Archive for March, 2009

Art in Asheville

We’re psyched here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our bed and breakfast alternative in Asheville, N.C. We’re looking forward to the first Asheville art gallery walk of 2009 on April 3, this coming Friday. This is the first of four gallery walks each year—the others are the first Friday in June, August and October, 5-8 p.m. Galleries stay open longer to encourage people to browse, and many galleries offer refreshments. And it’s all free!

This event, sponsored by the Asheville Downtown Gallery Association, includes about 25 galleries that are diverse and quirky and fun and funky and high-brow. Take your pick. Or do as we do, and visit as many of them as you can in the evening. You may see some of the same people from gallery to gallery, but there’s always an interesting mix of people who’re checking out the artwork.

Of course, you can enjoy Asheville’s many art galleries downtown and in other parts of the city year-round whenever you visit us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. And you can enjoy the original art by various artists on the walls of our vacation rental when you stay with us. Many guests have commented about the artwork in our bed and breakfast alternative.

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Orchids in Asheville!

If you’re not familiar with orchids, among the most bountiful flowers on earth, you’re missing out. These amazingly adaptable flowers grow in trees, on rocks and in nearly every corner of the planet. They’re beautiful in their variety of shapes and colors, and some of them look good enough to eat! They’re sensuous, sensual, provocative and just plain cool.

The annual WNC Orchid Show at the North Carolina Arboretum this coming Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29 is an awesome display of hundreds of orchids in all their inspiring diversity. The Asheville-area arboretum is a lovely, easy, quick drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway from our Lovers’ Loop Retreat vacation rental. The show includes orchid vendors and growers from around the Southeast. Go with your imagination wide open. You’ll be dazzled.

The arboretum is a great place to visit when you stay at our Asheville B&B alternative, Lovers’ Loop Retreat. There are miles of walking and biking paths at the arboretum, which offers interesting exhibits year-round.

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Hey, Asheville, got bread?

The fifth annual Asheville Artisan Bread Festival is March 28, this coming Saturday, at Greenlife Grocery near downtown. We’re not talking Wonder bread here. Organizers say artisan bread is made by craftspeople who use baking methods that were used before manufactured yeast was available. That means the kind of bread our grandmothers made.

Asheville has a number of artisan bakeries that make breads, including whole-grain and organic. And they produce some interesting varieties: black bean bread, potato, multigrain, spinach feta, sunflower.

Asheville has some great bakeries, artisan or not. City Bakery has two locations near downtown, and Filo is a Greek bakery with a nice ambiance east of downtown. The West End Bakery and Café is in West Asheville west of downtown.

See our Web site at www.loversloopretreat.com for more information about the bread festival. We hope you’ll enjoy some local bread while you’re staying at our vacation rental, Lovers’ Loop Retreat.

 

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Asheville’s a Funny Place

           And this spring, it’s a really funny place! The annual comedy weekend at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville was last week. This year Paula Poundstone, Adam Ferrara and Juston McKinney were among the featured comedians. The inn has offered this wacky weekend for about 20 years.

            For some great local humor, check out the LYLAS (Love Ya Like A Sis) show, which runs March 19-28 at the N.C. Stage Company in downtown Asheville. This all-women comedy troupe is energetic and fun, and they have a loyal local following. We’ve seen them perform, and it’s a good time. See this event listed on our Web site, www.loversloopretreat.com.

            And there’s more. From March 31 through April 5, Dixie’s Tupperware Party will be at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville. This interactive show evidently is a real Tupperware Party and sounds like a hoot. This is listed on our Web site.

            Chris Porter will have a one-night show at Diana Wortham Theatre on April 11. And on April 23, the intelligent, savvy and politically astute Kate Clinton will perform at the Diana Wortham Theatre. She has sold out shows there two other times. We saw her a few years ago at Diana Wortham, and it was great to be with an appreciative audience. We also saw her years ago in Northampton, Mass., and that show was a riot, too. Check our Web site for more information.

            Speaking of politically astute, the Capitol Steps comedy troupe also performs at Diana Wortham Theatre, as do the Southern Fried Chicks.

            There’s more in the summer. The third annual Laugh Your Asheville Off event, which claims to be the largest comedy festival in the Southeast, will be July 16-18.

            Remember to laugh during your visit while you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our vacation rental in Asheville, N.C., because, well, Asheville’s a funny place.

