The Art of Breakfast

The Art of Breakfast by Dale Potruski Summer 2012   From my first experience helping prepare Sunday breakfast with my Dad, to the craft of fine dining that I learned from working at some of Michigan, Florida and North Carolina’s best restaurants, I realized  that dining is an art.  Food preparation is very gratifying and extremely satisfying when it comes to our guests.  Every feast includes fresh fruit (local and seasonal), a breakfast meat (apple wood cured bacon, fresh ground country sausage or lean ham) and an entrée that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the pallet.    Breakfast at The Oaks is an event and friends that stay with us for up to a week, will never be greeted by the same plate more than once.“I challenge myself to come up with a new and different menu every day,” explains Dale, the owner and chef of The Oaks Bed and Breakfast.  “I try to alternate meals between sweet one day and savory the next – something square, something round.   A great deal of thought and preparation goes into every presentation.”   “Accommodating guests with special dietary requirements or food allergies is never a problem”.  Dale promises, “With advance notice we can put a smile on everybody’s face!”  ...

What Makes Saluda One of America’s “Playful Cities”?

What Makes Saluda a “Playful City”? What does it mean to be one of America’s most “Playful Cities”? The non-profit organization, KaBoom!, has honored Saluda (for the second year) for its efforts in creating an environment that – quite simply – promotes outdoor activity! With schools releasing their students for summer vacation, there no doubt will be the temptation for many to remain sedentary in front of the TV or computer. The American Academy of Pediatrics had written that outdoor play is critical to healthy brain development, stimulating creativity and imagination, while building physical and cognitive strength. It is inspiring to pass any of the parks within walking distance of The Oaks Bed and Breakfast and witness the interaction between kids and their parents as they play catch in the schoolyard or practice their serve on the tennis courts. Such a simple act as a walk with Granddad on a quiet lane or trail opens conversational possibilities creating a bond that lasts forever. The emotional connection between a husband and his wife as he pushes her gently on a swing under a brilliant summer sky. Their children have grown, but for one shining moment, they are young again. How wonderful it is to have all this and to share it with others. Now is the time to visit one of America’s Most Playful Cities and reconnect with your children, your inner child . . . your husband, your wife . . . your life. Contact The Oaks Bed and Breakfast for reservations: 828-749-2000 — or visit us on facebook.      ...

Top Ten Reasons to Stay at The Oaks

TOP TEN REASONS TO STAY AT THE OAKS BED AND BREAKFAST: #10. To experience staying in a 119-year old Queen Ann Victorian, located in one of the oldest established villages in the Blue Ridge. #9. Easy access to all the area’s entertainment and attractions, including; theater, live music, waterfalls, hiking, cycling, tubing/kayaking, art classes, festivals, restaurants, shops, boutiques and golf. #8. Delectable gourmet breakfasts served each morning. #7. Cool evenings on the verandas. #6. Personal, courteous and knowledgeable hosts. #5. Hand pressed and starched sheets, pillow cases and napkins. #4. Fresh flowers in every room. #3. Lavender bubble bath. #2. Those cute little soaps wrapped in paper. #1. And the NUMBER ONE reason to visit The Oaks Bed and Breakfast this summer. . . CROQUET anyone? _________________________________________________ My wife, Donna, and I took over The Oaks Bed and Breakfast in the summer of 2007. Every year since, we have focused on an annual project to keep the inn shiny as a new diamond! That first winter it was decided that we would reestablish the original foundation to insure that the structure would remain stable and stand proud for another 100-years. Jacks were used to raise the house ever-so-carefully, allowing the contractors to pour concrete footers, install new pillars and build additional floor joist for added support. We shared a fantasy that the crew that labored beneath the house would surprise us by unearthing a crest of “Civil War gold” or some relic of untold wealth.  Truth be told, the workers did find an antique tea spoon, an old medicine bottle, a frontier ladle and a croquet set. It wasn’t...

