Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts

Friday, September 27, 2019

More Cheap Trick, Gardens & Brew in Rockford

When I planned my trip to Rockford, I heard from quite a few people that I must have breakfast at The Stockholm. I was a bit disappointed when it wasn’t on our (very full) schedule, but a twist of fate brought us there anyway. 

The first stop of the day on the Rockford itinerary for Brittany, Amanda, and I was the Anderson Japanese Gardens. We were to have brunch there and then explore. 

Since they were also having an event that day, there was no brunch. That opened up our chance to go to The Stockholm. This restaurant is on the Cheap Trick Trail because of the Rick Nielsen connection. He’s a part-owner and full lover of this restaurant. 

The menu is huge, reminding me of a New York diner, but Swedish specialties where you would see Greek ones. Due to the breakfast mix-up, we were starving by the time we sat down. I ordered a Swedish Coffee Cake for us to share while we waited. 

It was as scrumptious as it looked and certainly whet our appetite for the rest. I always go toward the sweet and I continued with the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries, which are well worth an order at The Stockholm Inn

I also got the potato bake. Although it was delicious, it was a bit too rich for me to have more than a spoonful of. I did pass the rest around the table. 

Brittany and Amanda went for more traditional egg and meat breakfasts and were enjoyed their choice.

The trails were all filled with beautiful plants and flowers and the lakes had colorful fish and ducks. It was a bit warm, but the scenery was tranquil.

We then headed to the Anderson Japanese Gardens. I knew there would be a lot of walking and took my scooter along. Almost all of the garden paths were very accessible. 

With the Japanese Festival taking place there were also booths and additional tea ceremonies taking place (they do have authentic tea ceremonies at other times too). 

The Midway Village is a most unusual place that is a great experience for children and adults. In addition to the recreated 19th century village, representing a typical Northern Illinois town, there is a museum dedicated to the history of Rockford. 

I asked Brittany and Amanda to explore the village while I walked around the much smaller Dollhouse exhibit. We then met up in the museum.

I was really amazed at the history of Rockford after going through the Midway Village Museum. 

There were displays on the Emerson Carriage Company, the immigration to this area from Norway, Sweden, and Italy that was recruited through Ellis Island, and the dedications to the Rockford Peaches, the baseball team you may remember depicted in A League of Their Own. 

Also at Midway Village is another Cheap Trick shoutout, this one a Sock Monkey (Sock Monkeys were also made in Rockford) in their honor. 

We drove through downtown to look at some of the nine murals created in the Rockford CRE8IV project. They are well-worth a look. 

Our last Rockford stop was at Prairie Street Brewing Company, located in the spot Englishman Jonathan Peacock arrived in 1849 with the dream of building a brewery. 

Prairie Street has a large selection on microbrews, with the Peacock, Passion Fruit, and Peach Wheat all getting accolades from Brittany and Amanda. I enjoyed one of their mules, and their house made non-alcoholic root beer. 

The menu is very large and has some interesting things on it. The Poutine was a huge hit and Amanda raved about their creative Trolley Burger, with Applewood bacon, fried egg, provolone, thousand island dressing, and an onion ring. 

For dessert, we shared a rich and chocolatey S’mores Tart. 

Rockford is another Midwest spot that outlived my expectations with so much to see and do. The team at the CVB really put together a great trip for us!

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Perfect Lake Geneva Farewell

It was the final day in Lake Geneva with my friends Cortney and Amy.

We had been up late the previous night and slept in at Maxwell Mansion. We each had our own rooms and I loved my General Ulysses S. Grant suite.

I took one final bath in my antique soaking tub before we headed back to the Baker House for a fun and delicious brunch.

The Baker House keeps its 19th century image with period dress for the employees and hats for all of the visitors to wear.

We were greeted politely and, after we chose from the hats, were escorted us to our table overlooking the lake.

We were told the brunch came with unlimited champagne. We each had a glass before I switched to tea and received a lovely pot with a glass of honey.

Each downstairs room of the Baker House mansion contained different food items for one of the best brunches I’ve ever had.

The bar was set up as an omelet and eggs benedict station and the bartender was happy to customize your eggs any way you would like.

Every room was warm and comforting. Chafing dishes were set up with everything from Chicken and Dumplings to Bread pudding in the main living room and salads lined the hallways of Baker House.

The desserts were on tiered trays and in antique cups. There was also a chocolate fondue with plenty of choices for dipping, including fresh fruit, marshmallows, pretzels, and cookies.

First, we had salads, then went on to the main course breakfast. Cortney went for the eggs benedict with some bacon, while I went for a veggie-filled omelet.

We both indulged in the potatoes au gratin, which were rich and also delicious. As much as we wanted to try more, we were stuffed.

After we finished eating, we went for a tour of the Baker House rooms. They were all quite elegant and we were told they were adding a small, exclusive spa to give the guests even more of a luxury experience.

When the tour was over, we headed back to Maxwell Mansion to pack up our things and bid our hosts farewell.

It was a scenic drive along the lake to Avani Spa at the AbbyResort and we were ready to be pampered.

Our afternoon started with relaxing massages and then we were served lunch in the private sanctuary suite at Avani Spa

The suite was private and also had a pool and lounge area. We lounged for a while. It was a perfect way to end a girls’ getaway to Lake Geneva, a place I will certainly be returning to.