Archive for the ‘Things To Do’ Category

Three Tips for Rekindling Your Romance

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

romantic couple in the garden

The holidays have passed… we’ve indulged in our favorite things, enjoyed priceless family time, made countless New Year’s resolutions and a handful of trips to the gym.  Is reigniting a spark with your partner on that list of to-do’s for this year?  Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  We often neglect the ones we love most and fail to show them how truly important they are.

I’m certainly no “love expert” but working at a fantastically romantic B&B allows me the pleasure of seeing many couples in love. Holding hands (rather than cell phones) over the breakfast table, booking an anniversary getaway every single year without fail, and stopping by just to visit their engraved brick along wedding walk, these romantic couples inspire me. I hope the following three tips inspire you to rekindle your romance, collected through quiet observation of those I consider to be experts.

Tip #1:  Unplug.  I’m not talking for an entire weekend getaway (unless you’re really up for it).  Unplug for just a few minutes, maybe a few hours if you can swing it.  In today’s world of instant everything and constant communication, it seems like we’re texting, e-mailing, networking, tweeting, and posting 24-7.  Everyone can always reach us and whenever something really fabulous happens, we’re sure to snap a photo to share with the world.  What if we put down that addictive hand-held contraption for a few hours and reconnect, face-to-face without distraction?  Eye contact, active listening… it may not sound super romantic but when someone truly listens to you and has eyes only for you, it really is an incredible feeling and who knows where that may lead?

Tip #2:  Let the to-do list wait.   I am so guilty of worrying and fussing over the next item on my list and so is my husband (as much as I love him!).  There’s always a mess to clean up, laundry to fold, bills to pay, dishes to wash, a child or a pet to care for.  We tend to get wrapped up in what needs to be done not to mention the countless projects we’d like to finish and our conversations happen while both of us are preoccupied.  What would it be like if we had nothing else to focus on except each other for a little while?  This is where a dinner out or a romantic getaway, even just one night at a local bed and breakfast (I can recommend a few!), can completely change the dynamic.  No chores, no work, no commitments or obligations. Time for just the two of you… everything else can wait.

Tip #3:   Stroll down memory lane.  Remember that sushi restaurant from your first date where you sat at a corner table for hours talking and laughing?  It’s worth another visit.  Maybe you proposed or were married at a romantic local spot… surprise your partner with a quick detour or a weekend drive. Sometimes we’re so busy that we forget to make time for things we used to enjoy together – whether it’s wine tasting, concerts, art galleries, flea market shopping, trying new recipes in your own kitchen or stargazing.  Make an effort to plan an outing or some special time at home doing things you enjoy together.  And reminisce while you’re at it.  Reliving memories of romantic and fun times spent together inspires more of the same.

Wishing you much love, laughter and romance!

Romantic Proposal Inspiration

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

There’s something about this time of year that inspires romance and engagements.  Perhaps it’s the mistletoe, warm fireplace cuddles, or just spending time with loved ones during the holidays.  Maybe a sparkly gift is already wrapped beneath the Christmas tree or a memorable moment is in the works for the strike of 12 on New Year’s Eve. Or, maybe a few hints have been dropped but the how and when has yet to be determined.  No worries… here are few romantic marriage proposal scenarios that promise an ecstatic yes!

Putting on the ring (closer) Tudor Gazebo ++++

1.   Swept Away.  Make all of the arrangements for a night or a weekend escape – call the sitter, pack the bags, and sweep them away for a surprise getaway.  Arrange to have favorite flowers in the room along with a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider.  Ask if the hotel or B&B offers a romance package including rose petals and candles.  If not, bring your own to create the perfect ambiance.

2.  Winter Wonderland.  Be inspired by the romance of the season, from ice skating under the stars in the Inner Harbor, to a private carriage ride along a quiet country road or a a walk along a snow-dusted path leading to a candlelit gazebo with your proposal written in the snow or spelled out with votive candles.

3.  Techie Proposals.  If you have the know how, set up a smart phone scavenger hunt and have clues pop up as they dash to and from spots around town with special significance, ending of course with you on your knee and a ring.  Create your own website or a video of your proposal and post to YouTube.  Send a text, tweet, Facebook year in review ending with a proposal while you’re with your partner and when they see it, pop the question in person.

