcats! (I was shocked Chuck went, he hasn’t gone to my reunions before.) It was a full weekend of talking, dancing, talking some more, eating and talking more. It was great to see classmates who have not been back and/or I haven’t seen. At this stage of the game no one cares how successful you are or what you have accomplished in life, we’re just glad we’re here and can remember who we are! Thank goodness for the name tags with the high school picture on it; believe it or not I didn’t recognize a lot of people. Dear ol’ Rock Hill High!
In June a “long lost” relative of Chuck’s showed up at Beaumont Inn. Brian Goddard and Chuck have the same great, great grandfather. Brian lives in California, has never been to Kentucky but had heard about Beaumont Inn, Wildwood (his great, great grandfather’s home) and the Dedman Family all his life. He had been in contact with us for the last ten years or so, but never made it here until this summer. It was great—he brought pictures he had inherited which we compared to pictures we had, trying to fill in all the gaps. The one who helped us the most was Aunt Anne Cherry, 97, who remembers many of Brian’s ancestors. Brian came for a 4 day visit and stayed for two weeks. He made many friends, visited many homes, and we had a wonderful time the entire time he was here. It is fun to connect with family and really like them! Yes, Brian did come back for the Mercer County Horse Show, 127 Yard Sale, and the heat. This time he stayed a month which still wasn’t long enough!
Next up over the July 4 weekend I went to Newburyport, Mass. to visit my cousins on my mother’s side. My mother grew up in Needham, Mass. moved south when she married my father. I have always known these cousins; we would visit during the summers when we were little, then got together at different stages in our lives but I hadn’t seen them in quite awhile and decided it was time. It was great to see them all—eating, laughing, and best of all was meeting and getting to know their children. All of them very creative, artists, smart. I don’t think my side got those genes! It was a short, great visit and I was even adopted as the “southern sister!”
Later in July some of Chuck’s fraternity brothers decided to go on a trip to mountains for hiking and golf—wives included. I will be the first to say that I was a little leery of this idea but once again it was a great time. We made new friends with wives we didn’t know and missed the ones who didn’t make the trip. I look forward to the next get together and I know Chuck does because he keeps talking about it!
In August we took a little family trip to the NC Mountains. It is hard to find a time when all six of us can get away together, but we made it for 3 days. We rented a cabin at Boyd’s Mountain Cabins and it was perfect. Room and bathroom for each couple, big kitchen, outdoor dining, peace and quiet. Some of us hiked, golfed and visited the Biltmore House. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Somehow we also got a trip to Michigan to visit innkeeper friends we haven’t seen in awhile. We drove to Marshall, Michigan to pick up our good friends, Norm and Kathryn Kinney, then on to Petoskey to visit the Stafford Smith family at the Bay View Inn and Perry Hotel. Wonderful spot—they could have left me there and I would have been very happy. Next Mackinac Island--for a short visit with Charles and Elaine Murray who owned an inn in Vermont at one time. The island is a place everyone should see in their lifetime. We just weren’t there long enough. Then we drove through the Upper Peninsula and ended up in Allegon, which is near Saugatuck. Michigan is a large, beautiful state and we could not have asked for better weather. In Allegon we stayed at the Castle in the Country for our THINK (Time Honored Inns Nationally Known) meeting, a small group of inns that market together, . We are all good friends and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. Lots of laughter, but also a lot of good material and ideas are shared.
Now we are home, no plans to go anywhere, just waiting for our first grandchild to be born—I call her BG, Baby Girl.
It was a great summer, full of memories, pictures and good times. I hope your summer was full also!
July 7, 2011
Well, it has been a while since my (Chuck’s) last Blog entry. Dixon and Helen have offered up bits of wisdom since then but I think it’s time I get caught up. If you follow us on Facebook, you know we have been busy with all the summer chores including opening the swimming pool for it’s 56th season, planting and now harvesting our vegetable gardens, enjoying the many festivals which take place throughout the summer, bourbon-beer-wine tastings (not really too much of a chore), and the implementing of new summer menus for our restaurant venues. We started Spring with rain, rain, rain and now find ourselves in our normal summer season pattern of warm, humid days and nights. Many great events are still to come before Labor Day, so check out our Calendar of Events and make plans to come visit!
On the lighter side, Helen and I attended her 40th high school reunion in Rock Hill, South Carolina over the Memorial Day weekend. We had a great time as those South Carolina folks sure know how to celebrate something and/or anything and/or whatever. Always a party! We also found time to slip down to one of our favorite places, Apalachicola/St. George Island, Florida, for another fresh oyster, history trail and beach vacation. It was awesome!
Now, perhaps for some useful information. Folks often ask what we do with the leftover scraps and crumbles off our two year old Kentucky-cured country hams. We take these bits and pieces and remove any fat, gristle and bone patches to yield as much lean ham as possible. We then chop them up in a commercial food processor known in the trade as a “buffalo chopper”. Your home food processor will work just as well if your pieces are not too large. This chopped ham is great mixed with scrambled eggs or added to an omelet. We also use this in our version of the Kentucky Hot Brown. If you haven’t experienced our KHB, be sure to test drive one on your next visit.
Chopped aged country ham also makes for a wonderful topping at the salad bar so you will find it on our Friday Luncheon Buffet an on our Sunday Brunch Buffet. But, my favorite use of our chopped country ham is making country ham salad/spread. Ingredients: chopped aged country ham ( 6 cups), chopped celery (1 cup), chopped red pepper (1/2 cup), chopped purple onion (1/2 cup), chopped sweet pickle (1 ½ cups), 2 chopped hard boiled eggs, 2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard and Hellman’s Mayonnaise to your liking. Of course, you can vary the amounts of the ingredients to satisfy your own taste buds or do like I do, simply add until it tastes right! Anyway, this is great on crackers, finger sandwiches with a thin slice of homegrown tomato, toasted open faced sandwiches with tomato and a melted slice of your favorite cheese (Swiss is yum!), or as an appetizer – toasted crustini, ham spread, thin slice of homegrown tomato topped with shredded parmesan cheese run under the broiler!!!!!!!! Enjoy!
May 26, 2011: Harrodsburg's Got Talent! By Helen
Just last Sunday, Mercer County Judge Executive Milward Dedman proclaimed Louise Isham Dean our county’s Poet Laureate. The James Harrod Trust nominated Mrs. Dean during Preservation Month because of her contributions to our community’s oral history. Mrs. Dean read a few poems from the booklet the Trust had printed, Harrodsburg Footprints in Rhyme and Time. Our Poet Laureate reminded us that “we will all leave footprints on this earth when we pass on.” She has documented other’s footprints in the form of beautiful poetry.
Approximately 150 people attended the event held in our newly renovated Public Library. (A must see when you are in town!) Cake and ice cream were served. Our local bakery made these wonderful cakes which looked like books! A local history book, the Presbyterian Hymnal and a “copy” of the James Harrod Trust Cemetery Tour poster were the small books/cakes. The large cake had one of Mrs. Dean’s poems copied onto rice paper. It was difficult to cut these works of art but we did---not only did they look good, they tasted great!
