All of the following opinions are my own. We were not contacted by Jean or Jason; I did not mention my blog to them; Alex and I found them via Trip Advisor and Online searching. This is simply our experience.
When Alex and I were pondering how we might spend our shared weekend off during his vacation week, we hit upon the idea of a bed and breakfast in the lake country of Wisconsin: we had such a great time at the resident retreat that we thought it would be a perfect way to take a getaway of our own. We played around with a bunch of different areas, but for our price point and tastes, settled on the Token Creek Eco-Inn just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. And I am so, so happy we made that choice.
As I said in yesterday’s post, I cannot recommend Token Creek and its hosts, Jean and Jason Schneider, enough. When looking at the websites of various inns, we were greeted with a great many of your typical “doily and lace and chintz” nightmares–which can be fun, but we weren’t so keen on unless it was our only option. And then we hit upon Token Creek–pictures showed a clean, arts and crafts-style aesthetic, comfortable rooms, and just enough Frank Lloyd Wright to make me relieved at their good taste 😀
Something else that caught my eye was their obvious dedication to being environmentally conscious and locally-driven. Food came from the land around the house or was source from Jean’s fellow local businesses. Both she and Jason met in school studying a branch of environmental engineering, which was also a relief because it wasn’t the sort of place that went to an extreme–we had air conditioner on the hot days, but when they could, we relied on overhead fans and open windows with screens (thus why the birds helped wake me up). I am a staunch recycler, so the fact that recycling was available and used was a big deal to me, and it actually made the place feel even more like home.
Alex and I stayed in the Garden Room, on the main floor, and we had a private, but unattached bath (totally fine). I actually loved their use of materials in the bathroom–loved the granite–and the room and bed were as comfy as could be. This felt like a house you were coming home to–like a place that you had rented for the week with friends–Jean and Jason stayed out of rooms unless special requests were made, but there was a carafe of water and local chocolates waiting for us when we arrived.
In the kitchen/main room, snacks were left out for us, as well as tea from the local tea merchants (who are very well known in the area) and locally roasted coffee. Jean even made us roasted chickpeas to snack on! OMG so good. And a mini fridge was provided to us with complimentary beverages (soda, beer, and their own wine–one from pears, the other a berry one I believe?). And driving home the fact that this was “our” place but that someone was taking care of us–coozies, bottle openers, glasses.
In the afternoon, as I said, she made us roasted chickpeas, which I had far, far too many of. I also enjoyed some of the Raspberry Orange and the Green Pomegranate tea that was provided (loose) and the wonderful fresh coffee. And on the table–stevia, sugar, and honey from their own hives. Pretty freaking awesome.
Each morning, Jean made us breakfast, and–this was another huge selling point for us–made sure to cater to our various food preferences/dietary restrictions. She was incredibly attentive to and concerned to make sure that I was taken care of–I had made note of my difficulties with added fats and dairy milk when we made our reservations. And so I was able to have absolutely everything that she made for me, and it was divine.
Breakfast Saturday Morning:
Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (don’t worry, you know I am getting that recipe. They were INSANE)
Local farm-fresh scrambled eggs made with hemp milk (delicious), onions, and mushrooms
Fresh tomatoes with a balsamic drizzle (I’m pretty sure)
Locally made fresh bread (served with farm fresh butter, coconut oil, or honey)
Breakfast Sunday Morning:
Peach and Raspberry Cobbler (Made the day before and served with either cream or coconut yogurt (for me, such a thoughtful gesture))
Bob’s Red Mill Recipe Oatmeal Cakes and a Rum-Cream Sauce (in a dropper bottle)
Roasted Summer Squash with herbs (all from her garden)
The property is lovely–a mixture of wild and tamed, pleasure and working. The wilder garden, with the herbs and flowers, was filled with chocolate mint, lemon balm, bergamot, lavender, lilies, grapes, a bit of everything. There was a giant crab apple tree, the bee hives, and, as you walk up to the house, the working garden was teeming with squash.
And, of course, a hammock. I LOVE HAMMOCKS.
This was organic, free-range, farm fresh at its best–unpretentious but serious about quality and commitment to values. They were really able to hit at the right balance between the simpler life (lots of books, games, cards, composting and recycling, making food from scratch, I didn’t even see a microwave) and real life (air conditioning, cars, water pressure (you think I’m kidding), satellite TV). The environment made it easy to unplug, because it was a pleasure to do so, but if I wanted to, the “real world” was right there where I left it.
Alex and I had an extraordinary stay with the Schneiders at Token Creek. I can only hope to go back and explore more of what the countryside has to offer. And to enjoy more of Jean and Jason’s cooking and hospitality!
Linking up with Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday, because this was one of the best treats we could ever ask for!
What was the last truly memorable accommodation experience that you had?
Bed and Breakfast or hotel? What do you look for/care about when selecting a place to stay?