Tristan and I took Friday off from work to get an early-ish start on heading up to Asheville for our Anniversary weekend. We took Lilly to my parent’s house bright and early, and said our goodbyes. I’m getting better at leaving her each time that we do it – but it still tugs at my heartstrings. The easier it gets, the better… this woman likes to TRAVEL!
After heading back home to load up the car, we hit the road around 12pm. We took turns driving… chatting and dozing on the way up the mountain. Well, one of us dozed, as it wasn’t me. (I won’t post the pic I snapped of him sleeping in the passenger’s seat – that would be mean).
As we were pulling onto I-240 we received a call from Terry at The Hill House Bed & Breakfast , that our Cottage was ready, and we could come check-in at any time. This was a pleasant surprise, as check-in was not supposed to be until 4pm. We had asked to get in earlier, and were pleased that they accommodated us!
The Cottage looked pretty much as we remembered it, with few changes since we last stayed here in 2007. It’s a lovely little house that sits behind the “main” house of the bed & breakfast. (The structure you can see on the right, behind the Cottage, is Bill & Terry’s home). The Cottage has a kitchen, a jacuzzi tub, and a little flat-screen TV in the living area, for those of us who are CNN junkies and can’t stay away from the news! (me).
The Hill House Bed & Breakfast is located in a lovely little area, off of Merrimon Ave, just about a mile from downtown Asheville.
After checking in, unpacking the car and freshening up a bit – we headed out for a late lunch. Tristan had checked out Yelp for any new and interesting spots in town, and recommended HOMEGROWN . So off we headed!
HOMEGROWN was incredible. I wasn’t starving, as I had snacked on a homemade granola bar and a Diet Coke on the journey up. (By the way, it is damn near impossible to find a cold, caffeinated beverage – sans sugar or sugar substitute in a gas station! Had I any other options, I wouldn’t have had the Diet Coke. I used to love them, but almost never drink one anymore. Only when travelling. It was a necessary evil. Ok – rant over).
I wanted to eat light, so I settled on an appetizer of Pimento Cheese w/ Veggies & Flat Bread (which Tristan was able to share) and a side of Sautéed Sesame Kale w/ Carrots. I also ordered my first Buchi, a local Asheville Kombucha.
Tristan ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich w/Mozzarella, Lettuce, Tomato & Watercress Pesto and probably a sweet tea (?). He sampled my kombucha as well. I enjoyed the Buchi more before I started eating. With food, it tasted a bit more vinegary to me.
As will be the theme of the weekend, HOMEGROWN touts a farm-to-table philosophy with lots of local produce and meats. We had food from here again before our weekend was over, but more on that later!
After our late lunch, we drove around some of my old haunts… cutting through the UNCA campus, and driving by my old apartment in Historic Montford. This is where I lived in an apartment in a 100-year-old house, sans dishwasher, with a CRAZY landlady, who lived downstairs. Ah, memories.
After driving around from Montford to Biltmore Village, we stopped in at Mountain Java for an iced latte, and then we hit Greenlife Grocery (which is now owned by Whole Foods), and did some shopping. I was definitely in my element, and I think Tristan was amused at my excitement. I picked up some things that I am unable to find in Charlotte, and we chose a locally made Salted Carmel Brownie to enjoy for dessert after dinner.
Back at the Cottage, we unpacked a bit more and just relaxed for a spell, and then opened our Anniversary gifts, before getting dressed for dinner.
Dinner was at The Laughing Seed Cafe, in honor of our first date that took place there, 5 years ago to the day.
I ordered the Sweet Basil Martini, which turned out to be delicious! Look how pretty!
(Sorry for the poor quality pics, it was really quite dark inside!)
To start we ordered the Sweet Potato Dumplings (Crispy wontons stuffed with sweet potatoes, onions, and herbs and served over fresh greens
with wasabi ponzu sauce), which were yummy, if a little too fried for my taste.
For the main course I ordered the Raw Spinach-Pesto Manicotti (Zucchini noodles stuffed with live sunflower-spinach pesto, cashew ricotta, and fresh basil served over sun-dried tomato marinara with house-marinated olives); and Tristan decided on the Mushroom Enchiladas (Button, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms roasted and tossed with avocado, tomato, and scallion, baked in whole-grain tortillas, and topped with vegan chipotle cream sauce and feta cheese. Served with black beans and a tossed salad). Both were wonderful, and I especially loved mine! I didn’t miss the cheese (or heat) at all!
We passed on dessert, (knowing we had the brownie at the Cottage waiting for us!), and strolled around downtown a bit, before calling it a night on a lovely 5th Anniversary.
Stay tuned for recaps of days 2, 3 and 4 still to come!