I leave you with the poem Mrs. Dean wrote about Annie Bell Goddard, which she wrote for the JHT Cemetery Tour. MY TRIBUTE TO ANNIE BELL GODDARD (click to read)
May 12, 2011 - Special from Dixon Dedman
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the State-Wide On-Premise Sales Manager for one of our biggest distributors. Actually, we were tasting wine at 10:30 a.m. as he had a representative from one of Oregon’s leading vineyards/wineries in the market. It’s really quite a wonderful perk of the job to be forced to sit down and sip on extremely high-end wines at a mid-morning hour. It sure makes the rest of the day run a bit smoother.
Anyway, I’m tasting this wine and doing my best to look like I know what I’m doing – swirling and sucking and smelling and sloshing – and she’s telling me all about the vineyards, the winery, the awards and accolades. I love it. I love that part of my job and I love to learn from the people who actually do the dirty work. Hearing it over and over again from a salesperson is fine, but they’re selling you this today and something completely different tomorrow. It’s nice to sit down with someone who has the passion that comes with selling you something that’s theirs.
But, I have to admit my focus goes in and out when she’s talking because I was absolutely loving the trio of Pinot Noirs she brought. This particular winery is one of the most sustainable and organic in Oregon. I kid you not, if she said “sustainable” and “organic” once, she said it forty-five times, and I’m all for that. The funny thing is, that’s where this business is going. Not just with wines, but restaurants in general. The whole movement right now is getting back to fresh.
“Garden-Fresh”, “Farm to Table”, “Buy Local”, “Buy Organic”, the fresh movement is all the rage. We’ve been trying to get there too. I look out my window as I type and see our garden being planted. We’re buying all we can from farmers at our back door including eggs, beef, and vegetables. I chase the Chef out the door to go see what’s at the local Farmers Markets.
Thinking about it reminds me of a story my dad always tells on me around this time of year – I have a birthday coming up. It wasn’t too long ago that the big semi-trucks for the major food purveyors didn’t show up every other day with veggies from across the country. In the glory days – the days of the first few generations of Beaumont Inn – they either grew what they served on the property or they bought from local farmers. Then, in the days of my grandfather and the early years of my father, they drove to the Market in Louisville sometimes three times a week to buy what they needed for the restaurant. They would leave early in the morning, head up to the big city, load up a pick-up truck with the all the ‘groceries’ they needed, and bring it all back.
Listening to the lady talk about the great lengths her winery goes to to be sustainable and organic made me smile thinking about when what you served didn’t come in frozen bags but in bushels and crates and they hand selected what was fresh and ripe. Dad says I thought it was pretty neat as a very little boy to ride to Louisville with him on those trips. He said we’d leave early and I’d sleep the whole way there, then he’d chase me around the market while he was trying to buy for the inn, and the same man who raised apples always gave me a great big apple and it would take me the entire two hour ride to finish that fresh-picked apple as we headed home in that old pick-up loaded down with fresh goodies from the market.
April 12, 2011
Spring has finally arrived and boy, are we glad. Not only has the weather mellowed up, but we are back to full schedule in all dining venues and the TAVERN patio has once again become a very popular place at the end of the day.
We enjoyed the NCAA basketball tournament with all the fans from near and far in the Owl’s Nest with it’s big screen TV and we commiserated with the Butler and Kentucky fans over the final four weekend. It was a great tournament!
Our winter work included a complete paint job of all accommodations in Goddard Hall and specific areas throughout the Inn and Greystone which needed a little touch up. Our paint man, Donnie Jackson, did a fantastic job and now has turned his attention to the exterior areas which need the Spring “spruce up” after the winter weather torment. Kudos also go to Lloyd Poynter, our head of maintenance, who patched and mended several items throughout the Inn as well as his “favorite” duty of replacing broken window cords in the 1845 circa windows. It is not a job for the weak hearted or slack minded! Anyway, we are thankful for these two gentlemen who keep the repairs on going. Other winter items included reupholstering several wingbacks and a few guestroom sofas. All good stuff!
Dixon, Elizabeth and Chef Jerry worked on new menus for the Spring and all will be implemented within the next few weeks. We now serve a Certified Black Angus Burger which is awesome! Give it a try next time you visit. And we have contracted with our own Mercer County Walking Rock Farm to supply us with farm fresh eggs each day. And yes, they do come in white, brown, blue, green and pink hues. Pretty cool. No pun intended.
I also need to give a nod to Helen and the Gift Shop for adding a local artisan section to the shop. Our local arts community is up-and-coming and well represents the talent found throughout our community.
On a more casual note, Helen and I took off for the Florida panhandle the end of February and lucked out with great weather. We started off at St. George Island/Apalachicola and ended up at Perdido Key where Helen competed in an impromptu Mardi Gras “catch ‘em beads” contest with several other winter residents. Great food, great weather, great fun!
Our new vegetable/flower gardens have once again been plowed and readied for planting. Steve Butler, our gardener extraordinaire, has plants in his green house and seed selections ready to go. Look for him throughout the summer as he works his magic in the field. He loves to talk his trade and you will find him to be quite an interesting and knowledgeable “farmer” always willing to share his thoughts and experiences. Lloyd has added to our garden experience by building several compost bins whereby we will turn our vegetable/organic kitchen scraps into nutrient rich compost. A bit smelly, but effective!
Soooo, take a look at our Calendar of Events and Special Packages found on our website. Follow us on Facebook as we keep you up to date on what’s happening at the Inn and in our area. And as my Dad use to say,” It’s a great time to be alive, so make plans and come visit.”
March 10, 2011 - Special from Dixon
The first part of the year, my goal was to schedule some fun new events to get people out of their propensity to spend the winter months holed up at home. For the most part, it was a success, and for the parts that weren’t really successful, the important thing was we had a great time. Many, many thanks to Hunter Chavanne, Jeff Carpenter, and the Logan & Beth Leet!
On Friday night, January 28th, Logan Leet and his daughter Beth, made the 20 minute trip down from Lover’s Leap Vineyard and Winery in Lawrenceburg to pour a little Kentucky made wine. We offered their Award-Winning Cynthiana, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Vidal Blanc, and an exquisitely dessert-y Blackberry wine. We offered a selection of Kentucky-made cheeses as an accompaniment. Easily the biggest crowd of our events, I counted almost 70 people sipping delicious vino from just up the road.
Hunter Chavanne from the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers made the trip TWICE to taste many of our friends on their incredible array of bourbons. First, on the 2nd of February we offered: Willett Pot Still Reserve, Rowan’s Creek, and Johnnie Drum Private Stock. Chef Jerry made some nice little finger foods to accompany, and we had a fine time with the Rowan’s Creek the runaway winner by those who tasted. Leave it to Hunter to throw the knock-out punch; he followed up the tasting by offering up a little 27 year old, Willett Family Estate Bottled Barrel Strength Bourbon! You can bet that there are very few people in the WORLD who have been able to sample something so unique.