If you’re still looking for proposal inspiration, let the Gramercy girls help!  We’re happy to be your personal proposal concierge.  We’ll help you come up with a scenario that best suits you and your partner and arrange the details.  Or visit our Pinterest board for proposal inspiration.

Countdown to New Year’s Eve

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

champagne toast

It’s not too late to plan your perfect New Year’s Eve celebration in Baltimore, whether an intimate evening for two or an extravagant night on the town!

Dinner for two and a little romance for dessert…

The Oregon Grille – A “Sparkling New Year” – Make reservations for dinner at this elegant stone farmhouse just a few miles north of Gramercy Mansion in Hunt Valley and you may walk away with a gorgeous blue topaz and diamond pendant from Radcliffe Jewelers!  Order from the regular dinner menu (always amazing) and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.  Click here for details and reservations.

Milton Inn – A Spectacular New Year’s Eve Dinner – Dine at this highly-renowned and romantic restaurant in nearby Sparks, featuring a prix fixe three-course menu at $100 per person.  Click here for the New Year’s Eve menu.

Flashy, Fun and Festive!

New Year’s Eve Spectacular – Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Join Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for an evening of live entertainment and a fireworks and light show at midnight.  Details here.

Charm City Countdown – An all-inclusive evening of food, drink, and entertainment set to the theme of Moulin Rouge!  Just minutes away in Timonium, this huge soiree with over 2,000 party-goers promises to big one of the biggest bashes north of Baltimore!  Click here for details and tickets.

 Wrap it up with a romantic stay…

Chocolate cheers NYE package

After your private dinner or night on the town, retreat to a luxury guest room or suite at Gramercy Mansion or our sister B&B near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, 1840s Carrollton Inn.  Curl up by a fireplace, soak your dancing feet in a whirlpool tub, share a sparkling toast.  Sleep in and enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared to order on New Year’s Day.  What a way to start 2015!

Add our Chocolate Cheers package to your New Year’s Eve stay at Gramercy Mansion for just $55 including a festive box of Belgium chocolates, a split of sparkling champagne and two signature champagne flutes!  Available only on New Year’s Eve.  Call 410-486-2405 or click here to reserve your guest room and package today!

Holiday Happenings near Gramercy

Monday, December 1st, 2014

While you are enjoying the holiday events at Gramercy Mansion, such as our Holiday Teas or Holiday Mansion Tours, consider some of these exciting holiday events in the area to complement your stay.

  • Miracle on 34th Street (Hampden, MD): This phenomenal lights display on the streets of Baltimore includes Christmas trees, Hanukkah menorahs, and holiday inflatables.  Visit Miracle on 34th Street for more information on this annual event that attracts thousands each year.

Saturday, November 29th through Friday, January 2nd from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Miracle on 34th Street. photo credit: www.wloy.org


  • Ladew Gardens (Monkton, MD): Ladew Gardens is preparing to host their 34th annual Christmas Open House and Greens Sale.  Considered “one of Maryland’s most memorable and decorative holdiay events,” this event features live seasonal music, holiday gifts and decorations for sale, complimentary cider and cookies, and self-guided tours of the gardens (weather permitting).  Tickets are $10 for adults and more information can be found at the following website: Ladew Gardens

Friday, December 12th through Sunday, December 14th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


  • The Shops at Kenilworth (Towson, MD): The Shops at Kenilworth features several

    Shops at Kenilworth Train Garden. photo credit: juliejourneys.blogspot.com

    exciting holiday events, such as Santa’s visit to the mall (now through Christmas Eve), and a train garden with popular holiday characters (now through January 9th).  Also, there is a Night of Smart Shopping event on December 4th, including live music, complimentary champagne and refreshments, and sales and specials in every store.  Check out the events page on their website for more details. Shops at Kenilworth

Local Thanksgiving Events & Dining

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Festival of Trees (photo credit: festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org)

With so many exciting activities to attend in the Baltimore area, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to plan a getaway to Gramercy Mansion.  Below are a few ideas of what the area has to offer for the holiday season.

