Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Gingerbread Mansion & Boeuf Bourguignon

It was more than just a gingerbread house - it was a Gingerbread MANSION. And it's in the little town that was featured in the Outbreak movie. Remember it? Dustin Hoffman. I started watching it today (Youtube!), and have my eyes peeled. 

The town of which I speak is Ferndale, California, which was recommended to me by friend Rosie. You simply cannot go wrong with a place that has been recommended by friend Rosie (the English always know a good thing when they see it). Ferndale is a town that looks as it probably did 150 years ago, and seems to be in a perpetual time warp. The homes and buildings are largely Victorian, with darling gingerbready decor on the outside as well as the in. I loved it.

But the best bit was the Mansion. As you drove up toward it, you instantly decided that this was going to be a great holiday. Once inside, you just do not wish to leave. 

We were greeted and welcomed with extreme kindness by a lovely lady from Russia, and were charmed.

        The Gingerbread Mansion Inn, Ferndale

"We will have afternoon tea in the lounge," she said in her soft accent as we came in. "And breakfast will be served tomorrow between 8 and 10." We were first shown to the Lilac Room, where we would be staying. The Lilac Room was splendid with beautiful wall paper, and en suite bathroom, and a claw foot tub sitting right there in the bedroom! I had never seen any kind of tub inside a bedroom, but it was intriguing. The bed was enormous and you practically had to have a ladder to get up into it (I made a quick mental note: you are several feet in the air - do not fall out of bed).

At the risk of once more talking too much about food, the afternoon tea consisted of:

  • strawberries
  • whipped cream
  • angel food cake (these three items together are smashing)
  • mango chutney with crackers
  • a creamy cheesy homemade spread with same crackers
  • chocolate tea cakes
  • a warm sausage grilled mini cake
  • hot tea!
I think there were other things but I could neither fit them onto my plate nor into my tummy. As it was, I was going to have to eat dinner by 6:30pm, and this could be considered almost gross.

Prior to dinner at the Victorian Inn, situated downtown (a block away from our gingerbread abode), I walked the town. It was replete with churches, of just about any type. Tall, stately, and strong, these edifices had been meticulously taken care of. There was evidence also of historical diversity, for there was found a Portuguese Hall, and not a block from that, a Danish Hall. I did not know what these halls were used for, but the buildings were also meticulously cared for and therefore important.

And if you can believe it, we actually found a restaurant that served Julia Child's delicious Boeuf Bourguignon. The Victoria Inn was the right place to eat, first because the food was fantastic, and then because it was itself a gorgeous place. Obviously Victorian. Scrupulously clean, and with friendly wait staff. Above is a photo of the terrific Boeuf.

It was a dish that Julia herself would have loved! We shared it. It would have been impossible to consume that entire meal all on one's own. Here at SconeTherapy we celebrate good taste, not gluttony.

We have now arrived in Oregon. And I have noticed that our hostess here in this small Oregon town owns the movie, Julie and Julia - about that very celebrated Lady of all good foods, Julia Child. The DVD is sitting there, just waiting for me to pop it in. This I shall do as soon as it is wisely possible, given everything we plan to do here. Oh - and I have to finish Outbreak first.. Although, a movie about lovely food sounds so much nicer than a movie about sickening viruses that spread through every feasible means from person to person, and even from monkeys to persons, and without a cure or a vaccine and everyone dies horrible deaths.

Right. I'll just skip to Julie and Julia. Much more appetizing, don't you think? Dustin can wait.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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