Saluda, North Carolina

Historic Saluda, North Carolina In the days before air conditioning and the interstate, folks traveled from the coast by rail to Saluda to find respite from the oppressive heat and the threat of malaria. At 2,200 feet above sea-level, Saluda lured guests to its Inns and guest houses, with mild winters and comfortable summer temperatures. At the turn of the century visitors flocked to Main Street which was home to the post office, three general stores, restaurants, a tea room, a theater and a bowling alley. Saluda has always been known for its healthy mountain air and in 1941 Dr. Smith constructed a hospital that catered to children with respiratory health issues known as the Smith Well Baby Clinic. History speaks of the Saluda Grade as the “steepest standard-gauge railroad grade in the United States” and due to the number of train wrecks and fatalities associated with them, the railroad was closed in 1989. These days, the interstate brings people to Saluda and the villages stands as a postcard from the past, with its City Hall and the Police Department anchoring one end of Main Street and the bank and the post office on the other and an eclectic collection of restaurants, shops and galleries in-between. Saluda’s popularity has continued to escalate along with its population – currently at 720! Today, this picturesque mountain village inspires artists of all disciplines, while attracting nature lovers of all persuasions with cycling, hiking, rafting, kayaking, winding mountain roads and a countless number of historic sites. Surrounded by all the history of Western North Carolina and majesty of the Blue Ridge, stands The...

Looking Back at Christmas ’09

The holiday season has come and gone and with its passing, new memories are honed.  The year of 2009 will no doubt be historically looked upon as the year that financial difficulties affected us all.  But Christmas ‘09 will forever hold special memories of the wonderful guests that have become like family. Donna and I stay close to the inn and welcome all holiday travelers, whether their highway leads through Saluda, or if they have chosen The Oaks as their destination, we welcome all.  It seems that many modern families have dispersed around the country and people are looking to fill the void and a relaxing visit to a quiet mountain town is a reflection of less complicated times. Thanks to family members who had made the journey to help, The Oaks had been decked out for the holidays with garland and wreaths at every archway and entry; antique nutcrackers danced with the candles on the mantles; the Snow Village collection was warmly illuminated by the fire that burned brightly in the parlor; and the crowning glory of the perfect tree that adorned the library and reached nearly to the very pinnacle of our 10-foot ceilings. Only one week before, the snow had fallen and created a winter wonderland found only in a Christmas card.  A few guests shot down the icy hill at the school yard on swatches of cardboard I had cut from boxes I found in the basement, while others ventured out to view the countryside and waterfalls in their frozen state.  One gentleman (Dave) graciously shoveled the sidewalk out front – claimed that he needed...

Independence Day Weather Report 2015

Callers will often ask, “How are summers in Saluda?” I can answer in a word: mild. We have come to know July as having comfortable overnight temperatures, perfect for restful-healthy sleep. Guest rooms at The Oaks all have individually controlled A/C while recent guests from Florida pulled their blankets from the closet to insure a cozy slumber. Daytime temperatures can reach into the 80s and you can count on a gentle mountain breeze to make for comfortable  hiking or a day on the Green River. We have gotten a good amount of rain this spring, insuring lively waterfalls and lush vegetation. Overnight rains create a sedative-like effect, making for a deep therapeutic sleep — leave the Ambien at home.  Before the raindrops make it to the ground, we have learned recognize the familiar percussive patter of the rain drops upon the leaves of the giant trees that surround us. The highlight of any Independence Day celebration would be the fireworks. Many of us have witnessed massive fireworks displays in major metropolitan cities. Some, where mirrored skyscrapers reflect the flash of the rocket’s red glare and the explosions resonate through the towering buildings. Here in Saluda, the event is planed and executed by the local volunteer firefighters. Just before sunset, Donna passes out the blankets and guests join the procession of vehicles that make their way up Greenville Street to Orchard Lake to find our place on the grassy hill by the lake. Family and friends laugh n’ chat as children tumble like gymnasts. Fireflies and sparklers interrupt the darkness competing for attention. From one end of the lake, torches...