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October 22, 2019

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Creamy Cabbage and Apples

Pork paired with apples is a classic combination.  The apples contribute a touch of sweetness and flavor to the chops and match well with the cabbage.  Mashed sweet potatoes would make a lovely autumnal starch to pair with this dish.  Pour yourself a glass of Riesling and say welcome to fall!

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Creamy Cabbage and Apples 

¼         Cup     Plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

4                      Thyme sprigs

1                      Garlic clove, coarsely chopped

4                      12-ounce bone-in pork loin chops     

3                      Thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, cut into ½ inch dice

2          Tbl       Unsalted butter

½                     savoy cabbage, thinly sliced crosswise

1                      Granny Smith apple-peeled, cored and cut into 1/2–inch dice

1          Tsp      White wine vinegar

1          Tbl       Dijon mustard

¾         Cup     Heavy cream

¾         Cup     Milk

            Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

In a large, shallow dish, combine ¼ cup of the olive oil with the thyme sprigs and garlic.  Add the pork chops and turn to coat with the marinade.  Refrigerate overnight. 

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over the moderate heat, stirring a few times, until browned, about 4 minutes; pour off the fat.  Add the butter and cabbage to the skillet, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 7 minutes.  Add the apple and vinegar, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apple is tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the mustard and cream and simmer uncovered over moderate heat until the cream has thickened, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, cover and keep warm. 

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering.  Remove the pork chops from the marinade; discard the thyme sprigs and scrape off the garlic.  Season the chops with salt and pepper and add to the skillet.  Cook over moderately high heat until richly browned, about 3 minutes per side. 

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chops for about 12 minutes, turning once halfway through, until just pink in the center.  Transfer the pork chops to plates and serve with the cabbage. 

Yield:  4 servings

Grandma Gatewood and her Inspiring Story

Have you ever heard of Grandma Gatewood?  She was the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail by herself.  She also was the first person to walk it three times.  Even more surprising is that she did all of this after age 65!

Ben Montgomery’s book “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk:  The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail” http://www.amazon.com was published by Chicago Review Press in 2016.  This is the story of a great-grandmother who left her small Ohio town with a change of clothes, a pair of thin-soled sneakers, and less than $200.  She did not have a tent nor any professional hiking gear.  By September 1955 she was standing atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin proclaiming “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.”  Emma Gatewood had lived through poverty, an abusive husband, and raised 11 children before she began her walk.  

Grandma Gatewood utilized the healing powers of physical activity and natural beauty.

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180 mile long public footpath.

On the trail she faced fierce storms and saw the beauty of nature.  She walked up steep ridges and down treacherous ravines.  She often relied

on the kindness of other hikers or community members to keep going.  It is not only a tale of grit and determination, but also of the healing power of nature.

The author interviewed family members and others that Gatewood met along her journey.  He also had access to her trail journals and diaries as well as media coverage of her amazing journey.  

Grandma Gatewood Benefitted the Trail

Gatewood became a celebrated hiker.  She appeared on television programs with Groucho Marx and Art Linkletter.  Her celebrity brought public attention to the Appalachian Trail.  She was not shy about voicing criticism of parts of the trail which were not well-maintained and hence difficult.  This public spotlight led to enhanced trail maintenance.  Many believe that this attention very likely saved the trail from extinction.

At age seventy-one she hiked the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail.  By the time she passed away at age 85, she likely had hiked more than 10,000 miles!

October 7, 2019

Buckhorn Inn Memories Captured in Watercolors

What special memories have you created at Buckhorn Inn?  Long-time guest, Tanya Young, is a watercolor artist.  She and her husband have made the Inn their special space for rest and renewal.  On her visits she has found quiet time to create watercolors of scenes that are special to her.

Inspired by a desire to capture some of her own moments at the Inn, her paintings are created as vignettes.  These vignettes invite the viewer to remember their own experiences here.  They also function as an invitation to perhaps see differently, according to Tonya.  “Simple moments of beauty are always around us, if we have eyes to see them.”

