earlier this month i attended the open house festivities at the manor house at pleasant beach. this lovely english tudor home has been lovingly restored and is now available to once again host special celebrations. the manor house was gloriously decked out for the holidays - with trimmed christmas trees, holiday cookies and wine.
now bainbridge island's premier special events venue to celebrate and commemorate. I have so many fond memories of times spent in this gracious and elegant property and i'm so pleased that it now lives again, and will be looking forward to attending future functions at the manor house .
each year, one of my most cherished traditions is to make my own holiday evergreen wreath at bainbridge gardens .
reserve your slot by stopping in or calling them for a two hour time period. the one pictured above i made in less than one hour. after you have your appointment, forage your yard for greens. usually i can depend on a good wind storm or two before my date......then i just walk around the yard collecting evergreen boughs that have blown down for the basis of my holiday wreath.
when i'm at bainbridge gardens - i will usually purchase some other sorts of greens and holly sprigs to round out and complete my wreath. you will need to bring your own clippers and gloves.
select the size wreath ring for your creation - and after a quick refresher, i was putting together the
evergreen bundles that were to become my holiday wreath.
after completing my wreath - i stopped inside where they had all kinds of additional items you could purchase and add to your wreath - such as ribbons, berries, dried pods and floral items along with hot glue guns set up for use.
i choose a ribbon and had bainbridge gardens complete a nicely tied bow to display at home.
after i finished making my holiday wreath at bainbridge gardens - i picked up a few holiday gifts. the shop was filled with lots of holiday items for the home and the tree. ornaments, glassware, plates and linens for the table.
garden books, soaps and some wonderfully blended christmas potpourri. a favorite shop where i can spend hours.
during the holidays, the outdoor nursery is filled with holiday wreaths and outdoor ornaments to use in your yard. i stopped at the new rose cafe and ordered a hot spiced cider that took the chill away as i wandered through the garden and admired all the holiday magic.
around this time each year, i'am reminded of the year i spent in prague just before the christmas holidays. The holiday markets, the architecture, the romance of such an old historic city, watching the people prepare for the holiday was thrilling
i loved seeing these handmade marionettes with the garland and lights in the window
and the astronomical clock in the old town square which dates back to 1410 and the only one still in working order. at the hour, apostles or figures move around the exterior.
The markets were filled with fruits and vegetables, candies and cakes and the bustling people purchasing what they needed for their holiday meals. as we returned to the hotel the peaceful quiet that had come over the city, i thought this lovely holiday window said it all.
for me, the highlight of my time in prague was dining at la degustation boheme bourgeoise
It was gastronomy heaven!!! a seven course tasting menu, which you must allow a minimum of three hours to truly appreciate and enjoy the culinary art before you. the traditional bohemian tasting menu which changes daily and seasonally is based on historical Czech culinary art from the late 1800's. each of the seven courses is accompanied by a beautifully paired wine expertly chosen by the sommeliers.
make sure to go with someone you really enjoy spending time with, and one that enjoys good food as it is pricey at over 200 per person, but well worth every penny!
the first weekend in december, you can find me out starting my holiday shopping and traveling the backroads of bainbridge - visiting the farms and studios of artist and craftspeople that participate in christmas in the country. i start the day with a visit to sweetlife farm.
in the main house i admire the gingerbread house kits and a wonderful array of baked stollen, cookies and some ginger biscotti freshly baked by farm kitchen. outside in the gazebo - Lisa Salisbury of rosie creek pottery had her majolica pottery on display.
upstairs in the sweetlife studio - a large selection of soaps and natural skincare products, flavored vinegars, preserves and herbal salts.
hazel creek farm was my next stop
the fresh evergreen wreath greeted me at the entry to the barn.
stopped to meet and admire the wonderful work of gina cooper of cat nap inn primitives.
she also has an etsy shop where you can find her hand crafted creations.
and before departing hazel creek farm, i caught a glimpse of santa before proceeding onto the next stop.
a wonderful selection of sweets, savories and beautifully designed gift baskets from the lovely cindy of gracious gifts greeted me at my next stop at hajnalka's studio. artfully arranged and filled with unique gift items. i really enjoyed meeting her and admiring her beautifully arranged space.
before entering the studio i came across these concrete birdbaths by tim martz.
i thought my sister would appreciate one of the watercolor scenes by hajni joslyn. it was very hard to decide as they were all so lovely.
and my last stop for the day was at the yeomalt cabin for some more holiday shopping. a really fine day! This continues to be one of my favorite weekends on bainbridge island .... so many creative individuals and the generous support from the farms and venues that hosted this wonderful event.