Spring Tulips at Bayfield, WI’s Old Rittenhouse Inn
It’s been a long winter in the northland, and we are excited for the annual “Bayfield In Bloom,” a celebration of all things Spring! The event kicks off this week, and runs from May 17 to June 16.
What better way to start off than with live Wisconsin Public Radio show broadcasts? WPR brings its popular “Garden Talk” show, hosted by Larry Meiller, to the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion on Friday May 17, and you and your friends can be part of the studio audience at no charge.
In addition to the Live Broadcast, visitors will enjoy a “Bayfield In Bloom Garden Expo” with opportunities to meet and talk with local horticultural experts and see a variety of garden-themed products. We have some rooms open the night before (Thursday), so why not come early and make a long weekend out of it?
Bayfield is certainly abuzz with spring activity at the moment! Daffodils and tulips are popping up everywhere, and soon we’ll see a vibrant mosaic of roadside lupines. The rolling hills surrounding our little town are filled with apple blossoms as the local orchards and farms come to life.
Innkeeper Jerry Phillips live on air with Jean Ferraca
There are garden sales everywhere, and one of the most popular is the “Red Barn Plant Sale” at Hauser’s Superior View Farm. Here you’ll find shrubs, fruit trees, annuals, bulbs, topsoil, hanging baskets, and much more. You can also pick your own field-grown perennials, which are ready for transplant to your flowerbeds!
The Annual “Garden Tours” is set for Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th from 10:00am to 3:00pm. This is a great chance to get “up close and personal” with eleven of Bayfield’s finest “City” and “Country” gardens.
Here at the Old Rittenhouse Inn, we are working overtime to get our own gardens and landscaping in “ship shape” for the season. Stop by to see the hanging flower baskets, and chat with our master gardeners who might share a trick or two! Of course, if you’re looking for a little getaway to enjoy spring in Bayfield, we have some lovely accommodations and hearty meals waiting for you. Hope to see you here!
Ah, the “Quiet Season.” It’s always one of our favorite times of the year. For the Bayfield visitor, this is a time when you can find everything, or nothing, to keep you busy! Here are 21 suggestions for things to do while you’re here, but the list goes on! You’re sure to discover a few things on your own as well!
Snowshoeing: you can bring your own, or rent them at Sweet Sailing. There are several amazing trails within walking distance of the Rittenhouse Inn.
XC Skiing: the Jerry Jolly trail is amazing, and can be accessed from Mt. Ashwabay or Star Route. Or, you can ski across frozen Lake Superior to Madeline Island!
Downhill Skiing:Mt. Ashwabay features a chair lift and rope tow servicing 11 runs. This is family skiing at its best, with both gentle runs and more challenging terrain.
Hiking: Several great trails are within blocks of the Inn, including the Brownstone Trail and the Nature Trail.
Snowmobiling: while there aren’t many trail IN Bayfield, there are many miles of trails all around us, and snowmobilers are always welcome at the Rittenhouse Inn!
Take the Ice Road to Madeline Island: drive to the City Beach and you’ll find the start of Wisconsin’s only temporary County Road! The path is well-marked with recycled Christmas trees, and at the end of the road you’ll find beautiful Madeline Island, ready to show her winter splendor!
Visit the Frozen Sea Caves: just 19 miles north of town lies one of the most mystical splendors of Lake Superior: the Sea Caves. Carved into the native brownstone by 10,000 years of wave action, these caves can by kayaked by summer and (when it’s cold enough) hiked by winter. Take the trail from the Apostle Islands Meyers Beach parking lot, but be sure to check conditions!
Snuggle up with a good book: Bring your own, borrow one of ours, visit the Carnegie Library, or one of Bayfield’s bookstores.
Enjoy a warm, bubbly whirlpool: we provide the bath salts, robes, and snuggly oversized towels!
Have some coffee: at Big Water Coffee Roasters, you’ll find a professional coffee house and bakery plus something more: a quintessential small-town hangout!
Browse the wares at Apostle Islands Booksellers: they have a great selection of local and regional authors, plus best sellers and popular titles.
Go Dogsledding: For one of the most exciting adventures of your life, call Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing. Not only will you fly through the woods like a cannon ball (the dogs know the way!) but you’ll also get the full experience of feeding and harnessing the dogs. A true winter rush!
Visit Wolfsong Wear: and shop for the ultimate in cold weather comfort and style. Located across from the Bayfield Inn.
Ice Fishing: Lake Superior is full of massive trout, salmon, pike, and smallmouth bass, plus panfish, perch, and walleye.
