My husband and I were guests at the Fuquay Mineral Spring Inn and Garden during a three day conference. Innkeepers and Owners John (Currently the Mayor of Fuquay-Varina) and Patty Byrne (a retired high teacher) made us feel like old friends coming to visit. The home itself is a restored Colonial Revival landmark in Fuquay Springs National Register Historic District and across from a small park where business and residential sections meet. This is a very walkable location beyond the Inn’s gardens, which are a certified wildlife habitat. While I'm not knowledgeable about birds, Mayor Byrne is and named several as we watched them dart to the feeders and baths. He and Patty's love for teachable moments is displayed as each planted area is labeled botanical gardens style with both common and latin plant names. Prominent to the front entry is an old China Fir and we were fortunate to stay while the "cones" were in bud. Lush groupings of vibrant Canna Lilly framed the old stone perimeter. We actually didn't stay in the Inn's main house; we stayed in the adjacent Carriage House. Up a short flight of stairs, our two room suite included a full kitchen, dining and seating area and a whirlpool bath. The sunny sitting room overlooked the gardens and we were delighted to have so much room. While we loved our suite and the gardens, it's the breakfast that truly won us over. A morning paper and Mayor Byrne greeted us each morning in the sitting room where in addition to great conversation, he served as barista delivering each latte, espresso or just black specific to each guest's request. A beautifully laid table where each place setting held a starting course of scones, summer stollen and perfect fresh berries and melon. With perfect timing, Mayor Byrne and his wife Patty swapped our empty plates for hot breakfast of farm fresh soft-scrambled eggs, tomato and mushrooms, a slice of Brie, English muffin and my favorite - slices of crisp thick cut bacon with a hint of maple. On our last morning with more time to spare, this course was followed by blueberry pancakes dusted with confectioners sugar and cradling fresh blueberries and finished with a final plate of Patty's unique nod to Bananas Foster. It's a telltale sign of the influence of one of the signature events the Inn offers - chef led cooking classes. We would definitely love to combine a future stay with a class.
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