THEN, Hunter came back on the 25th of February for the largest of our events: “A Cocktail Affair with The Kentucky Bourbon Distillers”! We had a blast and it was truly a terrific balance of incredible whiskies and scrumptious food. We sampled Willett Pot Still Reserve, Rowan’s Creek, Old Bardstown, and Willett Family Estate Bottled Rye Whiskey (which is so sought-after that I can’t seem to get my hands on any more!) With that, Chef Jerry and Sous Chef Natalie put together a steady flow of bourbon-themed culinary treats the likes of: Bourbon & Candied Walnut Baked Brie Wheel, Bourbon Marinated Grilled Sesame Shrimp, Bourbon & Bacon Chicken Rolls, Bourbon Sugar Bruleed Salmon, and Brown Sugar & Bourbon Baby Back Ribs. After the last course was served, I had to get in on the act so we put together a very tasty version of a long lost cocktail called The Seelbach Cocktail named after the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville. It is said this cocktail recipe has been lost since the teens. It’s a very light and quite tasty Pre-Prohibition Cocktail that I made with Willett Pot Still Reserve, Cointreau, Orange & Angostura Bitters, Champagne and an Orange Twist garnish! My mother-in-law has developed a steady hankering for them as a consequence.
This past Thursday, March 3rd, Jeff Carpenter from Bryant Distributing Company came down and we put together and Around The World Beer Tasting. German Pilsners, German Hefeweizens, English Pale Ales, Belgian Cherry Lambics, Italian Lagers, a Lager from Thailand, an Irish Red Ale, a Chinese Pilsner, a Brazilian Black Lager, and a beer from our very own Bluegrass Brewing Company – their Bourbon Stout – were all rolled out for the tasting. In addition, Chef Jerry and Sous Chef Natalie once again outdid themselves and offered up Beer Braised Brats, Black and Tan Beer Cheese Tarts, and Beer Braised Pork Butt Quesadillas. It was wonderful, and left us all full, gassy, and slightly more knowledgeable about beer than when we started. I think it was Cliff Claven who said that beer is good for us because just as in nature, Natural Selection takes place. It is beer that attacks the weakest of our brain cells, strengthening our mental capacity by ridding us of those brain cells which are slow and susceptible to failure.
These events were a lot of fun for us, for our staff, and for those who attended. We plan to sprinkle in some more of these little fun nights throughout the year to introduce new products, educate our staff and our customers, and to do something a little different than the same ‘ole same ole’. Keep an eye towards what’s coming next, and remember that about those brain cells and what beer can do for your mental state.
January 25, 2011 - Special from Helen about the Gift Show!
Chuck and I got back from the Atlanta Gift Show last week. As I have said before Chuck used to go to the show with me, give advice, etc. but now he has decided to “do his own thing.” This may consist of reading in lobby, swimming in the indoor pool, or walking/running on the treadmill. It is truly a tough job he has taken on, but he feels it is in some way helping me. (?!) No, he does have one more job; he is in charge of getting us to a nice dinner after I return from walking 18 floors in 4 buildings.
It really was a good show this year. What makes it a good show? It seemed that the mood was better than it has been in a long time—more positive, better outlooks, and more people there. Also it felt like there were more new products, ideas, and gifts introduced.
My goal, and this has always been my goal at the show, is to find different things, items you don’t see in every gift shop or in every catalog. This is getting more and more challenging because the show just keeps getting bigger and bigger. When we started going 32 (how could that be?!) years ago the show was in one building with 20 floors to look through permanent showrooms. (It is kind of like going through a mall or shopping center—on each floor there are about 10-15 different showrooms which may sell china, Christmas, country art, jewelry, any and everything. A buyer (me) goes in looks around then orders merchandise to be delivered to the shop at a later date. Usually one must order a minimum ($150 or more) to avoid people coming in to order for just for themselves or to order one or two things.) About 15 years ago the Market added two more buildings and temporary showrooms. (These folks just have to set up during the show, man their booth throughout the show then take down display and travel to another show. Seems like a lot of work!)
In the past my system has been to try to look at all the showrooms the first day, comparing prices, products, what is new, etc. I always feel there might just be a great new item around the corner. But this year ANOTHER floor was added. I tried, but I just couldn’t do justice to all the floors, so I skipped the gourmet, lodge, and a few others that don’t really fit our shop. I was very pleased with the new things I found and re-ordered things that have done well in the past. Some examples: great new handbags and designer jewelry; new plaques and funny signs; handmade jewelry; seasonal decorations (got great 4th of July items); new pictures (you got to see the goat when he arrives); hats for Derby; new Baggallini purses; new Viva bead jewelry; and lots of new wedding or any occasion gift ideas. I tried to get as much merchandise as I could made in the USA. It is getting better but still a challenge. And yes, I was tired!
Speaking of made in the USA, my other goal for the last couple of years is to sell local art. I have taken that up a notch and have even more this year—Lutco Pottery by Mitzi Fallis, Kevin Lutes Photography, Kathleen O’Brien original art work, Lacetree Weaving by Fox Hutt, and more to come.
Another goal is to collect customer email addresses so that I can let you know about events, products and sales. Come by or email me your address if you are interested, email@example.com. Use that email to let me know if you are looking for something, have an idea or thought on how we can better serve you. (or call, 859/734-3718) I do look forward to hearing from you and hope you will come by very soon to see what is new at Beaumont Inn Gift Shop!
December 21, 2010
Wow, did I ever jinx our weather for the next six weeks by gloating over the 70 degree weather we were experiencing on November 9, my last blog entry. I won’t do that again! Like most of the rest of the nation, we have been on a very cold and snowy weather pattern the past few weeks and only today we begin the official winter season. Let’s hope “in like a lion and out like a lamb” will help us out a little earlier than March.
The week before Thanksgiving found Helen and me in Rock Hill, South Carolina (Helen’s home town) attending a luncheon at Winthrop University in honor of Helen’s mother, Helen Wheeler Williams. The University in conjunction with Mr. Robert Breakfield, a law professor and attorney in Rock Hill, announced the establishment of a scholarship in her honor for her anonymous financial support of many young women she met over the years prior to her death in 1994. Ms. Williams volunteered in the college library and came in contact with many single young women who were struggling to make ends meet as they worked, studied and, in some cases, raised children while attending classes at Winthrop. She would anonymously arrange for their tuition payments through Mr. Breakfield with the stipulation that she remain anonymous to the students and to the general knowledge of the University. This announcement by Mr. Breakfield in October of this year was the first the family had heard of Ms. Williams’ generous gifts. It is a wonderful tribute to a woman so firm in her belief in accessible education for all. Mr. Breakfield was a great friend and confidant of Ms. Williams and his establishment of this scholarship speaks volumes to his commitment to these same principles.
Thanksgiving week was, as usual, a busy week with a full house and some 250 Thanksgiving dinners served on the big day. When I think of Thanksgiving at the Inn, I immediately think of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Stiverson of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Stiverson first came to Beaumont Inn in 1954 as a young married couple. Shortly after that time, they began a tradition of spending Thanksgiving at Beaumont Inn. They became great friends with our family and their children grew up with the Beaumont Thanksgiving traditions just as my siblings and I did over the years. We look forward to their visit each year as it officially earmarks our Thanksgiving Holiday!
Chef Jerry Broderick has been busy plotting the layout of the vegetable garden for next spring and each day finds him composting our vegetable scraps, coffee grinds and other organic material on site. Jerry’s wife, Jennifer, says he talks herbs and veggie varieties in his sleep and she affectionately calls him Mr. Green Jeans.
Pastry Chef Susan DeCan has been seasonally challenged with all the baking of Holiday goodies over the past four to five weeks. It’s the busiest time of the year for her as the Holidays tend to bring out the sweet tooth in everyone. We have been blessed with Susan’s baking talents for the past twenty-something years and she knows the “inns and outs” of the Beaumont way better than anyone. Susan often laments on the finicky, fickle task of producing the perfect General Robert E. Lee Orange-Lemon cake. She can attest to the effects of humidity and even the temperature of the eggs to the successful production of a perfect “Bob”. The attached photograph of ol’ Bob (and Susan) will set the bar for perfection.
