stay·ca·tion | stāˈkāSHn
This weekend, I took a much needed break from work to shut off my phone and create a staycation for myself in my hometown. Increasing in popularity for workaholics like me who have a hard time disengaging, staycations offer a short getaway that doesn’t require long travel or copious amounts of money to seek relaxation. Sometimes, vacation seekers stay at their own home during their staycation to save funds. I think it is essential to stay outside of your house to get the true sense of a short vacation; a bed and breakfast is the perfect short escape. I was fortunate enough to stay at Château Annette this weekend – a bed and breakfast in the heart of horse country and just 10 minutes from my childhood home.
When we arrived at Chateau Annette, I immediately knew all of the spectacular reviews online were true. The 13-acre property was flawlessly designed to instantly feel homey and welcoming while simultaneously giving the feel of a luxury getaway nestled on the outskirts of Lexington. We were immediately received by Ben and his wife Annette, the bed and breakfast’s namesake, and welcomed to our room in the Creekside Latitude King Suite. The couple was extremely hospitable and it was so fun getting to know them and their story throughout our stay. Ben is an engineer by trade with an entrepreneurial spirit and passions for business, cooking, and hunting.
My favorite part of the property was undoubtedly the outdoor deck and cabana. Just off the patio area of our suite, we walked up a brick path to a re-purposed pool cabana with lush flowers and comfortable seating. Decorated with sheer curtains and string lighting, this little hideaway was shaded and relaxing in the heat of the afternoon or in the middle of the night. The property’s tucked away location made for the most tranquil setting. I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in this space and getting to know the owners’ parrot. Ben and Annette also have a gorgeous dog that immediately greeted us upon arrival. I love that the owners live on property themselves and share their lives, pets, and space with guests.
As I mentioned, the decor in the bed and breakfast was warm and cozy. I felt instantly welcome to sit on the leather couches and kick my shoes off like it was my own home. Just off the common area is a large deck that guests can enjoy at their leisure. Each room and suite in the home has its own personality and theme. My favorite room, shown above, was one of the common areas with couches and deer head. I’ve never been interested in game or hunting myself, but there was something so personal about the room because Ben and Annette had hunted each animal on display.
After getting settled in, we headed to the Crave Lexington Food + Music Festival hosted by Smiley Pete Publishing. The festival is an annual event near and dear to my heart because proceeds benefit GreenHouse 17, a local nonprofit advocacy agency committed to ending intimate partner abuse in families and the community. The event features 50+ food vendors and musical performances spread over two days on the Bluegrass Fairgrounds. Our bed and breakfast was about 10 minutes from the festival making it a quick Uber ride over. Below is a photo of my favorite food festival item – Mexican Street Corn – from a local Italian restaurant, Bella Note. The middle dish was Shrimp and Grits from Palmer’s Fresh Grill – my boyfriend loves it, but the texture just isn’t my thing. I also had a delicious burger from the Village Idiot after it was too dark to photograph. It featured a pretzel bun, local beef, beer cheese, and caramelized onions. The Crave Food Festival also introduced me to one of my favorite new bourbons – Larceny. If anyone important is reading this, make sure you have ginger ale (ahem, Ale-8-One) next year!
On Sunday morning, we got up early to join Ben in the kitchen as he prepared breakfast for us. Ben is full of exciting ideas and a spirit of adventure in his cooking. He made the below dish for us, an original recipe, featuring potatoes, braised pork, farm fresh eggs, and his own barbecue sauce. Ben shared that he shops locally as often as possible and is a proud patron of Kentucky Proud products. I love his interest and desire to use local foods in his cooking and to share them with guests unfamiliar with Kentucky agriculture. For me, the central value of a staycation is not simply relaxation, but to reengage with your community and forge new relationships with the businesses that make the town unique. In both Chateau Annette and Crave, I found myself enthralled with the spirit of Kentucky food and hospitality and for those experiences I am forever grateful!