  • Green Valley North Turkey Trot on 11/27 (Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company):  This annual event in our neighborhood benefits Crohn’s and Colitis Research.  Participate in the 5-mile run, 3-mile walk or 1-mile kid’s fun run followed by post-trot activities.
  • Festival of Trees, 11/28 and 11/29 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 11/30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.(Maryland State Fairgrounds): Start the holiday season off right by attending the East Coast’s largest holiday extravaganza!  This fantasy world is great for all ages and will have fairyland forests, toy train gardens, and over 100 holiday boutiques.  The event will showcase a wide array of spectacularly decorated gingerbread towns available for charity auction, including a gingerbread house decorated by the staff at Gramercy Mansion!  If you have any ideas or suggestions for our gingerbread house design, we’d love to hear from you.  Purchase your tickets by Thanksgiving Day to receive a discounted adult price of $11.  All proceeds will benefit children of the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Thanksgiving at the Manor Tavern

Gobble ’til you wobble! Looking for a local Baltimore county restaurant for your Thanksgiving feast?  Our following favorites are open for your Turkey Day meal:

  • The Oregon Grille – Prix-fixed three-course holiday menu available for $49 per person.
  • Milton Inn – Prix-fixed three-course holiday menu available for $52 per person, or order a la carte from a special menu.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse (Pikesville) – Open from noon – 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving with three-course menu for $38.95 per person.
  • Manor Tavern – Thanksgiving buffet with seating times at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., $39 per person.

Join us for a Festive Holiday Tea

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Join us for a Festive Holiday Tea, featuring a four-course menu served with a selection of hot teas.  After tea, enjoy a special tour of Gramercy Mansion, beautifully decorated for the holiday season.  Treat someone special as a perfect holiday gift idea or gather a group of friends and share a new holiday tradition.  We look forward to welcoming you!

Sunday, December 14th and 21st, 2014

12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Gramercy Mansion

$40 per person plus tax and service

Reserve early – our holiday teas sell out quickly!

Call 410-486-2405 for reservations.

Afternoon Tea Menu

Mini Quiche Florentine

Classic Deviled Eggs

Cucumber with Herbed Cream Cheese Rounds

Chicken Salad Served on Biscuits

Smoked Turkey on Orange Muffins with Cranberry Chutney

Fresh Fruit Skewer

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Miniature Chocolate Brownie with Peppermint Sprinkle

Lemon Squares

Scones

Cinnamon Pecan

Dried Cherry

Served with Lemon Curd, Raspberry Jam, Honey Créme Fraiche


Tea Menu prepared by Sascha’s Catering and presented by the Innkeepers at Gramercy Mansion

Holiday Mansion Tours in December

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Join our innkeeper Maria for a guided tour of the historic rooms and suites at Gramercy Mansion on Tuesdays in December at 11 a.m.  Your visit includes lunch as well as an exclusive look at our holiday decorations that provide a beautiful backdrop for  holiday parties and events.  Also, the tour is a great opportunity to browse through owner Anne’s array of gift shop treasures that will make perfect holiday gifts for your family and friends.  Maria couldn’t be more delighted to present our gorgeous mansion in all its holiday glory and she invites you to join her on Tuesday mornings.

December 2, 16, 23, and 30

$20 per person (includes lunch and tour)

Call 410-486-2405 or email info@gramercymansion.com by the Monday before to reserve.

Driving tours in the Greenspring area

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Fall is a wonderful time of year to take a picturesque driving tour of the Greenspring area in Maryland.  The area is a perfect, smaller scale representation of Baltimore city and the Mid-Atlantic region.  There are several destinations near Gramercy Mansion to discover, including local shops, gardens, churches, and historic mansions. Our suggested driving tour of the Greenspring area includes something for everyone.  If you are interested in history, stop by Fort Garrison, which is where Captain Oldton established Maryland’s first garrison with his group of men in the 18th century.

Cloisters Mansion

If you are interested in grand buildings and the Renaissance era, visit Cloisters Mansion.  Built in the 1930’s, this beautiful mansion features Tudor architecture and stone on the exterior and spiral staircases and large fireplaces on the interior.  The exterior is open for viewing Tuesday-Saturday and the interior can be viewed by appointment.  Some other mansions to visit nearby include Villa Place and the Baptist Home.  Visit the following website for more information on Cloisters Mansion: Cloisters Mansion

St. Thomas Church

For those drawn to religious history, St. Thomas’ Church is a great place to visit.  Built in 1745, this was the first real location in the area for people to attend church.  This lovely building features brick structure, a gallery that used to be for slaves and indentured servants, and even a stained-glass window that is dedicated to Alexander J. Cassatt Stewart, a child from Gramercy.  For more details, visit the following website: St. Thomas Church.

