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Favorite Spot for English Tea & Scones in Winston-Salem

UPDATE: The location has moved from Old Salem to the Henry Shaffner House.

A taste of Great Britain in Winston-Salem? Inspired by her time living in England, the owner opened up the quaint Flour Box Tea Room and Cafe in Old Salem. Stop by for an afternoon pick-me-up. Enjoy tea with a scone or order a soup and sandwich or salad off the lunch menu. It’s refreshing to have a little taste of England here in our Southern city. Since we have a British theme going with  The James Bond Cottage and The Wimbledon Cottage, this is just the kind of place I wanted to check-out. From steaming teapots to scrumptious scones, this is a fun experience and there’s a great patio to enjoy when the weather is warm. A savory scone with clotted cream? I can’t resist.

Live Music – Abby the Spoon Lady & Chris Rodrigues to Perform at Muddy Creek Music Hall

The viral video duo Abby the Spoon Lady and Chris Rodrigues will perform on Friday March 22nd at Muddy Creek Music Hall. It’s so exciting to have the pair in Winston-Salem. The street performers gained attention with the song “Angels in Heaven” reaching over 200 million views on Facebook and over 14 million views on YouTube. The two met back in 2013 while they were both street performing in Asheville, NC. Their unique sound is a mix of Americana, country blues, jug band and Appalachian folk music.

Abby is a modern day hobo, yes really. She taught herself how to play the spoons after another traveler showed her how to hold the spoons and run them down her fingers. Street performing and busking her way across the United States, Abby traveled around all 48 of the main states without a master plan. She’d just figure it as she went along. With her backpack in tow, she’d hop on freight trains and hitchhike her way around the country.  She has said that landing in Asheville was completely an accident. She had taken the wrong train.

She met Chris, a one-man band, street performing on the sidewalks in Asheville. The two eventually played a set together and that’s when the real magic happened. The two are fun to watch. Abby makes funny faces and dings on bells to “talk” to the crowd. Chris plays multiple instruments. It’s music that moves you and it’s so exciting they’re coming to Winston-Salem.

To learn more about Abby and Chris, check out this interesting article from The Washington Post,The Song of Abby the Spoon Lady: Pain perseverance and an unlikely journey to viral fame.”

Go On A Bird Walk Adventure in Winston-Salem

Have you ever wanted to go on a bird walk? This Saturday, March 16th, bright and early at 8 a.m. there’s a bird walk at Tanglewood Park outside of Winston-Salem’s city limits. Tanglewood is a beautiful county park with nature trails, horseback riding and mountain biking trails. From the James Bond Cottage, it’s about a 25 minute drive. I’m admittedly not a morning person, but I’m so tempted because this bird walk is looking for Great-horned and Barred Owls. There have been sightings at the park lately so the friendly folks at Wright’s Birding Center are leading their monthly bird walk at Tanglewood. The owners, Sarah and Nathan lead a free bird walk usually on the last Saturday of every month (except December). Many of the monthly bird walks are at Reynolda Gardens, just 5 minutes from the cottage.

So what do you bring on a bird walk?
Birding Book
Spotting Scope
Pen and Paper
Smart Phone/camera
Adventurous Spirit

I’m fascinated by owls and at the guest cottages, we have a pair of owls in residence. I think I’ve figured what tree they nest in. And at night and in the early morning, we’ve heard their beautiful sounds. The guest in the Wimbledon Cottage, sent me a text, saying she could see the owl in the large oak tree behind the cottage. I jumped at the chance to see the owl and peered out the kitchen window trying to get a glimpse but it was too dark. I’ve listened to the calls of both on YouTube and based on the sounds, they’re definitely Barred Owls with the Hoo-hoo-to-hoo-oohoo-hoo to wha-aa; it sounds a lot like “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?” You can listen as Cornell Lab’s Laura Erickson sets the scene for the Barred Owl calls. She says the sound is magical, and I have to totally agree.


Winston-Salem Makes Forbes List of Cities to Visit in 2019

Making a Forbes list is a big deal and Winston-Salem recently made the list: 14 Best Places To Travel In The US In 2019 

The Forbes travel team surveyed 14 top travel influencers and the city made the list for it’s Southern hospitality and walkability. They noted that we have seven craft breweries in a one mile radius and they loved the city’s 80 plus locally owned restaurants. Winston-Salem earned kudos for live music options, the art scene, and its rich history. They also liked that we have many nearby wineries to explore. To be mentioned along with well-known destinations such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Palm Springs, California is a sweet surprise.

downtown winston-salem

wake forest university

Favorite Photo Op in Winston-Salem – Spring Daffodils at Reynolda House

Winston-Salem Spring Daffodils

Spring has officially arrived when the daffodils pop up along on the grounds of Reynolda House. As you drive into the gated stone entrance, you’ll discover thousands of daffodils in the wooded grounds along the driveway. The cheerful yellow is a sweet reminder that warmer days are ahead and make the perfect photo op. Katharine Reynolds had these daffodils planted on the estate by Thomas Sears, a noted landscape architect and amateur photographer from Massachusetts. He started designing the grounds of the estate in 1915. The daffodils are pure magic and not to missed if you’re visiting Winston-Salem during the spring months. 

