The Mast Farm Inn was recently the scene of our elopement. It couldn't have been more perfect.
TMFI has a package called The Leap of Faith, which includes 1 night’s lodging with breakfast, free upgrade to best room, cottage, or cabin of your choice available at check-in, one hour garden or parlor ceremony, bridal bouquet and boutonniere, officiant, 2 witnesses, four-course wedding dinner with wedding cake, Champagne, and the option for an additional night for only an extra $169, which we took! The whole pkg is only $889 which is all-inclusive of fees, taxes, gratuities, etc. (I've obviously cribbed all this from their website, where you find all other relevant details) and we ended up in the Loom House cabin, to my delight!
TMFI is very close to several cute towns, the biggest being Boone, NC (a college town; where Appalachian State University is located) yet it's out of the way of any bustle. There is a school nearby so JJC and I were surprised by how much traffic there can be during the week but once one gets settled in, it becomes less noticeable. The main farmhouse is surrounded by several of the smaller cabins, a pond, and a creek running alongside the property's border. There is a little path off the outdoor eating area of the main house leading to a gazebo and more (larger) cabins/cottages beyond that. Across the road is the garden, the horse, donkey, goat, chickens and turkey, along with a granary and its cottage. We were there just after a snow so I can only imagine what it will look like when the garden is in full swing.
And then there's Obi, the King of the Inn. He is a gray cat with an abundance of love to give out. He is insanely friendly. One might almost hazard that he is compulsively friendly. And he will try to get into your cabin and sleep in your bed with you so the management asks that you not indulge this even if you are cat-lovers (which we are).
The Loom House was a dream. Creaky and drafty, ridiculously picturesque, dotted with lots of modern amenities in a way that didn't at all detract from its 200+ year-old charm, we adored it. And the claw-foot whirlpool tub didn't hurt one bit. Jeez, I heart that tub.
Since we planned our wedding to happen on the way home from a visit to Michigan the night before we left on said trip, we were a little nervous that we wouldn't be able to make it happen at TMFI. I was so anxious that I probably appeared disinterested in the planning while JJC made all the initial calls and emails Honestly, after all the other possible sites we looked at, TMFI was the only one in which I was interested. TMFI's website had tons of info and I just really thought the way they presented themselves was exactly what we were looking for and didn't even think to hope for before we found them! And then the photos posted by other Tripadvisor users sold me completely.
Before we got a hold of Danielle, we spoke to one of the women manning the phones (not sure if this was Lorraine, who seems incredibly capable & unflappable, and ended up being one of our witnesses, or the sweetie-pie girl who served us breakfast our first morning, or someone we didn't meet during our stay) who was very nice and helpful, and then when we finally did get a hold of Danielle, who was great! All the details were pretty much taken care of in a day. She linked us up with the officiant, Rev. Dr. Gregory Possner (a completely sweet, gentle minister who is able to totally Jesus it up or take all reference to God out of your ceremony, as you wish), and the florist, Peggy, who did a beautiful job on the bouquet. She provided us with the cabin we were delighted to get (the one I secretly coveted). She got us our menu choices and had no problem with us springing for an extra course on the wedding dinner (details to follow). When we arrived, she was a great conversationalist, took fantastic photos of our ceremony, prepared our breakfasts both mornings and made an excellent restaurant recommendation for our second night. We had a great time with her!
Short and sweet, man. We arrived at TMFI, picked our spot to have the ceremony, got ready, the Rev. arrived, we got married, and went to dinner. Started at 2pm and waddled into The Loom House, tipsy and full, around 4:30pm. It was glorious! The weather couldn't have been more perfect--mid-seventies, sunny with a breeze. The setting was lush, green, and burbling, since the creek ran right behind us. The Rev. Dr.'s words were very touching and although I had thought we would add some of our own declarations to each other, the ceremony we chose ended up really kind of expressing everything we'd want (and then there was the whole time frame in which to pen vows surrounded by family in MI that just didn't end up allowing for it, so the fact that Gregory had such a nice array of options for ceremonies was fantastic). I managed not to sob with abandon throughout the whole thing--just a managed torrent of tears--while JJC had only one brush with possible tears that he averted just in the nick of time. After the big kiss, we were lead to the main house where a delicious meal was prepared for us.
