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September 26, 2015

Fall Has Started Falling

Fall Red Dogwoods Bertram HenryFall is a beautiful, fascinating period in the Smokies and at Buckhorn Inn.  This photo of the leaves of one of our dogwoods was taken by Bertram Henry, a Buckhorn Regular, when he was here this week.  The main fall leaf season is still several weeks away (mid to late October), but color has begun to develop over the past week in high elevation areas. Many birch trees are showing muted yellows, and species such as witch hobble, sumac, and blueberries are sporting red leaves at higher elevation. It’s still early in the season though, so colors should continue to develop over the next week or two along the crests of the mountains.

At low to middle elevations, dogwood trees have a reddish cast that will develop into brilliant reds later in October. Species such as sourwood and red maple are also turning red. And the brilliant reds of Virginia creeper vine can be seen climbing the trunks of many trees. Overall however, the forests are still very green at these elevations. There’s not a lot fall color to see yet — just scattered trees here and there.

Fall flowers displays are glorious now. Flowers such as purple asters, white asters, black-eyed Susans, pale jewelweed, ironweed, great blue lobelia, closed gentian, and goldenrod are blooming profusely along roadsides and trails. In the forests, look for the vibrant pink, purple, and red fruits of hearts-a-bustin’ bushes and the brilliant reds of dogwood berries.

July 7, 2015

Summer Fun in the Smokies

Summer Vacation Carr KidsHusband and Fellow Innkeeper John and I have a stayvacation each year when the Alaskan branch of the family arrives.  Our family’s experience reminded me of what a great venue Buckhorn and the Smokies are for summer fun. This year we gave 5 year old great granddaughter Jane skip roping lessons on the veranda of Buckhorn House with her mom, granddaughter Jessica, me and Alice and our daugther counting out cadence.   We hiked the Inn’s nature trail, did morning runs, played games on the terrace, enjoyed hearty breakfasts and an elegant dinner served in our private dining room so the four under 10 great-grandchildren could make as much noise as possible and not disturb other guests.  We did two hikes, played golf and mini-golf, rode Gatlinburg’s new Mountain Coaster (TWICE), played Pickle Ball at the Gatlinburg Recreation Center, attended a riotous show at Dixie Stampede, and had lunch at the Mountain Lodge, a family tradition.

May 15, 2015

Weddings at Buckhorn Can Be Fun–Even in February

Jerry Pang and Bride

May 10, 2015

Peonies Bloom!

It’s peony season at Buckhorn.  Come explore our gardens.Peonies

April 28, 2015

Teatime with an English Butler

ButlerBuckhorn Inn will offer its guests an unusual opportunity—sharing afternoon tea with a very special person, Dr. David Woodfine, one of England’s most respected and experienced professional butlers.  Dr. Woodfine is an amusing and engaging speaker who will talk about how to prepare tea properly, different types of teas and proper protocol when setting down for an afternoon “cuppa.”  He will also share a few stories from his career as a butler, including service with Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Princess Margaret, and The Duke of Marlborough and the supervision of the wedding of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Dr. Woodfine was also High Steward of Oxford University where his job was to see to the needs of dignitaries from around the world and to oversee high table dinners for the University.  He was Master of the Oxford City Guild of Chefs for four years and a Master Sommelier.   Dr. Woodfine will be happy to sign copies of his well-received cookbook, From Kitchen to High Table: the British- American Edition, which will be on hand at teatime. 

Tea, cucumber sandwiches, and scones will be served at the event at Buckhorn Inn on Tuesday, May 5, at 3:00 in the Inn’s Sitting Room.  Members of the public are welcome to attend this free event by advance reservation only by phoning 865 436 4668 or emailing [email protected].

April 20, 2015

Celebrate St. George’s Day Thursday, April 23

St-George-2a(1)

 

My English-born husband John has a campaign to get more recognition for St. George, the patron saint of England.  To wit, this blog and the following short history of this heroic man and Christian martyr.

“Follow your spirit, and upon this charge cry ‘God for Harry, England and Saint George!’”  So howls King Henry V at the climax of the great Harfleur speech in Shakespeare’s play.  But who really was the St George that Prince Hal uses to so inspire his men?

But who was St George?

Scientists have haggled over the exact details of the birth of St George for hundreds of years but it is generally put at around 280AD. He was born in the town of Lydda, then in the Roman territory of Syria Palestina and in modern terms around 15 kilometres south of Tel Aviv to two Christian parents.