And finally, we wish you all a Happy Holiday Season with much joy and many blessings from the Beaumont Inn family.
November 9, 2010
It is a bit unusual to be sitting here today on our screened in porch writing this entry with the temperature hovering near 70 degrees with bright blue skies and glorious sunshine. But, who’s complaining! It is a wonderful weather week here in Central Kentucky with warmer temps headed our way for the next 5 days. Sure makes one want to get out to the golf course or perhaps to that favorite fishing hole for a day. I’ll have to check with the boss to see if I can, in fact, play hooky for a day!
But back to the matter at hand. My final update on our new Aging Ham House is this – it is finished! All done! Beautiful! And most importantly, today we received our long awaited shipment of 3000 pounds of country ham ready to be put to rest for the winter aging with great expectations for a savory new year. Above is a photo of our “Ham Man” Lawrence Watts. Lawrence has worked for us for 25 years and has been cooking our hams for the past 20 years. If he has handled somewhere around 3500 to 4000 pounds per year – whew, do the math!
Helen and I spent a beautiful October afternoon on the Kentucky River doing clean-up duty. Each summer our community participates in the Kentucky River Sweep Clean-up but we were unable to volunteer that particular day so we promised to do our duty at a later opportunity. Three hours of scrounging around the banks and three bags later we completed our agreement. It was a beautiful day and we actually enjoyed the time on the water.
Halloween is always a fun time in our community with our Main Street Program producing “The Night of the Great Pumpkin” for the kids and adults alike. Our housekeeping staff always gets into the spooky mode with costumes and trick or treat candy for our guests! And for the enjoyment of our guests and dinner patrons alike, the Studio G Players from Harrodsburg performed “Thriller” on the front lawn of the Inn. What a neat event and now I have some real hard fact stories for the numerous folks who ask, “Is the Inn haunted?”
And finally, here is a pic of the new Beaumont Inn Garden recently designed and plowed by Steve Butler, our contracted gardener. For most of the Inn’s existence, our family had a large garden of flowers and vegetables located on this very spot. Sometime in the sixties with the growth of state and national produce companies and their ability to deliver fresh produce year-round from around the country, we decided is was easier to purchase our veggies from local folks in season and national companies the rest of the year. With the renewed interest in “garden to table” dining, we decided to bring back the traditions of the Beaumont Inn Garden. (Not to worry, Helen and I will still have our own back-of-the-barn garden to keep us busy and in touch with Mother Nature.) We are excited about Steve’s enthusiasm for next year’s project and his plans for a Butterfly Garden as an added attraction. Pretty neat stuff!
October 5, 2010
Finally, there is a touch of Autumn in the air. We have had a hot and dry summer with record highs and very little rain. But today is a picture perfect day with sunny skies and cool temperatures.
Our wait for the World Equestrian Games is over as we are in the second and final week of this International Event. It has been a wonderful experience. We booked up with folks from all over the world and across the USA. Helen and I have completed our two days of volunteer work as Kentucky Tourism representatives in the Kentucky Experience Pavilion. What a great time we had talking with folks from all over the world while attending the WEG. There is definitely something special about being with 50,000 plus people who have traveled so far or so near to celebrate the beauty of these magnificent horses in competition. Truly breathtaking!
Dixon and Elizabeth had a taste of the International experience as they traveled to Europe for two weeks in early September. They had a wonderful time as they ate and drank their way from Paris to Rome. They developed their own itinerary which provided for a leisurely and relaxed experience. A special thanks to Mark File for his help with accommodations and travel tips.
The Ham House is moving ahead and finally within days of being finished. The roof is on, the siding is up, and the electrical wiring and concrete entry way are going in today. Insulation, interior wall covering and hanging racks are just about all that is left to complete. The ground repair begins tomorrow with delivery of rock and grading followed by a complete repaving of the back delivery area on Thursday. It won’t be long!
Autumn is a beautiful time in Central Kentucky. Come see us!
August 29, 2010
What a great (fun and busy) month we’ve had since my last entry! Here’s a quick and scaled down version of what has been going on with the Dedman family.
First, our new aging house for our country hams has begun to take shape. The foundation has been poured along with the concrete floor putting us on target to begin the framing process this week. We have 3,000 pounds of ham waiting patiently to begin their slumber here as soon as their residence is complete.
Helen and I took a short break to the mountains of North Carolina where we enjoyed several hiking trails and waterfalls vistas. Thanks to our North Carolina mountain mentor, Mark File, we had a great time with all the needed information at our finger tips. Check it out at www.RomanticAsheville.com and be sure to sign up for his Facebook entries.
We (along with Dixon and Elizabeth) also spent a weekend in Carmel, Indiana attending my nephew’s wedding. What a wonderful little town and area north of Indy. We even attempted to conquer the Big Ugly Burger at Bub’s Burgers. Nada, didn’t make it!
Then on to the THINK meeting at the National House Inn in Marshall, Michigan for two days of fun, frolic and yes, some serious marketing discussions to plot our path for the upcoming year. For information about our group go to www.thinkaboutinns.com .
The final preparations for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are underway. We are less than a month away. Helen chairs the WEG Beautification Committee for Harrodsburg. Tomorrow her group begins the placement and planting of Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels at the gateways to our city. Helen and I have also volunteered to work the Tourism area in the Kentucky Experience pavilion at the games. We have passed our criminal background checks and have attended the required training for participants. We are ready to go! If you haven’t considered attending this once in a lifetime event, now is the time – check it all out including the unbelievable Alltech Fortnight Festival Events at ww.alltechfeigames.com.
Thanks to all who made our summer a huge success. We hope to see you back again real soon!
July 24, 2010
Summer sweats! When I think of this term, it brings to mind images of our Country Ham aging house, full of old country hams hanging from their pegs with the heat of summer drawing moisture and drippings from their netted slabs. Great smells of salted and smoked meat creates an aroma unlike any experienced except maybe in an old smokehouse found on the frontier some 200 years ago.
Much to do has been made over our aging house pictured on our website. This aging house represented some 70 years of “drippage” from well over a quarter of a million pounds of Kentucky-cured Country Ham. Yep, we’re talking somewhere around 275,000 pounds! A simple structure raised on concrete pillars, plank flooring, double band tongue and groove pine siding supported by rough cut timbers designed for function not appearance. A great building!
The aging house received a face lift around 1980 but had continued to deteriorate over the past few years, especially the interior which had suffered the effects from years of salt solution. After much discussion and hand wringing, we reluctantly took it down last Thursday to make way for a new aging house constructed along the same general principles with one purpose in mind, to age those wonderful Kentucky-cured Country Hams.
We have temporarily stored our hams in a separate location for the quick turnaround we expect with construction. You may follow this process through my Blog over the next couple of weeks as I offer photographs of the new construction. We are excited about the tradition of establishing a new home for our ham brood as they await their turn at the table. Stay tuned!
