Top 5 Holiday Party Questions Answered

September 25th, 2014

holiday party date on calendar

‘Tis the season to plan corporate holiday events, from client appreciation to employee celebration!  When planners visit us, many of the same questions pop up.  Following are a few answers to help with logistics and venue details so you can move on to more important things… like choosing a signature cocktail sure to kick-start the festivities!

1.  Will the venue be decorated for the holidays? We love the holiday season and embrace it with tons of festive decorations that go up the weekend after Thanksgiving and come down around the second week in January.  The exterior of the Mansion is decked with classic wreaths and white lights along with whimsical touches including Santa in his sleigh pulled by lighted reindeer.  Indoors, guests are greeted warmly by cozy fireplaces, mantles decorated with holly and holiday collectibles on display, several holiday trees, poinsettias, velvet ribbons and bows.  The Carriage House is also decorated for the holidays on a smaller scale with holiday trees and wreaths.

2.  Is catering included? Basic site rental of our venues is for reservation of the space only.  We work exclusively with three full-service caterers (Chef’s Expressions, Linwoods and Sascha’s) who are happy to discuss menu options and provide proposals including everything you need for your catered holiday event.

3.  Do you offer a discounted rate for non-profit organizations? Not specifically, but special rates are available for events scheduled less than three months in advance.  Several added-value and cost-savings incentives are now available for 2014 holiday events.  Call 410-486-2405 to inquire.  We’re also happy to support non-profit partners hosting events at our venues with donations for auctions and fundraising activities during the event.  Just ask!

4.  What about parking?  And do you offer coat check? Ample free parking is available onsite.  Parking is self service unless you choose to hire a valet company.  An unattended coat room is available for your guests on the first floor.  You may certainly contract a service for coat check if you prefer.  Visit our event resource page for recommended valet and coat check companies.

5.  Do I need to hire a d.j./musicians/entertainment service? This is entirely at your discretion and depends on your budget and the type of event you’re planning.  If it’s a casual luncheon, a holiday playlist from your iPod may be just the ticket.  You can even plug into our dock connected to a few small speakers in the Mansion’s atrium.  If you’re looking to kick things up a notch, a professional entertainment service has access to countless talented entertainers and experience creating unforgettable events.  The sky’s the limit.

Lucky you… you were nominated for the task of planning your company holiday party!  So make your list and check it twice.  Hope we’ve ticked off a few answers to your initial party planning questions.

Haven’t booked a venue yet?  No worries. Join us for a Holiday Preview Party featuring Chef’s Expressions at Gramercy Mansion on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 6 – 8 p.m. Cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, a sneak peek at the holiday decor and special savings and added value promotions for holiday bookings!  RSVP to Amanda@GramercyMansion.com or 410-486-2405.

Fall at Gramercy Mansion

September 24th, 2014

Fall is finally here!  Enjoy these photos of the beautiful fall season at Gramercy Mansion.

Welcoming fall in and around Gramercy

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!

Tomato & Zucchini Tart Recipe

September 3rd, 2014

Our friends at Linwoods Restaurant and Catering have been kind enough to share this delicious recipe with us.  Anne’s garden has exploded with huge, juicy tomatoes of all shapes and sizes during the past few weeks.  Stop by to pick some up or enjoy them during breakfast at Gramercy.  Nothing says summer like fresh garden tomatoes!

Tomato & Zucchini Tart, courtesy of Linwoods

First you will need to make the tart shell.

Tart Ingredients:

4 oz butter-cold/cut into cubes

1 ¼ cups of flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2-3 tablespoons of ice water

  • Combine: butter, flour & salt
  • Slowly, add ice water.
  • Roll into ball
  • Chill in fridge
  • Roll it out
  • Make into whatever tart shape you’d like it to be.
  • Bake at 325° until golden brown.

Slice 3 large beefsteak tomatoes ½” thick

Slice 3 large zucchini ½” thick

Grate 2 cups gruyere cheese

1 cup of champagne mustard

  • Spread the mustard on chilled and cooked tart shell.
  • Spread cheese over shell.
  • Alternate slices of tomato & zucchini to fill shell.
  • Sprinkle with some kosher salt and dried oregano.
  • Cook at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

Cut, Serve and Enjoy!

Planning a wedding or special event at Gramercy Mansion?  Be sure to check out Linwoods off-premise catering services.  The professional event team, consistently delicious cuisine and elegant presentation rank them among the best caterers in Baltimore and we are happy to recommend them as one of our three approved caterers at Gramercy.

Star-Spangled Summer Events in Baltimore

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.

Chocolate-Drizzled Pecan Balls

August 4th, 2014

From our kitchen at Gramercy Mansion… A guest and staff favorite!  Amanda’s chocolate-drizzled, sugar-coated delicious treats are a perfect indulgence any time of day.  Substitute walnuts for pecans if you prefer.

Ingredients

2 cup chopped pecans

2 sticks softened butter

4 tbsp sugar

2 cups flour

Dash of salt

3 tsp vanilla

Chocolate chips

Powdered sugar

Directions

Grease cookie sheet and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour.  Stir in chocolate chips and pecans and mix by hand.

Roll into balls and bake for 30 – 45 minutes.

Roll in powdered sugar and drizzle with melted chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

From our gardens to yours… A September Tea

July 30th, 2014

Join us for a refreshing afternoon tea featuring herbs from the garden!

*New Date*

Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014
12 – 3 p.m.
Gramercy Mansion

$40 per person plus tax and service

Call 410-486-2405 to reserve by 9/21/14.


