Don and I spent a night at this hidden gem last July. "Hidden gem" is a corny and overused term, but it sure fits. The inn looked like it was right out of a storybook, when we happened upon it 5 years ago, while exploring backroads in Utah.
Fall of 2013
It was a chilly November day when we found ourselves drawn to the town of Midway. The village, founded by Swiss immigrants, was filled with Alpine inspired homes and buildings. Suddenly we spotted the Blue Boar and headed inside for some info. We were so impressed, we ended up staying for an amazing lunch. "We'll be back!" We promised.
Our Return in 2018
I grinned as we pulled up to see the house, surrounded in summer trees and flowers. And of course I was happy to see the boar statue. His nose wasn't quite as shiny, as the well loved original in Florence, but he was mighty cute.
Stone & Wrought Iron
As we headed towards the entrance I was eager to see if the curious place was as cozy and welcoming as I remembered. The stone and wrought iron hadn't changed. The painted stucco around the clock, looked the same.
Doors and Windows
The designs on the window shutters and window box, still looked charming. The stairs leading up to the rounded door, looked different. No fall pumpkins this time.
Our check-in was extremely relaxed. The young woman was chatty and polite. Then we lucked out, when Executive Chef, Eric May stopped by the desk.
We knew from before, that he was an award winning chef, who in recent years has taken over management of the inn. We were able to tell him that our surprise feast 5 years ago, was the reason we were back.
Across from the front door, I stared into the dining room, with its vaulted ceiling and sage green walls. There was the fireplace I remembered, with the apple-biting, boar's head and the mantel, displaying the chef's numerous medals.
I made use of the empty room and stepped inside to take a photo of the balcony above. I wish I knew more about the owners who purchased the place in 1999 and transformed it into a European-style inn.
From above, I studied the decor and suddenly decided, the inn felt more like a European hunting lodge. The upper walls held quite a collection of antique crossbows... not to mention an enormous Alpine horn.
Up We Go
There was a sunlit sitting area, above the dining room with a cozy couch and table set. Then we headed down the hallway. I wish I'd gotten a photo of the winding hall, with artwork and fresh flowers. But the space was so dark, it was hard to capture.
Again it was sad that my eyes couldn't focus on some of the painted details in the dark hall. But the flowers were lit and my camera flash illuminated the door. Note the Do Not Disturb sign. This was the first time we were to have a needlepoint sign, for the door!
Each of the 12 guest rooms was named for a famous author or poet. I would have chosen The Lewis Carrol Room, had we not been on a budget. That room was $120. more per night than ours, for $175.
"No Gloom in this Room"
Emily Dickinson didn't always rhyme in her poetry, but I did when I spotted our sweet space, with the Austrian folk art, canopy bed!
A Place to Write
I loved having a leather, writing desk in case I was inspired! All the rooms had unique decor to fit the various writer celebs. Every room also had a fireplace and a welcome plate with fruits and cheese.
There was also a nook that held the silver tray with glass ice bucket, as well as a selection of Emily's poetry books... along with a book titled, "Mormon Country". That was different. Our inn was evidently in Mormon and Swiss country!
Bathroom photos seem so unnecessary, but I wanted to remember this one.
I loved everything about it from the fancy make up mirror, to the little junk-holder-table beside the sink, to the spa tub with the classy holder for bath products. The framed etching and floral art was nice, too. But the best surprise was when I realized there was a hidden dimmer switch. When my aged eyes needed help in the morning, I could suddenly see!
The comfy room was inspiring. Fresh flowers and nibbles on the writing desk! A notepad beside the bed! I should have written some poetry, but I haven't really written any since second grade, when I stapled 50 pieces of notebook paper together and wrote a title on the first page. 100 Poems by Beth Meyer. Maybe I got burned out.
Bring Your Own Poetry
I do love a theme! After I first booked the room, I hunted through the house for some of Ms. Dickinson's poetry. I made sure to pack a book or two, because sometimes you need to enhance your stay, with the use of props. Don didn't look too thrilled when I sat beside the bay window and announced, "It's poetry time!' But, he was a good sport and listened to a couple.
Boar on the Bed
The Blue Boar Inn obviously loves a theme, too. We had a stuffed boar on our bed. Our boar looked quite comfy nestled in the pillows, wearing a big bow.
We were a little jolted when we returned to our room after being gone a while and heard classical music playing. Our turndown service had evidently occurred, before 6.
Our decorative pillows were neatly tucked away, but our boar was still waiting... beside a fresh rose, two chocolate-filled envelopes and a complimentary booklet of poetry. I prefer to believe we'd been visited by magical B&B fairies... rather than a staff member, tiptoeing around all our junk.
Don and I were ready for a little Happy Hour celebration by 6, since we'd traveled from Colorado that day. We peeked into the Truffle Hollow Pub, in the back of the inn. The 16th century bar, French bistro tables, stone fireplace and arched windows seemed to invite us in for a sip of ale. But there was no service at that time. We moved on.
Hinterhof - "Patio Behind"
The large patio in the rear was pretty. The summer temperatures were lowering and the tables had a fun view of trees, mountains and the inn. But there were no people, so we assumed the area was for parties or events. We moved on.
Drinks with a View
So, we made our own iced beverages, grabbed our yummy food plate from the writing table and found a second story terrace with a view of the Wasatch Mountains!
We sipped and toasted and enjoyed the evening, hoping we weren't breaking any Mormon/Swiss Country rules. I was happy to see my friend across the road. I had visited with the sweet horse earlier.
It was still plenty bright at 7:30, but the ambiance was still perfect. We were seated beside a Kachelofen tile stove, imported from Austria.
The table was lovely. White linen covered a floral cloth. The fresh flowers and a salt bowl with tiny spoon pleased me, as much as the painted tile, beside us.
We looked over our wooden menus, while classical music played at the perfect volume. Then Jesica, our attentive server brought a "food gift" from the chef and placed it on the pewter charger. Short rib with lingonberry sauce, I believe. It was mouth watering, along with our sparkling wine and a yummy bread assortment.
I got up early to take advantage of the cool temps and scenery for a run. After I returned and showered, Don and I headed down for our breakfast, which was included. Many guests we already dining on the porch. What a setting!
We chose a window seat inside, where Frank Sinatra and John Mayer serenaded us
We were handed menus and suddenly realized this was not going to be the typical B&B breakfast. We could have feasted on salmon or steak, but chose omelets and French toast. Our yummy, piping hot meals were served on some pretty sweet bird china. We could have used a nap after that, but we were on the road by 9:30.
The staff was professional and pleasant. The food was top notch. The location was lovely. And all the surprises, from fresh flowers to wooden menus to a boar on the bed, kept me delighted!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!