One of the initial (and biggest) lures of The Mast Farm Inn for us was the restaurant, Simplicity. The menus, homegrown fruit & veg, homemade dairy & bacon, etc....pretty much like sparkles and Hello Kitty to a nine year-old girl. Our first experience of the food at TMFI was our wedding dinner directly after our ceremony. We were lead to the private room off one side of the kitchen overlooking the outdoor eating area and gazebo path. The big farm table was arrayed with Champagne, a beautiful little wedding cake for two, and candles. Our first course of sweet potato veloute and crab cake, topped with homemade creme fraiche, came out promptly. The veloute was heavenly and knowing that we had so many courses to go, I was sad to part with it, though I knew it was a necessity of the delicious task ahead. JJC adores crab cakes so he got mine, minus the two bites I had, and he devoured them eagerly. Next up, a beautiful salad with candied pancetta (? i think) and homemade cheese and pears. It might be the one on the restaurant's main menu with the sherry mustard vinaigrette but I'm not actually sure. We actually added an extra course to the dinner because we recently relocated to Tennessee from California where foie gras was banned. We missed it so and had to have some! The Foie Gras Torchon was the highlight of the meal for me. For the first time I ever I not only cleaned my plate but beat JJC. It was shaved foie gras, carmelized celery root, pistachios drizzled with a muscadine syrup. Granted, the shaved aspect of the foie gras means that you get less of it but the effect was divine. It really did just melt in the mouth. Oh, I loved it!!! Finally, our mains arrived and we were already so full. JJC had the duck and I the steak. These were both delicious but we were literally entering the food coma already so, while JJC was so enchanted by his duck that he managed to make decent work of it, we ended up enjoying the bulk of my steak for dinner that night in our cabin, as I just couldn't make much of a dent in it at all. Our meal concluded with some local moonshine. Apple pie and blueberry. Very potent stuff. The apple pie had the nicest flavor while the blueberry, with two blueberries which had soaked up a bunch of the alcohol, had the biggest punch (in the face).
The beautiful cake was not enjoyed until later that evening and it remained moist and decadent and delicious for quite a few days with no refrigeration. I think the last servings were eaten on Friday (wedding was on Tuesday).
The two breakfasts we had at Simplicity were divine, as well. My favorites were the open-faced vegetable strudel, the sausage patties, and the amazing oatmeal. I actually fancy myself an oatmeal connoisseur. If a place does something really special with oatmeal, that means they put a lot of effort into everything. It's rare that a restaurant with wonderful oatmeal doesn't have phenomenal food in general. This oatmeal is definitely among the best offerings I've ever had. Even JJC admitted that it was My-T decent, and that says a lot coming from him ("Wow, oatmeal. Can the bar get any lower on your expectations?" is usually the kind of response he has to my ordering it, especially when it's a place with an exciting menu). So, like WinnieP of Decatur, I am still savoring it (and the foie gras).
Never having had any kind of wedding fantasy myself, as soon as JJC and I got engaged and the fact that I would in face be getting married became clear, I imagined a sunny day, a setting not marred by the passage of time, and the two of us. The Mast Farm Inn made this into a reality, down to the letter. It was just perfect.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Mast Farm Inn is an award-winning historic country inn & restaurant in the Valle Crucis Historical District of North Carolina, which has been welcoming guests since the 1800s; A Historic Hotels of America hotel, a Select Registry Inn, and on The National Register of Historic Places. So Much More… The world renowned Mast Farm Inn of Valle Crucis is nothing short of a handcrafted masterpiece of North Carolina Folk Art ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mast Farm Hotel Valle Crucis