Archive for March, 2012

Easter Dining at It’s Finest

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Staying in the Baltimore area over the Easter holiday and curious about dining options?  If you’re an overnight guest at Gramercy Mansion, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared Easter chickto order on Easter morning.  But by mid-afternoon, after the sugar haze of jelly beans and caramel-filled chocolate eggs fades, thoughts of Easter dinner-to-come will surely make your tummy grumble in anticipation.

Here are our top local restaurant picks for your Easter feast:

  • Linwoods, a contemporary American restaurant located on Reisterstown Road less than 10 minutes from Gramercy, is offering a three-course Prix Fixe menu for $35.12 (excluding sales tax and beverages) (www.linwoods.com, 410-356-3030).
  • The Oregon Grille, located in a gorgeous renovated stone farmhouse in Baltimore County’s horse country, again just minutes from Gramercy,  offers traditional American cuisine and is open on Easter for brunch and dinner.  (www.theoregongrille.com, 410-771-0505)
  • The Manor Tavern, another traditional American restaurant located in Monkton just 15 minutes from the Mansion, is offering brunch seatings at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Easter egg hunts at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and full Easter dinner at 4 p.m.  (www.themanortavern.com, 410-771-8155)

If you’re looking for a tasty and plentiful Easter brunch, consider the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys on Falls Road (410-532-6900 x216 for reservations), featuring an omelet station, Belgian waffle station, fruit-filled crepes, seafood display including steamed shrimp, smoked salmon, warm crab dip and more, carving stations including leg of lamb and spiral cut ham, a variety of side dishes, desserts, complimentary mimosas and a guest appearance by the Easter Bunny himself!

We recommend advance reservations so make your plans now!

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Mark your calendars for our Garden Blossoms & Spring Tea on Sunday, May 6th and Sunday, May 20th from 1 – 4 p.m. – a perfect afternoon to share with a special lady in your life in celebration of Mother’s Day!

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Hope to see you at Gramercy this spring!

A little Koinonia history…

Monday, March 19th, 2012

As spring begins to bloom and our Koinonia Organic Farm workers arrive back from their winter respite in Mexico, we reflect on our namesake and the history of our property here at Gramercy Mansion.  Heather stumbled upon this tidbit of Koinonia history (http://www.geotrees.com/v_schools.html) for those of you interested in what once was.

KOINONIA FOUNDATION  (closed)
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Ten years of periodic prayer and retreat, in response to world needs
during the era of World War II, preceded the emergence of Koinonia
Foundation into working reality in 1951. (“Koinonia,” a term used
often by the early church, is a Greek word for “community.”) The
Foundation acquired a 44-acre estate in the Green Spring Valley
north of Baltimore, and soon launched a program, and community life,
featuring retreat, study, spiritual community – and training to take
literacy, agriculture, health, and similar practical skills into the
undeveloped world. Much of the Peace Corps’ program was modeled
after Koinonia’s. The community’s center of gravity was nonsectarian
Christianity, with strong Quaker influences.

Koinonia’s life had two phases. The first, lasting from 1950 to
1970, featured the philosopy, purpose, and programs of the founders.
The second phase included a shift from the original orientation to
“New Age” and wholistic activities and “the alternate semester.”
During this time many of the community’s original members and
friends continued to engage the place as a center of prayer, study,
and retreat.

The community had a multigenerational resident population, with
several resident staffers / instructors living there over its entire
life, and a total population of up to about eighty people at any
given time. (Short-term retreatants and students, and some renters,
were included in the foundation.) This diverse group – typically
ranging in age from conception to the mid-80s – was one of
Koinonia’s great strengths.

Koinonia closed its doors in 1985, but many of its people continue
in roles of spirit, learning, and leadership around the country, and
around the world. The Foundation continues as a small grant-writing
organization to the present day.

Garden Blossoms & Spring Tea

Monday, March 12th, 2012

BOTH DATES SOLD OUT!!! Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for announcements for future teas.

Join us for a spring celebration of garden gazing, tea sipping, and delightful conversation!Spring entry sign

  • House & Garden Tours
  • 4-course Afternoon Tea
  • Door Prizes
  • Gift Shop Discounts (Browse our sale items for perfect Mother’s Day gift ideas!)

May 6, 2012 & May 20, 2012

1 p.m.—4 p.m.

$29 per person plus tax and gratuity

Space is limited, reservations and  payment required in advance.

All ages welcome.

Call 410-486-2405 for reservations!

High Tea Menu

Hors D’oeuvres

Dijon Deviled Eggs

Assortment of Brie Cheese

with fresh seasonal fruit display

Tea Sandwiches

Watercress and cucumber with fresh dill

Egg salad with cayenne pepper

Smoked salmon

Quiche Florentine squares

Cajun chicken salad

Assorted Scones

served with raspberry sauce on the side

Desserts

Mini lemon tarts & brownies

Served with a selection of English and herbal teas

Tea menu prepared by Hunt Valley Catering and presented by the innkeepers at Gramercy Mansion.

March Gardens and Anne’s Favorites

Monday, March 5th, 2012

WOW!  Can you believe?  Spring is one month early in our Baltimore gardens.  It’s only the first week of March and the Gramercy gardens are in bloom with snowdrops, daffodils,  hellebores, lesser celandine, daphne. mahonia and pulmonaria (lungwort) just pushing out with tender leaves but also flowers.

My very favorite shrub is daphne aureo-marginata because:

1. Long and early bloom

2. Extremely fragrant filling the whole rear garden of Gramercy with a sweet aroma

3. Looks evergreen.  Does not lose leaves until spring when the new leaves push through the flowers.

4. Leaves are highly glossy and fleshy with a lovely white margin on the edge.

Daphne Aureo-Marginata

Daphne Aureo-Marginata

My second favorite shrub is mahonia:

1. Interesting year around with yellow flowers and blue berries

2. Evergreen with serrated leaves

3. Grows quickly and easily pruned

Leatherleaf Mahonia

Leatherleaf Mahonia

Spring Garden Schedule

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

In the Garden with Anne…

Roll out the carpet and your reservations for spring at Gramercy. Believe it or not, we had our first outdoor elopement February 18 at the new gazebo. Here’s the schedule!

February - Snowdrops

Snowdrops

First snowdrops in February

March – first daffodils, daphne

Daffodils at Gramercy Mansion

First Daffodils in March

April – Beginning with magnolia and cherry trees, Virginia bluebell, bridal wreath, vinca, tulips, forsythia, bleeding heart, pulmonaria and ending with azaleas, forget-me-not, lilacs, weeping peach, dogwood, viburnum and many others

April Magnolia tree at Gramercy Mansion

Magnolia tree in full bloom during April

May – Continuation of late April plants plus lilies of the valley, English Bluebells, allium, and columbine with iris, peonies, foxglove, rhododendron and roses at the end of May

May Virgnina Bluebells at Gramercy

May Virginia Bluebells at Gramercy