Breakfast with Jefferson

February 2014

Breakfast with Jefferson

A Lynchburg Bed & Breakfast Prepares a Breakfast Fit for a President

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Sweet Potato Pancakes (Courtesy of Carriage House)

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg Virginia, also known as “The Watts House,” will be participating in this year’s Jefferson’s Virginia Summer Festival, which will focus on events between Monticello and Poplar Forest (built 1806-1823), Thomas Jefferson’s summer retreat in the Lynchburg Area.  During this period guests of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will enjoy some of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite foods, which will be incorporated into our 4-course breakfast.  For example, he was very fond of sweet potatoes, watermelon, pistachios and tomatoes just to name a few.  He also enjoyed pancakes, spoon bread and bread puddings.  We have taken several of the foods that he enjoyed and incorporated them into menu items such as sweet potato pancakes or watermelon with a ginger lime sauce with salted pistachios. Tomatoes, of which Jefferson was an early champion, will be incorporated into several dishes.  Additionally, we have created other menu items such as a corn-bacon spoon bread and blueberry bread pudding.  Of course all of our recipes will be available for guests to take home and prepare for their friends and family.  Unfortunately Thomas Jefferson will not be at the table with you, but some of his favorite foods will be served and you can only imagine the conversations that would be taking place around the table.

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The Carriage House Inn

Another link between Poplar Forest and The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is they were both owned by the same family.  The Bed and Breakfast was built by Richard Thomas (R. T.) Watts and was completed in 1878.  Descendents of R.T. were the last private residents of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.  The Hutters sold the property to James O. Watts in 1946 who resided there until 1980 when it was sold to Dr. James A. Johnson of High Point, North Carolina who purchased it for preservation purposes and later sold it in 1984 to the nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest whose goal is to preserve and, where possible, restore all the aspects of the heart of Thomas Jefferson’s retreat.  Another similarity is the construction of the home.  The interior walls of each residence are several courses of brick with plaster applied to the brick.  While our walls are covered with plaster, several of the walls of Poplar Forest have been left uncovered so that you can see what’s behind the walls.  Looking at those walls you can see channels cut in the brick where subsequent owners may have run plumbing or electrical wires.  There are also several wooden pegs in the brick which were put there so the plasterers knew how far out to bring the final coat of plaster.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be useful to the town of Lynchburg. I consider it to be the most interesting spot in the state.”  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast invites you to step back in history and enjoy a stay at R.T.’s home and enjoy many of the same foods that Thomas Jefferson enjoyed and see why Lynchburg is the “most interesting spot in the state.”

Jefferson’s Virginia Summer Festival takes place from May 25 through July 4, 2015.  You can check their website to see what other events will be taking place during the summer.

NOTE:  Due to health department regulations we are only allowed to serve breakfast to registered guests.

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