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A Visit To The Duke Mansion; A Charlotte, NC Historic Inn & Meeting Place

Picking up the key to our suite!
Picking up the key to our suite!

AMERICAN PRESS TRAVEL NEWS  Charlotte, N.C.-Barb and I always like to experience the fine mom and pop B&B’s, resorts and middle of the road hotels and motels across America. However, sometimes we enjoy visiting the finest upscale, restored hundred year old homes and older. The architecture and landscaping of a different time, and mind-set, be they diminutive, or sprawling (The Duke Mansion is 32,000 Square feet, nearly a full acre of home) of the highly successful business magnates (now gone to bed in history) of the ilk of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Loews, to name a few, that were able to afford the utmost in real estate and grandiose homes, now turned into guest accommodations. The Duke Mansion is such a place in time and space. With 14- original acres back in 1915 and today, gardens of roses and flora mirroring the past gardens, rooms with soaring ceilings, and huge windows with brass hardware of delightful industrial Revolution, art era design, juxtaposed near today’s comfortable beds and modern bath facilities-and at a price per day and evening, reasonable enough for any special occasion and exclusive visit.

 Bed and a terrific Breakfast! Its what the 2nd "B" stands for!

Bed and a terrific Breakfast! Its what the 2nd “B” stands for!

We pulled into the curved driveway with easy parking, stopped for a picture of Mr. Duke’s original shooting fountain (Duke of Duke Power fame, said his Rolls Royce, Daughter Doris and his fountain was what he was most proud of) and were ensconced, thanks to the delightful concierge into a charming room with chocolates on the bed and homemade cookies and beverages just outside our door. After relaxing and looking over the grounds (So much history, so little time!)  We headed for a highly recommended restaurant; Five Church for dinner! What a delightful meal awaited us after the Valet did the parking: Maine Lobster for Barbara, Scallops, and their 60-second New York Strip for us too (we share everything, and compare notes and tastes). Great service by Brian, our wait guy! We tried shrimp flat bread for appetizer and wonderful tomato bisque! Everything was “multi belle.” www.5church.com Entrance at 5th Street and Church St. 704-919-1322.

IMG_5200Duke Mansion is located at 400 Hermitage Road Charlotte, NC 28207 www.dukemansion.com 888-202-1009

Checking out the Duke Mansion
Checking out the Duke Mansion
Aroma of rose, and Barb was in heaven!
Aroma of rose, and Barb was in heaven!
Almost like a fairy tale!
Almost like a fairy tale!

North Carolina – Agri-tourism – Walnut Cove Farm Has Done It Proud!

Barb relaxes on one of the Cathey grown pumpkins. Each gourd can make 15 pumpkin pies.
Barb relaxes on one of the Cathey grown pumpkins. Each gourd can make 15 pumpkin pies.

APtravelnews-September 11th, Walnut Cove Farm–Waynesville, North Carolina–Agri-tourism is very much alive and well at Walnut Cove Farm. Joseph and Tara Cathey have worked hard and smart turning one acre of land in Waynesville, NC and 3-acres in Bethel into a wonderfully productive garden and growing enterprise. Majic Heirloom Tomatoes, all kinds of greens and other field and tree fruits and veggies attract people from all walks of life to farm to table suppers often accompanied by Blue Grass music where guests as we did actually watch the process of grinding and pressing fresh apples into the most delicious apple cider straight from the press. While there, we enjoyed silver dollar sized little tomato pies (I ate 10 of them, beyond “good”) drank two glasses of cider and felt like Superman- the apples and tomatoes boosted my “WOW” factor by at least 10 (at least Barb and I felt like it did) and these folks made you genuinely feel as welcome as family. We loved this place. Besides the dinners they provide to the public they also supply restaurants and other businesses in and around Waynesville with produce for their uses in healthy, creative dishes too! Do we recommend going out of your way to visit these fine folks and enjoy a farm to table dinner? Oh, yes!!!!

Walnut Cove Farm  – Owned by Joseph and Tara Cathey. Farm to table dinners and suppliers from June thru October. 575 Walnut Cove Road, Waynesville, NC (828) 400-0115.

 

A cornucopia of fresh! Tomatoes, and great garden crops! The Cathey's also market flowers as well!
A cornucopia of fresh! Tomatoes, and great garden crops! The Cathey’s also market flowers as well!

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Grind and press apple juice into delicious cider. Manual labor of love!
Grind and press apple juice into delicious cider. Manual labor of love!
The Cathey's pour a canning jar of the sweet, fresh pressed apple exhiler!
The Cathey’s pour a canning jar of the sweet, fresh pressed apple exhiler of life!! The cider really complimented the tomato pies!
Tomato pies. Cheese covered heirloom maters! Oh, so good! I ate 10 of these silver dollar sized delights!
Tomato pies. Cheese covered heirloom maters! Oh, so good! I ate 10 of these silver dollar sized delights!

 

 

 

 

The Valley Cove Farm to plate barn full of nostalgia and relaxation plus great suppers!
The Valley Cove Farm to plate barn full of nostalgia and relaxation plus great suppers!

 

 

 

 

Chautauqua Area, New York – Unique Places To Visit

 

Produce Auctioneer

www.americanpresstravelnews.com – June 25th – Today is a full day of exploring the area. Joanna Dahlbeck from Chautauqua Tourism introduced me to some of the little known places you can visit in the area. There are many small towns in the Chautauqua area. We started with an Amish Produce and Flower auction in North Clymer. This particular day at the auction had was called the wholesale day. It is open to the public, but the items are on a flat. If you bid, you need to buy the whole flat. Other days are retail and you can bid on one of an item. To find out more the website is: www.chautauquaproduceauction.com. The flowers were so beautiful that it was hard to resist. But we were too far from our TN. home to pack them away.

Beef cattle raised on healthy forage

Not far from the auction was the Green Heron Growers. One of their specialties is growing shiitake mushrooms. Julie Rockcastle met us and explained the process of growing these delicious mushrooms. They also raise chickens, grass fed beef, vegetables and herbs (and much more). All certified organic. Julie and her husband Steve offer farm tours along with workshops and culinary experiences. 

Shitaki Mushrooms are the best

Julie also explained their internship program, giving the opportunity to train farmers to the benefits of organic farming. To find out more, take a look at their website: www.greenherongrowers.com or call (716) 720-3695. For information on their Great Blue Heron Music Festival take a look the this website: www.greatblueheron/wp/

Stedman Corners Cafe

 It was such a beautiful day, so we decided to have lunch at Stedman Corners Cafe in Mayville. They have a lovely outdoor area and we enjoyed one of their over sized sandwiches in the cool breeze. Located at Stedman Corners in Mayville, N.Y.

Stedman Cafe Antique Sign

Stedman Corners Corners Cafe started as a general store in 1898. It was a favorite place to buy “fresh ground coffee”. Today the cafe serves breakfast and lunch and on some nights dinner. Check out their website: www.stedmancafe.com or their Facebook page www.facebook.com/Stedman-Corners-Cafe-291711394269098/ or call (716) 789-5047.

Great Ham Sandwich