July 9, 2010
As I mentioned last month, June is Festival month in our neck of the woods with great events held each weekend to keep the festival goers on the move. This month (July) is Horse Show and County Fair month. Each week finds a different venue as the circuit continues until its culmination with the Kentucky State Fair in August. Our town hosts the 182nd Mercer County Fair and Horse Show on July 26 – 31. It is the oldest County Fair in America and is a true classic event. The Horse Show features professional and amateur Saddlebred gaited horse classes along with several classes dedicated to sister breeds. If you have never experienced a County Fair, well, you need to put it on your bucket list! Check it out at www.mercerfair.com.
Much needed rain came today as the last few weeks have been sunny, hot and dry. Our local farm produce producers have been slowed a bit by this weather pattern but will “bloom” big time now with this relief at hand. Helen and I have a garden tucked away here on the property which keeps us busy and well fed during the summer. We cheat a little on water as we have an old watering trough left over from our horse owning days which catches rainwater from the barn roof and gives us a good supply for the garden. We have harvested bibb lettuce, kale, spinach, red leaf lettuce, swiss chard, cucumbers, squash, peas, green beans, lima beans, peppers, okra and tomatoes! We, of course, give our “extras” (what Helen doesn’t can) to Chef Jerry to be used in the kitchen but this merely supplements the quantities he purchases from the local producers.
Here included is an update for all of you who have worried about the injured Catalpa tree out front of the Main Inn. As you recall, the eastern branch had grown out over the sidewalk into the street making for a hazardous parking job by anyone who would venture under it. Well, last fall as fate would have it, a passing tree trimming company truck hit it and broke it off. We had to perform tree limb amputation with the hopes it would survive the procedure. The attached photo just goes to show you there is life in the old girl yet!
June 13, 2010
We’re half way through Festival Month with two down and two to go. The Fort Harrod Beef Festival (6/4-6/5) and the Great American Brass Band Festival (6/11-6/13) are both in the books with record crowds on hand. Our Thursday night production of the Bourbon & Brass fundraising event for the GABBF was a sold out affair with 350 Bourbon aficionados in attendance who “tasted and grazed” their night away while listening to the Jack Brass Band under the big top. On Friday night we hosted the EKU Brass Quintet on the front lawn. The weather cooperated for both events and our dining venues were maxed out. Great stuff! (A special note of thanks to our grounds crew of Lloyd, Stevie and Donnie for getting the grounds in shape for both outdoor events with the weather challenges of the past three weeks!)
The next two weekends schedule the Fort Harrod Settlement and Raid (6/19-6/20) and the Harrodsburg Festival of Books & Arts (6/26). Both are new events which have created lots of interest. For more information, contact the Harrodsburg/Mercer County Tourist Commission at 800-355-9192 or www.harrodsburgky.com.
Have you noticed the new additions to our website? Mark File, our website developer and master guru, spent a couple of days with us to update our site with new photos, day trips, You Tube videos, Facebook, etc., etc., etc.. He is a website magician who has single handedly put us in the forefront of “electronic travel” over the past few years. For a real treat check out his website, www.RomanticAsheville.com. You’ve got to see it to believe it!
The flowers are blooming, the pool is full, and the Bourbon’s at its best! Come see us!
June 1, 2010
This past week has brought home the summer weather we have come to love and enjoy here in Central Kentucky - daytime temperatures in the 80’s and nighttime temperatures falling into the lower 60’s. For the past several weeks, our local Mercer County farmers have supplied us with lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli and many other cool weather crops as now we move into the summer supply of beans, squash, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, peppers, etc., etc., etc.. In addition to the local veggies, we also use local Kentucky Proud Meat Products such as beef and pork. Good eatin’, right off the farm!
A follow up to our “green movement” finds us now using natural ingredient soap and shampoo guest amenity products packaged in post-consumer recycled materials. And we are proud to report, our recycling program of cardboard, metals, glass and plastics have reduced our waste removal volume by 60%! We are gettin’ leaner and greener!
Another special thanks to the folks at Woodford Reserve as they graciously donated 23 Bourbon whiskey barrels to Historic Harrodsburg’s WEG Beautification Committee for the upcoming September-October games. These barrels will be used as planters to beautify the gateways to the city. What better product to illustrate the Kentucky theme for the games! (Thanks also to Helen for asking and Becky for seeing it through. It’s nice to have “family connections”.)
And speaking of Helen and Becky, well, you should have been there. This past Saturday, Helen and Becky competed in the Buffalo Trails Multisport Racing Triathlon in Maysville, Kentucky. The only mother/daughter duo in the race. They finished in good time, had a good time, and I feel confident it will be Helen’s last time! Adam, our son-in-law, and myself acted as trainers and road crew and came away “proud as punch” of our girls and their accomplishment.
April 26, 2010
It’s Big Time/Horse Time here in Kentucky! The first Saturday in May finds the sporting world’s attention directed to the greatest two minutes in sports – The Kentucky Derby. The mint is at its peak, the simple syrup is chillin’ in the shade and the Bourbon has aged to perfection – yes, it’s time for the mint juleps, aged Kentucky Country Ham biscuits, Kentucky Derby Pie and the running for the roses! We will have the Old Owl TAVERN, Owl’s Nest Lounge and our ten foot video screen in our banquet/conference room all tuned in to the horse race of all horse races! If you can’t be at the Derby, then come join us for this grand tradition.
May also produces one of Central Kentucky’s greatest music events of the year, The Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass – May 29 & 30 at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Check it out at NortonCenter.com. Join us for a weekend of great music in a fantastic setting!
Helen and Elizabeth decided we needed a little more festive look to the front of the Old Owl TAVERN, so we added a couple of outdoor dining tables complete with Woodford Reserve Bourbon umbrellas (now there is a mint julep thought!) and bar height seating to the area. How popular is that! Great look, great feel, great Bourbon! A special thanks to Becky and the folks at Woodford Reserve – www.woodfordreserve.com.
Also, a special thanks to the Elizabethtown Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting their Board Retreat here at Beaumont Inn last week. They represent what we like best for our small conference facility – they meet, they eat and they relax with us for a very successful meeting. A very professional group of folks dedicated to the Kentucky hospitality industry! It doesn’t get any better than that! Check ‘em out at www.TourEtown.com.
For the biking enthusiasts among us, we have miles of scenic country roads complete with original stone fences, rolling bluegrass fields, gentle Thoroughbred horses and historic mansions right here in Mercer County. We would love to have you experience our Central Kentucky home. For more information on biking through Kentucky, check out www.bikewalk.ky.gov.
For those of you who prefer a more relaxing sport like book reading by the pool, Donnie and Lloyd are making it happen. A fresh coat of paint, filtration system/pump maintenance and the other preseason preparations are underway at the swimming pool. Our plan is to open by Memorial Day, so get ready with those books and sunscreen. Happy Birthday to the pool – she will be 54 years old this summer. She’s had a few implants and replacements, but still going strong!
And finally, the winner of the Car of the Month! Jeff and Linda Middaugh of Harrodsburg arrived for lunch with their daughter Suzanne Hudgins in their 1961 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II. Jeff was gracious enough to give yours truly a tour of the town in that beauty! Jeff and Linda assured me they keep a bottle of Grey Poupon under the seat just in case. Okay, okay, another bad joke! I’ll do better next time.
April 2, 2010
It’s Opening Day at Keeneland! The sun is shining, the temperature is in the 70’s and the horses are at the post! If you haven’t experienced Keeneland, you need to move it to the top of your bucket list. The Spring meet runs today through April 23 with no racing on Mondays or Tuesdays. Come on out and enjoy the artistry of the Thoroughbred, you won’t be disappointed!
