For the long Columbus Day weekend my boyfriend and I decided to leave New York City and visit some family in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We decided to spoil ourselves this time by spending two nights at a nearby bed and breakfast in Delaware County, NY.
Becky’s Bed & Breakfast: (2406 State Highway 268, Hancock, NY 13783; www.beckysanderbandb.com; (607) 637-5499)
It has all the intimate charm of a country home. Mainly because, it is a charming country home. When you stay at Becky’s, you stay there. In her house. With her. We called her directly to book our stay a few weeks in advance. Since it was now her slow season, she offered us a terrific rate for the Honeymoon Suite for two nights.
We arrived the Saturday before Columbus Day, and after being first greeted in the driveway by her Sheltie, Milo, Becky herself greeted us at the door. She then led us to the Honeymoon Suite, which turned out to be the entire basement! We had to ourselves a living room with a flat-screen television and DVD player, a working fireplace, and huge sectional sofa. Candles sat on side tables and blankets lay draped over the sofa. We had a private entrance, an ensuite bathroom with a glass shower stall and some of the comfiest cotton towels I have ever come across. Our bedroom had a queen sized bed, and shared a wall with a second spare room with a twin bed, just in case we had brought along a third-wheeler.
After unpacking Becky invited us upstairs for some wine and cheese with the other guests. We marveled at every turn, as her beautiful home had lovely touches and great color schemes. Turns out, Becky has yet another hidden talent besides being a graceful hostess, having done the entire interior decorating herself. We joined Becky and the other couple in her gorgeous kitchen, which had wood cabinetry all along the walls and a breakfast nook set up by the window overlooking the country highway.
The Honeymoon Suite bedroom at Becky’s Bed & Breakfast:
We ate dinner that night at The Circle E Diner (369 East Front Street, Hancock, NY 13783; (607) 637-9905; cash only). By the outside, it looked like a run-down, below-average eatery, but decided to give it a try anyway. We ordered coffee and a special, the potato pancake with leeks, to start. My boyfriend ordered the burger medium rare and I chose a pasta special, tortellini pesto with roasted red peppers, artichokes, zucchini and chicken. The pancake came out, a huge cylinder, replete with sour cream and apple sauce. Brown and crispy on the outside and tender in the center, with no raw or undercooked components, it satisfied our savory tooth for something starchy and crunchy, while the leeks added a wonderful soft, almost-sweet dimension.
Our entrees impressed us just as much. The burger came out a perfect medium rare and my pasta had been cooked al dente. They serve huge portions, and I had to have some of my meal wrapped up to go. Once back at Becky’s I placed my leftovers in the fridge, to be consumed later. While she may not have set rates on her website, she does state that she has no problem with you putting things in – or, should you crave a midnight snack, taking things from – the refrigerator.
Before we left, Becky had offered to get a fire going in the fireplace for us. We thanked her and just asked for supplies to make one ourselves, which she said would be fine. We received from her matches, newspaper, a starter log and firewood. We then spent the evening unwinding, alternating between watching television and watching the crackling flames.
We had a real working fireplace! Such a treat for two city dwellers.
We took our time the next morning. Becky mentioned to us the day before that her morning meals are quite informal, warmly stating that “reservations are not needed”. We sat at the counter and helped ourselves to some delicious dark roast coffee and two generous slices of her homemade banana sour cream coffee cake. Sweet and moist, it went great with the strong brew. She then asked if we wanted eggs or French Toast, and we decided to try one of each. My sunny side up eggs came with chopped onions and green peppers, plus oat nut toast. The stuffed French toast, two thick slices of Italian bread stuck together with ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries and then griddled on both sides, left us, indeed, stuffed.
We then went for a walk outside to snap some pictures of the rolling countryside and changing leaves. We also walked by the adjacent pasture, where Becky keeps her horses. We then spent the day out with family and retired again early, eager to get back to our Honeymoon Suite and relax. We made a repeat offense of the previous evening’s activities, lighting up a fire and channel surfing. The next morning, we turned out to be the only two guests, and Becky surprised us with soufflé apple pancakes, made from apples she picked up two days before at the farmers’ market. A cross between a pie crust and a pancake, this crusty, buttery delicacy was the perfect combination of sweet and savory. It came along with a side of fresh, locally made sausage patties, and, since it was one round pancake made in a cast iron skillet, the two of us had to face the challenge of consuming the entire concoction – which, of course, we accomplished.
We had a perfect weekend away at Becky’s Bed & Breakfast, and had a chance to take in some of the beautiful fall foliage out in the country. As we left, we thanked Becky for her delicious food, her peaceful home, and her warm hospitality, assuring her that we have discovered a new haven from harried city life, and that we would be back to visit again around the same time next year.