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!

Celebrating Earth Day at Gramercy

April 21st, 2014

Have you ever thought about how much the Earth gives us? With the blooming flowers and beautiful spring weather, it is only natural to want to spend time outside in the fresh air. In order for us to enjoy our green surroundings, we have to protect the environment. Earth Day is an International environmental movement celebrated every year on April 22 that helps us appreciate and protect our environment.

Here at Gramercy Mansion, our gardens are a prominent element of the mansion, providing a breathtaking backdrop for any event, big or small. From a stroll in the gardens to a gorgeous garden wedding, the flowers never fail to create memories and smiles. Planting flowers around the 45-acre property has many environmental benefits, as well. Planting flowers conserves the land that they grow on, and conservation is just one of the many goals of Earth Day. The flowers are also an important food source for a variety of insects including butterflies and bumblebees. Another significant result of planting flowers is the reduction of carbon in our environment. Not only do flowers create a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere, but they also help our environment in immeasurable ways. Click here to explore our garden photo gallery.

Organic farming is yet another way that Gramercy Mansion contributes to the protection of the environment, a prime reason to celebrate this Earth Day. Koinoia Farm is the oldest organic farm in Maryland, not only providing the bed and breakfast with fresh herbs, but also providing them to local supermarkets. Organic farming relies on biological diversity and crop rotation to manage pests and maintain soil fertility, all without the use of harsh chemicals. This healthy way of farming keeps the soil healthy for future generations to come. It also provides nutritious and safe crops for the community.

Our staff makes up just a few of the one billion people participating in Earth Day activities. Even though it may seem small, our gardens and Koinoia Farm help protect the environment through conserving land, reducing carbon, providing food sources, and maintaining soil fertility. What are you doing this Earth Day to join in this environmental movement?

Visit for a bed and breakfast stay this spring and take home one of Anne’s plants from the many varieties now in bloom to begin or add to your own garden.

Join us for our Mother’s Day Tea!

April 21st, 2014

SOLD OUT!  So sorry!  Check back for future events and teas.

Celebrate spring with the special women in your life. Join us for a high tea while the beautiful gardens are in bloom, in honor of mothers everywhere!

Sunday, May 11, 2014
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
$35 per person plus tax & gratuity

Gramercy Mansion
1400 Greenspring Valley Road
Stevenson, MD  211153

Tea Menu:
Enjoy an elegantly presented afternoon tea in the atrium surrounded by breathtaking spring gardens.

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
Plantation Mint, Earl Grey Herbal Tea
Tea Menu prepared by Sascha’s Catering and presented by the Innkeepers at Gramercy Mansion.

$35 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.

Enjoy a bite of chocolate trifle! (Recipe)

April 14th, 2014

Just indulged in this delicious treat made by one of Anne’s garden club members!  Wow!  For all those chocolate lovers out there, make sure you try this tasty recipe for Chocolate Heath Bar Trifle.

Ingredients

-1 pkg Devil’s Food Cake
-1 large pkg. (5.9 ox.) Jello-O Instant Chocolate Pudding
-1/3 cup Kahlua
-2/3 cup milk
-1 pkg. Heath bars
-1 8oz. container Cool Whip
(1 cup of milk can be substituted for the Kahlua, depending on preference)

Directions
1) Bake cake in 9 x 13 pan. When cool, cut in small squares and trianges. Place 1/3 cake in a bowl.
2) Whisk pudding with milk and Kahlua and allow to set in refrigerator for 3 minutes.
3) Layer cake, pudding, crumbled Heath bars and Cool Whip about 3 times.
4) End with Heath bars on top.
5) Enjoy!

Tuesdays with Anne

April 9th, 2014

Join owner Anne Pomykala for a personal tour of Gramercy’s landscaped gardens followed by a picnic lunch on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. ($15 per person).

With vibrant color from April through November, the blooms are constantly changing throughout the spring, summer and fall.  Anne delights visitors with her insights, gardening tips and extensive knowledge of local flora.

Tuesdays with Anne

August 24th

September 2, 9, 23, & 30th

Check back for additional dates in October!

$15 per person including lunch!

