The Lovill House Inn Blog
Information on Specials, Packages, Events, Reviews and Other News from the Lovill House
March 16th Farm To Table Dinner and Cooking Class
The Lovill House Inn in Boone, NC, hosted a Farm to Table cooking class event on March 16th, 2023. Despite the snow that fell two days before, the weather warmed up to 65 degrees just in time for the event, creating a perfect atmosphere for the attendees. We enjoyed meeting the guests and hope that they had an unforgettable experience.
The event began with a tour of the historic Lovill House Inn property. The inn, which dates back to 1875, has been beautifully restored, and the tour provided an opportunity to learn about the history of the house, Appstate University's founding and the surrounding area. WQe hope the tour was informative, engaging, and provided the opportutnity to appreciate the beauty and charm of the inn.
After the tour, guests were treated to a 4-course dinner and cooking class featuring lamb from Sun Raised Foods. The dinner was a true Farm to Table experience, with ingredients sourced from local farms and prepared by a skilled chef.
The dinner was served in our dining room, where guests were seated at a long table, which allowed for a communal dining experience, encouraging conversation and making for a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
After dinner, guests gathered around the firepit on the back patio, enjoying the warmth and the starry night sky. The firepit was the perfect setting for guests to relax, chat, and reflect on the memorable evening they had just experienced.
The event concluded with a gourmet breakfast the next morning, featuring crustless quiche and strawberry scones with cream . The event provided an opportunity to connect with the local community and appreciate the beauty and richness of the area. It was a wonderful celebration of food, community, and history, and we look forward to hosting more events like this in the future.
Lake Norman Citizen Article
O2 Group Ventures Historic Home Project Earns Energy Efficiency Honors. March 1st, 2023
CORNELIUS – A local company with a shining 13-year record of award-winning, solar-powered prowess across the state and beyond has expanded its success into hospitality.
O2 Group Ventures, the Jetton Road-headquartered parent firm of companies specializing in solar energy and sustainable practices, has added to its comprehensive compilation of accolades through the (almost) completely off-the-grid operation of an historic bed and breakfast in the North Carolina mountains.
The O2 Group, led since 2009 by founder and CEO Joel Olsen, was recognized at the end of 2021 as the Building Performance and Energy Efficient Project of the Year by the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association. The award is given to businesses demonstrating professional excellence and high ethical standards while making a lasting positive impact on the state’s clean energy economy. It was presented to the O2 Group based on the vision and renovations involved in transforming the 147-year-old Lovill House Inn in Boone into a model of modern clean-energy efficiency.
Personal, professional project
Olsen started the O2 Group with first-hand experience in countries where solar power and energy efficiency were standard practices. An interest in the impacts of a reliance on imported energy, and three years living in Japan and 13 years living in Norway provided insight about products and practices promoting, by necessity, clean and efficient lifestyles.
“It opened my eyes,” Olsen said. “I started thinking about what North Carolina could do – all the sunshine we get – and wanted to learn everything I could.”
Through solar farms serving municipality needs, services geared to commercial and industrial buildings and packages for residential estates, O2 expanded and excelled. In addition to its recent recognition, the company has received “Business Innovation,” “Community Initiative” and “Energy Leadership” awards from other entities.
The company has 25 solar farms in North Carolina and Virginia and is involved in other areas, including farming, with a steady, underlying business theme Olsen sums up as “promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.”
However, the bed-and-breakfast project – which also earned the NC Green Travel Association’s highest rating – has become more of family venture than just a business. The Lovill House was built in 1875. It was home to the Lovill family for generations – and the place where in 1903 E.F. Lovill worked with brothers Blanford and Dauphin Doughtery drafting the charter establishing Watauga Academy, which evolved into Appalachian State University. The house became a bed and breakfast around 1990.
A few years ago, while their son Ole Christian was a student at ASU, Joel and Tonje Olsen learned the property was on the market. They purchased it in 2021.
