On Jumpoff Joe Creek Road just north of Grants Pass in Southern Oregon sits an idyllic retreat that belongs on everyone’s B&B bucket list.
My husband and I just returned from our third stay there after visiting family in Bend and were again bowled over by this Whole Foods inn on a Trader Joe’s budget.
It had been five years since our last stay at Flery Manor, and our 70-something hosts John and Marla had not aged a day. Maybe there’s Botox in the water flowing through John’s hand-crafted creek that greets visitors in the front yard, providing the first hint of the magic beyond.
The house itself looks surprisingly plain from the front. You could plunk it down in any suburban neighborhood and it would blend right in. But don’t be fooled. The interior of this five bedroom home is as charmingly decorated and inviting as any B&B three times the price.
Think grandma’s house — if your grandma were Queen Elizabeth.
After greeting you at the door, the Most Gracious Marla (MGM) will welcome you inside and invite you to relax with a glass of port in the cozy parlor before escorting you to your room. Don’t pass up an offer of a house tour where you’ll see a most unusual wall hanging, MGM’s water color paintings, and examples of Master Craftsman John’s (MCJ) faux finish work (for which people have flown him down to their posh L.A. mansions).
The guest rooms themselves epitomize the bed and breakfast experience. All of the rooms have canopy beds and elegant antique furnishing. Attention is paid to the smallest detail — from rich chocolate truffles on the pillow to relaxing music wafting through wall speakers to the tail of the toilet tissue roll folded into a flower.
Should you want dinner in Grants Pass, MGM has a collection of menus for you to peruse in the parlor — while sipping port, of course. We dined at and highly recommend the lodgey Taprock Northwest Grill on a patio overlooking the Rogue River. Wherever you go, be sure to leave room for breakfast the next day.
I have stayed at maybe a dozen bed and breakfasts in my day, so I’m not really an expert. But none have even come close to the magnificence of Marla’s three-course gourmet extravaganzas, for which she has been featured in Chef magazine. This time around, we were treated to fresh local fruit in Grand Marnier cream; baked Lithuanian potato pancakes; and, for the main course, a crustless quiche accompanied by a bacon-wrapped apple-stuffed prune. John played waiter to Marla’s chef, re-filling my coffee cup so many times I could have conversed with a bee.
My husband Drew and I shared the dining table with two amiable and chatty California couples while savoring this delicious morning meal. Our first time at Flery Manor, we were the only ones staying at the inn and were invited to dine in our robes for a pampering breakfast experience that made us feel like royalty.
Before bidding adieu to our gracious hosts, we wandered through the enchanted backyard of this seven-acre park-like wonderland, the highlight of which is a pond containing two black swans from Australia, Romeo and Juliet. The property also contains a gazebo with grill and dining table for a DIY dinner, as well as a waterfall, stream, koi pond and mystery tree (you’ll have to go there yourself to learn the secret).
You can find more information about Flery Manor on the inn’s official website, along with some of MGM’s brilliant breakfast recipes, including Perfect Pear Blush in a Créme Brule Sauce, Egg on a Cloud with Hollandaise Sauce, and Champagne Poached Egg on Portobello with Smoked Salmon and Caviar. If you make a reservation, Marla will ask you if you have any dietary restrictions and will happily accommodate anyone from the gluten free to dairy averse.
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