Visiting Historic Architecture in Lancaster County

In 1709, Lancaster was settled by German immigrants (or Pennsylvania “Deutsch”). In the 300 years since then, many generations of residents have lived and worked here, and have helped our young nation grow. Structures ranging from modest log homes to immaculate institutions were built to provide shelter and to serve other important functions in the community. Lancaster and its built environment have played a vital role in history, serving as a meeting place during the Revolutionary War, and a hiding place along the Underground Railroad. Renowned figures such as President James Buchanan, Thaddeus Stevens, Andrew Ellicott, and Charles Demuth once resided in Lancaster. Today, we live in the shells of previous generations. With the help of historic preservation, renovation, and restoration, many historic structures remain for us to use and enjoy. The primary architectural styles one might… Read More

Farm-to-Table in February

February doesn’t seem like the most advantageous time of year to be eating farm-to-table in Pennsylvania. Living off the land is not an easy thing to do here; the typical growing season is 6 months long. But Lancaster County is the agricultural mecca of PA. Eating local through the winter isn’t as difficult as you may think. Whether you’re planning to dine out, or shop at one of the many year-round farmers markets, there are plenty of options to choose from.   What local foods are available in Lancaster County at this time of year? Meat, dairy, and eggs are, of course, year-round staples. Be sure to try the local cheeses and ring bologna. Pickled and fermented foods are key in eating farm-to-table through the winter season (don’t miss the sauerkraut!) Also, February is the perfect time to crack open a jar of peach or strawberry preserves. The selection of PA-grown produce… Read More

2017

Well, we’re officially three weeks into 2017 and so far the worst thing to happen is a horse and buggy breakdown on Main Street! In fact, our 2017 here at the 1777 Americana Inn B&B and Black Forest Brewery has been filled with more blessings than we can already count! So, I’d love to take this opportunity to highlight some of the fortune that we have enjoyed so far this year! December 13, 2016 was the actual 2nd Anniversary of our on-site pub, the Black Forest Brewery but our actual party was held on January 14th.  The brewery marked the occasion with an all day event including two custom food bars including chili from local Berks county business, So Good Homemade Soups & Salad, a vodka tasting from Pennsylvania distillery, FABER, and music from the ever talented duo, Two Pints Shy. The day was much anticipated after last year’s success and it did not disappoint. We saw… Read More

Hey There 2017

Hey there 2017, you’re looking mighty fine! Speaking of mighty fine, let’s talk about how you can ring in this New Year with some romance in and around the Lancaster area! Winter (as previously noted in last week’s blog is a season of ambivalent emotions) but it also brings with it some things that are beautiful...snow, warm fires, Valentine's day, and lots of snuggling! So, you ask, what can I do that screams romance during these chilly months? Book a room at the 1777 Americana Inn Bed & Breakfast of course! I highly recommend the cottage suites, where you can snuggle on the couch, soak in the whirlpool tub, or have a lazy day in bed. If you’re looking for romance and a bath for two is in the works, there is no better room than Primitive Place. This suite offers a large bathroom with two-person whirlpool tub accented by the original stone wall that transports you back… Read More

Holiday Season Favorites

The beginning of December brings about mixed emotions for many people, including myself. I find myself dreading the cold and snow, but loving the warm snuggles of a fleece blanket and Christmas lights. I stress over holiday shopping and parties, but anxiously await the drinks and merriment with friends and family. I roll my eyes at the vast array of peppermint flavored coffees but sigh with great satisfaction every time I sip a mug of hot cocoa. December is just my ambivalent month, what can I say. So to get me through this cluster of emotions, I turn to a favorite Christmas classic and “simply remember my favorite things, and then it doesn’t seem so bad.” So here we go, Amanda’s guide to getting through the ups and downs of December. Go somewhere, that isn’t your living room, craft room, or the MALL! Suggestions include: A night at the 1777 Americana Inn Bed & Breakfas… Read More

PA Dutch Cuisine

Now that we’re in one of the best “eating” seasons of the year, I feel it my duty to write a little something about the local cuisine. Anyone who has met me knows I have a passion for food. I spend my weeks reading culinary magazines and exploring new ingredients at local super markets and food stands. My weekends are spent bartending and conversing with guests about some of my favorite spots in Berks and Lancaster county to sit down have a great meal! But one thing I make abundantly clear to everyone I meet is that I have one food group my palate has just never adjusted to…PA Dutch. Strange, I know, growing up in the heart of the PA Dutch culture that my taste for the heavy handed meat and potato meal has sadly never developed. I look at meatloaf and pot roast with a slight dislike despite it being a weekly meal in my household as I was growing up.  Shepherd’s pie and chicken… Read More

Holiday Preview

A tale as Old as Time...seems to be on the rise lately with the hugely popular and classic Disney tale of Beauty and the Beast coming back to the big screen this March. But, did you know that you can catch the timeless tale and all of its musical glory at the Fulton Theater right now. Yes, that’s right we’re joining the Christmas bandwagon and hitting the holiday preview blog a bit earlier this year! Mainly because I want to give as many people as I can the chance to book their rooms and buy their tickets to some of the greatest shows and activities Lancaster has to offer this Holiday season! So if you’re not into animated clocks, chipped teacups, and happily ever afters (you scrooge) then this blog will guide you in the direction of other Christmas merriment in and around Berks and Lancaster counties! Let’s talk shows, because who doesn’t love a great theatrical production… Read More

History of Ephrata

I had a discussion recently with a very nice gentleman at the Black Forest Brewery. After pleasantries, we delved into a deeper conversation about travel; it turns out he had spent some time in India, a place I’m determined to visiting at some point in my life. We talked all about why he made his initial trip, how he financed it, what he enjoyed, and why he ultimately returned home after a prolonged stay. It was a very pleasant conversation, but somewhere in the middle, he got to asking me about where I would like to travel. It is no secret to anyone who meets me that I’m obviously drawn to food and drink. So I began rattling off a list of potential places that sparked my culinary interest, and he noticed this right away. His response was “so it seems you travel for pleasure and culture”; it was a simple observation, one any person could have made, but it truly made me think about… Read More

Pumpkin Picking

Fall is notorious for a few things. Cool breezes, the start of football, and PUMPKIN. It seems to me the last couple of years, the pumpkin craze has exploded, exponentially. It’s pumpkin spice this, and pumpkin spice that, you see pumpkin EVERYWHERE! And this is where I take issue. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pumpkin cappuccino or refreshing pumpkin beer every now and then, but this craze has molded an object  that once represented the fall season into so little and basic, I feel it my solemn duty to write this blog and remind people what the pumpkin  is all about. So let’s talk pumpkin. First, a few fun facts about this rotund squash : Did you know that: Over 1 billion pounds (450 million kgs) of pumpkin are produced in the US every year The name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’ Pumpkins are popular decorations during Halloween.… Read More

Brew Fest

Let’s play a game, what is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the phrase Bed & Breakfast? Is it...comfort, homey, luxury? How about when you hear  the word, Amish? Is it...old world, horse and buggy, religious? Well today, after a particularly long weekend, I found myself thinking about another phrase, BEER. Yes, beer...when I think of beer I think of hot summer days, friends, cookouts, fun and many laughs.. All of these combined continue to give me an excuse to explore more craft breweries to find the perfect beer to suit my current mood. So this week, we’re going to talk all about one of America’s favorite pastimes, drinking craft brews. This is a pretty easy blog for me to write, since we have a brewery situated on our premises, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those wanting to visit Black Forest Brewery, so instead I’m going to talk a little about… Read More