Nothing short of spectacular! ..............
................... that was our experience this past weekend at The Inn at Little Pond Farm in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. We spent three days in the North Carolina mountains celebrating our thirty-sixth anniversary. June was a busy month and we really didn't have much time to plan our special weekend get-away. We knew we wanted to spend time in the mountains, but didn't have a clue on where to go. With a few disappointing experiences in the past, we were a bit leery when we began looking for places to stay. My husband somewhat randomly ran across the website for The Inn at Little Pond Farm and it looked quite lovely. He went ahead and made the reservation, but we were still a bit dubious, even as we drove up the long winding drive leading to the inn.
To say that we were pleasantly surprised, would be a gross understatement. Actually, we were thrilled with every detail of the weekend from beginning to end. The innkeepers, Gaye and Frank, greeted us warmly as we arrived and, honestly, within minutes, we felt like we had known them all our lives! They've spent years gutting and lovingly restoring the charming farmhouse in a unique style that makes you feel like you are vacationing in Provence!
Gaye's background is in interior design and you can definitely tell since every detail is simple, well-appointed and exquisitely beautiful. Frank is an unbelievably talented craftsman having had a cabinet company in his "past life" and has stick-built every shelf, cabinet, closet, cupboard ........ really, you can see his skilled handiwork in every nook and cranny of the inn! Together, they make a wonderful team.
The rooms are decorated simply, but elegantly and the beds are heavenly with the most deliciously delightful European pillows, linens and down comforters. We slept like babies, all comfy under our featherbeds with the window open to the cool mountain air. Can you tell we liked this place?
Oh and the food! .............. I'm not going to tell you about the wonderful breakfasts and Saturday night dinner, instead I'm going to show you! After all, I did have my wonderful photographer (aka husband) along with me! So check out the pictures and the recipe for the delicious Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Herb Frittata that Gayle prepared for us one of the mornings (I twisted her arm just a teeny bit for the recipe). We LOVED it and I think you will too!
................... Here's a glimpse of our breakfasts at the inn:
................. and a dinner to remember, so fun! We ate out on the lawn, with Gaye, Frank and some wonderful new friends we met at the inn. Little Pond was our spectacular backdrop!
The menu was; Balsamic & Rosemary Marinated Tenderloins, Grilled Rainbow Peppers, Italian Style Grilled Corn w/ Parmesan & Mint, Romaine Salad with Tomatoes, Oranges and Vinaigrette Provence.............. and the crowning glory....... was Frank's Sabayon Gelato w/ Homemade Pizzette Shells, simply amazing!
Of course, I was thinking about you, dear friends of The Café, so I did manage to snitch a few recipes from Gaye. Her frittata was simple, but scrumptious and also very adaptable - I can't wait to make it myself!
P.S. Have a wonderful Fourth of July! Be sure to check back on Thursday for one more delicious recipe from the Inn, Romaine Salad with Tomatoes, Oranges and Vinaigrette Provence, it's simple, fresh and so...... delightful!
And if you're ever in need of an incredible place to be pampered, The Inn at Little Pond Farm is the perfect place! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you - they offer the most amazing culinary classes too!
Gaye's Tomato, Goat Cheese & Fresh Herb Fritatta
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cream
1 ounce goat cheese or Feta (Gaye used French Feta, quite yummy!)
fresh herbs; mint, oregano, basil, really whatever you have or are in the mood for
1. Combine butter and olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Add tomatoes and cook slowly for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has been absorbed. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
2. Combine eggs, cream and a pinch of sea salt, whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture over the tomatoes and cook over medium heat until eggs begin to firm up. Sprinkle with cheese and fresh herbs.
3. Place under broiler for a few minutes until top is lightly browned and eggs are firm. Cut in half, sprinkle with a few more fresh herbs, if desired and serve. Expect rave reviews!