Enjoy teas created with fresh and dried herbs and flowers from Gramercy’s gardens and learn how to brew tea from the flowers and herbs growing in your own garden.  Tour the exquisite landscaped grounds with Anne and the historic mansion and bed & breakfast rooms with our knowledgeable innkeepers.

Afternoon Tea Menu

First Course
Cinnamon Pecan Scones and Blueberry Scones served with Lemon Curd, Raspberry Jam and Clotted Cream

Second Course
Mini Quiche Florentine
Classic Deviled Eggs
Cucumber with Herbed Cream Cheese Rounds

Third Course
Chicken Salad served on Mini Rolls
Smoked Turkey on Orange Muffins
Open-Faced Herbed Cream Cheese Sandwiches served with Raspberries

Fourth Course
Seasonal Fruit Skewer
Lemon Squares
Raspberry Crumb Bars

Teas to be Served
To be determined… brewing up some great ideas with garden inspiration!

$40 per person plus tax and service.

By reservation only.
Call 410-486-2405 to reserve your space!
Non-refundable payment required in advance.
Special rates available for groups of 8 or more.
Limited availability.  Rain or Shine.

Baltimore Vacation or Staycation

July 7th, 2014

The East Coast is home to some amazing cities bursting with history, culture, and regional cuisine.  Baltimore has made it’s mark as a mid-Atlantic destination for International travel while maintaining a charm and hometown feel that draws locals and visitors from nearby suburbs and neighbors from Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Hampden neighborhood

Whether visiting from far away or escaping the daily grind for a stay-cation just a few miles from your own backyard, here are a few less-touristy sites to explore in and around Baltimore this summer.

The Great Outdoors

Beat the Heat

Shopping

Dining & Nightlife

And don’t forget to book your bed & breakfast stay! Reserve a room at Gramercy Mansion for country serenity just a short drive from the fun and eclectic shopping and dining in Hampden, or book a suite at the 1840s Carrollton Inn, just a block from Little Italy and close to Fells Point and the many attractions of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Gramercy Gems & Fun Finds

July 2nd, 2014

If you’ve never visited as a bed and breakfast or party guest, you probably don’t know about the amazing treasures around every corner at Gramercy Mansion.  I never tire of coming to work… I always stumble upon something new, completely one-of-a-kind, or giggle-worthy to brighten my day.  And I love seeing the look on guests’ faces when they discover a jewel in the eclectic gift shop or ask me to snap a photo next to one of Anne’s treasures.

Many items throughout the Mansion are for sale as part of our gift shop while many others have found a permanent home here. You must visit to have a peek and find your own treasure to take home.  Book a B&B getaway (a few days might give you enough time to start exploring) or stop in for a look around.  Just be sure to call first to make sure there isn’t a private event taking place (410-486-2405).  Or join us for a garden tour on “Tuesdays with Anne” throughout the summer and take in the wonders of her garden sanctuary including charming statues, fanciful sculptures and elf houses, water features, artistic benches and more.

Here are a few of my favorite Gramercy gems captured by Anne’s grandson Justin and myself as we toured the house with fresh eyes today and appreciated all the little whimsical touches… enjoy!

Three Last-minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

May 7th, 2014

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for awhile, but their hearts forever”

Celebrate Mother’s Day, this Sunday, May 11th!  Our Mother’s Day tea at Gramercy Mansion is completely sold out but it’s not too late to plan a special day for a special woman.  Show your love and appreciation with time spent together.  Here are a few ideas to fill her day with fun and celebrate…

With Wine!

Plan a day at one of Maryland’s wineries to sip and savor time with mom.

Visit Dejon Vineyards in Hydes, Maryland for Mother’s Day afternoon with live Motown music and more by musical duo Love Story and a tasty menu by The Harp Restaurant of Perry Hall available a la carte.  Admission is $10 per person, ages 18 and over and free for guests 17 and under.  Reservations recommended.

Plan a visit to Linganore Winecellars any time during May and treat mom to a tasting of a variety of cheeses and chocolates paired perfectly with Linganore wines.  $10 per person; reservations recommended.

For more local wine events, visit www.marylandwine.com.

With Flowers!

46th Annual Market Day at Cylburn Aboretum is the perfect place to pick out pretty blooms for mom this Saturday.  Plants for sale include hanging baskets, herbs, perennials, annuals, rare and native plants.  Chat with local gardening experts for tips and advice.  Click here for details.

Tiptoe through the tulips at Ladew Gardens and take mom on a tour of the manor house, gardens and nature walk.  Enjoy lunch in the Ladew cafe with a special treat for mom (while supplies last).  Or purchase a family membership as a gift to enjoy the stunning gardens all season.  House, garden and nature walk tickets are $13 per adult, $7 children 2 – 12.

With Brunch!

Treat her to brunch at the always-fabulous Milton Inn, featuring a Spring fresh 3-course menu from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Mother’s Day.  $42 per person, $21 for children 12 and under (entree and dessert only).  Click here for details.

Feeling a little more casual?  Step out to a family-friendly brunch at Miss Shirley’s Cafe, featured in USA Today’s 10 best places for Mother’s Day brunch!  With homestyle favorites and deliciously decadent dishes as well (raspberry white chocolate waffles, anyone?), you can’t go wrong.  Locations in the Inner Harbor, Roland Park and Annapolis.

Hope you’re now inspired to make a plan for mom and treat her to a terrific weekend!