Sometimes, we all need a fairytale weekend. While I wasn’t whisked away on a white horse, my husband did drive us across several state lines until we reached the rolling hills of Winston-Salem, NC. You know the weekend is going to be special when the gentleman opening your car door introduces himself as the butler. Larry was delightful, but I secretly thought I should call him Lawrence. Our home for the weekend was Graylyn www.grayly.com. The centerpiece of the 86-room boutique property is the manor house, a fine example of Norman Revival architecture, which is typically found in Northern France. This mini-castle filled with treasures from around the world is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our guest room, in the Gardener’s Cottage, was a spacious retreat with a raised bed, period pieces, and a huge bathroom. What I loved the most was walking the 55 acres of the estate early in the morning. I also felt like a queen during the complimentary breakfast where made to order eggs and omelets were served beside bacon, fruit, and pastries. Jim and I savored the leisurely meal which could be enjoyed at tables with other guests or on the private veranda.
Across the street from Graylyn is the impressive Reynolda House Museum of American Art www.reynoldahouse.org. Stroll through this restored 1917 mansion where the founder of R.J. Reynolds (the tobacco giant) lived. As you wind from room to room, pause to admire the art. Outside there is a garden and gift shop. This fall, the museum’s featured exhibition is “The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement 1887-1920.”
Experience living American history in the Old Salem Museums and Gardens www.oldsalem.org with original structures, gardens, tours, and shops. You can buy a Moravian cookie from the oldest continually operating bakery in America. Winkler Bakery still heats the oven with wood. Stroll the towns buildings and speak with the costumed interpreters about life some 200 years ago.
If you love wine, like I do, you’ll enjoy exploring the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail with 36 member vineyards. The Childress Vineyards has a delicious selection. Check their website for special events such as music and movies in the vineyards. For something totally different, take a trek with llamas at the Divine Llama Vineyards. Hike to a remote creek leading a friendly llama. You’ll see views of Pilot Mountain. Hikes must be scheduled in advance of visiting the vineyard.
Dining in Winston-Salem is a treat. And, there’s more than 100 restaurants from which to choose. The classic Moravian chicken pie made with white meat and a delectable crust reminds me of my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings. Try the dish at The Tavern in Old Salem. The family-run restaurant was built in 1816. If you are craving comfort food, make a reservation at Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro. I ordered the shrimp and grits dripping in cheese. My husband opted for the boneless fried chicken and was not disappointed. For a fun evening out and fabulous food, sign up for a cooking class with Chef Tim at Quanto Basta Italian Eatery, he appeared on “Chopped” back in 2012. Chef showed us how to make pasta from scratch. Leave room for dessert and stop by Black Mountain Chocolate in the downtown Arts District. You can even take a tour and see the entire process from bean to bar.
If you are looking for a magical weekend away, there’s plenty to enjoy in Winston-Salem. For more information go to www.visitwinstonsalem.com. Thanks to Visit Winston-Salem for hosting our trip.