By Laura (Abernathy) Huffman
Plain & Fancy Bed and Breakfast in Arcadia is nearly famous as a romantic getaway in one of Missouri’s most scenic settings- Arcadia Valley. Romance isn’t all this Victorian styled B&B offers though.
When Holly DeMaria greeted me at the front door my stomach growled. I had just stuffed my face with addicting cherry wood-fired barbecue at BayleeJo’s BBQ but DeMaria’s kitchen smelled like a five star restaurant. I mentally kicked myself for not adding dinner to my itinerary for my stay. DeMaria showed me to the Amish Room and then disappeared back into her domain to finish plating.
THE AMISH ROOM
The Amish Room was just as pictured on the B&B’s website, only better. Millwork adorned the entry door, the closet, and the bathroom door. The hardwood floor glowed with warm tones. The focal point of the room was the cozy queen sized bed handcrafted by an Amish workman. Seth, the builder brought motion into the simple design with dramatic, unexpected curves into both the headboard and footboard. Comfy robes hung in the closet, and a lavender chamomile pillow mist was on the side table. The attached, private, bathroom invited indulgence. A deep, jetted tub filled one corner of the room. For the playful and whimsical a blue rubber duckie patiently waited for a bath to be drawn. The walk-in shower had a built in bench, a waterfall shower head and body sprays. Like the bed, the soap was also custom made for the Bed and Breakfast.
Although dusk was gathering quickly I was drawn to the grounds. A side stairwell, that made me think of servant’s stairwells that I’ve seen in older homes, brought me out near the gazebo that overlooked a seating area with fire pit. In turn, the fire pit overlooked an Ozark bluff that stood sentry along the bank of Stouts Creek. Another patio held a hot tub that also overlooked the stream. I returned to the Amish Room and crawled into the cozy bed and drifted off.
I’m an early riser. Not by nature, but by forced habit. I normally grumble around for an hour or so until my caffeine levels have been properly elevated. This morning I had an extra spring in my step as I bounded down the main stairwell. As excited as I was to watch the Battle of Pilot Knob reenactment that day, I was even more excited by the thought of breakfast. I had dreamed about DeMaria’s cooking and had my fingers crossed that she would be back to prepare the morning meal.
I found Karen in a sun-filled room that smelled like coffee. Grabbing two Plain & Fancy mugs we set off to explore in the daylight. The landscaped gardens throughout the property were buzzing with pollinators. We scrambled down the bluff and walked alongside the creek. After making our way back up to the house we were greeted by Ruth Turner, proprietor. She announced that breakfast would be served soon in the main dining room. We chatted with other guests before being shown to the farmhouse style dining table that was set for six. DeMaria and Turner then served us the most beautiful breakfast that I had seen in ages. It was gorgeous, made of simple ingredients, and delicious. DeMaria noticed that I was taking pictures of the food—and was pleased that I admired her food art. She promised banana split pancakes for breakfast the following morning.
I hold pancakes in high esteem. Combined with a side of bacon, they are my favorite breakfast. As I sat in the blazing late September sun at Fort Davidson Historic Site with the battle of Pilot Knob playing out before me, my thoughts kept returning to DeMaria’s promised pancakes. They were fantabulous and Instagram worthy!
Plain & Fancy Bed & Breakfast offers several packages that you can combine into your stay for a customized experience. I highly recommend adding a three or four course dinner for two to your stay. I will when I return.
Before leaving the inn Sunday I arranged a horseback ride through DeMaria. The trail ride was less than an eighth of a mile from the B&B. Tim and Kyle greeted us and introduced us to our mounts, Kate and Shiloh. Kyle led our trail ride and entertained us with stories of the land and of the Battle of Pilot Knob as we rode the perimeter. The land that we rode through played a very important geographical role in the Civil War battle. Soldiers had camped on the grounds and Kyle pointed out remnants of fortifications that had tumbled since 1864. Part of our ride followed an old military road that was used during the war.
Plain & Fancy Bed and Breakfast would make any bride delight in the possibilities of her perfect wedding on the grounds. It also appeals to couples looking to reconnect or celebrate an anniversary. I can also picture a “girls get-a-way” at Plain & Fancy. If you are seeking memorable hiking consider Plain & Fancy for your base camp. The body sprays in the shower of the Amish Room would be a welcome respite after an outdoor adventure. However, I have my fingers crossed, that someone invites me to a writer’s retreat at the B&B. Consider this my RSVP.
Plain & Fancy B&B also offers pet and children friendly rentals at Arcadia Valley Cabins. See additional photos from our stay at the inn on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/population91. For more ideas on things to see and do in Arcadia Valley, including lodging and dining options visit Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce. Arcadia Valley is accessible via Amtrak.