Romantic Inn / B&B & Couples Getaway in Rochester

Kiss & Tell

Rochester’s First Christmas Tree


In 1840 Rochesterians witnessed a new custom to celebrate Christmas, when a group of recent German immigrants decorated their small church with an evergreen tree according to their old- world tradition. The church was the Zion Lutheran Church at Grove and Stillson Streets, one of the parent churches of Incarnate Word Lutheran Church.

All Rochesterians – there were 18,000 to 20,000 inhabitants at the time – were invited to come and see the tree on December 25th, and many came. The church was packed inside and people were standing in line outside. The tree was a 10 to 12-foot-high spruce that was cut in the woods outside the city. It was ‘brilliantly illuminated and adorned with a great variety of toys, sweetmeats etc.’ (Rochester Union Advertiser, December 29, 1840). Children surrounded the tree, and after the candles were lit pastor Mullhauser led a prayer and all sang hymns in German. Young George Ellwanger held a speech in English, telling about Christmas celebrations in the old country and explaining the symbolism of the tree: ‘In the mill town whose people were mostly of the Yankee stock, George Ellwanger found that Christmas was a day of rather austere religious observance. He remembered the holiday in the fatherland, the green trees alight with candles, the songs, the bells, the legends, the feasting and, above all, the laughter of the children’ (Arch Merrill: The Mill Town’s First Christmas Tree. UPSTATE. Sunday, December 22, 1968).

George Ellwanger was from Würtenberg and had just a few months earlier, with an Irishman named Patrick Barry, started a nursery business that was to become a flourishing one. Mr. Ellwanger finished his speech by saying that people ‘may have seen something worthy of imitation, although we do not pretend to be qualified to teach you anything.’ Nevertheless the tree became a tradition at the church, and it soon also spread to private homes of others than just of the German immigrants.

And keeping with this holiday tradition, we have decked the halls early with a 12 foot Fraser Fir,  for holiday celebrations and family photos at the Ellwanger Estate B&B.  Happy Holidays!

Farmville step aside

Farmville step aside! Finally an Innkeepers game:


Transform a rinky-dink inn to a five star tourist hotspot!

Features over 20 quests, 6 room types, 12 amenities, 14 customer types, 21 upgrades, 10 recruitable family members and 8 achievements.

The island of Siquijor, Philippines is a beautiful place with pristine forests and wonderful beaches. However, rumors of monstrous beings called Aswangs prevent it from ever being popular. Your dream is to build an Inn in this place and make the place popular for both local and international tourists while also unraveling the mystery and the truth behind the Aswang folklore.

OR if you prefer real life experience and ask the ever so popular  question, “where can I stay at a luxurious estate B&B for free and work?” …we have the answer. See “packages”.

Foodies Behold!

WOW, these tasty treats were devoured at last night’s dinner party.  And the judges were…all expert chefs or food critics. Good going!

Flecked with black pepper and Gruyère, these crusty rice balls made for an irresistible hors d’oeuvre. They’re great for parties because they are baked rather than fried.

Recipe: Oven-Fried Rice Balls with Gruyère

MAKE-AHEAD  / VEGETARIAN /  Recipe from Food & Wine


.                 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

.                 1 medium shallot, minced

.                 1 garlic clove, minced

.                 1 cup arborio rice

.                 2 cups water

.                 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (2 1/2 ounces)

.                 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)

.                 1/4 cup mixed chopped herbs, such as thyme, basil and oregano

.                 Salt and cracked black pepper

.                 2 large egg whites

.                 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

.                 Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly oil a large, rimmed baking sheet. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the water has been completely absorbed, about 10 minutes. Scrape the rice into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

.                 Stir the Gruyère, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and all of the chopped herbs into the rice. Season the rice with salt and generously season with coarsely cracked pepper.

.                 In a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the rice to loosen the mixture, then stir in the remaining whites. Roll the rice into 1 1/2-inch balls.

.                 In a shallow bowl, toss the panko with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Dredge the rice balls in the panko crumbs and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake the rice balls in the upper third of the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a platter and serve.

Spring Awakening at the Ellwanger Estate B&B

Welcome Morgan Stearns- our associate innkeeper from Rochester Institute of Technology.  She is a bright and energetic student and will be a welcome asset to the  Ellwanger Estate B&B.  In her honor we will be offering a Jazz jamming session on Saturday, April 7th,  from 2- 4 PM.  Yes, that is the Saturday before Easter Sunday!  We are treating you all to the most wonderful live Jazz.  Our fabulous musicians are fun and talented and look forward to  entertaining us on this glorious  Spring weekend .  Hope you can join us for a magical weekend stay at the Ellwanger Estate B&B.

Announcing the Ellwanger award of 5 Green Leafs from Audubon International

HOT NEWS! The phone call came in just minutes ago, announcing:

Audubon International GREEN LEAF™ RATING 0f 5 (out of 5-the highest possible rating)! And it reads:

Ellwanger Estate B & B in Rochester, N.Y.
has achieved a rating of 5 Green Leafs
With an overall Green Leaf™ Survey score of 90.77%.

Congratulations on becoming a Green Leaf™ Eco-Rated Member in the Audubon Green Leaf™ Eco-Rating Program for Hotels! TerraChoice Environmental Services Inc. is pleased to provide this assessment of your facility’s overall environmental performance.

Your score of 5 Green Leafs confirms that Ellwanger Estate B & B is a world industry leader in eco-efficiency. Ellwanger Estate B & B is part of a select group that is continually introducing new environmental policies and best environmental practices that serve as goals and targets for the rest of the accommodation industry.

Ellwanger Estate B & B should be commended on taking steps towards realizing the cost savings and market potential behind adopting the accommodation industry’s Best Environmental Practices.

YOUTUBE MOVIE:  You are greener than you think. Green… “The Ellwanger Way” walks you through conservation, preservation and resourcing-to enhance your way to green.  Since this presentation, the Ellwanger Estate has been awarded 5 out of 5 green leaves in the Audubon International Green Leaf Lodging Program.