Let’s add “Travel and Food Blogger” to my new list of favorite things about this Professional Destination Wedding Photographer life.
I needed a beautiful space to host an out of town Bride to Be who was coming to me for some Bridal Portraits, and at a recent Wedding, where The Victoria House served as the Bride’s getting ready sight, as well as the Groom’s out of town family’s accomodations, I knew I’d found it.
Add in that one of the beautiful Farmhouse’s Hubby + Wifey Team’s Owners, Deborah, or “Debo” if you’re cool, is a PROFESSIONAL CHEF, annnnd you’ve got Bed & Breakfast MAGIC!
There’s a warmth that welcomes you as soon as you step through the bright, golden yellow, front door on the welcoming porch. You can rent the bedrooms individually, OR contact them to ask about renting ALL FOUR for a seriously fun and relaxing girlfriends or family getaway!
The large white Farmhouse Staircase beckons you upstairs to your room(s), and takes you back to a simpler time as you ascend each one.
I arrived early to setup. The whole four, uniquely decorated, bedroom rooms upstairs were MINE, all MINE to choose which two I and my Bride would be staying in, and shooting in!
I chose “The Lydia” as she was dressed in fine Victorian opulance and shades of pinks and purples with fun antiques of vintage purses, Velour High-Back Chairs, twin “Elvis” Dual Light Lamps (like my Grandmother’s old lamps their bases could be “night lights” too!), annnnd even an old pink corded telephone!
Rent her by the night here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/29187640?s=4
My client/Bride to Be would choose a similarly styled room, “The Leah”, filled with deeper shades of purples and vintage ivory wrought iron bed draped in an inviting tuffeted ivory duvet. Vintage wall art and furniture was well appointed for this old world charm bedroom that made me think a young teen girl in the late 1800’s would’ve loved to live there.
Book The Leah Room HERE: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/29177134?s=4
(It would turn out that we are both “old souls” so those two rooms spoke loudest to us over the more modern and vibrant pops that are the stunning “Rachel” and “Rebekah” rooms.
Which were the two other spectacularly decorated rooms that made you think you’d stepped into a modern twist on an Audrey Hepburn “Eclectic Mod Vintage” bedroom, or into a “Morrocan meets Vintage Art Gallery” bedroom.
Book the Rebekah HERE: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/30581293?s=4
You can rent the Rachel HERE: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/30580824?s=4
Before my Bride arrived I was alone my favorite, Brett Eldredge, sang Christmas Carols to me through iTunes, as I placed his song “Glow” on repeat and literally, (there was Instagram Story evidence…and mayyy still be some *coughhighlightedcough* floating somewhere on my Instagram 😉 ) danced around on the fresh Pine Floors in my sock feet photographing every room, the bathroom, and the main upstairs focal point…The Art Hallway, or “Farmhouse Meets Modern Vintage Art Gallery” as I affectionately dubbed it.
My Bride arrived, and with daylight savings time fighting against us to steal our daylight even faster we began shooting some of the most stunning images I may have ever captured.
Deborah, or Chef Debo, messaged halfway through to ask if we’d like to add Dinner to our stay, and with the dreary cold rain coming down outside what better option could there be than to have one of the area’s most talented Professional Chefs craft a meal just for us?
We talked amongst ourselves, and, as God always does in hand-picking the most perfect BraskaJenne Brides, it was discovered, among many other similarities ( ROLL TIDE!) we BOTH LOVE BREAKFAST!
So, while we knew Breakfast was included in each night’s lodging for the next morning (something no actual Air BNB I’ve ever stayed at has actually offered until THIS one), Breakfast for dinner was suddenly, rather quickly to our stomach’s gratefulness and surprise, before us.
As we eagerly inhaled the smells wafting upstairs as she was cooking away we weren’t fully expecting the sight that would soon match the spread before us on the Farmhouse Dinner Table down in the exclusive for guests Common or Gathering Room.
A warm and inviting space complete with a Piano for the musically inclined, lots of cozy seating for games or just talking and catching up; as well as a Tea and Coffee Self-Serve Station where fresh Creamer and Cold Water also wait in the Mini-Fridge at your pleasure, with a basket of wood beside the fireplace to throw another log on or two on as the evening lingers while you want to keep that ever charming fire warming your hands and your spirit.
With Dinner now ready our eyes couldn’t believe what they were beholding….She’d crafted a buffet of: Fresh from the Oven Biscuits with Pepper Gravy, Farm Fresh Golden Scrambled to perfection Eggs (legit…from THEIR FARM), Oven Roasted Bacon and Cheese Skillet Potatoes, a mouthwatering bowl of Fresh Fruit, and Debo’s incredible Blueberry Compote and APPLE CRANBERRY PRESERVES!
We ate by the roaring fire as we talked, mostly about how insane the food was, and I photographed the delectables…so potential guests would know THIS is an Air BNB like none other!
