Thursday, February 11, 2016

Romantic Getaway (and GIVEAWAY!)

In the spirit of love and the upcoming Valentine's day I thought it would be a perfect time to discuss the details of the romantic stay my husband and I just had at an Ohio Bed & Breakfast (our first time at a b&b!) Tuesday night for my birthday.  The Bed & Breakfast he chose, Hide Away Country Inn, was about a two and a half hour drive north from our house here in Cincinnati, OH in a town called Bucyrus, OH.  It was just outside of Delaware County, Ohio and was such a beautiful and scenic trip along the Olentangy River.

I want to give you a review of our trip and stay because the b&b we stayed at was generous enough to provide us with a gift certificate for $50.00 to be used in the following year toward your two night stay. I am excited to be able to pass this along to someone who would also like to try this place out. You won't be disappointed!
 Read on and see if this is a trip you would like to enjoy and I'll tell you how you can enter to win the $50 gift certificate and how you can enjoy a beautiful room, a private massage, room service, a private hot tub or private candlelit couples dinner and so much more!

My hubby blocked out his schedule from Tuesday (day before my birthday) at 12:30 through all day Wednesday. We had about a two and a half hour drive north to get to our bed & breakfast, Hide Away Country Inn, so we left around 1pm so we could take our time getting there for the 4pm check-in(we both love a relaxed road trip!).

We stopped at Dunkin' Donuts so I could grab my "free birthday coffee" before getting on the road.
I don't stop to get Dunkin' very much anymore (since I started drinking my coffee black I usually just make it at home now) so it was fun to be "treated" for my birthday even if I know longer enjoy their creamer in my brew :)

We decided to take the little longer route so we could enjoy the drive and the scenery through parts of Ohio that we had never seen before.
I had to throw in this pic of my super handsome date driving me to our "getaway"!

Along the way we made a few little stops like Cracker Barrel...not to eat, but to take a potty break and to shop through the little store without the kids!  I know that is silly, right?! Can I tell you how much I enjoyed that?!! There are always so many fun things to look at, but I can never really take it all in because I am typically chasing 3 year olds around telling them to put everything down. Sometimes it's the little things!
Back on the road we enjoyed the beautiful scenery on the Ohio countryside. It was so peaceful and we saw so many beautiful farms. It was just so relaxing and peaceful.

Do you see the train in the distance? It was so cool to watch it stretch across the horizon like that.

And around 4pm we arrived at Hide Away Inn....

The grounds were really beautiful...even this time of year! 
The home and farmstead was built in the 1930's and retained much of it's original elements which adds to the charm. You can read all about the history of it here. As Realtors, my husband and I both really love homes and especially historic homes. I don't want the upkeep of owning one, but I LOVE to visit them, tour them and stay in them when I can. This place definitely fit the bill for the history we love to take in. 

After checking in we brought in our bags, settled into our room (we stayed in the Serenity Garden suite) and started exploring. 
 Hall and side entrance where we brought our bags in after checking in at the main desk. 

Serenity Garden is one of the smaller rooms at the Inn, but we chose it because we liked the decor of the room over some of the others and it featured a private deck with a hot tub that would be perfect for relaxing after dinner! We wanted to stay in the main house, but there are many other rooms to stay in if you prefer a larger suite and don't have to be in the main house.

There are 4 rooms in the main or Manor House with our room being one of them. You can also choose from the original master suite called the "Smith room" or two other rooms located in the same hallway. 
There is another large building that houses several "loft suites" and even an apartment type 2-story suite. Prices start around $150 per night and range to about $400 per night depending on the room/suite. You can view them all here.

I would say that we had a really great experience with our room. The only downside was that the room is on the southwest corner and it was a very windy night. Couple those things with the fact that this is a home built in the 1930's and it was a quite noisy. Mother Nature made it a bit difficult for me to sleep very well.  Thank God for a super cozy bed and linens as they mostly made up for the relentless wind noise. 

Checking out the guestbook in our room while enjoying the wine and cheese. It's always fun to read about other people's experience when staying somewhere.

After relaxing for a bit we decided to change for dinner and head down to explore around a little in the main house.

