In the first year of #indulgePEC, small knots (herds? bunches? flocks?) of bloggers were sent to different B&Bs throughout the county. This time around, the whole lot of us ruled the roost at Angeline's Bloomfield Inn.
This stately Victorian mansion was built by Angeline and Henry Hubbs in 1869, and went through several incarnations before Willi and Monika Fida took on the arduous task of restoring it to its former glory, in 1987. The resulting inn was a success, praised by visitors and locals alike for its family-oriented, welcoming appeal.
That homey feeling is still there, like an old friend waiting to give you a big hug when you cross the threshold. Exceptional service and hospitality run through the lifeblood of Alex Fida and his sister, Melanie, our gracious, attentive hosts. Having shouldered the management of Angeline's following the untimely death of their father in 2007, they have thrown themselves into creating a hip, youthful and inviting stay for their guests.
Add to that the vivacious culinary team of Chef Elliot Reynolds and sommelier Laura Borutski, who run The Hubb, the adjoining bistro that's perfect for morning coffee, late-night cocktails and nibbles in between.
Holly and I stayed in one of the 'economy' rooms at Angeline's, which are housed in the former Walter Motor Inn (subsequently the Coachouse Motel) and are exactly as the website describes: "compact, cozy and comfortable." Yes, there are luxurious rooms and suites up in the main house, but I was quite taken with this little nook at the 'motel'.
Renovations had just wrapped up the week before; we could still smell the fresh paint when we arrived. The décor was all about simplicity and light. One accent wall was done entirely in cedar planks, while another featured local art. The small rooms use every available inch in the most practical and economical fashion: a fold-down table attached to the wall; a sunken ledge to house a tiny coffee maker, cups, glassware and fixins; a line of hooks preempts the need for a closet.
The bathroom is a marvel for its size. It would be easy to become claustrophobic in there, but like the main sleeping area, space has been maximized through careful planning and strategic lighting. Dark grey slate on the floors are contrasted by white ceramic full-surround tiling. The shower is spacious and naturally lit by a postage-stamp-sized window. All the plumbing fixtures are high-efficiency and fully adjustable (us short people like that). The only drawback was the bathroom's squeaky sliding door that took a bit of finessing to shut without waking one's roommate.
Not that either of us could have been easily stirred. It would have taken a brass band to wake us from the depths of our slumber. Ample pillows and cloud-like bedding made for a deep, sumptuous nest for this weary soul. (And hey! No kids! I got to sleep in!)
Alex and Melanie have done an extraordinary job with Angeline's, creating a gorgeous retreat in the middle of the County. Willi would be very, very proud of them both.