After dinner we promptly plopped our full bellies down on the overly inviting couch beside the fireplace to watch a Christmas Movie to further unwind from the long, busy day.
My Bride, Courtney, retired to her bedroom, but I still had editing to do even while I was *trying* to unplug for at least an evening so a few hours flew by until…
The fire started to die down. Crackles and pop as the embers were cooling, finally, from hours of cozy, warm, beautiful flames of blue and orange dancing in the fireplace.
Christmas movies were still going on the Televison, and across the room I finally notice a silver tree glowing brightly. It was wrapped in those mesmerizing original yellow gold “clear” Christmas lights…the ones no LED lights can even come close to.
It was the first time this season I’d felt even remotely Christmas-Spirit filled.
Snuggled under a blanket, sipping my drink, I paused from the day of shooting and editing to just get lost in the glow.
I thought I was coming here to work, but God met me here.
It started earlier in the day when I was dancing around in sock feet as I mentioned. I was sliding along those gorgeous pine floors feeling more free, and more B, than I had in I couldn’t remember when.
I stayed off the internet as there’s no WiFi, only Dish for TV or Movies, (and that’s such a NEEDED thing to be without here!!!) and avoided checking my phone, social media accounts, and e-mails like “Regular Job” folks get to enjoy on the weekends even though the Cell Signal was pretty great for a place so beautifully remote among hills and valley.
So much to do, so much to prepare for before surgery again in 10 days would me out for longer than I could afford, so I worked the shoots, worked on editing and re-doing editing, but also RESTED from the internet which I think I discovered then is one of the largest depressors that’s been stealing my joy.
There was no snow on the ground. No handsome, strapping, Christian man to snuggle by the fire with, but I still felt like I’d stepped into a Hallmark Movie.
She calls it an “Air BNB”, you can certainly book it through there, though, again, I’ve not seen many Air BNB’s that ACTUALLY provide legit Breakfast (AND use FARM RAISED ingredients like those beautiful eggs below!!!), but it’s SO much more.
I found out then that it’s a actually a sanctuary for rest set smack in farm country of the tiny, more cows than people, town of Riceville, TN. A mere 5 minutes from my own house I grew up in, and I never dreamed I’d find such a place THERE.
Half-way between Chattanooga and Knoxville, literally 5 minutes, if that, from I-75; where there’s much adventure to be had. Especially if you want to make a Girl’s Weekend Getaway, or perhaps a Bridesmaid’s or Family stay for being close to one of our gorgeous local Wedding Venues.
However that day I decided I’d rather come back here with my possee to just cozy up on the couch downstairs by the roaring fire with a book, or pull out some of their old-school board and card games to just “do nothing” but actually interact with friends.
As I closed my computer and headed up to bed I could imagine the family that grew up here as little girls running up and down them to go play outside or take care of the farm animals all punctuated with that signature Farmhouse screen door slam.
I nestled into the snuggly soft sheets, and was sound asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. I didn’t move from that position, which is extremely rare, all night. Ahhhh sweet, true, peaceful rest.
I awoke to the unmistakeable smell of Wright’s Bacon cooking below (yes, I know the smells of differing bacons ;-p ) in the Chef’s Kitchen, and just lazied myself under the covers until the text came through that “Breakfast is ready!”
My feet could not get downstairs fast enough at that point, as I was insanely excited to see what my favorite meal would consist of that morning if breakfast the night before was as amazing as it was.
Low and behold The Great One had outdone herself once again.
That Farmhouse Table was laid out this time with the most amazing Sausage Quiche, an insane Vegetable Fritatta (annnd in all honestly I’m usually NOT an all veggie anything fan), perfectly crispy yet chewy BACON, more amazzzzzing biscuits and gravy, with more incredible fruit and preserves and jam!!!
My client, now turned dear friend, and I could.NOT.stop talking about how delicious everything was, nor making insanely funny faces and sounds with each new, and STILL MAKING MY MOUTH WATER, mind blowing bite. Not.even.kidding.
We were even treated to a Skillet Baked Apple Cranberry Cheddar Pie that was to.die.for!
Courtney sipped her coffee by the fire before we had to pack up and say good-bye, but not before making our declarations that even if just for the food alone we’d be back…and we’d be bringing even more friends who NEED to come renew, refresh, and RE-DISCOVER themselves here at this Farmhouse in the Country of a small-town called Riceville, Tennessee.
Do yourself a favor…book a couple’s trip soon, or gather the girls for a weekend away. Mayyybe also be sure to bring your “Turkey Pants”…because the food truly is worth trying everything…and then going back for seconds 😉
I mean, if your mouth doesn’t water just looking at these delectibles then there’s something not quite right about you! So, “Bless your heart! Im’ma pray for you!” 😉
Be sure to Follow them on Facebook too: https://www.facebook.com/deboskitchen/