Memories Vignettes Available in Gift Shop

Painted in a brighter palette, these watercolors are designed to be a reminder of your own Buckhorn Inn story.  They also remind us to appreciate the beauty before our eyes every day, just waiting to break through and be noticed.

The matted prints are $25 each and are found in our gift shop.  They measure 8.5″ x 11″, including the matting.  Her vignettes capture the meditation labyrinth, the path down to Cottage #1, a window table in the dining room, and the red-shaded lamps above the book case in the dining room.

The watercolor series is designed to spark your own Buckhorn Inn memories.

Tonya Young’s watercolors capture special scenes at Buckhorn Inn.

Watercolors are usually translucent.  They appear luminous because the pigments are used in a pure form with few fillers.  In the late 1700’s, William Gilpin wrote a series of books describing his travels through rural England.  http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search  The books were illustrated with watercolors of river valleys, ancient castles, and churches.  The popularity of these books culminated in the celebration of watercolors as a distinctly English “national art”.  

Watercolors are an expressive medium.  The brilliant hues in Tonya’s paintings paired with the ethereal luminosity evoke a dream or memory.  We are delighted with these charming images and know that you will be, too.

September 30, 2019

What do Inns and B&Bs Offer that Hotels Don’t?

Many travelers first hear about inns and B&Bs from friends.  They may be reluctant to stay at a bed and breakfast or small inn because they are not sure how these establishments function.  An article in the Huffington Post http://www.huffpost.com lists some reasons you may enjoy the unique experiences at independent inns.

At establishments like the Buckhorn Inn, your room rate includes a cooked-to-order breakfast.  Many hotels offer continental breakfasts.  But it is an entirely different experience to sit down to freshly baked breads, fresh fruit,  juice, a made-to-order entrée and a never-ending cup of robust coffee!

Bed and breakfasts also typically offer free wi-fi and complimentary parking.  And B&B owners and their staffs have a wealth of knowledge about the local area.  We are always happy to provide our personal favorite restaurant, gallery, and hiking recommendations!

Small inns typically have paid much attention to detail and comfort when furnishing the rooms.  Each accommodation at Buckhorn Inn is different and all have your relaxation in mind.  Many have fireplaces.  Complimentary beverages and afternoon snacks are something you don’t often find at chain hotels!

Many people prefer staying at inns because of amenities like fire places.

Inn rooms are cozy retreats.

Inns offer many options for privacy and socializing.  You have the opportunity to meet and interact with other interesting guests.  Or you can spend as much alone-time as you desire.  We even offer breakfast delivery for those guests who wish to dine in their accommodations.

As the Huffington Post article points out, hotels often see their patrons as customers, while innkeepers see their patrons as guests.  From the warm welcome you receive to the attentiveness of staff, to the appointments of your room, we want to help you create long-lasting memories at Buckhorn Inn.

Guest Ranks Buckhorn Inn Above Other Inns

We were delighted to receive this note this morning from our guest Dr. Bryska Benoit:

Dear owners!!!  I have already given Buckhorn Inn a great review on TripAdvisor!!  But, on a personal note, I just wanted you to know that 2 weeks before I visited your WONDERFUL inn, I also spent 3 days at Blackberry Farm with friends!!

Your service was just as exceptional, your accommodations even BETTER, and the food & value were beyond compare!!!  I would not hesitate to return to your inn & would recommend it to ANYONE!  I know thousands of people in our area and many of them vacation in the Smokies, winter and summer.  You will be my #1 place to stay!  Thank you again.

Thank you to our wonderful guests who recommend Buckhorn Inn to other travelers.