Rough Collie at Reynolda House

The driveway entrance leading to Reynolda House. You can see the signature green tile roof in the distance. Now, owned by Wake Forest University, the garden and grounds are free to the public. It reminds me of parks in Europe and Central Park, of course on a much smaller scale. With 1,003 acres to explore, it’s a favorite spot for locals to take strolls, picnic and sunbath in warmer months. Explore one of the trails that go though the forest and down to Lake Katharine. Or follow the paved footpath that connects to the University. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon in our city.

Reynolda House Entrance Gate

Spring Daffodils at Reynolda House Wisnton-Salem

Winston-Salem Spring Daffodils

So maybe Parker, the collie is not so impressed by the daffodils.

Reynolda House and Museum is just a 5 minute drive from the James Bond Cottage.

The Best Gelato Shop in Winston-Salem

best winston-salem gelato shop

Cafe Gelato is our city’s best spot for tasty handmade Italian gelato. Located in the funky West End shops, it’s just 1/2 mile from the James Bond Cottage. Take an afternoon walk and stop in for a delightful pick-me-up or take some back to the cottage for a tasty topper after dinner. The owner, Ciska, creates fabulous flavors and she greets you with a smile and is especially patient as you try to decide on a flavor. My tip…go with 2 scoops and go back often to try all the flavors. We’re so thankful to have a little European flavor so close to the cottage in our little Southern city.

During the spring/summer, they are open noon until 9 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Check their website for winter hours.
Address: 845 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104 Phone: 336.725.9110

Best Brunch Spots in Winston-Salem When Visiting Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem has some tasty brunch spots to explore whether you’re in town for Parents Weekend, a football game or many of the other events held at Wake Forest University throughout the year.

To make the cut, the focus was on local so you can get the real vibe of our city. All of these eateries are an easy 5 to 10 minute drive from the James Bond Hidden Cottage. Naturally, Southern inspired dishes take center stage on many of the menus. So grab a seat and enjoy a delicious meal at one of these popular eateries.

1. Mary’s Gourmet Diner – Cheeful and hip, this diner has great energy and Mary made her name in town specializing in breakfast with a big menu of American classics that shine a light on local ingredients.  Try Mary’s famous biscuits and gravy or one of her signature grits bowls. Pair it with one of the creative mimosa flavors like Apple Pie or Niki’s Pickles Red Eye.

2. Krankie’s – Located downtown in a former chicken processing warehouse. The setting is industrious and artsy. Famous for their homemade biscuits. The fried chicken biscuit was featured in Our State Magazine. This lively joint fills up for brunch. They roast their own coffee onsite. You can buy a bag to enjoy at home.

3. 1703 – An elegant spot for a classic Sunday brunch. When the weather is warm, there’s a lovely patio that invites you to enjoy a leisurely meal. Great service with a menu that changes weekly. Walk from the cottage to this neighborhood gem.

4. The Porch Cantina – Fun & funky, Tex-Mex inspired dishes and known for their hand-crafted margarita flights. Try the Porch Breakfast Bowl with homemade grits topped with Vantastic pimento cheese and poached eggs.

5. Mozelle’s –  Elevated Southern inspired dishes. When the weather is warm, settle down at one of the cute bistro tables lining the sidewalk. Try the Mozelle’s Benedict with candied bacon, spicy collards, sausage gravy, fried egg on a brioche bun. Named one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the South by Open Table.

6. 6th& Vine – Cool outdoor seating in an alleyway downtown. You’ll find a big menu of salads, omelets and different kinds of eggs Benedict. 209 West 6th Street. 336.725.5577

7. Sweet Potatoes –Chef Stephanie Tyson and Hostess Vivián Joiner have been cranking out tasty comfort food on Trade Street since 2003, a Winston-Salem favorite. It’s Southern soul food. Try the sweet potato biscuit topped with country ham, poached eggs, cheese sauce and bacon bits. 607 N. Trade Street. 336.727.4844

8. The Filling Station – Come here to snag a seat in the outdoor patio area under the trees for classic brunch fare.

9. River Birch – This place feels like a mountain lodge with the large stone fireplace. With towering ceilings of heart pine, it’s comfortable and casual and especially cozy during fall and winter. They also have a gluten-free menu.

10. Village Tavern In Reynolda Village – The original Village Tavern began here back in 1984. They’ve expanded to other locations, so while technically a chain, we’ve included it because this is the original location and it is a Winston-Salem staple. A cozy pub atmosphere inside and there’s patio seating as well.

Where to Eat – The Porch Kitchen & Cantina

Winston-Salem Tex-Mex Food

The Porch Kitchen & Cantina is tucked away in the Mill Works rehabbed building. Fun and funky, it’s the place to go for Tex-Mex in Winston-Salem. This popular spot is just 1/2 mile from the cottage. There’s covered outdoor seating when the weather is warm. Sample one of their creative margaritas with a flight, served in cute mason jars.

The restaurant was featured by the lovable Bob Garner on North Carolina Weekend on UNC-TV. Check out the episode here…