Monday, February 28, 2011

LOFT LIFE: Stonecroft's a stone's throw from our favorite little town

Not much happens in February at our house. Even Valentine’s Day is somewhat understated. I usually buy myself a gift for my husband to give me--taking the pressure off, and then he is happy to bring chocolate or something fun to make an effort at this commercialization we have fallen prey to. Really, I know he loves me, and the small gestures are just fine. 
We really didn’t do much of our weekend traveling, because in a couple of weeks, our neck of the Connecticut woods accumulated about 50 inches of snow.  Besides, we had ballroom dancing on Valentine’s weekend, and I will update you on that soon.
We did celebrate February with another sweet weekend in good old Mystic, discovering a new, very lovely Bed and Breakfast, Stonecroft Country Inn, where we stayed in The Orchard Room in The 1807, which was the estate of a sea captain, Shubel Smith. There is also The Grange, which is a remodeled meeting house, now made into luxury suites.
Winter rates were very reasonable, so we were excited to see what this historic place had to offer.
What we found was attention to detail, of an order that makes me wonder why all the B&B’s don’t follow such simple keys to customer satisfaction: there were snacks and coffee available downstairs, 24/7. Now, you know that what makes hotel life difficult, is getting that snack attack at 9pm and having nothing to munch on. These offerings were simple and homey. Trail  mix, raisins, candies. Just like home.
There were bathrobes in the closet, extra pillows on the bed, free wireless without glitches, and warm, comfy, blankets that were clean and white. Some B&B’s that are historic sites seem to have linens that are leftovers from the good old days. We like clean.
Our room had a wood-burning fireplace, which we didn’t end up using, but still really appreciated.
The grounds were lovely, and even with snow-covered lawns (which we were told keeps the snakes away), just lovely to look at and imagine in spring, summer and fall--which we may return to see.
Breakfast, too, was simple, but very satisfying. Fresh fruit, juice, and coffee, of course, or a selection of herbal and fine teas. And, a choice of breakfast entree--either French toast or vegetable frittata. We chose the latter, and found it delightful and well-prepared.
Service from greeting through breakfast and checkout was gracious, friendly and truly made us feel like welcome guests. Our welcome hostess and breakfast server, Ava, who came to the U.S. from Poland, and stayed. We’re glad she did--even though she’s the one who mentioned snakes. 
We read in the literature that Stonecroft also offers wine dinners, Friday night dinners, Saturday dinners with classical guitar entertainment, Sunday brunch, and other special occasions. We will certainly be candidates for these too, when we have it in the budget.
Thanks to Innkeeper Jason Crandall for taking care to offer a romantic getaway worth remembering.