While we’re at it, let me promote a couple of other artistic April performances at the Norton Center For The Arts at Centre College. Friday, April 16 will find the Temptations and the Four Tops in concert at the Center. Tuesday – Thursday, April 20 -22 will feature the farewell performance of Riverdance. Check out NortonCenter.com for more information.
After last week’s chicken lesson, I have been on a mission to find our local “chicken man” who understands the ins and outs of the yellow-legged chicken. Much to my reward, this magical man appeared with 32 dozen farm raised chicken eggs in tow and to make it even better, they come from his two yellow-legged chicken varieties called Barred Rocks and Golden Reds. Wow, all right here at our back door! Mark Wheeler of Springfield, Kentucky is this man on a mission. He has 150 yellow-legged “laying chickens” producing a bountiful plenty of these pullet packets! He goes by the tag line, “Food with a Face” and he is an absolute character. So, next time you’re here and you want some farm fresh eggs to take home, we’ll try to give him a call and see if those little darlings are up to the task! (We probably should have some lead time with any egg orders to go!) And by the way, you should hear his theory on teaching his chickens to perform. Another form of animal artistry yet to be discovered!
I had an opportunity to accompany Helen on one of her “day trip” investigations last week also. Tough duty it was as we set out Saturday morning in search of Kentucky Wineries. Little did I know there are 34 wineries and vineyards officially listed here in Kentucky. She picked out four on a loop which covered probably no more than 85 to 90 miles round trip. What a beautiful day and what beautiful countryside! We left at 11:00am and returned home by 5:00pm with a lunch date with our daughter included in one of the stops. We tasted 6 wines at each winery at a cost of $5 per set. Great fun! The rolling hills of the Bluegrass were the backdrop for our adventure and our destinations were truly breathtaking. Check it out at www.kentuckywine.com and watch our website for Helen’s Winery day trips!
Item from the “did you know” volume of useless information! Harrodsburg has one of only 1100 existing pieces from the New Deal post office mural program of the 1930’s and 40’s. “Created with the express purpose of raising the morale of a nation in economic collapse, each stands as a reminder that art is welcome drink to a parched soul.” – Amy Wilson, Lexington Herald-Leader, Sunday, March 28, 2010. The Harrodsburg Post Office mural is entitled, Frontier Life in Kentucky by Orville Carroll and Charles Goodwin, 1941. Our Post Office is less than a mile stroll from our front door and well worth the look-see! Very timely!
March 21, 2010
Spring has finally arrived here in Central Kentucky! Warm, sunny days have returned to the Commonwealth along with the budding trees, green grass and flowers heralding the call of the outdoors. It’s time for plowing the old garden and getting ready to plant those cool weather crops. Helen has several seed trays in our windows with collards, kale, spinach, leaf lettuce and swiss chard just days away from transferring to the garden.
Speaking of local, homegrown produce reminds me to plug Harrodsburg/Mercer County’s agritourism movement. On your next visit, if you are interested in “down on the farm” products, we have a wonderful brochure produced by the Harrodsburg/Mercer County Tourist Commission entitled Great Family Fun – Down on the Farm. This full color guide lists all the local farms and agribusinesses which you may visit to experience the activities of the farm operation and to purchase their products at the point of origin. Really neat!
Dixon and Elizabeth traveled to Austin, Texas last week to attend a national Innkeepers’ conference. They had a great time as they networked with hundreds of other folks in our niche industry, attended seminars and met with numerous vendors of industry products. Next week will be Chuck and Helen’s turn to “re-charge the batteries” with members of our marketing group THINK. We will be meeting at the Murphin Ridge Inn near West Union, Ohio. Check out all our members at www.thinkaboutinns.com . Plan a visit to these well established, successful Inns and be sure to tell them Chuck sent ya’.
This past week we featured the University of Kentucky March Madness games (that’s basketball for those of you not on the planet) in the TAVERN, Owl’s Nest Lounge and on our ten foot video screen in our banquet/conference room. What a party! Our Big Blue followers are confident we are the “difference maker” as our beloved Wildcats march toward the Championship Game! We’ll be back at it come Thursday – come on out!
Another great-grandmother story! With the purchase of the building in 1917 and the transformation of the facility to Beaumont Inn, Annie Bell Goddard began her new career as a rural, small-town Innkeeper committed to the hospitality of her guests. Her first evening menu consisted solely of regional favorites, fried chicken and country ham. Her Yellow-Legged Fried Chicken and two year old Kentucky-cured Country Ham were a big hit with the early travelers. Today, one of the most asked questions concerns the origin of this “Yellow-Legged” term. Family history has it that Annie Bell’s experience raising chickens left her with the determination that the “yellow legged” chicken varieties were better tasting than the “grey legged” or black/blue varieties. Experts contend that there are a variety of influences which enhance the yellow color of the poultry leg. Among these are age, the amount of corn in the feed and if the hen is an active “laying hen”. We still prepare our fried chicken by her age old recipe. We use a fresh fryer (never frozen), rub lightly with salt, dredge gently through flour and fry in lard. Simple and satisfying! As my grandmother, Pauline Goddard Dedman, would say, “Mother was smarter before breakfast than most folks were all day!”
March 5, 2010
We’re back on our regular dining schedule. As promised, the new Main Dining Room dinner menu is now on line. Check it out!
Helen left early this morning for the retailers’ viewing of Kentucky Crafted-The Market at the Fairgrounds. The next couple of days will be available to the public. So, if you’re in the neighborhood, give it a “look see”. More information may be found at www.kycraft.ky.gov.
Don’t forget! Next weekend – Blue Grass Trust Antiques and Garden Show at Keeneland, www.bgtantiquesandgardenshow.org. Call today, we still have a few rooms available.
St. Patrick’s Day – March 17. We are hosting a new event to celebrate the day. At 8:00 pm in the Owl’s Nest Lounge, there will be a Limerick Contest. This is going to be a four leaf clover event with all the luck of the Irish. For contest rules and more information, contact Tony Sexton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, let me see if I have this correct. A limerick – a nonsense, sometimes bawdy poem usually with the rhyme scheme aabba. Hmmm!
There once was a gal from Kaintuck,
who plodded her trade from her truck.
This tale would’ve been merrier
had she been more than a farrier
but the ol’ boys are just out of luck!
Okay, okay! I know it’s weak. But I had to try. I’m a Biology major, not a poet! I’ll be back next week.
February 25, 2010
Well, as we are about to close the door on the month of February, our thoughts turn to Spring and the wish for warmer and brighter weather. March is the gateway month into our official tourism season which begins April 1, so you still have time to enjoy our off season rates over the next few weeks. Remember, we are offering our March Madness Special beginning March 1 through March 31. Read last week’s blog for details (below). There are many great events throughout March, not to mention my favorite, BASKETBALL! We’ll have games on in the TAVERN and Owl’s Nest and Dixon is working on projecting the games through our LCD projector onto our ten foot screen for big time gaming! Go Cats! (Sorry, I shouldn’t show blatant favoritism.)
