Thursday, February 27, 2014

Quilting in Lancaster, PA


As beautiful and as fun as winter can be, being warm and cozy while watching the snow coming down outside is often something we fantasize about. When the weather is as cold as it has been lately here in Lancaster County, and when the snow keeps coming down, the thought of wrapping up in a thick quilt and sitting by a fire with a cup of something hot creeps into many people’s minds.
           In Lancaster County, no winter hibernation is complete without a warm quilt. There are many places in the area that sell handmade quilts in colorful modern patterns and more traditional, muted designs.
           The Innkeepers who are members of the Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association are familiar with many of the quilt shops in Lancaster County, and often have suggestions for guests who are interested in shopping for a quilt that will keep them warm now and last for many years to become an heirloom passed down for several generations. Many visitor’s guides and websites, including padutchcountry.com, also have suggestions from all over the county.
            Country Lane Quilts, a small quilt shop, has many colorful patterns to choose from. It is located in Leola at 221 South Groffdale Road. The shop can be contacted at (717) 656-8476 for hours.
           Village Quilts, located next to Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, sits at the crossroads of Routes 772 and 340. They are known for celebrating the art of quilting by producing heirloom quality work. They display dozens of full-size quilts and other quilted products like throw pillows and table runners. Contemporary and traditional, Village Quilts has it all.
           Fisher’s Handmade Quilts is located near the Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market on Old Philadelphia Pike (Route 340). They offer a quality selection of wall-hangings, quilts and other crafts made by local Amish and Mennonite craftsmen. They are open daily 9:00-5:00, closed Sundays.
           These and many other shops can often be found simply by driving through the countryside of Lancaster County. Many little roadsides stands that do not advertise can also be found this way. If you are in the mood for an adventure, a short drive to visit some of these local crafter's is always worth it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mud Sales in Lancaster County

Spring Mud Sales
So, what is a mud sale? They are talked about and recommended by those who have been to one, but many people don’t even know what a mud sale is.
Most towns and villages in Lancaster County, like much of Pennsylvania, are protected by volunteer fire companies who are often in need of funds. These country auctions and consignment sales are one way that the fire companies raise the funds to keep operating. Many mud sales take place in the spring during the season when the snow is melting and the ground is muddy, thus the nickname ‘mud sales.’
Mud sales are famous for selling quality goods and quality food. These mud sales are great places to find local crafts and antiques, but many people visit the mud sales just for the good food and a chance to get out in the early spring sunshine. The innkeepers with the Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association are always happy to provide directions and information about local mud sales and other events.  

A relatively complete and current list of mud sales can be found at http://lancasterpa.com/mud-sales/, and a few of the early mud sales of the spring are listed here.
Benefiting the Strasburg Fire Company, the items to be sold include furniture, quilts, crafts and much more. The sale starts at 8:30 in the morning and will include lots of good food and hot drinks.
To benefit the Bart Township and Quarryville area firefighters, the sale will feature food items like hamburgers, hot chicken corn soup, fresh pie and much more in addition to the auction items ranging from quilts, crafts and small goods all the way up to farm equipment.
To benefit the Gordonville Volunteer Fire Company. The mud sale will take place just off of Route 30 between Paradise and Intercourse along Leacock Road. The items to be sold include antiques, furniture, livestock, quilts and many more items.
Located in Manheim, the mud sale benefits the Penryn Fire Company. Items include produce and crafts, as well as farm equipment and other farm-related items. The food here is also exceptional and completely homemade. The food will be served all day after the sale starts at 8:00.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

“Review: Lily’s on Main” in Ephrata, PA


            In Northern Lancaster County, when you think about an upscale evening out Lily’s on Main is one of the first places to come to mind. The restaurant is located within a short drive of many bed and breakfasts with the Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association: The Alden House, the Kimmel House, Hurst House, Adamstown Inn and Cottages, and Swiss Woods. Located on Main Street in Ephrata, Lily’s is a modern, urban-style restaurant where the ambiance and cuisine combine to create an atmosphere where elegance meets comfort.
            Specializing in American fare with its own unique twist, Lily’s brings high-quality food to downtown Ephrata at reasonable prices. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch, the chefs at Lily’s strive to provide the atypical and the unusual within their American style. The dinner menu includes the typical items like Lily’s special salad and gourmet cheeseburgers, but is also expanded to include many unusual dishes like Raspberry Chicken and Pork and Scallops.
            Lily’s on Main sources many of their ingredients from local farmers and organic distributors, supporting the local economy. An example of the food that they procure this way is the cheese for the Local Organic Cheese Platter, which is served off of the appetizer menu. Lily’s Steak and Fries dish is also made with Lancaster County beef procured from local farmers and merchants.
            In addition to the creative and tasteful cuisine, Lily’s on Main is known for the atmosphere. Decorated in the style of the 1930s and ‘40s, the restaurant is comfortable yet sophisticated in its style, with a selective wine list and prompt, friendly service. Modern and urban yet warm and welcoming, Lily’s achieves a balance that makes diners feel at home.
            Lily’s on Main also offers a unique opportunity for a complete evening out. The restaurant is upstairs from Ephrata Main Theatre, which offers $8.00 movies for all ages as well as selected live shows and concerts. The theater is unique for the area in that it serves cocktails and other drinks for customers with valid identification. Most shows start at convenient times for moviegoers to catch a matinee and then proceed upstairs to an elegant dinner or enjoy a leisurely dinner before an evening showing of a movie. Recent movies that have been showing at Ephrata Main include Frozen, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Nut Job.

            Recommended by many residents of Lancaster County, innkeepers, and returning visitors alike, Lily’s on Main keeps customers coming back with the quality food, friendly service and comfortable atmosphere.    

New Years Quirks in Lancaster County


Across the country, people do wild and fun things to ring in the New Year. Here in Lancaster County, we do things a little bit differently. We don’t drop shiny silver balls, but we drop things that are characteristic of the small towns and the celebrations. From a giant shoe to a giant Mars Dove Promise Chocolate, Lancaster residents and visitors alike turn out at midnight on New Year’s Eve to watch the drop.
At midnight on December 31, 2013, many towns across the county dropped their own objects as we welcome a new year and new opportunities. Akron, home of the Kimmel House Bed and Breakfast and the Hurst House Bed and Breakfast, drops a shoe, indicative of their annual shoe-in, a celebration of street hockey and donating shoes to people in need.
Lancaster City, in the grand tradition of the War of the Roses, drops a red rose—in contrast to York City’s white rose—to come to the ground at exactly the stroke of midnight. The dropping of this symbol of the city draws crowds from all over the county to Binn’s Park. The Red Rose City is home to E.J. Bowman House and Pheasant Run Farm Bed and Breakfasts.
Columbia, on the very edge of the county, is home to the Turkey Hill Experience, a museum about the regional dairy that began in Lancaster County. Considering this distinction, the city drops a large Turkey Hill Ice Cream cone.
A few more interesting items dropped in Lancaster County include a jug in East Petersburg, not far from Manheim and Lititz, and a chocolate bar in Elizabethtown.

Even after New Year’s Eve, there is still much that is quirky and wonderful about Lancaster County. The Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Association is proud to offer accommodations as you come and explore what makes Lancaster County a fun—and sometimes weird and wacky—place to visit.