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

A path behind the Mansion winds from a shade garden complete with marble gazebo to a large oval wedding garden.  A heart-shaped garden showcases colorful tulips in early spring. An Edwardian-inspired front garden separates the Mansion and Carriage House.  Over-layered early and late blooming perennials and annuals add depth to borders boasting a continuous wave of color from February’s first snow drops through November.  Whimsical statues, benches, sculptures, sun dials and fountains add to the abounding charm of the property’s gardens.  On a beautiful day, or even a drizzly spring morning, you’ll find Anne tending her gardens.  The Pomykalas purchased the 45-acre estate in 1985 but with much restoration work required in the Mansion itself, the endeavor of creating gardens and landscape to compliment the historic home was not truly underway until ten years later. While much of the property is wooded and seven acres are dedicated to organic farming, about three acres surround the Mansion, Carriage House and cottages with landscaped gardens sprung from Anne’s creativity and passion for nature’s beauty.

Hundreds of couples have celebrated weddings in Gramercy’s gardens and countless B&B guests wander the meandering paths, spying hummingbirds over their morning coffee.  Anne couldn’t be more delighted to share her gardens and she invites you to join her on Tuesday mornings.

The 2014 Tomato War is on!

April 2nd, 2014

tomato seedsIt’s that time of year again… the 2014 Tomato Wars have officially begun between  Bill, our executive innkeeper, and owner Anne!  We’ve leveled the playing field this year and both Anne and Bill are growing the same variety steakhouse hybrid from seed.

Bill holds the record with last season’s 3.2 lb jumbo tomato. While he won’t reveal his growing secrets, we here at Gramercy Mansion think it may have something to do with his four-legged children – Huck, Finn and Riley! ;-)

But don’t count Anne out… she has secret plans of her own.  Stay tuned as we continue our quest for the largest, juiciest, most delicious tomato in Maryland!  If you want to put your green thumb to the test and join the competition, send us updates and pics of your tomato plants at Facebook.com/GramercyMansion.

Spotlight on Gramercy’s Caterers

March 26th, 2014

One of the key elements for a memorable event, whether a wedding, birthday party, bridal shower or corporate mixer, is professional catering.  Your guests will arrive hungry… our exclusive caterers please the most discerning palates and make sure everyone leaves with a smile on their face.  Professional and courteous catering staff and specialists attend to every detail for a seamless event.  Sit back, relax and be a guest at your own party.

Chef’s Expressions Catering
Chef’s Expressions brings creativity, passion, and excellence to each and every event. Their team’s attention to detail and dedication to each event’s success has led them to be named “National Catering Company of the Year,” and “Maryland’s Caterer of the Year” among many other prestigious awards.

In addition to creating client experiences, Chef’s Expressions donates time, food, and services to support the community. In 2011, they were honored as the Business Philanthropy Award Winner from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.The culinary program endeavors to keep ingredients local and sustainable, supporting farmers and producers from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

In 2012, Chef’s Expressions became a Certified Green Caterer, taking numerous steps to improve sustainability in catering operations including developing a full recycling program, composting food waste, and saving oil for use in bio-diesel.

Linwoods
Linwoods continues to be one of Baltimore’s top catering companies striving to bring its customers fresh and creative cuisine and fine service.  Linwoods is recognized year after year by Baltimore Magazine (Baltimore Magazine “Gold Medal Winner” for Best Restaurants of 2014), Zagat Guide as one of the city’s best restaurants, and receiving awards for catering by The Knot and Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice Award.

In addition to delicious cuisine, style and service, Linwoods Catering offers clients expertise and experience.  This comes from over 20 years of catering events. Their goal is to make clients happy and relaxed, to provide special menus tailored to their style and within their price range.

Sascha’s

Sascha Wolhandler has been a highly respected caterer in and around Baltimore for the last 20 years, providing imaginative ideas and attentive service, not to mention amazing food. Sascha is known in the film industry as a premier set food stylist in the Baltimore area. The catering team at Sascha’s first and most sincere concern is to make you feel comfortable while planning your wedding or special event.   After listening to your thoughts and vision for a special celebration, they work to create a mood and atmosphere for the day that reflects you.

Creative menu design and presentation sets Sascha’s apart, creating a distinctive element of warmth and style.  By offering flexibility and professionalism, Sascha’s truly creates seamless, custom events of any kind.

Happy Girl Scout Week!

March 13th, 2014

Happy Girl Scout Week!  Our owner Anne Pomykala has been a huge supporter of the Girl Scouts, creating and leading the Washington DC area’s largest senior troop in the 1970′s and earning the Girl Scout’s highest volunteer award.  Check out these fun photos of her troop after a caving adventure in the mid-70′s!  #Throwback Thursday #tbt