Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Little Bit of Heaven in West Virginia

After belting back a few rounds long the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky, we stopped for a couple of nights of recuperation in West Virginia. For me West Virginia has always been an enigma. I look at maps and unless I see the Greenbriar (which I can't afford to stay at) or Charleston, I'm not sure what is around. Will I encounter breath-taking scenery or am I just in the middle of nowhere? My task was more difficult since we wanted a place for Thursday and Friday night only.

After some internet research I started contacting various B and B's and sell-styled Inns. I discovered Brookside Inn in Aurora. Nestled along a windy two-lane road, far from what we might call civilization, the Inn sits on what was once a popular 19th century retreat. Arts and Crafts decor populate the sprawling two-story structure with lots of art and knick-knacks to peruse. And the wrap-around porch was a delight for relaxing or enjoying an after dinner nightcap.

Brookside Inn




Gathering Spot

The Inn provides a lovely offering of small plates Thursday-Sunday evenings. The food was delicious and the place has a bar and a small but decent wine list. The evening meals proved to be a wonderful asset. With the roads being so windy and wildlife (deer) in abundance, we were content to remain at the Inn after dark. The restaurant is also open to the public and locals venture out to eat in the charming dining room. Be aware that the Inn takes cash or check only.

Cozy Bar
L de Lyeth
A fine Cabernet with dinner
Salad with Kohlrabi Apples and Cranberries
A salad with kohlrabi, apples, and cranberries
Italian Tomato Soup
Italian tomato soup
Flatbread Pizza
Pizza on homemade flatbread
So besides relaxing at Brookside Inn what else is there to do? Right across the road is the entrance to Cathedral State Park which features a hemlock grove. Due to storms in 2012 - both hurricane and ice - some of the trails still need to be restored, but a lovely peaceful setting to contemplate nature.

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Our main focus was to go to Blackwater Falls State Park. As we drove along the curved mountain lanes we encountered beautiful scenery. The town of Thomas offered picturesque views of the Blackwater River.

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We also had to stop at Our Lady of the Pines Church whose claim to fame is that it's the smallest church in the 48 states.

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Blackwater Falls State Park features lots of trails from easy to hard. The falls are spectacular and photos ops abounded.

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One of the easy trails leads to the town of Davis where we stopped in at a few of the shops and enjoyed pizza at a little hole-in-the-wall called Sirianni's Cafe (cash only).

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Even in mid-September the trees were starting to show their fall plumage. We stopped at one other place - Ben's Old Loom Barn. Nestled in a little valley the barn houses numerous looms where locals weave blankets, rag rugs, place mats, scarves, coasters, etc. It was so great to see this vibrant outpost preserving traditional arts.

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We really enjoyed this little bit of West Virginia heaven.

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