Casting all newly minted resolutions for balance and moderation out the window (I believe they landed along I40 somewhere near Hickory), I found myself amid favorite haunts last weekend.
And also: Mountains.
And of course: Family.
The trip included two wonderful sunset dinners at the Grove Park, my first visit there post-sick.
And it turns out, for food allergies, there is almost no place better. They immediately understood and explained in detail how they handle food prep and avoid cross-contamination. A
nd instead of having to pick the most boring salad on the menu and pleading a dumbstruck waiter for a very plain piece of chicken, they actually encouraged(!) deciding on dinner like a normal person and then made suggestions for how they could adjust the order. And were quick to go back to the kitchen to ask questions if there was something they weren't sure about.
Such a relief and a treat to feel like I could eat dinner without keeping my fingers crossed the whole time. And warm GF/DF bread to start with... 2 hours is not that far to drive for dinner, right?
Still, while wandering the inn, we couldn't help but notice some (ahem) redecorating... I assume, part of the centennial renovation that was finished late last year.
And I'm afraid it just has to be said -- What on earth they were thinking, with the new furniture in the Great Hall!?! Unfortunately, no pictures, but the words Big Mess seem appropriate. About as far away from Arts and Crafts as you can get -- plush, puffy, high-backed, awkward couches that just look ridiculous when you walk in expecting Stickley chairs.
And I did find proof that the columns used to be stone...
But all of that pales to Gas Logs in the fireplace!?!
I suggest they go back read their own book -- Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Furniture
More inspiration: Historic construction photos
But life is pretty good if you are getting to spend a few cool late-summer nights wandering the inn, watching the sun sink behind the blue ridges and calling back so many memories you feel a right to complain about the furniture as if it were your own great-aunt's living room.
GPI, it's been too long. We should do this again soon.