For Christmas, my husband surprised me with a gift of a weekend getaway for both of us at the Ann Bean Mansion in Stillwater. As the temperatures dropped, my vision of wandering around Stillwater to shop sunk like the rapidly decreasing temperatures. We knew it was going to be a hibernating sort of weekend, and we decided it would be a great time to hang out in a mansion instead of being cooped up at home. Besides, it gave us a reason to be lazy and just relax, which is always nice.
Before we went to the mansion, we stopped at Pub 112 in downtown Stillwater for dinner. To warm my bones, I had a Sunburnt Nutty Irishman which is made with Tullamore Dew, Frangelico, Bailey’s Irish Cream, River Moon Coffee and topped with whipped cream. I also ordered the Guinness Beef Stew. The beef was tender and accompanied by root vegetables, peas, mushrooms, fresh herbs and topped with baby red mashed potatoes. The green stuff that adorned the plate tasted like kale. When I asked the waitress what it was, she confirmed my suspicion and said it was deep-fried. The crisp kale was different prepared that way, and I wondered if all the nutrients got fried away too. As I savored each bite, hubby enjoyed his burger. After we cleaned our plates, we were off to find the mansion which was just a short trip away.
When we entered the place, it felt warm and cozy even though the entryway is quite large. We were greeted by Jeremy, the innkeeper. Jeremy and Erin, a husband and wife team, have been innkeepers since 2004. Jeremy told us that the mansion was built in 1880, and he escorted us to the Hersey room. Mr. Hersey was part owner of Hersey, Bean and Brown Lumber just when the town of Stillwater was getting settled. To read more about the history of the mansion, click here.
Jeremy brews his own beer and told us about the never-ending supply of warm chocolate chip cookies that can be found in the dining room. After we got settled, we ventured off to find the cookies with melted chocolate chips. We had to restrain ourselves from visiting that room too much, but we did go there a few times!
We explored the living room, and I took these photos.
I enjoyed looking at the antiques and the beautifully carved woodwork that surrounded the rooms.
Mr. Hersey’s room, below, was quite large and is heated by a fireplace.
Looks like someone forgot their shoes!
That night, besides eating cookies, we lounged, watched TV, and I browsed through the History of Stillwater where I discovered that Mr. Hersey was quite the lumberman. It was very quiet even though we heard other guests come and go every once in a while. I was surprised that the old windows in the building didn’t make the place too drafty, but closing the shades helped a lot. The still night turned into a peaceful morning.
We had breakfast in our room, but guests do have the option of eating in the dining room, if they’re feeling social that is! Somebody knocked at our door, and left a sumptuous tray of food without being seen. No crumbs were left behind at this meal either!
Merlot Poached Pears with Yogurt and Granola
Cheddar Gougere with Tomato Jam
Buckwheat Blini with Dutch Apple Compote and Sausage
Peach Mango Crumble
Thankfully, our old van turned right over even though the temperature was still below zero. We visited the Church of St. Michael for mass a few blocks away. We got to explore another beautiful old building that is one of the oldest parishes in Minnesota that was built in 1853.
We had such a nice and relaxing time, we’re thinking about going back again when the weather gets warmer or maybe we’ll go when it’s below zero again…