The hallway and landing right outside our room. Mostly original interior including the floors and was decorated with many antiques that really added to the romantic ambiance of the place.

Stairway leading down to the main floor and entry area. Off of the vestibule you could take a hallway that led to the library, the dining room, the parlor or the breakfast nook.

This was the main dining area that had been set for dinner that evening. The Inn was full so there was lots going to be happening in this dining room soon! 
The door in the back of the room led to a pub built onto the backside of the Inn. It was complete with a full service bar and tv's.  Some of the guests were gathering in there for a drink before dinner. 

 And then it was time for us to head to dinner. We were escorted to another room down the hall - the library - which had been the original owners personal office. They had set us up a white linen covered table, a romantic fire in the wood burning fireplace, made sure soft love songs were playing and had the entire room lit with candles. It was over the top in ambiance and the most PERFECT setting for a romantic dinner for two!

This was something I had only seen in the movies and here I was with my amazing husband having this intimate and over-the-top romantic dinner. I would highly recommend that you do this if staying here for a romantic get away. We enjoyed the 5 course meal and spent 2 full hours talking and enjoying each other's company. Perfection.....

Let me talk a little about the food. First, I want to say that while we are not completely gluten free and I specifically do not have a gluten allergy, my son does, so we are a mostly gluten free family for him. I have learned that I feel SO much better when I avoid gluten but that is not always super easy to do when eating out because it's hard to be certain what they put in the sauces, etc.  The cool thing about Hide Away Inn is that the owner is gluten free so they have a *mostly* gluten free menu and feature a "farm to table" type menu. 
For our 5 course private dinner the executive chef chose our menu and did let us know that he kept it gluten free for us which was awesome! We enjoy smoked cheddar fritters with apples and strawberries, chicken satay skewers with a peanut sauce, salad with scallops for me and chicken for my husband and our main course was beef tenderloin in a wine demi glace and mushrooms with green beans and baked potato. Our desserts were creme brulee for the hubby and I had this beautiful flourless chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream on top and a raspberry sauce - it was so good! 

 My husband and I do a lot of dinning at very nice restaurants for our date nights (we own a "relationship improvement" based company, HDHK, and our second app to be released later this year is a dating app so we are busy doing research on all the great places couples can spend a date so it comes with the territory!). So I realize that we may be a little tough on places sometimes. 
Having said that, I think that most would find this to be a very good dinner with the emphasis on customer service and a beautiful and unique setting. 
My favorite dishes were the salad with scallops and the flourless chocolate torte. The executive chef at the Inn visited our table a couple of times personally throughout the meal and really wanted to know how we were enjoying ourselves. I think that goes along way. He truly seemed to care that we were enjoying what he was sending out for our special dinner.  
They also do wine tastings, cooking classes and their 1938 Restaurant and Pub is open to the public and quite well rated.

After dinner we headed back up to our room for some board games. Yep, you read that right. I wanted to play a board game!  My husband and I really enjoy playing a few different boards games and he had brought along one of my favorites for us to enjoy. It's fine, I'm a nerd and I'm okay with that :)We so rarely find the uninterrupted time to play at home (not sure it's possible with 5 kids at home!) so this was a super fun treat for me! 

This one is called Carcassonne and is one of the many Rio Grande games we love.

And just as we began playing there was a knock at the door. Angie, the girl who took care of during our entire stay, had brought us up some strawberries for my birthday! It was so sweet and they went very well with our after dinner wine :)
After the game we enjoyed some time in the hot tub on our deck. I have to say that while it was very nice it was also super COLD outside!  The Inn provides you with super luxurious robes which were perfect for trekking out in the cold to the hot tub, but the wind was brutal and we didn't stay out there long. Even so by the time we came in I had ice crystals hanging from the back of my top knot! I think it was in the teens and probably colder than that with the windchill. 

The next morning we were able to enjoy sleeping in long past the typical 6:30am wake time at our house and even enjoyed fresh brewed coffee that they had waiting just outside our door in a stainless steel 
carafe for us when we awoke :)

It even came with the sweet note - it was my birthday morning!! Coffee in bed....aaaahhhh, perfect :)

I did step out to the deck for one last view of the beautiful countryside and creek that ran alongside our room before heading down for breakfast!