 

September 16, 2019

Downton Abbey Afternoon at Buckhorn Inn

We were proud to host a Downton Abbey event for 50 guests on September 15, 2019.  Our speaker, Dr. David Woodfine, has served as personal butler to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.  He also has been High Steward at an Oxford College and oversaw the wedding of Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber.  Guests received a copy of his memoir “When Angels Dare to Tread”.  Ticket sales benefitted reading/writing programs through the Hilliard Institute for Educational Wellness, a non-profit teaching and learning centre located in Spring Hill, TN and operating in Tennessee, North Carolina, Ireland, and England.http://www.hilliardinstitute.com

Insight into Lives of Downton Abbey Characters

Dr. Woodfine’s professional experiences shed light on the real lives of fictional characters, such as those on Downton Abbey.  His memoir shares his love of educating students.  The following story is an excerpt from “When Angels Dare to Tread”.

Dr. Woodfine shed light on the lives of characters in "Downton Abbey".

Dr. Woodfine’s new memoir is entitled “When Angels Dare to Tread”.

“One occasion I know that some of them [his students] will remember is the wedding of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Madeleine Gurdon in 1991.  A company that gave our young caterers and waiters experience of events invited us to take part in this one.  What excitement!  First, David Oswald and I attended all the planning meetings and were shown around the beautiful Lloyd Webber home, Sydmonton Court near Newbury, so that we could familiarize ourselves with the kitchen, cellar and layouts.  Then we put together two teams of students, about forty in all.

On the day of the wedding, the house was transformed as we were transported into a scene from “Phantom of the Opera”.  Chandeliers sparkled against black drapes and the hexagonal plates on the tables were glazed black.  Our students wore white gloves to that no finger marks would transfer to the crockery and I was pleased as I watched and directed them to serve Michael Caine, Jason Donovan, Elaine Paige and a host of others from the world of stage, film, and television.  I worked discreetly in the background, feeling very satisfied when my students exchanged little pleasantries with the likes of Esther Rantzen, David Frost, and Michael Ball and seemed to take it all in their stride.  Quietly, I congratulated each one on how splendidly he or she was coping with the big occasion.  They did well, and I felt that if they could just handle this situation with confidence and efficiency–and keep smiling–then a good career was waiting for them.”

September 9, 2019

You Will Want to Eat “Olive” this Bread!

Much like cilantro, the olive is a food that you either love or hate.  We happen to love the chewy, rich fruit of the olive tree and use them in many recipes.  This delicacy has a long history.  Research indicates that olives were first cultivated more than 7,000 years ago in the Mediterranean.  They were grown commercially in Crete as long ago as 3000 BC.  Spanish travelers brought olives to plant in Peru, Chile, and Argentina.  Spanish missionaries planted the tree in California, the start of a highly successful commercial crop.  

Black olive lends a rich flavor and texture to this bread.

Black olives are nutritious as well as delicious.

Oil from olives was once considered sacred, symbolizing wisdom, fertility, power, and purity.  The olive branch is still a symbol of peace.  The fruit is nutritious, too.  Olives, and their oil form an integral part of the Mediterranean diet which may help us live healthier lives. They are low in cholesterol, a good source of dietary fiber, and rich in iron and copper.  They are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acid and antioxidants.  Whether you eat them for health benefits or taste benefits, we are sure you will love this bread!

Olive Bread 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In an electric mixer, combine:

1          Cup     All-purpose flour

1          Tbl       Dry yeast

2          Tbl       Olive oil

1          Tbl       Salt

 

Add and mix until smooth:

1 ½      Cups    Warm water

 

Add (1 cup at a time) approximately 2 ½ cups flour or until a pliable dough is formed. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, loosely cover and let rise until double in size.

 

In a food processor, process until smooth and set

aside:

1          Cup     Black olives

2                      Cloves Garlic

1                      Shallot

1/4       Cup     Olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

When doubled in size, press down dough. Divide

into thirds. Form flat rectangle. Spread part of

olive mixture on each dough. Roll up jellyroll

fashion. Pinch seams. Put on a greased and corn-

mealed baking sheet. Let rise until almost doubled.