Try your luck: at Legendary Waters Casino, just north of town, you’ll find a wide variety of slots and table games, plus great entertainment.
Have lunch at Maggies: Here are some of our favorites: flamingo tenders, black ‘n’ blue burger, chicken fajitas, Late Night Special pizza.
Explore the Great Lakes Visitor Center: located where highways 2 and 13 meet, this visitor center offers great information and events year round.
Have a pint o’ Guinness: at the area’s only Irish Pub, the Snug. Located in Washburn, this cozy little pub features great beer on tap, your favorite spirits, and some great fish and pub chips!
Take in a show at Stagenorth: this theater, located in Washburn, features a full bar and almost always has something going on: plays, bands, lectures, open mic nights, etc.
Drop in for a Yoga class at Humblebee: this yoga studio also offers classes ranging from African drumming to Ninjitsu!
Go sledding at Valhalla (Hell Hill): only for the brave! Up Hwy C between Washburn and Cornucopia is a great spot for sledding if you dare… there are actually two hills. The first is a somewhat mild bowl with a fun jump at the bottom. The other is a former ski jump, and is basically straight down! There’s also great snowmobiling and xc ski trails at Valhalla.
Enjoy a 5-Course Dinner at Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant: we don’t like to brag, but Chef Matt Chingo is special! If you are looking for a fantastic meal in a romantic atmosphere, look no further. During the quiet season, we are open for dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
Get Married: Innkeepers Jerry and Mark Phillips are licensed ministers, and the Inn offers special wedding and elopement packages. Contact Events Director Wendy Phillips
Wassail! This old English word was a greeting or salutation on festive occasions such as the holidays and Christmas Eve. It was also a toast, wishing good health and prosperity to a friend or neighbor. “Wassailing” usually involved spirits: spiced ale carried in a “Wassail Bowl,” (especially spiced ale), singing carols and making merry.
At Old Rittenhouse Inn, the word takes on a life of its own: Wassail Holiday Dinner Concerts, held each year in December, are 3-Course Luncheons or 5-Course Dinners paired with a concert of holiday music performed by the Rittenhouse Singers, a professional vocal choir backed by local musicians and directed by Innkeeper, Jerry Phillips.
The Inn is fully decorated for the season: her pillars are wrapped in ribbons, evergreen boughs and twinkling lights. A massive Christmas tree greets visitors in the front hall, and the holiday decorations continue inside the dining room, which seats up to 64 concert-goers.
The meals are described verbally by the maitre ‘d, and include tasty soups and salads, entrée favorites like Roast Pork Loin with Apple Cider Glaze or Champagne Chicken, and desserts like decadent Turtle Sundaes, fresh baked pies, and the classic Figgy Pudding with Crème Anglaise (laced with bourbon). There’s also the famous Rittenhouse Wassail Punch, made with Cider and cranberry juice, bourbon and spices.
Leading the show is the exuberant Jerry Phillips, who conducts his choir with seemingly limitless energy, often keeping time on tambourine, wood blocks, or bells as the singers perform throughout the Inn’s dining room and hallways.
Asked where he finds the energy, Jerry claims it comes from the audience. “They give us so much and we connect with them as well. For me, it’s a total rush. It usually takes me a week or so to come back to Earth afterwards. The singers have a lot of fun performing too. For many, it makes the holiday season. It wouldn’t be Christmas without Wassail.”
Next time: How it All Started: the History of Wassail!
Don’t miss this summer’s premier event, Concerts by the Lake, a free concert series in Memorial Park hosted by the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau. Concerts run from July 10 to August 28 on Tuesdays, 7-9pm.
Whether you like bluegrass, rock and roll, pop or indie music, Concerts by the Lake features local talents of every genre, offering a relaxing and enjoyable evening for every musical taste. Space is limited, so get to Memorial Park early with a blanket or a few lawn chairs, set up camp, and enjoy the music. After the show, swing by the Bayfield Inn’s rooftop bar for drinks overlooking Lake Superior, or take the family for ice cream at the Candy Shoppe in downtown Bayfield.
Concerts by the Lake Schedule:
July 10: Sean Okamoto (Americana)
July 17: Foreign Object (Alternative/Power Pop)
July 24: Hoff Stevens (Doo-Wop/Punk/Folk)
July 31: Yazmin and Beat Zero, featuring Bruce Bowers (Latin, Indie)
August 7: Alpha City (Alternative/Rock/Dance)
August 14: Andy Noyes and Stevie Matier (Acoustic/Groove)
August 21: Orienta Carwash (Honky Tonk/Country)
August 28: Liz Woodworth Trio (Indie/Power Pop/70s Gold)
For more information, call the Bayfield Chamber at 800-447-4094 or visit www.bayfield.org.
