Happy Birthday, Bill!

Very seldom in our life together have I ever attempted to surprise Bill, so I thought I’d try this week for his birthday. We had visited New Hope, Pennsylvania, over twenty years ago and we often talked about returning. I investigated the hotel where we had stayed previously but discovered that it had been renovated and turned into a venue for weddings and other special events and was not longer a hotel. I selected Pineapple Hill Bed and Breakfast and took advantage of a weekday special – Suite Dreams Romantic Getaway – which included a gift card toward dinner at one of two local restaurants.

IMG_0006Late Wednesday morning we headed north toward New Hope – I had forgotten just how beautiful Bucks county is! Since we were early for check-in we strolled through town – an artsy town filled with stores and restaurants, including the very popular Bucks County Playhouse, and surrounded by several wineries. We stopped for a light lunch at Havana and sat outside, taking in the tremendous sunshine and warmth. Following lunch we walked across the bridge to Lambertville, NJ, a similar town on the other side of the Delaware River.IMG_0003

After checking into Pineapple Hill, we relaxed, read about the locale and then readied ourselves for our 7p.m. dinner reservation. Pineapple Hill Bed and Breakfast is owned and operated by Scott Stern and Roy Scott, who have been the innkeepers for the past five years. The home itself was built in 1790 and then added to 4 times up through the 1830’s! Most of the flooring is original as are many of the door fixtures. We resided in the Goldfinch Room, one of nine total rooms and suites in the building. What character this home possesses! It is filled with antiques – furniture, glassware, artifacts and more! The front porch includes sitting areas and a huge fire pit, while the swimming pool is in the back yard, surrounded by a low stone wall which was originally the barn. The home is beautifully landscaped, only adding to the total charm of Pineapple Hill Bed and Breakfast!

Our dinner took place at a restaurant in town called Marsha Brown. Marsha is Louisiana born and bred and is actually a part owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  Her New Hope location is referred to as a Creole Kitchen and is located in a 125 year old stone church.  Entering on the ground floor where the bar and several high top tables and booths are located, we were guided upstairs to the original church sanctuary, which serves as the main dinning room. The stained glass windows are intact and the original pews are still being utilized. The choir loft provides yet another dining area above the sanctuary. Imagine our surprise when we reached our table that was decorated for the birthday boy! The maître d’ took a photo of us and then returned a tad later with the photo in a frame – how nice is that – and everyone knew it was Bill’s birthday! It was awesome!

Now, on to the meal! We shared a chopped salad which was different than any salad I had ever had – delish! For his entrée, Bill selected a special called a Manhattan steak and I opted for Eggplant Ophelia – named after Marsha’s mom and as our waiter, Jack, shared, “It will never be off the menu!” It was a casserole of sorts with eggplant, shrimp and crabmeat in a Creole butter sauce – unbelievably delicious!

Jack, our waiter who has worked at Marsha Brown for 14 years, treated us to Crème Brule – complete with a lit candle – and we enjoyed coffee and Bailey’s as well. What a wonderful taste experience all the way around!

IMG_0034Our visit culminated with breakfast the following morning at Pineapple Hill and what a breakfast it was! Bill was greeted by a boisterous “Happy Birthday” from the innkeeper, Scott, who is also the chef. We spoke with Scott throughout breakfast, learning more about the history of the building and the business. We were first served coffee along with warm oatmeal, including berries and served with warm milk. Scott described it as “a warm oatmeal cookie.” Following that treat, we were served a generous slice of Quiche Lorraine accompanied by roasted red potatoes. Certainly couldn’t have asked for anything better! Innkeeper Scott has an effervescent personality, obviously loving what he does! The connection between himself and his guests is his top priority and that is truly evident. We will absolutely return to Pineapple Hill Bed and Breakfast!

In an effort to make the most of our departure day, we had secured a tee time at Mercer Oaks East Golf Club, a very nice county-run links course. Not our best day out on the links but fun nonetheless! To really top off the birthday getaway, we detoured into Atlantic City on our way home and paid our annual visit to Tony’s Baltimore Grill for spaghetti and meatballs – truly a classic!

A wonderful birthday escape for a wonderful man! Happy Birthday, Bill!

Stay Calm and Travel On…

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