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DESTINATION by Scott Goldsmith The Blake House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Photos by Scott Goldsmith

Looking for a weekend away with your dogs? Let me recommend The Blake House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC.

If you have traveled with your dogs, you know that many "dog friendly" inns and hotels merely tolerate our pets; not the Blake House. Owner Leslie Kimball is truly dog friendly, with two rescue dogs, Jenny and Squirt and a foster dog of her own, named, Sophie. Take a look at the "Doggie Scoop" section of the Blake Inn website or the sign at the base of the staircase which offers a $10 discount if you bring pet supplies for the Asheville Humane Society.

The Inn is 10 minutes outside of downtown Asheville and backs on a small park where you can take your dog for a walk. It is a restored 1847 mansion, one of the oldest in Asheville, which is tastefully decorated with antiques and knick-knacks. It is, however, a nice mix of antique and practical. It is not the kind of place where you are afraid to sit down on the furniture or have to deal with the vagaries of authentic antique bathrooms. They even have Wi-Fi. The Inn has seven guest rooms, six in the main house and a suite in the carriage house. Amber, who was our host during our stay, told me that dogs are permitted in all but one of the rooms.

We stayed in the Dogwood room. A large room with high ceilings and wood floors, painted in light blue. A display of framed antique saucers and teacups decorated one wall, silky fabric hung from the ceiling and strings of small mirrors and butterflies added a note of whimsy. An antique wardrobe, dresser, and lounger were mixed

28 Volume 2 • Issue 1 T The Triangle Dog

with a king-size bed and a flat panel TV. The room contained a small, but functional, bathroom including a shower. Tucked away in the wardrobe were a dog bed, blanket and bowls. On the bed we were greeted by a mirrored tray of chocolate-covered strawberries and a chilled bottle of sparkling apple cider. Coffee and snacks are available in one of the first floor rooms and a barrel of dog biscuits is provided for your loyal friend.

Breakfast is served in the dining room on chargers set atop twig wreaths that remind one of a bird’s nest. We enjoyed a breakfast of homemade apple crisp, followed by French toast and bacon. The Inn does not permit dogs in the dining area, though a local cat did pop in for a visit - how unfair.

Following breakfast, the Inn provided us with tickets for a Red Trolley tour of Asheville. The tour gave a nice overview of Asheville and its history and included an entry pass for a tour of the Thomas Wolfe house. This is the boarding house around which his book, "Look Homeward Angel," is centered.

Asheville is a dog-friendly town and the Inn's website helps you enjoy it. It features a comprehensive list of dog parks, pet sitters, doggie daycare, dog stores and bakeries and even a list of restaurants

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