Cut 2 or 3 diagonal slashes in each loaf. Bake 20-

25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Yield: 3 loaves

September 3, 2019

Buckhorn Dinners Pair Well With Wines

You may have noticed that our online dinner menu now carries suggestions for wines that will pair especially well with the selections.  Guests routinely ask us for pairing recommendations, so our suggestions will help you take out some of the guesswork.  A member of our team is taking a certificate program at Napa Valley Wine Academy http://www.napavalleywineacademy.com so we all will benefit from what she learns.

The wines offered by the ?Buckhorn Inn are food-friendly.

The aromas of wine are even more diverse than the flavors.

A really good food and wine pairing creates a balance between the flavors of the dish and the characteristics of the wine.  Here are some basic rules of thumb:

  1.  The wine should have about the same  intensity or “weight” as the food.  A robust wine might overwhelm a light dish, while a delicate wine might be overwhelmed by a hearty dish.
  2.   Acidic wines work well with rich dishes.  For example, a zesty Sauvignon Blanc would complement the richness of macaroni in a creamy béchamel sauce.
  3.  Rather than simply matching a wine with the protein in the entrée, match it with the sauce.
  4. Off-dry wines, like a Riesling,  balance spice and are delicious with dishes featuring ginger, chutney, or barbecue sauce.
  5. Wines that may seem lean or tannic when sipped by themselves may taste very different when paired with boldly-flavored food.  Don’t be scared away!

Remember that taste is a subjective sense and what might be a “textbook perfect” pairing for one diner might not be perfect for another.  This subjective nature makes it possible to drink any kind of wine with any kind of food and have an enjoyable experience.  So feel free to experiment!

Taste Profiles for Wines Featured at Buckhorn Inn

In general, if you are looking for a pairing for a light seafood dish, try a light-bodied wine with a higher acidity, like Pinot Grigio.  Chardonnays have more body and are not as acidic and go well with fatty fish or a rich sauce..  Pinot Noir doesn’t have a lot of tannin and is a light-bodied red.  Pair it with dishes featuring mushrooms or truffles.  If you are looking for full-body and high tannin, look for Cabernet Sauvignons.  Cabs go well with steaks and chops as the tannins refresh the palate.  Try a Malbec with sweet, spicy sauces as it is bold enough to hold its own.

Sparkling wines like Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava have a faint touch of sweetness, even when they are dry.  This makes them especially good with salty foods.  

Please let us know some of your favorite food and wine pairings.  Happy sipping!

 

August 26, 2019

Buckhorn Inn featured in Paula Deen’s Magazine

Be sure to look for the October 2019 issue of Paula Deen’s magazine Cooking with Paula.  http://www.pauladeenmagazine.com  The issue’s travel section features an article “Smoky Mountain Retreat:  Good Eats and Great Views Await in Gatlinburg”.  Author Whitney Durrwachter wrote:

Paula Deen's magazine recommends the fine dining at Buckhorn Inn.

We were thrilled to be included in the magazine article.

“For a refined, fine-dining experience, visit the Buckhorn Inn bed-and-breakfast (www.buckhorninn.com).  Visitors can make reservations for the delicious four-course dinner, served daily at 7 p.m. in the inn’s dining room that features a cozy fire and views of the Smokies.  If you’re a guest, you can also enjoy the delectable breakfast and the respite of the tucked-away cottages and lovely rooms for a relaxing mountain escape.”

Paula Deen’s Feature Includes Neighbors

For “sights and bites”, the article features Anakeesta and its Cliff Top Grill & Bar.    The  outdoor family park features sweeping panoramas and a myriad of ways to enjoy them.  Once you take the enclosed gondola or open chairlift ride to the top, you can go ziplining,.  Or if you prefer, you can enjoy the view from a walk through the tree canopy or a rocking chair by the fire.  The Gatlinburg Sky Park with its 680-foot long suspension bridge is included.  In addition to Buckhorn Inn, Pancake Pantry, The Park Grill and Split Rail Eats are recommended for dining.