“I saw the chance to use my experience in clean energy,” Joel Olsen said.
The house was “renovated down to its studs.” Updates included sound and thermal insulation and new heating-and-air systems along with the installation of solar panels in other locations on the 11-acre site. As the project took on a more personal nature, Tonje supervised the design work. And Ole Christian, with ASU studies focused on sustainable technology, became the on-site caretaker.
Now, except for rare instances – a long period of rain or an extended stretch of cloudy winter days – the Lovill House Inn is self-sufficient, with an “umbilical cord to the electric grid” as a backup.
“It’s the first luxury property, not just in North Carolina, but probably the entire Southeast that operates off the grid,” Olsen said.
The Inn, with six rooms as well as a two-bedroom cabin on the grounds, has earned praise to go along with steady inquiries from others in the industry about ways to combine luxury with efficiency.
“I see the inn as an opportunity to show people sustainability can be luxurious,” Olsen said. “That really is our goal. It’s comfortable, cleaner and, in the long-run, cheaper. Why wouldn’t you do it?
“It’s a way to demonstrate best practices – a better, more sensible way to do things.”
And – maintaining the approach he’s had since becoming intrigued by clean energy and more sustainable practices – Olsen is also exploring other options.
“There’s a waterfall on the property for future hydraulic power options,” he said. “Great for those days when it does rain.”
Tour, dinner at the Inn
The Lovill House Inn in Boone and Sun Raised Foods will host a Farm to Table Dinner Thursday, March 16. Guests can enjoy tours, a four-course lamb supper and a night at the inn. Visit lovillhouseinn.com for details.
Feb 19th, 2023 Google Review
"What a beautiful inn! We really enjoyed our stay in the Linville Suite. Super quiet, very comfortable room and nice linens and towels. All of this just helped make our stay even more relaxing. The breakfast was great and the coffee was delicious. It was also super quiet for a completely booked bed and breakfast. We would love to visit again and definitely recommend! Thanks Ann & Mya for a wonderful stay."
Lovill House Inn March Newsletter
Farm to Table Dinner, Cooking Class and Stay Thurs. March 16th, 2023
The Lovill House Inn will host an intimate Farm to Table dinner featuring the award winning Sun Raised Foods lamb salami, cuts, and delicious wine. Chef Chris Scott will prepare and present a 4-course lamb dinner on the eve of St. Patrick day.
Dinner Reservation Book a Room
Guests will get a tour of the recently renovated historic property, enjoy a delcious dinner and learn how to prepare each course of lamb for themselves at home. If you want to experience great local food, and get away to the #1 bed and breakfast in Boone, make a dinner reservation and book your room before we sell out.
This will be a very exclusive event with a maximum of 20 guests. Guests will be required to book at least one night stay at the Lovill House Inn separately. Guests who book 2 or more nights get a $25 per dinner reservation discount.
March Events in Boone
March is a transitional time in the mountains without the hustle and bustle of the crowds in the summer and fall. There are lots of interesting shows, athletic events, and things to do. Warmer days make for great hikes and cool evening fires in our fire pit. Come see us!
Upcoming Artist Retreat May 19 - 21, 2023
Artist Cathy Futral will host the Lovill House Inn 2023 Artist Retreat from Friday to Sunday May 19th to the 21st. This exciting weekend workshop is complete with interactive classes in a group setting. Attendance will be limited to guests who stay at the Lovill House Inn.
Space is limited to 20 attendees. Contact us at 828-270-0831 to book your spot as early as possible!
Feb 12th, 2023 Google Review
"The Lovill House Inn was a gorgeous bed and breakfast. We were celebrating our 5 year anniversary and this was the perfect romantic getaway. We were met at the door with information on this historical southern home that was built in the 1800’s. The interior is modern with an atmosphere that makes you feel at home. We enjoyed homemade Valentine’s Day cupcakes made from scratch by the innkeeper that were mouth watering. We snowboarded all evening and returned to the house to enjoy the very comfortable bed. The next morning our breakfast was absolutely delicious homemade meal which consisted of biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, sausage, eggs, coffee, and orange juice! Breakfast was paired with delightful conversation amongst fellow house guests. We had an amazing time at what felt like our home away from home. We can’t wait to return for another get away in the future."