March also finds our return to regular dining hours in the Main Dining Room. The MDR will be open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday evenings (with a new menu offering our casual House Favorites from the TAVERN along with our good ol’ stalwarts, Yellow-Legged Fried Chicken and Two Year Old Kentucky Cured Country Ham and other Chef Jerry’s creations to make for an exceptional dining experience!) and for lunch Wednesday through Friday and Sunday Brunch. The Old Owl TAVERN and the Owl’s Nest Lounge will continue their regular hours as before. Lots of dining options in the mix! I believe you will love the change to the MDR dinner menu and the quiet experience of a relaxing dinner with friends or family. A great place to sit back, enjoy quiet conversation and a bottle of wine! The new menu will go on line probably next week.
This week’s entry in the useless information category is focused on Annie Bell Goddard, my great-grandmother who founded Beaumont Inn. Her importance to our family legacy is well documented in all of our literature and promotional materials but you might enjoy a couple of more personal notes about her. She graduated from Daughters College (what is now Beaumont Inn) in 1880. At that time, the students received a bible as their diploma. The printing on the fly leaf reads, “Miss Annie Bell has, in a satisfactory manner, completed the course of study prescribed in this institution. We award to her this diploma, in testimony of her attainments as a scholar, and of our regard for her as a lady.” She later taught mathematics here at the College and considered John Augustus Williams, Daughters College President, her mentor as far as the advancement of women’s education in this country. Skipping through the years and tenure of Beaumont College under the ownership of Colonel Thomas A. Smith, we find Annie Bell purchasing the building in 1917 at public auction for sentimental reasons and transforming the college into Beaumont Inn.
There are numerous items displayed in the Inn today which are a testament to her commitment to the college and the education of “her girls”. My favorites are her college administrator desk which sits quietly in the first floor hall across from the Gift Shop; the old school bell rung for classes and meals which hangs in the “porch way” ( now the gift shop) and in most guestrooms a copy of a poem written by Annie Bell Goddard around 1921 entitled “The Pearl”. Very inspirational! She was quite a lady and as my Dad would say, “learned, mannered and determined”!
February 19, 2010
Valentine’s Day turned out to be very special for part of the Beaumont team. Cupid delivered to Chef Jerry Broderick and wife, Jennifer, a brand spanking new, bouncing baby boy at 3pm that afternoon. This is their first child and both mom and son are doing great!
So, Fat Tuesday brought our favorite Guest Chef (photo at right) to the rescue with Cajun specials for the TAVERN to keep all those “Loosiana Awleans” fans feeling the spirit. I caught him in action as he was about to lasso the gator and get ‘em in the skillet!
If you are considering taking advantage of our March Madness special, here are a couple of March events worthy of consideration. Kentucky Crafted-The Market, March 6-7 at the Fairgrounds, 75 minutes from our front door. Big time event! Check it out at www.kycraft.ky.gov or 502-564-3757. Blue Grass Trust Antiques and Garden Show, March 12-14 at Keeneland, 30 minutes from here. You won’t be disappointed! Check it out at www.bgtantiquesandgardenshow.org or 859-254-3412.
And, for all of you who have wandered around the property and found yourself face to face with our twelve hundred pound “guard pig”, Prudice, let me explain. Prudice was purchased some 20 years ago by Mr. Ralph Anderson in Amish country Ohio and delivered here to act as a guard for our country ham aging house. He is on 24/7 and requires little sleep and feed. My Mother, who collected pigs of all sizes and styles, fell in love with Prudice while on the trip with Dad, Ralph and Ruth Anderson, which resulted in the gift. Prudice is from an old legendary family name, Prudice Jenkins, who gave mysterious gag gifts at birthdays and Christmas. Please don’t feed him as we are watching his weight!
Last minute reminder! This week’s performances at the Norton Centre for the Arts, Centre College, are the following: Friday February 18 – Le Grand Cirque; Monday February 22 – Chamber Orchestra of the Kremlin; Tuesday February 23 – Tchaikovsky Ballet – Sleeping Beauty. Visit the Old Owl TAVERN for your pre-performance dinner!
Remember, Spring is just around the corner!
February 11, 2010
So much for Global Warming! Here we are on the eve of the Winter Olympics and my vote is to move them to downtown Washington DC to give those poor folks something to cheer about. After all, look what the Saints did for New Orleans after Katrina!
Here is an update and reminder for anyone still thinking about the World Equestrian Games event here this September/October. We are presently 70% filled for the games and we are excited. We have folks coming from Ecuador, New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands, Canada, Great Britain and of course the good ol’ USA. So, while we still have rooms, we want to encourage you to get on board and make your plans and reservations. I heard at a Tourism meeting this week that you can purchase tickets now or soon with Ticketmaster. Makes it pretty easy and uncomplicated.
If you are thinking horses, don’t forget about the Spring Keeneland meet in Lexington beginning April 2. We are only 30 minutes from the track. What a great way to spend a Spring visit in Kentucky. Dogwoods, redbud, tulips and such!
Now for you March Madness fans! Do we have a deal for you? Here’s the skinny on our super new stimulus plan. For the month of March, stay two consecutive nights and receive a 25% discount off these seasonally reduced rates for both nights! The reservation must be made 7 days prior to arrival and the two nights’ lodging must be prepaid when making the reservation and is non-refundable. Whether you come for basketball, distillery tours, shopping, golf, antiquing or whatever, it’s a great way to save some buckooos! When making the reservation, simply ask for the March Madness deal!
Read today that the next edition of the Woodford Reserve’s Bourbon Academy is scheduled for March 6, April 3 and June 12. This allows you to spend the day with master distiller Chris Morris as he takes you on a special production tour of the distillery and a series of tastings. Lunch is even included! For more information and reservations call (859) 879-1934.
Also for you Centre College golfing alumni, the brochure was just released for the 33 rd Annual Herb McGuire Praying Colonels Invitational Golf Tournament – May 16 and 17. We have several players who regularly stay with us for the event, so make your reservations for this fun-filled event. Tourney information on line at www.centrelinkonline.com/pci2010 .
And finally for the useless bit of information in today’s blog! The two most important media events of the first half century (I’m talking 20 th century) which helped to solidify Beaumont Inn’s position in the travel world of that era were the following. First, the inclusion of Beaumont Inn in Duncan Hines’ first edition of Adventures in Good Eating (1936) and his first edition of Lodging for a Night (1938). Both of these were subject to numerous reprints over the years and were considered the most important and actually “first of its kind” travel directory in the USA. Secondly, was the Inn’s selection as one of eight America’s Inns highlighted in the 1958 Time Inc.’s, LIFE Picture Cook Book. What a beautiful “coffee table” cookbook cherished by all who were able to acquire a copy. These were all marketing milestones for the Inn at that time! All items are found from time to time on EBay.
Enough verbiage for today.
February 1, 2010 (Here's a "guest" entry from Helen!)
I got back from the Atlanta Market about a month ago and I think I have finally recovered! The Atlanta Gift Market is 3 buildings with 10-20 floors each to cover. Each floor has at least 12 showrooms exhibiting different vendors. It is like going into 12 different shops on each floor. Chuck used to go with me but in the last few years he has decided to opt out for book reading, museum visiting, anything not to go to the show! His job now is to find a nice restaurant for the evening meal. He hasn ’t offered to rub my feet yet but I may work on that for the next time.
