Romantic Inn / B&B & Couples Getaway in Rochester

Kiss & Tell

At long last the King has arrived

Not Elvis, Larry, Stephen, or Tut.  But Prana in the way of a king size mattress. It’s been four years in the making, with many customer requests, research, and creative financing-the King arrives tomorrow.  Destination?  The Woodland Suites of course. The grandest room of them all. So the queen must step aside.  But no worries, she will have the newly decorated, ultra lavish Garden Room.  But that is another story, and will follow shortly. For now, sweet dreams.

Ellwanger Luxury just notched up

My long awaited Sferra linens have just arrived!  Luxury just notched up.  Now the rest of the story…

SFERRA – As the turn of the century approached, Gennaro Sferra left Italy to visit the U.S., in hope of attracting a market for his intricate Venetian lace cuffs and collars.  He found his ideal clientele in the grand seaside resorts that once dotted the East Coast from Maine to Palm Beach, and he traveled regularly to sell his goods.  In 1905, he opened Factory 5007 San Severo, located in the shadow of the Rialto Bridge in Venice. And in 1912, Gennaro moved his company and his family to a shop on Fifth Avenue in New York. A generation later, Gennaro?s two sons, Enrico and Albert, expanded their father’s collection to include the most luxurious European linens of the day from renowned double damask from Ireland to Alenton laces from France to beautiful embroideries from Belgium and Switzerland.

SFERRA changed hands in 1977. With keen business savvy, Paul Hooker purchased the company from the Sferra family. Under Paul’s passionate stewardship and with the aid of great advancements in design and production technologies, SFERRA has experienced explosive growth in recent decades as global markets have emerged, and has secured its rightful position as a leader in the luxury linens industry. The secret of SFERRA’s enduring reputation is consistently prominent today only the finest materials are used in anything that carries the SFERRA name.

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.