For my girlfriend's birthday, we attended an Aikido workshop in Madison, WI and topped it off with a stay at the Token Creek B&B. Jean and Jason have a beautiful property about 20 minutes North of Madison. They hold workshops on sustainability and permaculture, harvest their eggs from their own chickens and prepare meals with ingredients that are either grown on their property or bought from the local Farmer's Market.
I wanted to give my girlfriend this experience and know that my girlfriend is interested in sustainability and permaculture, but I honestly thought that there would be a little left wanting. You couldn't possibly have the pinnacle of convenience and comfort mixed in with an eco conscious environment, right? I am so happy to say that I was dead wrong.
First, the house is beautiful inside and out. The house is a barn style house that was built in 1980. It is tastefully decorated with pictures from a local photographer, decorative accessories are tastefully placed around the nooks and crannies of the house so that everywhere you look, your eyes catch something interesting. There is just enough "stuff". Not too much to be cluttered, not to little to be sparse. Jean and Jason have a nice collection of books around the house and in the rooms on subjects such as birds, local wildflowers and trees, as well as many books on sustainability, permaculture and eco consciousness.
The room we reserved was the "States Room". This room was a nice and cozy room with a king bed, private bath and a couch for reading or watching TV. However, when we got there, Jean told showed us the Capital Room, an even bigger room with a spacious bathroom featuring a whirlpool tub. She let us know that there were no other guests for the weekend and offered to upgrade us for free. Needless to say we took her up on it!
When we arrived, Jean took us on a short tour to show us their chickens, vegetable and herb gardens, pointed out where the Italian honey bees were kept, showed us their new chicks, and talked to us about the workshops she organizes and conducts for the local permaculture community. We got back into the house and she showed us where her assortment of teas were and told us to help ourselves to beer or wine in the fridge. Her husband Jason makes his own wine.
We then asked for a recommendation for dinner and she directed us to several places: Tex Tubbs Taco Palace and the Blue Plate Diner, both in Madison, and a more local place called Buck and Honey's about 5 minutes away. After a long day, we decided to stay local and go to Buck and Honey's and we were glad that we did, as we enjoyed a great meal! (this review is about the Token Creek Inn so I'm not going to go into details about dinner, though. :))
The room was beautiful. Elegant, tasteful and with wonderful attention to detail. They even had a bottle of water and glasses waiting for us in the room. The bathroom is painted in a rich brown and she uses organic towels wherever possible. Placed in the tv stand were more books on organic living.
In the morning, we enjoyed fresh blueberry muffins, banana and anjou pears sliced and mixed with kefir, hot coffee, and a frittata. She made the frittatas individually, mushroom and leak for me, and zucchini, leek and red onion for her, served with a small green salad and toast. Breakfast was wonderful as everything else was on our overnight stay.
All of the amenities and comforts were amazingly good but what I think we both enjoyed most was the graciousness of Jean and Jason. They are both obviously very proud of what they've created, but their pride and enthusiasm is very understated. Jean's enthusiasm brims when she talks about her workshops and the things that they've done to share with their guests. They are a couple that clearly live their values. Although there are numerous books on organic living and eco culture we never felt like we were being preached at. Instead, they show their values in the amazing attention to every detail of our experience with them.
The thing I love most about staying at a bed and breakfast is the intimacy, and the thing I hate about staying at a bed and breakfast is the intimacy. A good host will be gracious and accommodating without being overbearing. A rotten host will preach fire and brimstone at you and want to make you leave as soon as you can. (We've had that experience at our first B&B that we stayed at... ) Jean and Jason were by far head and shoulders above any host we've encountered. They were warm, friendly accommodating and interesting people. The next time we are in Madison, we will definitely stay at the Token Creek Eco Inn. We will look forward to seeing Jean and Jason again and look forward to seeing what new things they've done to their property.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.