A place to nurture romance and be absorbed in luxury

Riverbend Inn Bed and Breakfast, Chocorua, New Hampshire

Romantic country inns tucked away along long and windy roads have enticed impassioned lovers for centuries — promising warmth, luxury and tempting breakfasts to those that decide to partake — a setting where dreams can reveal your innermost desires, drifting minds to places that can only be imagined. Green velvet forests and a cool winding stream paints the landscape for the background of an inn that deserves be graced with the presence of lovers and families. Riverbend Bed and Breakfast in Chocorua, New Hampshire is such a place.

Riverbend Inn Bed and Breakfast fulfills a vision of a spacious and stunning country inn, complete with its remarkable history and the new conveniences desired by today’s families. Its unique décor intermingled with the flavor of Asian culture and the warmth of comfy inn presents a tone of freshness and familiarity at Riverbend. The lavish furnishings with soft, velvety drapes, ornate floral arrangements and corners with abundant bookcases welcome visitors with a sense of mystery and amazement; beckoning those that enter that they won’t be disappointed.

My husband and I had a chance to visit the Riverbend Bed and Breakfast as guests of Innkeepers Craig Cox and Jerry Weiss in November 2010. Craig and Jerry had relocated from Los Angeles, CA, to fulfill their dream of owning their own Inn and sharing their artistic flare with the public. Hence, the Riverbend Bed and Breakfast was born.

As we drove along the long and winding road from Rhode Island toward the Inn, the towering evergreens cast their shadows on the road acting as guardians of the forest and reminding us to respect their presence. We passed through charming little villages with shops and restaurants, tempting us to stop and take a peek at what they had to offer. Amidst the shops and winding roads of the town of Chocorua was a hidden driveway that led to our destination. Well away from the main road, presented before us was the picturesque Riverbend Inn, complimented by a barn and the soothing sounds of a river.

Mounds of newly-fallen snow lined the walkway to the Inn that had been lavishly decorated in style for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Innkeepers Craig Cox and Jerry Weiss warmly greeted us. We were given a quick tour of the Inn, as they knew that we wanted to get to our room as soon as possible after the long ride, which had been tiring, but pleasant. Our room, Room #5, was decorated with the well-known New England theme and a dose of European art spread throughout the room. Rich velvety sage drapes and furnishing adorned the room, complimented by a king bed and antiqued mirrored armoire.

Feeling the need for a quick nap before venturing out into the wilderness, I laid on the silky smooth coverings of the bed and happened to notice that the ceilings were painted in the same emerald color as the walls. Craig informed me that this was intentionally done in each room to make the visitors feel as though they were being whisked away in the richness of the room’s décor. There are 10 rooms in all, each painted with a different gemstone color and theme, keeping with the exquisite artistic flare of the Innkeepers and their valued treasures from trips around the world.

We eventually emerged from our room and ventured into the rest of the Inn, taking our time to ‘take in’ the details of the different pieces of artwork and grand décor of the Inn. The library was overflowing with books of old English novels, history of the state of New Hampshire and mountains of picturesque coffee table books of their trips. With just a few more steps, we entered into the sitting room, which had been generously decorated for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Over-stuffed chairs, silky smooth pillows, exquisite lamps and a shimmering fire warmed our thoughts as we felt our bodies snuggle themselves into the welcoming sofas.

There was an oversized window with a bench seat that overlooked the wilderness. I felt myself being beckoned to the window, relaxing in the wonderment of the impressive view of the forest. Snow laden trees draped their heavy branches over the ferns and weathered leaves of an autumn past. Books lined the walls with a scattering of paintings in-between. I could have sat their for an eternity but my husband reminded me that we still needed to view the dining area where we were going to be served a scrumptious breakfast the next day.