There are several scenic byways near the Greenspring area as well.  One of these is located on Falls Road in Baltimore.  This driving tour provides scenic views of rural landscapes, rolling green countryside, historic attractions, luxury homes, and the Baltimore cityscape.  Some attractions include the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, Charm City Cakes, and the Oregon Ridge Nature Center.  Click here for details

The Horses and Hounds scenic byway is another popular choice.  Located in Cockeysville where fox hunts and steeplechases continue to be popular activities, this driving tour is perfect for those who want a relaxing, slow-paced adventure.  Some attractions include steeplechase courts, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ladew Topiary Gardens, and the Gunpowder Falls State Park, where one can engage in activities such as hiking and bird watching.  Click here for details

Margot Amelia, executive director of the Maryland Office of Tourism, stated, “Driving tours are extremely popular among visitors to Maryland, especially in the fall when Mother Nature puts on a colorful show.”  During your stay at Gramercy, take advantage of one of these driving tours during the gorgeous fall season!

Welcoming fall in and around Gramercy

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Fall Foliage in MD

Summer is nearly over, which means the fall foliage in Stevenson, MD will soon be displayed in all its glory.  Late September through early November is a perfect time to come spend a long weekend at Gramercy Mansion and view the vibrant colors in our gorgeous fall gardens.  In addition, there are many fall themed events nearby for you to experience.

One ideal place for families to visit is Rodger’s Farm, which is located right down the road from our mansion.  The farm’s many events include a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, and a petting zoo.  It is open from September 27th-November 9th on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  www.northrunfarm.com.  Another option for families is the Ar-BOO-retum event, located at the Cylburn Arboretum Association in Baltimore.  This event occurs on October 24th and features several Halloween-themed activities, including a haunted mansion, a costume parade, and a pumpkin carving contest.  The park is open Tuesdays-Sundays for guests to enjoy the gardens and trails as well.  http://cylburn.org/education-events/special-events/arbooretum/

The Westminster Fall Fest, occurring from September 25th-28th, is Carroll County’s largest community charity event.  There is something for everyone to enjoy at this event, including rides, food, craft vendors, and a parade.  http://www.westminsterfallfest.com/

The annual Sugarloaf Craft Festival in Timonium is perfect for anyone interested in arts and crafts.  Occurring between October 10th and 12th, this event features over 250 artisans showing and selling their work in areas such as photography, sculpture, pottery, and jewelry making.  www.sugarloafcrafts.com/festivals/timon/fall

Patapsco Valley State Park

Patapsco Valley State Park, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Oregon Ridge Park, and Ladew Topiary Gardens are great destinations if you are simply interested in viewing the fall foliage and gardens.  The parks have several activities on site as well, such as walking trails, fishing, and canoeing.

Patapsco Park: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/patapsco.aspx

Gunpowder Park: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/gunpowder.aspx

Oregon Ridge Park: http://oregonridgenaturecenter.org/

Ladew Topiary Gardens: http://www.ladewgardens.com/HOME.aspx

We welcome you to spend a few days at Gramercy Mansion as you appreciate the beauty that the fall season has to offer!

Star-Spangled Summer Events in Baltimore

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014


Tall ship in Baltimore Inner Harbor

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem at its birth place this summer. Visit Baltimore for the free Star-Spangled Spectacular Festival, September 10 – 16, 2014, featuring Tall ships, Navy ships, Blue Angels, history demonstrations, concerts, regional food and drink, and an amazing fireworks display over Fort McHenry!

The excitement doesn’t stop in the city… our neighbors at Stevenson University are hosting a Star-Spangled Salute on Wednesday, Sept 10.

1:30 p.m. – Screening of Anthem, a documentary about the people and events that shaped the Star-Spangled Banner by Maryland independent filmmaker Mark Hildebrand.
7:30 p.m. – An American Salute: Music of our Nation, Baltimore county’s musical tribute to the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Check out a few of our favorite patriotic places around town:

We hope you’ll spend a star-spangled weekend in Baltimore this September!  Gorgeous, historic rooms and suites available throughout the month at Gramercy Mansion and 1840s Carrollton Inn.  Check out our room of the month specials and last-minute discounts.