 

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Asheville: the perfect Foodtopian Society

Many people remember and revisit Asheville for its great food culture. Downtown Asheville alone has a wonderful multitude and mix of restaurants that offer varying fun, funky and intimate dining experiences. Vegetarian, Thai, Spanish, French, Middle Eastern, down-home Southern, tapas to tortillas to tortellini and beyond, what a selection! It can make for difficult— though delightful—choices.

 

Guests who stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, appreciate that our guest suite provides the opportunity to cook and otherwise prepare meals. On the other hand, when our guests want to dine out, the options are awesome.

 

The culture of food is so important in Asheville that a group is promoting the city as a Foodtopian Society, with the message that food is more than just, well, food. The Foodtopian Society encompasses the farms, farmers’ markets, independent restaurants, breweries and cooking classes that make people remember and revisit Asheville. The society, at www.Foodtopiansocietycom, offers information about wine and beer tastings, food events, foodie souvenirs (like specialty food products and handmade kitchenware), even such food adventures as forest-to-table mushroom hunting.

 

So when you stay with us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, bring your appetite!

 

              

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The Lover’s Loop Retreat March Muse-Letter

 

Lovers’ Loop Retreat March ’09 muse-letter

            Hurray and yeeeeeoooowwww! March is our favorite month. And why not? It boasts the first day of spring and the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, when the days start to become longer.   

            By now, we don’t have to look far to see signs of spring at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat vacation rental here in Asheville, N.C. The forsythia in the backyard has started to sprout, and that’s one of our most treasured blooms: we love how it shouts out its yellowness, happy to be what it is. Daffodils are blooming down the street, and soon we’ll see them scattered sunny side up around our yard.

            Though Asheville is hopping all year long, activities start to crank into a different gear in March. Be sure to visit our Web site, www.loversloopretreat.com, which contains lots of information, including a growing list of events in the area, photos of our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative and our contact information. Our home page has a YouTube link to videos about Asheville.              

            Food is big here. And there’s a new Foodtopian Society, which capitalizes on the area’s many farmers’ markets, independent restaurants, breweries, cooking classes, forest-to-table adventures, specialty food items, handcrafted kitchen wares and foodie souvenirs. That said, we’re happy to offer an affordable bed and breakfast alternative that gives our visitors the option of preparing meals in the guest suite.

            Part of the ongoing food affair in Asheville is the first National Truffle Fest—who knew?— with cooking demonstrations, a cook-off and dinners at the Biltmore estate March 5-8. The Organic Growers School’s annual spring conference, which includes cooking workshops, is March 21-22 just south of Asheville. March also offers a variety of musical events, from the Asheville Symphony March 14 to Ani DiFranco March 13-14 and John Prine March 28, all in downtown Asheville. This is the month of the Grove Park Inn’s annual comedy classic weekend March 13-15. And for orchid lovers, the annual orchid show at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville is March 27-28; it’s worth a visit to see those fascinating flowers! There’s a new festival on the block here, too. The first annual Asheville Jewish Film Festival is March 21-26. See more about all of these events on our Web site.

            On a personal note, four members of the women’s poetry group we facilitate —including one of your hosts at Lovers’ Loop Retreat—will read their work at Holy Ground in Asheville on March 22.     

             Indigo Girls fans will appreciate a heads-up that the duo plans an appearance in Asheville on April 8. That’s on our Web site, too. The word is that one of the Indigo Girls has a sister who lives in Asheville, so they play here with some regularity.      

            Join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat! Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And visit our Web site to check out upcoming events. See you in Asheville!

 

           

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Biltmore Estate is Growing!

 Biltmore Estate, just 10 minutes from our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental, is North Carolina’s most visited historic attraction. And the estate, the mansion and beautiful grounds constructed for George Vanderbilt in the 1890s, is growing. Plans include a new exhibition space; an outdoor center for horseback riding, fly fishing and other activities; an area for live entertainment; a pub; and creamery. Biltmore officials say Biltmore is America’s largest home, and they say the winery is the most visited in the U.S. Starting in April, more rooms of the mansion will be open to guests. Biltmore, the mansion, the woods and the manicured grounds, definitely leaves an impression on visitors. It’s fun to walk or bike on the paths there, too. It’s worth a trip when you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat.    

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