Feb 10th, 2023 Trip Advisor Review
"Lovill House Inn has to be the best place we've ever stayed in Boone, but it won't be our last. The inn is absolutely beautiful. The staff goes beyond expectations and the inn keeper is by far one of the best chefs I've ever encountered. They can give you plenty of ideas of things to do and if they don't know, they'll find out. The breakfasts are out of this world. You cannot go wrong staying here.
Feb 10th, 2023 Sustain Charlotte Article
VISITING THE NC MOUNTAINS? BOONE'S LOVILL HOUSE INN IS A SUSTAINABLE AND HISTORY-FILLED GETAWAY
Sweeping views. Crisp air. Miles of trails and streams. Who doesn't love a trip to the mountains? We want to tell you about a place you can stay in luxury in North Carolina's High Country that aligns with our sustainability values. Here's what you should know about this mountain getaway, which we're grateful is one of our Platinum Partners!
The Lovill House was built in 1875 in Boone and embodies one of the most important aspects of sustainability: reuse. It's where Appalachian State University's charter was signed, and it was a family home for over 100 years. Most of the homes built in Boone during the 1800s have long since been demolished, but 30 years ago, the Lovill House was repurposed to become a bed and breakfast.
In 2021, Joel and Tonje Olsen purchased the Lovill House Inn and renovated it once again by preserving the history, modernizing the comfort and incorporating principles of sustainability that are unique to any commercial luxury property in the state. Olsen, a Sustain Charlotte board member, is the founder of O2 Group Ventures, which serves commercial and municipal customers working to meet clean energy deployment goals. Olsen set out to renovate the property with renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste-reduction principles in mind.
The 11-acre property features lush gardens surrounded by a forest with a 100-foot waterfall and hidden “bear cave” on the property. However, the inn is just a short walk from both downtown Boone and App State — and at Sustain Charlotte we're all about not using cars for short trips when possible!
For the first 30 years, the Lovill House operated without electricity or internal combustion engine vehicles. As part of the renovation, a solar canopy was erected over the parking lot, protecting guests’ cars and motorcycles from the weather while generating enough power to offset all the electrical needs of the property. Tesla batteries were added as well as electric vehicle charging allowing the property to operate once again completely off-grid when needed and even power electric vehicles.
During the renovation, the Olsen insulated the ceilings, floors and walls while removing the wallpaper, popcorn ceilings and vinyl flooring that were added in earlier renovations. High-efficiency heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment were added to maintain a stable humidity and modern comfort level for guests. But it’s the little things that are making a difference, like eliminating plastic in all operations of the inn, from reusable glass water bottles to refillable dispensers in bathrooms using North Carolina-produced vegan shampoo, conditioner and soaps.
“Our guests see that it is just common sense and more comfortable for a bed and breakfast to be sustainable,” Olsen said. “They take these ideas of common-sense sustainability back home with them, expanding the impact of their stay.”
The Lovill House Inn has six guest suites, a two-bedroom cabin and a historic barn. The Inn has received the Sustainable Tourism Award from Explore Boone and the highest rating by the NC Green Travel association. Olsen’s goal is to make the site a model for luxury, sustainability and resilience in
the hospitality industry.
We think he is on to something!
You can learn more at lovillhouseinn.com.
Feb. 1st, 2023 What is Wormy Chestnut and Why is it so Valuable?
Wormy Chestnut is not a particular species of Chestnut but instead it refers to American Chestnut trees from a specific era. During the early 1900s there was a blight involving insects that killed a most of the mature American Chestnut trees and left them discolored and with little insect/worm holes.