Of course the shopping recommendations include the Paula Deen Store!  But Savannah Bee Company, and  Ole Smokey Moonshine Distillery are recommended stops also.  You know that we love the many artists and artisans whose shops are located near us.  The article touts the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community and give a special shout-out to Alewine Pottery.

We were delighted to see Gatlinburg promoted as a beloved vacation spot filled with attractions for all ages.  As the article says, “from the excitement of exploring downtown to the relaxation of winding through the surrounding mountains, there is something for everyone in this Appalachian destination”.  

 

August 20, 2019

TripAdvisor Has Changed Travel

Every month, 456 million people visit TripAdvisor to plan or review a trip.  That works out to about 1 in every 16 people on earth!  For almost every place there is a review, even fictional ones.  In fact the fictional Grant Budapest Hotel (from the movie) has more than 350 reviews and a 4.5 star rating.

The volume of consumer-sourced reviews has led to what some travel experts refer to as “reputation economy”.  While positive reviews can boost a business, bad reviews can be devastating.  Even before the days of print travel guides, people wanted to know everything about their destination before they got there.  Those who post on TripAdvisor are doing their best to help their fellow travelers.

TripAdvisor Comments

At Buckhorn Inn we are fortunate that 865 reviews from our guests have given us and overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars and made us the #1 B&B/Inn in Gatlinburg!   http://www.tripadvisor.comHere are some of our recent comments: 

We have received many positive guest reviews on TripAdvisor.

The view from Bebb House is spectacular.

Judy B said.  Chef Allen was incredible with his selections for dinner. I must admit there was so much food I couldn’t eat it all. Well, I had to leave room for the dessert didn’t I?

According to Relax164989.  Just a beautiful, happy place to unwind…with beautiful views…wonderful food and a very helpful and absolutely lovely staff.It’s in a great location right in the 8 mile loop of all the galleries, potters and cute restaurants and bistros.Will definitely return and experience a different season.

marcus1248 wrote. This was a most unforgettable experience. The drive down the entrance with the lush forest trees on each side of the road, the greeting by the owner Lee, as if we were long loss family, and sitting on the screened in porch of our cottage with a breath taking view of the Smokies, all created memories that will last forever. The entire staff was friendly and very accommodating. The breakfast and dinner meals were absolutely divine. This was our first trip, but definitely not our last.


August 16, 2019

Roasted Tomato-Crab Bisque with Cheddar Toasts

Organic ripe tomato cluster in a greenhouse

What says Buckhorn Inn dinner more than a flavorful bowl of soup?  And what says summer more than fresh ripe tomatoes from the garden?  With end-of-summer tomatoes so plentiful, now is the time to make this soup and transport yourself back to Buckhorn Inn—if only for dinnertime.

Heat oven to 400 F.

4                      Tomatoes, cut in half

1          Cup     Celery, diced small

1          Cup     Onion, diced small

1          Tbl       Garlic, minced

2          Qts      Clam or chicken broth

8          Oz       Lump crabmeat

1                      Bay leaf

1          Tsp      Thyme

1          Tsp      Fennel seeds

1          Cup     Heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Roast tomatoes drizzled with olive oil in 400 F. oven until starting to blacken, about 30-40 minutes.  Let cool and remove skins.  Puree in food processor.  Sauté celery, onion and garlic in butter until tender.  Add clam or chicken broth, crabmeat, bay leaf, roasted tomato puree, thyme, fennel seeds.  Bring to boil and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Thicken slightly with flour and butter roux.  Add 1 cup whipping cream.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Cheddar Toasts:  Slice French bread into ½ inch thick slices.  Top with sharp cheddar cheese slices and chopped parsley.  Toast until cheese melts.  Serve bisque topped with Cheddar Toasts.

 

Yield:  10-12 servings