He went on to become one of the finest soldiers in the Roman army but, in AD 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested. George, it seems, wasn’t too happy about this and approached the emperor to renounce the edict.

Diocletian tried as hard as he could to convert the great soldier to worship of the Roman gods by offering him gifts of land, money and slaves. However, George stood strong and stolidly turned all of these down.
Diocletian realised he had no choice but to make the decision to have George horrifically tortured before being executed. The methods of torture apparently included laceration of wheel of swords before he was eventually decapitated. Not before George had donated his entire wealth to the poor though and, for the actions of his life, he was venerated as a Saint.

But why is George the Patron Saint of England?

The decision to make St George the patron saint of England was predominantly taken by the Plantagenet King Edward III, who reigned from 1327 to 1377. Edward was a big personal fan of the story of George apparently and thus decided to make the famous St George’s cross his military banner.

Under the banner, the English army won victories at Halidon Hill, Bannockburn and Crécy. It became quickly associated with English military success and, after the flag was carried at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, Saint George’s Day was made into a national feast day.

May 12, 2014

Brush up on your cooking skills at Buckhorn

canapesEver wonder just how our chefs make such fabulous soups — the ones so many of you say would make a meal in themselves — or how they get that Béchamel Sauce just perfect? Why does that tray of appetizers look so appetizing?   Those crisp, light, delicious cookies—just how do they get them that way?   These and other exciting and useful culinary arts are some of the topics included in our  Good Cooking! classes presented at a time convenient for you.

Come and enjoy the peace and serenity of Buckhorn Inn and learn some of the secrets of its delectable cuisine. Come with your spouse, your best friend, your mother or your daughter and enjoy the pleasure of learning something new together. Or come on your own for a productive but fun getaway.  Each class is 1½  hours and is followed by lunch served on the veranda overlooking majestic Mount LeConte

You will learn different techniques and dishes that are regularly prepared at the Inn in small classes, all taught by our highly skilled and experienced Chef Frank Downs.   We can work with you or your group to offer cooking classes on just about any topic and on dates and times that fit your schedule.   Email Chef Downs to discuss your interests and time frame ([email protected]) or phone 865-436-4668.

Rates: $50 per person 

April 24, 2014

Come to the Spring Garden Celebration

Lucinda Ogle QuiltBuckhorn Inn and five other inns are opening their gardens to the public on Wednesday, May 7 as a part of the Gatlinburg Garden Club’s Spring Garden Celebration.  You can purchase the $10 tickets for the tour at the Sevier County Bank in Gatlinburg, phoning 865 453 6101, extension 481.  Tickets may also be purchased at participating inns on the day of the event.  All proceeds benefit the Lucinda Ogle Historic Cabin Restoration Fund.  

Other inns participating in the tour are Foxtrot, Quail Ridge, Tudor Inn, Laurel Springs and Blue Mountain Mist.  

You can also purchase tickets for a wine and cheese party at Buckhorn Inn on Tuesday, May 6 from 5:30 until 7:00 pm and a Meet the Author Luncheon at Foxtrot Inn on May 6 at 11:30 am.

April 22, 2014

Happy St. George’s Day!

 

St George and the Dragon

 

St. George is the patron saint of England.  Tomorrow is his saint’s day and England’s national day–the equivalent of our Fourth of July but without the fireworks.  Felicitations to all of us on this side of the pond with some English ancestry, our English friends on the other side of the pond, and to everyone else as well.  

To celebrate, we will serve a “full English breakfast.”  That includes basted eggs, grilled tomato, bacon, pork bangers, mushrooms and baked beans.  Couldn’t find any kippers this year.

 

April 12, 2014

Join a Birding Expedition at Buckhorn

 

Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo

Where:  Right here at Buckhorn Inn.  This is bird heaven.  Please see our publication about bird life on this property. 

When:  Thursdays and Saturdays at either 7:30 (before breakfast)  am or 8:30 am (after an early breakfast).  Must reserve in advance. 

Length of Birding Adventure:  1½  Hours 

Cost:  $15 per person or $25 for two (minimum of three persons required) 

How to Register:  Inn Office; 24 hour cancelation required. 

Rain:  Significant rain will result in cancellation 

Expert Birder Keith Watson will lead the adventure