Stepping down into the dining area, the scent of fresh baked cookies and hot apple cider filled my nostrils. I sat at one of the white linen table-clothed tables that overlooked the patio. The towering evergreens and the water cascading over the rocks gently coaxed me into a sense of peace and serenity. Craig told me that in the summertime, they open the sliding doors so their guests can listen to the sounds of chirping blue jays and tapping woodpeckers welcoming in the morning.

One of the Inn’s cats brushed up against my leg and reminded of my own furry critters that were back home, wishing they could have been with us. I realized then that we still had lots to do before darkness was before us so we better get on our way. We decided to visit one of the many scenic villages of New Hampshire, North Conway, known for its outlet stores that would be a treasure to any shopper.

We dined at the 1785 Inn’s restaurant, one of the many fabulous restaurants in the North Conway region, where they wowed us with with a tableside creation of caesar salad at a dinner that only got better and better.

Morning came and we awoke to snow falling outside out window. Lying there in the warmth of the bed and with snow falling outside was a magical experience that we hated to let end, but morning had arrived and we needed to eat breakfast and get along on our day’s activities.

Jerry was our server that morning and told us what to expect for breakfast. I asked if he ever did any of the cooking, which he said he did occasionally, but it was mainly Craig. Breakfast arrived. We were treated with a poached, spiced pear, a seasonal substitute for their more usual berry parfait, with fresh blueberries, a layer or yogurt, cinnamon , a drizzle of maple syrup, and topped with homemade granola. The poached pear was fabulous!

The next course consisted of a variety of muffins, such as freshly baked cinnamon plum cake, hearty cranberry-bran muffins, blueberry cakes or Jerry’s well-hidden secret for his famous ruggalach. We opted for the ruggalach, without knowing for sure what it was. It was delectable, a rolled stuffed pastry. Wait, breakfast still wasn’t over. We hadn’t gotten to the main course yet! Jerry brought out Crème Brule French toast with maple-flavored sausage for Paul and I had the eggs Florentine with apple-scallion sausage patties and herbed potatoes. I asked for my usual wake-me-up coffee and Paul had juice. The meal was, as they say, fit for a king. I knew I wouldn’t be eating anything else for the rest of the day after that breakfast!

We knew that we had a busy day planned ahead of us so we wanted to get going as soon as possible. We traveled along the local roads, which provided us with many scenic views of Mount Washington, and its snow covered peaks. We passed Attitash Bear Park that was filled to the brim with down hill and cross-country skiers. Snow boarding , tubing and ice skating is also offered at many of the ski resorts in the local areas. We figured that we would probably skip this event as we didn’t want to bring home any broken bones at this point in our life.

When we returned to the Inn, we asked Craig and Jerry about the summer season and how well does it compare to autumn, leaf peeping time, and winter, snow season. They said that the Inn has very few rooms vacant as many guests who come to visit Riverbend come to enjoy its seclusion, the exquisite décor and lots of rest and relaxation.

There’s an abundance of things going on in the summer, such as hiking many of the marvelous trails, kayaking the local rivers, shopping in the outlet stores and dining out, but most guests come for the sheer pleasure of being treated like royalty in a setting only Mother Nature could supply.

We would have loved to just sit around and relax for a few more days, but sadly our weekend at the Inn had come to an end. Bags were hurriedly packed and a quick stroke of one of the kitties was a must before we left.

Craig and Jerry were busily clearing the dining area and placing dishes in the sink to soak. They were tired from one hectic weekend of visitors and were already gearing up for the next set of guests to arrive.

We thanked them for their warm and friendly hospitality and proceeded to our car, baggage in hand. A handful of their scrumptious cookies that I had tucked away in my pocket for the long ride home dropped to the ground, which I quickly picked up. I turned around one last time to look at the Inn and knew then that this visit was just the first of many more to come in the near future.

Please visit the Riverbend Inn’s website at: www.riverbendinn.com and see for yourself what makes this Inn so special. You can also visit the 1785 Inn Restaurant’s webiste at www.the1785inn.com

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