It is believed that the blight came from Asia and was originally discovered in what is now the Bronx Zoo. It quickly spread across America even though there were several efforts to try and quarantine the blight. After quarantining failed the US Government assigned funds to attempt to come up with a way to stop the blight, however as the US entered World War I and realized the futility of their efforts thus far they decided to cut funding for the research.
What makes Wormy Chestnut so Valuable?
Because the blight wiped out nearly all of the mature American Chestnut trees, it’s lumber is both rare and becoming increasingly valuable. This wood in particular not only has a big history in America but it is also a fairly durable wood that is resistant to decay because of the presence of tannin. It has a warm color and distinctive defects caused by a unique circumstance. The trees had such great strength despite the blight that they remained standing for years and the wood was still harvested for many homes and barns.
The cost of wormy chestnut is only going up because the supply continues to dwindle.
Wormy Chestnut at the Lovill House Inn..
The Wormy Chestnut found on the Lovill House Inn property was milled and made into the door and window frames, doors, and cabinets you see throughout the house. It is one more thing that makes the Lovill House Inn a truly special place to stay.
Notice the beautiful color and texture of the solid wormy chestnut cabinets in the Hickory Suite, the wormy chestnut doors between the kitchen and the dining room.
Fall 2022 Lovill House Inn Fall Recipes
As your Innkeeper, I am always on the look out for new recipes to serve our guests. Trying to keep in the tradition of farm-to-table, organic and southern favorites as much as possible.
Thanks to the Watauga Friends of the Library who put some local cookbooks aside for me the use here at the inn, I have found some gems that I cannot wait to try.
There is nothing better than the old church cookbooks. Growing up I remember my mom and grandmother sharing favorite recipes with the ladies at church. Back in the 80's our church in Cincinnati put together one of the first cookbooks that I ever used. I still have it today! It is tattered and torn, but some of my favorite recipes have come from that book! I've passed those recipes on to my boys, I think our favorites are Spaghetti Casserole, Cincinnati chili, and Hamburger Stroganoff. I also love the teriyaki recipe for steak and chicken!
The following recipes come from the book, "More Fresco Fixins", put together from Holy Trinity, Glendale Springs and St. Mary's Beaver Creek. According to the cookbook it was a project of the Episcopal Church Women of the Parish of the Holy Communion in the Ashe County area of North Carolina.
Both recipes have to do with potatoes, perfect for breakfast here at the inn!
The first is Ashe County Stuffed Potatoes, this is basically a twice baked potato with cooked sausage mixed in with the potato, along with cheese, butter, salt, and pepper. The second is Baked Cheese-Potato Casserole, it combines frozen has browns, with cream of mushroom soup, milk, cheddar cheese, onion, salt, and pepper.
Lovill House Inn Dining Room
Ashe County Stuffed Potatoes
6 large potatoes
1/2 lb. pork sausage (I use local sausage from the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, Food Hub)
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Tbsp butter
Shredded Cheese ( I like to use a mixture of Sharp Cheddar and Freshly grated Parmesan)
Make sure to poke the potatoes in several spots before putting in the oven. Bake potatoes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until well done (about 1 hour). While potatoes are baking, brown sausage lightly, add onions, and simmer until ready for use. Split potatoes in half, lengthwise, remove the inside, and mash thoroughly. Add salt, pepper, and butter, mix well. ( I personally add a little cream or milk to the potato mixture, similar to mashed potatoes)
Drain excess fat from sausage. Add sausage mixture to potato mixture. Mix well and fill potato shells.
Turn temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Top with cheese and return to oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
Baked Cheese-Potato Casserole
1 bag (28-30 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Milk (1 can full, using the soup can)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper
Partially thaw potatoes, mix potatoes, onions, soup, and milk. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir.
Pour into greased 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes or until browning around the edges.
Which one are you going to try first?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!