Breakfast is served late here (9-11am) so we didn't head down to eat until about 10am. It was quiet and we were the only ones in the dining room at that time.  The breakfast nook is situated in the home's original dining room and adjoins the larger room where dinner is served so the french doors can be opened up to allow for more guests at once. 

The views over the gardens and surrounding land here were really beautiful even during this frozen time of year.

A two course breakfast comes with your stay and it is chef's choice this morning. We enjoyed yogurt with house made granola for our first course and then scrambled eggs, bacon (super thick and yummy!) and home fries for the main course. I'm not a super big breakfast person so I really didn't eat more than a couple of bites of the eggs and all of the bacon :)  Of course, more super fresh coffee was served, too.  

I was even able to purchase one of the handmade Hide Away Inn coffee mugs to take home with me. One of the only things I collect are coffee mugs from places I have been - if I find a really good one that I love. This one is from Deneen Pottery and is the second Deneen Pottery mug I am adding to my collection (first one was from Another Broken Egg Cafe in Destin, Florida).

Check-out is at noon here so we pushed it to the last minute and checked out at pretty much noon on the dot! We wanted to take yet another scenic route on the way home so we mapped a new way and saw some really gorgeous scenery along the Olentangy River through Delaware County - this time from the other side of the river than the way we came in. 

 Bridge across the river was flanked by an old railroad bridge that was now converted into a walking trail. It was really beautiful in person.

 I feel like this should be an advertisement for Land Rover - ha!  Maybe I could get some incentives...are you listening my local dealership - Cincinnati LR?! :)

The Olentangy River to our right.... There were stunning homes and estates ranging from 100+ year old farmsteads to brand new construction for miles along this river.

We took a leisurely pace on our way home too and made a final stop at the Tanger Outlets about an hour and a half from home so that I could get some orange creams and raspberry creams from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory! I haven't had these in a couple of years and was so excited to be passing by during hours they were open.  

Some of the most delicious chocolate creams are in the is bag! I can never decide on my favorite flavor. When I eat an orange cream I swear it is the best, but then when I eat a raspberry cream I always exclaim that is the favorite. This time I even bought one milk chocolate covered caramel. I haven't tried it yet, but I have a feeling there may be a new favorite :)

And then we arrived home just in time to take the family out to dinner at our favorite local Mexican place before coming home to enjoy some homemade "brookie" cake and my beautiful family singing me "Happy Birthday"! :)

Look at this amazing group! From left to right: Lily (3yrs), Morgan (our au pair), Max (12yrs), Gabby (3yrs), Parker (9 yrs), Tanner (14 yrs) and Derek (my incredible husband!).....singing before I blow out the candles on my famous (infamous?) birthday **"brookie" cake! 

**this is a homemade chocolate chip cookie and brownie cake that I top with my own homemade vanilla frosting. I have made a version of this for years for almost everyone's birthday. It is almost always the requested treat by all of my kids in one version or another. One of them likes it "double doozie" style (vanilla frosting in-between two layers of chocolate chip cookie cake). Another likes just chocolate chip cookie cake with vanilla and milk chocolate frosting decorating it.  Another one likes it like this with half brownie and half chocolate chip cookie where the middle overlaps and you half a section of "half & half" topped with vanilla frosting. The options are almost endless and we LOVE these!  This one was gluten free and totally amazing!!! :)

Okay, so that wraps up our completely relaxing, seriously fun and adventures romantic birthday celebration night away.  Now for THE GIVEAWAY!  
I have for you a $50 gift certificate to use toward a two-night stay at Hide Away Country Inn good for anytime until Feb. 2017 courtesy of  Hide Away Country Inn!

All you have to do to win is like Four Seasons Style Facebook page and either leave a comment here or on Facebook  or private message me on Facebook letting me know you would like to win the contest. 
I will draw one lucky RANDOM winner on Valentine's Day (it is the day of romance and love) and announce it here by Tuesday morning so check back! 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful weekend of love! 


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