Gloria Hayes Kremer Jewish Exponent Feature The suburbs of Philadelphia have become one of the country’s most popular getaway destinations with the preponderance of delightful bed-and-breakfast and country-inn accommodations, especially during this romantic time of winter delights.
Several of them now offer not only beautiful settings, but superb kitchens where award-winning chefs create marvelous dining.
Bucks County seems to be a favorite destination. The Jewish influx of not only visitors but permanent residents to Bucks and its lovely suburbs has been increasing substantially over the last few years. Nadine and Carl Glassman, owners and operators of 1870 Wedgwood Inns (215-862-2570) in New Hope — three charming B&B’s in the heart of town — moved here from New Jersey 24 years ago.
“It is such a delightful town,” said Nadine, “and we have guests who come year after year to stroll our streets to see our galleries, shops, and casual, relaxed atmosphere. We belong to a lovely synagogue, Kehilat HaNahar — also known as the Little Shul by the River — and it is within walking distance.”
Upon request, the Glassmans prepare a tasty kosher breakfast.
But that’s not all in the area. Here are several places nestled in an elegant, yet cozy home-away-from-home, ambience by hosts who love welcoming visitors into their domains:
• Centre Bridge Inn (215-862-9139), New Hope, Pa.
This charming inn on River Road (Route 32) facing the Delaware River is steeped in history. In 1811, a bridge was first constructed here to connect Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The inn, originally known as Ferry’s Inn, is said to have offered travelers comfort as early as 1712.
Localite Jerry Horan has some sweetheart deals and his wife Tina recently brightened up the 10 guest rooms in charming detail — four-poster beds, suites with river views, rich antiques. Located just three miles north of New Hope, the inn is a comfortable hike or bike ride into town. (Lambertville, N.J., is just across the river.)
There are specialty nights at the indoor and outdoor dining venues facing the river and the canal.
• Arianna Mills (215-529-1587), Quakertown, Pa.
Just three years old, this 1749 fieldstone farmhouse has become a jewel of a country inn due to the tender, loving care of its two gracious innkeepers, Pascal McLaughlin and her chef husband, Kyle.
Time almost stands still in this upper Bucks County inn, for as Pascal says, “We want our guests to enjoy a real getaway — with no thought of time or commitments.”
Only 30 minutes from New Hope and Doylestown, the inn sits on Old Bethlehem Road in Nockamixon State Park, where guests can go picnicking and hiking. Having traveled through Europe, the pair has created somewhat of a European ambience for their inn.
The six bedrooms on the second floor are cozy and comfortable — with touches like exposed stone walls, 18th-century antiques, wood-plank floors, and Art Deco, Victorian and Belle Epoch period furnishings.
• Hotel Du Village (215-862-9911), New Hope, Pa.
Nestled in a secluded picturesque setting on 10 acres just outside of New Hope, this casual inn offers guests a relaxing, peaceful getaway. There is a tennis court, outdoor pool, a sculpture garden for reading or just relaxing, and country lanes for walking or biking.
• Joseph Ambler Inn (215-362-5924), in North Wales, Pa.
Imagine living in colonial times and finding yourself in an elegant, tavern-like dining room with a huge walk-in fireplace, exposed stone walls, random-width hardwood floors and hearty fare.
This inn, originally built in 1734, rests on 12 bucolic acres of rolling countryside; it was an original parcel of land owned by William Penn.
There are 37 restored guest rooms spread throughout the four buildings. In 1987, the property was purchased by Richard Allman, who, with his wife Allison, oversees the complex.
The inn’s restaurant, a series of adjoining areas in a renovated 1820s bank-barn, features an international cuisine by chef Meg Votta.
• William Penn Inn (215-699-9272), Gwynedd, Pa.
Around 1700, Gov. William Penn and his 22-year-old daughter, Liticia, stopped to rest at the home of Thomas Evans. The home became an inn providing food and lodging for travelers between Philadelphia and the many towns and hamlets scattered beyond the city.
Today, known as the William Penn Inn, this charming and historic hostelry has been called “the longest continuously operated inn in Pennsylvania.”
It offers overnight lodging, but is possibly better known for its series of public and private dining rooms, with their colonial spirit.