Three area bed and breakfast inns were included in "Minnesota Mornings: Comfort and Cuisine," a statewide guide and cookbook sponsored by the Minnesota Bed & Breakfast guild.
Each bed and breakfast submitted a recipe that has proved to be a favorite among guests.
Lottie Lee's Bed & Breakfast
Lottie Lee's Bed & Breakfast in Little Falls overflows with charm and warmth.
Earl and Diane Pilloud, both retired teachers, have lived in the house for 26 years. Four years ago they decided to start a business that would allow them to meet a variety of people.
Having been teachers, they said lifelong learning is important to them. "It's very interesting learning about all these people's lives," said Diane. "Everyone who stays here has a story to tell."
Earl taught industrial arts in Little Falls, and Diane taught elementary school in Royalton.
"There was a need for a B & B, and we had the room," said Earl. "Our children were all gone." The couple has three children and five grandchildren.
The house was built in 1907. The original owner was J.K. Martin and his wife Lottie Lee. That is where the Pillouds got the name for their bed and breakfast. The Pillouds are only the third owners of the house.
There are original stained-glass windows on the main staircase, and original bathroom fixtures in the Rose Suite. "We just wanted to share this beautiful house," said Diane.
The B & B is open for guests May through September, and three unique guest rooms are available at a price range from $65 to $120 a night.
Earl does all the cooking. "It's a big source of joy for me," he said, adding he is constantly trying different things for the guests. "I'm always experimenting to find new things. You have a lot of successes and a lot of failures."
Breakfast is generally served at 9 a.m. at a large group table. Diane said Earl's Very Good Pancakes have always been a guest favorite. The couple said people who prefer more privacy eat at a different time or in a different room.
"It's part of the B & B experience, getting to know other people," said Diane. "The most opposite people can find that they have a lot in common."
The couple admitted not all B & B's appeal to all people. They have visited other bed and breakfasts, and see they are all run differently and have certain things to offer.
"We typically market to people who like to listen to public radio, and who like art and want to help themselves to our assortment of books," said Diane.
The rooms purposefully do not come with televisions. "This is not a motel, it's more like a home," said Diane.
To contact Lottie Lee's B & B, call (320) 632-8641, or look at its Web site at www.upstel.net/~epilloud/lotlee.html
Manhattan Beach Lodge
Manhattan Beach Lodge in Manhattan Beach was recently restored by owners Mary and John Zesbaugh to bring back the atmosphere the lodge had when it thrived in the 1920s, but with all the amenities of the '90s.
Originally built in 1926, the lodge went through several major changes before the Zesbaughs bought the property in 1990. The couple has lived all over the United States, but decided to make a lifestyle and career change.
"We felt like we needed to get back to the lake," said John. They are both originally from St. Paul.
They fashioned their B & B like a country inn, which are common on the East Coast. "They're known as places where people can get away. They're small and still have full-service restaurants," said Mary.
The Zesbaughs admitted their lodge is a bit more commercial than other bed and breakfasts, but they still have a more home-like climate than most motels. The 18 lake-view rooms all have handmade pine furniture and handmade quilts.
"We are in the B & B guild because we like to attract that clientele, and they are attracted to us," said Mary, noting Manhattan Beach Lodge probably doesn't have any activities that appeal to children. The Zesbaughs said couples and business people enjoy the setting more.
"It's a great spot for a small group meeting place, for groups less than 25," said Mary. "We have a conference room, too."
The lodge offers four different types of rooms ranging in price from $69-$169 per night. All of the rooms include full bath, telephone, cable TV and a lake view.
"A lot of people feel uncomfortable staying in small bed and breakfasts. They feel like they are intruding in someone's home," said John.
The lodge overlooks Big Trout Lake, which remains calm most of the time, Mary said.
"This is one of the unique properties," John said, "because it's a country inn at a vacation spot."
To contact Manhattan Beach Lodge, call 692-3381 or 800-399-4360, or visit its Web site at www.mblodge.com.
Whitely Creek Homestead
& Mustard Seed Mercantile
The Whitley Creek Homestead in Brainerd is unlike other bed and breakfasts because it is not located in a 100-year-old house.
Richard and Adrienne Cahoon began renovating their house three years ago with antiques and fireplaces to give it a 1930s or 1940s feel. The bed and breakfast opened in May of this year.
"It was a way to bring life back into our home," Adrienne said. The Cahoons have lived in the house for 26 years and have three grown daughters.
The renovations gave the home a completely different look and included private bathrooms in each room, claw-foot tubs, outdoor fireplace and two private cottages.
The B & B is located on 40 acres. Canoeing is available down the hill for interested guests. "There are some people who are looking for a really north-woodsy look," said Adrienne. "We've got enough trees to give them that.
"It's not your typical B & B," said Adrienne. "It's not a renovated 100-year-old house. But that's the beauty of B & B's, they're all unique."
The idea for the decorations came from Richard's antique cars that date to the 1930s and '40s. They renovated the old garage to look like an antique general store, complete with an old Standard gas pump out front. Decorations on the rest of the house became a variation on the country theme.
"There is a difference between country and primitive, and I love primitive," said Adrienne. "The rustier the better, boards with the paint off. I like the well-worn look."
The Cahoons are in constant search of weathered antiques. "Whenever we travel, we take the back roads, because the antique deals are much better," said Adrienne.
They have used a lot of distinctive furnishings in the house. In two of the bathrooms are actual water pumps, and in the sitting room is a handmade fountain constructed from antique materials.
One of the most interesting additions to the bed and breakfast is the 1890s railroad car they added to the end of the house and converted into the breakfast room. "The way that it is set up is conducive to conversation between guests," said Adrienne.
Adrienne said most of their business is with couples. "B & B's are typically getaways for adults," she said. "They bring their books along, and they're up here for the solitude."
The B & B is open for business June through August, and offers three guest rooms and two cottages ranging in price from $70 to $95 per night.
To contact the Whitely Creek Homestead & Mustard Seed Mercantile, call 829-0654 or 877-WTLECRK, or visit the Web site at www.BedandBreakfast.com.
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