Southern hospitality at its finest. That’s what I thought of upon meeting Mel and Andy, our gracious hosts for a fantastic night at this historic bed and breakfast.
It started the moment my husband and I parked the car. Andy and Mel met us in the parking lot and helped us with our bags. We were shown to our room and told to come down when we were ready. Eager to have a look around, we headed down the solid wood staircase and into the spacious, perfectly decorated living room. Already they had laid out some crackers and some caviar cream dip for us. They opened a bottle of wine and we settled in for what would be a fantastic evening.
What struck me the most was how much Mel and Andy love what they do. They showed us a box filled with pictures of past guests and told several stories of their regulars who come each year to visit. You could tell that it’s all about getting to know people and making you feel comfortable in their home. And what a home it is! They had old pictures of the original owner, William Watt and his family, and pictures of the home back in 1906 when it was a citrus grove. Mel said that the pictures came with the house and will remain in the house forever…along with other assorted items that they found when they took ownership of the property.
By the end of the evening we had our fill of a wonderful dinner prepared by Mel; a rice dish loaded with shrimp, scallops, chicken and andoullie sausage and a side of fresh veggies and warm rolls… and plenty of wine. But there was more…chocolate cake and homemade ice cream served with coffee and liquors. Amazing. It was that warm and comfy feeling that you get from good company and conversation, and when you are fat and happy and ready to relax after a good homemade meal.
After dinner we sat by the pool and had some tea. The sun had gone down and the soft glow from the lights surrounding the pool made for a relaxing atmosphere. We sat, rocking in our rocking chairs and sipping our tea…happy in the moment, but kind of sad that the evening was coming to a close. And as I sat looking at the stars (and realized how many more stars you can see in Mt. Dora vs Downtown Orlando) I started to drift off to sleep. Comfy, happy and somehow not being eaten alive by mosquitoes (must have been all the wine I drank).
After a good night’s sleep, we got up early and headed down to the dining room for some breakfast. And surprise, surprise…Mel had outdone himself again! French toast, crisp bacon, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. It was quite a feat, and a perfect close to a fantastic stay at the Grandview Bed and Breakfast.