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Bed and Breakfast and Cooking Classes

Apr 29, 2008
They are renowned for the excellence and uniqueness of their cuisine ... and now some of the best Bed and Breakfast inns in the U.S.A. are inviting guests to learn their cooking secrets. Here are some wonderful places where you can dine, recline, and learn to make food that is sublime!

NEW ORLEANS

When you think of food towns, New Orleans tops the list of yummy destinations. Travelers can enjoy all the history, romance and food of The Big Easy at the House of Bayou Road Inn. The posh guest rooms are furnished with antiques and many offer Jacuzzi tubs and perhaps a fireplace. In the mornings, a full plantation breakfast is served and on weekends, the inn offers a champagne brunch. The two-acre grounds, which are just a few blocks from the French Quarter, feature a swimming pool and hot tub. In addition to all these amenities, the innkeepers offer a full schedule of cooking classes. Spend a day or even a week learning the tips and techniques that make New Orleans cuisine some of the world's best.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Housed in a pillared, two-story 1905 mansion in Florence, South Carolina, Abingdon Manor offers the only AAA Four Diamond restaurant in South Carolina outside Charleston, Kiawah and Hilton Head. We're not just talking wonderful breakfasts: Abingdon Manor also hosts six-course prix fixe (fixed priced) dinners at intimately-lit tables for two; complete with fresh flowers, settings of silver, china and crystal. Some details: Abington Manor was originally built as an opulent private residence. It is situated on three acres in Florence's historic district, and its bedrooms feature an abundance of pampering amenities. Best yet: Abingdon Manor's chefs teach guests how to prepare truly gourmet food, in a relaxed yet elegant setting.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Norman Rockwell could hardly have painted a more idyllic New England setting than the one guests will find at Glen, New Hampshire's historic Bernerhof Inn. Built in the 1880s, most of the inn's cozy guest rooms feature king-size beds and some have Jacuzzi tubs, as well. For food lovers, the innkeepers offer a Taste of the Mountains Cooking School twice each year. The weekend-long events feature recipes from the inn's own chefs, and include appetizers, main course, dessert and brunch dishes. Wine tasting is also included in the classes. If you can't make it to the cooking school, try the inn's For the Love of Chocolate package for a fun culinary delight.

PENNSYLVANIA

Nestled on the banks of the Delaware Canal, the Golden Pheasant Inn in Erwinna, Pa., is a delight for all the senses. The inn was built prior to the Civil War to serve canal travelers, and all six of the inn's guest rooms have been restored in period style by innkeeper Barbara Faure. The inn's restaurant is French-style gourmet, a perfect spot for a romantic evening. For those who love to cook, book a stay at the inn for one of the night's when Chef Michel Faure is hosting a cooking class. Chef Faure's demonstrations include samples of the dishes prepared as well as a glass or two of notable local wines.

CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY

Ramekins' Bed & Breakfast Inn in Sonoma, California is a bit different: Rather than offering a cooking school within a B&B, this is a B&B that is housed within a cooking school! All six rooms feature luxurious comfy beds and tasteful appointments; perfect for relaxing in after a busy day in the kitchens below. Speaking of cooking, Ramekins' classes (available in groups, one-on-one, or online) are held in two teaching kitchens. The first is a fully-equipped, 36-seat culinary demonstration kitchen-theater with mirrors and television monitors for easy viewing. The second is a complete restaurant kitchen used for full-participation hands-on classes. The International Association of Culinary Professionals recognized Ramekins' teaching excellence with the IACP's 2005 "School of the Year" award. Add a B&B and Ramekins' location in California's wine country, and the result is vacation perfection.
About the Author
Jane Leisteiner is an expert on inns and likes writing about food. For further information on California bed and breakfast inns or Pennsylvania bed and breakfasts, check out the American Historic Inns website.
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