Pat posted on February 13, 2011 06:12
Green tea, Chai spiced, from the gift shop at Heaven Scent B&B, Chick Cove Manor, Deltaville, VA

Delicious teas for sale here! We've gotten fresh stock in, ready for our spring guests - and, not to worry, we do mail-order too.

Green chai is an exotic new offering - not just the usual chai spices, but with citrus, vanilla and rose petals as well. It's making a hit.

White tea is now available here in loose leaf, and what big, beautiful leaves they are. Our new variety is Cassis, delicately fruity and floral.

Pu Ehr bird's nests are one of two new offerings in black tea. A specialty of Yunnan province, China (long our favorite source of black tea), this is a post-fermented tea product, Little compressed cakes, individually wrapped, need to be broken up before brewing. They can be used for multiple infusions. Pu Ehr is known for being full-bodied and earthy, and it does come in different styles, but ours is very smooth, not at all bitter. This is a good tea with milk and sugar.

On the delicate side, we have a house blend of a second-flush Darjeeling. Very elegant!

Bed and breakfast guests can have a fresh mug or pot of any variety, any time. If you can't get here, see our online store. The new stock will be online mid-March: order before March 15 to get last year's prices on winter stock. We're sure tea lovers will be delighted with these products, and we're converting non-tea-drinkers as well - there's surely a flavor to suit any taste.


Pat posted on December 19, 2010 13:30
Christmas tree on shaker at Macey's Christmas Tree Farm

Finally went to get a Christmas tree today - very late, but no matter, the tree is as fresh as they get. One of the benefits of country living. We don't get our trees from a store lot, but rather Macey's Christmas Tree farm, just a couple miles away, on Stampers Bay Road. There are acres of white pine, Scotch pine (my choice), Canadian fir, Norway spruce, blue ice, Leyland cypress, all nicely lined up, and well spaced so they grow evenly. It can take me a while to choose my tree, there are so many beautiful ones, but once I'd made my selection, I could just let Macey's folks do the work. They cut the tree, then hauled it off on wheels to the stand where they shake the tree to get all the loose and dead needles and branches off. It's very effective. [The first photo shows them with my tree after shaking it.] Then the tree trunk is bored deeply enough to sit securely on the tree stand's spike. I asked for the bottom six inches of branches to be sawn off: no problem. Then onto a bed where the tree is quickly wrapped in netting, all snug and easy to transport.


Ready to wrap the tree with nettingTree wrapped and ready to carry

Home and immediately onto the stand in the living room, warm water in the basin. I went with a smaller tree this year, just 6' - last year's was up to the ceiling. But it's nearly as wide as it is tall, and we think it's beautiful. I wouldn't consider getting a tree from anywhere else, as long as I'm here in Virginia. Oh, and what did we pay? $34 for that 6-footer. I know my city-dwelling friends will envy that.


Posted in: Diary , General , Holidays  Tags:
Pat posted on July 29, 2010 23:06
Buddy at the beach on the Rappahannock at WakeOur "local" Daily Press (Newport News) cheerily boasted today, "Virginia beaches among the best." Their article reported that the National Resources Defence Council, having analyzed data from thirty coastal states, has rated Virginia fourth for water quality. The cheer may be somewhat moderated by the knowledge that last year, our state's ranking was third. But it's still good news. New Hampshire, Delaware and Oregon are the states that beat us.

Now, on a strictly local basis, no one claims that tourists flock to Deltaville - or anywhere in Middlesex county - for the beaches. We all know that Virginia Beach rules in this region, if it's a beach vacation you're after. Wide sands, real waves, no contest.

But on the other hand, we do get Virginia Beach residents as guests, who come to Deltaville for the calmer, sheltered waters, and the peace and quiet, the absence of traffic and clubs and noise. Whether you want to kayak, or sail, or fish, the local waters: Broad Creek, Jackson Creek, the Piankatank, the Rappahannock, and the Chesapeake Bay itself, can hardly be beat.

Go ahead and smile, but we do also have our patches of beach. I think the three little beaches at Wake are really sweet, and the views are wonderful. Just three miles up the road from Heaven Scent, you can enjoy a tiny patch of sandy public beach, possibly all to yourself, likely with a public you can count on the fingers of one hand. I had a German guest for a week who went there every day to read, sun, and swim in the wide Rappahannock, and she found it delightful, too. Buddy approves, as you see. No facilities, of course. If you're staying with us and haven't brought beach gear, we'll lend you towels, floats, and coolers.


Posted in: General , Travel  Tags:
Pat posted on July 28, 2010 11:16

Urbanna, Virginia, based Schooner Serenity sailing near the coast at twilight

Guests here who don't have their own boat nearby now have a wonderful option for getting out on the water: the schooner Serenity has made its home at the Urbanna town marina. Two-hour sails in the afternoon or at sunset run $35 per person. Advance reservations are strongly recommended, as the maximum load is 30 passengers. You can even buy tickets online. This is a lovely way to enjoy seeing dolphins, eagles, and our beautiful coastline, on a peaceful, uncommercialized sail with no narrative spiel. Just enjoy and relax on this 65' schooner.



BTW, if you're heading to the Historic Triangle, the 105' schooner Alliance sails from the Riverwalk Marina at Yorktown three times a day. $30 daytime, $35 sunset tour. On August 22 and again on October 3, you can enjoy a 2-hour cruise (departing 6 pm) while tasting seven reserve wines presented by Williamsburg Winery. Those wine-tasting cruises run $57. As with the Serenity, you can reserve online. Cheers!


Posted in: General , Local Events , Travel  Tags:

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