Friday, November 7, 2008

Featured Inn: Farnsworth House

Sometimes, when you are traveling, you just want to have the comforts of home. A soft bed, a hot shower, a warm cup of tea and a friendly smile. A place where you can let your hair down, kick off your shoes, relax and just be yourself. That’s what you’ll find at the Farnsworth House Bed & Breakfast. A late 1800’s farm-style home tucked away on one and a half acres in the quiet side of Mount Dora. A meandering driveway lures you into a step back in time with mature oaks, green gardens and a camphor tree over 200 years old. If trees could talk, this one would probably have many stories to tell. The Farnsworth House is surrounded by history, but with the modern comforts of a hot tub, screened-in gazebo, and plenty of outdoor seating to get lost in book … or a nap.

After a corporate career and an artist’s life in Miami, this was just the escape that Innkeepers Vivian & Bob were looking for. While spending nights and weekends fixing up the home with their tender loving care, Vivian and Bob named her like a captain would name his ship. Abigail. And she’s quite a beauty for her ripe old age of 122. Originally the Farnsworth family home, the estate became a boarding house in the 1920’s. On the front porch you can still find the multiple door bells and mail slots from the era. The home is decorated with period antiques and some of the Innkeeper’s original artwork. When I asked Vivian and Bob what their favorite part was about Innkeeping, she answered,
“We really enjoy spending time with our guests, just sitting around the dining room table talking and laughing over breakfast and coffee. It’s our favorite part. It’s amazing the connections you find and the people you meet.”

Breakfast at the Farnsworth House is a belly-filling feast. I joined Vivian, Bob and their guests during the Bike Festival to partake in the morning festivities. We started with fresh fruit and homemade crumb cakes. I have quite a sweet tooth, so I love dessert first! I begged Vivian to let me post the recipe, but she says you have to come stay with her to taste it. Next, Bob served their Leander Pancake Wraps with Vermont maple syrup and breakfast steaks. This has all the goodness of breakfast wrapped up into one. Eggs, potatoes, cheese, and pancakes. A little sweet and a little salty.

The most unique thing that Vivian is known for is her juice mixes. We all played a little guessing game before she would reveal her secret ingredients. Our juice cocktail blend contained cranberry, orange, lime, pineapple and blueberry. Vivian’s watermelon cooler was such a popular treat that over the years she inadvertently started a collection of watermelon themed gifts.

If you're looking for a home away from home, a peaceful escape, and a scrumptious breakfast ... then the Farnsworth House Bed & Breakfast is the place to be.



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