June 23, 2016
Bed & Breakfast in Irvine, KY, truly a “get away from it all” gem
Hope all is well with my readers out there. Can you believe half the year is gone already?! I just got back from a quick beach getaway mixed in with a treasure hunting adventure on the East Coast! More about that later….
In this article, I want to tell you about a peaceful weekend retreat in a place not far away that I never knew existed, and immediately wanted to share with you. As I was trying to figure out what to do for my mom for Mother’s Day this year, it occurred to me that she had never been to a Bed & Breakfast. I thought this would be something different and memorable for her. The holiday was approaching fast, so I started researching B&B’s that weren’t too far away.
I came across a place called Snug Hollow. If you want to say holler, it’s within your rights, since the 300 acre eastern, barely touching central KY, mountain oasis is located in Estill County, near Irvine. Even though it’s pure country, Snug Hollow Farm Bed & Breakfast is a bit more refined; as it has been featured in Southern Living, A Taste of the South, Midwest Living, Edible Louisville, and even National Geographic…now that’s a respectable “hollow.”
After you exit off of the Mountain Parkway which is a beautiful drive in itself, you travel a two lane road through the tiny town of Irvine, on through pristine farmland and wide open meadows, where cattle graze against the Appalachian Mountain backdrop.
McSwain Branch is the gravel road that leads to Snug Hollow. The farther you go, the more you question if you are in the right place. Finally, you reach an open gate with a sign that let’s you know the location is correct, but makes you wonder “did I make the right choice?”
From that point on, the scenery and seclusion are so alluring, you know something grand must be at the end of this narrow gravel road. Friends let me tell you, it is grand, indeed. This organic farm is truly in the middle of nowhere. There are no TV’s, no internet, no cell service. It is quietly wonderful!
What is there to do? How about nothing? Just total rest and relaxation. However, if you do wish to get out of that rocking chair or old fashion porch swing, out of the plush bed, or out of the luxurious jacuzzi, there are many options.
You can take a leisurely walk through the winding paths that lead to such attractions as a tranquil pond, where you may fish or lounge on the bank in a hammock or a hand crafted wooden chair overlooking the water. You may choose to bird watch or spot other wildlife in the secluded woods and meadows. This is a perfect sanctuary for writers, artists, musicians and photographers. I took advantage of this opportunity, bringing along my good camera, and got some awesome nature pics! You may want to venture down to the vegetable garden and get some tips from Barb (the owner) on growing organically.
Walk along the babbling brook, cross the board plank, one foot at a time like when you were a kid, or gather wildflowers and search for native plants. Explore the old cemetery, or find that perfect secluded picnic spot with your special someone. You may opt to hang out in the upstairs library of the main house with a good book. Bring your bicycle if you like to ride; there are plenty of trails.
Nighttime is amazing at Snug Hollow! Stargazing, watching the twinkling fireflies, listening to the crickets and frogs, or basking in the moonlight on a clear night are just a few evening pleasures to be enjoyed here. While I was there, I experienced the joy of lying on an old iron bed on the porch right off my 2nd floor room as a storm rolled in. Listening to the rain on the tin roof and watching the lightening show was perfect entertainment for me.
At some point, you will want to join the other guests in the huge living room and get to know each other over a glass of wine and great conversation. We met some really nice people while we were there. You may want to test your skills in a game of chess, contribute a few pieces to an ongoing jigsaw puzzle, or break out some board games (yes kids, there are games that exist that do not require a TV, computer or cell phone!).
Oh yea, then there’s the food! The second B in B&B may stand for breakfast, but don’t miss out on their other meals. They had a Mother’s Day luncheon that consisted of mixed salad greens, pasta with fresh peas and lemon cream sauce, amazing fresh baked Rosemary bread (Barb is known for her bread making), and a mixed berry tart with homemade ice cream. Dinner was egg plant Parmesan, garlic smashed potatoes, sautéed zucchini and squash, and a refreshing fruit desert.
Did I mention that Snug Hollow’s chef was also a vegetarian chef at Disney? Yea, the food is that good. Gourmet vegetarian meals are the speciality here, straight from the garden, so don’t expect meat. Trust me, you won’t miss it! Reservations are required for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was just as delicious with oatmeal pancakes topped with glazed bananas, poached eggs, savory bread that I can’t pronounce, and rich, aromatic coffee served in a beautiful china cup. That’s what I call “refined country.”
Dining on the screened in porch with the cool mountain breeze blowing in was delightful. In cold weather, meals are served in the dining room with a warm fire in the background. Your accommodations may be in the main farmhouse, or one of three charming, cozy cabins on the property. All rooms are designed with comfort and simplicity in mind, and all offer great views of the property.
Make sure you take time to chat with Owner, Barb Napier. Her story is as inspirational as she is. Business owner, cook, writer, blogger, gardener, and more, she is a lady of many talents. Check out her cookbook, ‘Hot Food & Warm Memories,’ 7th best seller at the Kentucky Book Fair.
About 8-10 miles away are a couple of pottery studios. Berea, the Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of KY, is only 20 miles away, and a just a little farther out is Natural Bridge State Resort Park and Red River Gorge. Meadowgreen Music Park in Clay City is nearby. To the south is Renfro Valley, and Lexington is about an hour away, northwest.
Snug Hollow is a great destination for couples, girlfriend getaways, families who want to get in touch with nature, or anyone who needs to unplug, decompress, and get away from it all. By the way, it’s Mom approved and makes for a great Mother’s Day trip too….my momma had a great time, as did I.
For reservations and more information, call 606-723-4786. Be sure to visit their website at snug hollow.com.
Don’t miss out on these upcoming trips with Rambling Fever Travel:
July 12–Cedar Point–$226, includes all transportation, admission to park, access to Lake Erie Beach, snacks, water.
July 23–Ohio Amish Theater & More–$194, includes all transportation, country comedy show, bulk food store, dinner at the famous Der Dutchman, snacks, water.
Aug. 13–Riverboat Cruise & Johnny Cash Museum–$233, includes all transportation, riverboat ride, lunch buffet aboard riverboat, museum admission, snacks, water.
OR Hartville Market Place & Flea Market--$175, includes all transportation, access to marketplace and flea market, dinner at Hartsville Kitchen, snacks, water.
Sept. 3–Greenbriar— $184, includes all transportation, gourmet luncheon, tax, gratuity, history presentation, $20 free slot play at Casino Club, snacks, water.
Prices are per person. Call 606-624-5569 for more information or to book reservation.
Until next time…..