I have been going to the show for awhile so I do have tried and true showrooms I go to but I am always looking for that “hot ” item that you won ’t see everywhere. This year I tried to find “green ” and “made in USA. ” I had some success, and it really is interesting how many vendors are stressing the USA factor. I am excited about some beautiful spring colored serving pieces; handmade pewter; fun kitchen accessories —skunk duster, monkey peeler, ladybug mixing bowls (might make clean up/cooking entertaining!); all natural crayons; new lamps; new horse pictures and even cows this time.
We also have some great new jewelry in that I did not find in Atlanta —Kentucky made, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings using antique broaches and gemstones combined with high quality sterling and vermeil findings. Each necklace is unique. These talented ladies can even make a necklace for you from antique jewels you have. You could have a necklace made from that pin your grandmother or mother gave you. Great website www.wandmjewelry.com
Another interesting change is the gift shop has finally become computerized! It has been a long time coming and we still l have a little adjusting to do, but I feel good about have a better handle on inventory and hopefully making check out easier and faster. But if we are still learning when you visit us, please be patient! We look forward to seeing you soon.
PS: See more about our Gift Shop!
January 29, 2010
Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, we are opening the Old Owl TAVERN from 5pm to 8pm that evening. So make plans to join us on that special Sunday to celebrate with your special partner!
This weekend we expect to see a few Vandy fans as the Vanderbilt Commodores take on the University of Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena (only 45 minutes from here). I admit to being a Wildcat fan first and foremost but my second following goes to the ‘Dores, so here’s hoping both teams play well with an edge to the Cats!
Also this Sunday January 31, the James Harrod Trust will be hosting a book release party for “The Women of Mercer County” at Beaumont Inn. The book, two years in the making, contains more than 125 stories of women from Mercer County. The party will include several authors reading excerpts from their stories. This first edition of 400 copies has created much excitement from the community. After the release, copies will be available from the Beaumont Inn Gift Shop.
Green, Green, Green, the color of choice today! Last Spring the members of our little Innkeepers marketing group, THINK www.thinkaboutinns.com , traveled to the Proximity Hotel www.proximityhotel.com in Greensboro, North Carolina to experience firsthand their top notch hospitality, award-winning food and most importantly to tour the “greenest” hotel in the United States. Absolutely fascinating! We all left realizing the importance of meeting the challenges of today’s environmental concerns and thankful for visionaries, such as Dennis and Nancy Quaintance, who lead the charge within the Hospitality Industry. Anyway, we returned home with a determination to be a better, or should I say a greener, advocate for a clean environment. We started with CFL light bulbs, reduced schedule of utility use, eco-friendly paper products, new equipment purchases with reduced energy use and have worked out a recycling program which now recycles our glass, plastics, metals and cardboard. We will continue to move ahead with new programs and we feel good about our first year “going green”!
And finally, a bit of family news. Dixon has just recently been elected to the Kentucky Restaurant Association’s Board of Directors. He adds this prestigious responsibility to his community service as Chairman of Harrodsburg First, our main street program. I am delighted he is so connected and involved in the Hospitality industry outside of the Inn as it certainly bodes well for keeping the Inn abreast of today’s industry challenges.
That’s it for today. Until next time!
January 22, 2010
Okay, we’re back and ready to go! We have completed all those little pesky jobs and chores and are ready to get the doors open officially for the 2010 season. You will find our 2010 rates, calendar and packages now listed on our website. And don’t forget about our special winter lodging rates for the months of January and February which I outlined in my last communiqué.
As of this writing, we still have a few offerings available for the Valentine’s Day weekend, so make your plans and come join us. Dixon will have plenty of “heart piercing” specials playing out in the TAVERN and Nest. The Main Dining Room will be set for that romantic candlelight dinner if that be your fancy! AND for that very special Valentine Sunday, we offer our Sunday Brunch Buffet (11:00am –1:30pm) and will open the Old Owl TAVERN from 5pm until 8pm.
Last week found Helen and me in Atlanta as Helen shopped the Atlanta Gift Market during their January Show highlighting all the new lines and products for 2010. As a non-shopper and uninterested companion, I merely hung out at the lap pool, exercise room and plush Hotel lobby with a couple of good books, while she Marta’s downtown to the shopping frenzy day after day. I don’t know how she does it! But she works her magic and returns each evening ready for a nice dinner and night’s rest with her shopping complete, contracts intact and deliveries on the way. The boxes have already begun to arrive and the unpacking has begun. I’m hoping to have her provide a blog entry within the next few days to give you a preview of what’s to come.
We just received the new Kentucky Bourbon Trail brochure from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. What a beauty! Look it over on line at www.kybourbontrail.com. The distilleries highlighted in the brochure are all located within approximately 1 hour from the Inn, so make us your hub as you explore the world of Kentucky Bourbon.
Another Kentucky treat I discovered just recently was in nearby Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Our daughter, Becky (who is the Guest Services Manager at the Woodford Reserve distillery), married this past November a wonderful young man, Adam Bowling, from Middlesboro, Kentucky. They met at Wofford College in South Carolina some six years ago and we had been waiting (somewhat) patiently for the union to take place. Knowing that several of the groom’s family and friends were cigar aficionados, I went in search of a hand rolled Kentucky cigar. And voila! Twenty minutes from our front door is the Kentucky Gentlemen Cigar Company. Talk about a treasure! A great addition to the Bourbon Trail day trip! Check it out at www.kentuckygentlemencigars.com.
I’d better go! Keep an eye out for my next entry. This blog thing is addictive. And don’t forget to follow Dixon’s Old Owl TAVERN Facebook page. He’s a hoot (no pun intended)!
January 6, 2010
Hey Friends! In keeping with a promise to Helen for the New Year, today I am launching the Innkeepers’ Blog. I am committed to bring you the latest and greatest news about the Inn and its various venues as well as to give you updates on what’s happening in our area. We may even venture into the 165 year history of the College/Inn from time to time to share with you interesting tidbits from days long past. Helen and Dixon have also signed on to provide Gift Shop features and share fun activities scheduled in the Nest and Tavern (Also follow Dixon’s promos on the Old Owl TAVERN Facebook page). I hope it will be an interesting and informative journey and one which you will enjoy.
At present, all operations are closed until January 22, 2010. This is a period where we paint, patch and plaster those areas which are difficult to do while the Inn is in operation. We also take this opportunity to do kitchen maintenance as this is definitely impossible while the restaurants are in operation. Anyway, the time goes by quickly so our crews are busy at task to meet their deadlines.
WINTER SPECIAL! For the remainder of January and February, we will once again offer special winter lodging rates. Bronze/Silver guestrooms rented weekdays are $95 for two persons while the weekend rate is $110 for two persons. Gold/Diamond guestrooms are $109 weekdays and $125 weekend. Platinum guestroom suites are $150 weekdays and $165 weekend. Great rates which include a full Southern breakfast in the dining room the following morning. Give the reservation folks a call for more information and availability for the Valentine’s Day weekend.
After a much anticipated wait, Harrodsburg’s latest entertainment/restaurant attraction has finally opened. Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse opened over the Holidays and now offers a live entertainment/dining experience which we are sure you will enjoy. Check it out at www.eddiemontgomerysteakhouse.com.
And finally, within the next ten days we will be updating our website with our 2010 Calendar of Events and Special Vacation Packages. We are excited with the promise for a new year, for new friends and for new challenges. We will keep you posted!