*In case of rain, concerts will be held at the Madeline Island Ferry Terminal.
Come celebrate the 50th Annual Festival of Arts on the weekend of July 28th and July 29th in Bayfield, Wisconsin. The festival is held at Memorial Park in downtown Bayfield and hosts over 90 Midwestern artists and a variety of events, including a live art action, fine art vendors, and local gallery tours and demonstrations.
Whether you’re an art aficionado or a newcomer to the artistic scene, the Festival of Arts is a unique and exciting experience for all. Along with selections of pottery, painting, jewelry, sculpture, glass works, wood carvings, and photography, the Festival of Arts features live music performances by festival artists and local talents, as well as festival food vendors. Enjoy the art, the music, or a snack by the lakefront. The Festival of Arts has something for everyone.
Festival of Arts Outline of Events:
Chequamegon Bay Arts Council‘s (CBAC) Live Auction: Friday, July 27th, 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion
Festival of Arts: Saturday, July 28th, 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, July 29th, 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Memorial Park in downtown Bayfield
Festival of Arts Gallery Tour: Saturday and Sunday at various gallery locations. Contact individual galleries for more information. Participating Galleries: DONALEE DESIGNS Silversmith, Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery, Orchard’s Edge Quilt Shop, Bates Art Barn, Water Music Jewelry & Art, Stone’s Throw, Kerr Studio & Gallery, Oulu Glass, Bayfield Inn Art Gallery, Washburn Cultural Center, Native Spirit Gifts, and Bayfield Artists’ Guild.
Come join us for a fantastic weekend of arts, music, and local culture! All events are free and open to the public.
We had such fun at our spring Red Wine Weekend on April 13-14, 2012. These are always fun events for us because the wine hosts we work with, Dennis Kohl and Gary Binter, bring so much knowledge and passion as they share their accumulated experience. This is a way to learn a great deal about wine in a short period, and have lots of fun!
The weekends always begin with a Friday night tasting party complete with appetizer buffet. This weekend, the theme was “Five Different Grape Varieties from Five Different Countries.” (Try saying that 3 times fast, after tasting five wines!) We tasted Sherwood Pinot Noir (Austrailia), Achaia Claus Domestica Red (Greece), Wollersheim Domain Du Sac (Wisconsin), Rio Perdido Malbec (Argentina) and Cepa-21 Hito (Spain). The appetizer buffet featured Flank Steak with Olive Relish, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Artisan Cheese & Sausage Platter, Bleu Cheese Torta with Red Wine and Roasted Walnuts, Brownies and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.
The grand finale to each Red Wine Weekend at Old Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant is the Six-Course Wine Dinner. This time, it was “Life is a Cabernet,” which pretty much speaks for itself, I think.
For the first course, we paired Santa Julia, an Argentinian (Organic) Cab, with a Grilled Scallop and Mushroom appetizer with arugula and lemon vinaigrette.
The second course was a classic Minestrone soup, a specialty of our sous chef. This richly flavored broth is filled with fresh vegetables and slivers of pasta and was a great match for the N X NW, King Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State.
The third course was an arugula and spinach salad with dried cherries, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and red wine vinaigrette. The spicy arugula was nicely paired with the Ferrari Carano, Sonoma cab.
Fourth course, a palate refresher! Wild blueberry port sorbet played a sweet blue note that cleared the stage for the main act.
The fifth course was a choice between savory chicken or spring lamb. The Saltimbocca di Pallo is an old Roman specialty that starts with sliced breast of hen sprinkled with sage and topped with sliced prosciutto, then sautéed in butter and braised in white wine. It’s served with a puttanesca-seasoned Rosti potato cake and lemon wine pan reduction sauce. The BR Cohn, Silver Label Sonoma cab was a good foil for a very flavorful dish!
The second entree choice was prime rack of spring lamb brushed with olive oil and crusted with herbs and Porcini mushrooms, then char-grilled to perfection and served with sweet potato gnocci and red wine demi glaçe. We served that with another favorite Cabernet Sauvignon, Buehler from Napa Valley.
For the sixth course, we offered a multi layer chocolate creme torte, presented on a chocolate cherry macaroon cookie with whipped cream and dried cherry compote. The dried cherries and chocolate were delightful with the scrumptious Layer Cake Cab from California.
So, if you are a fan of red wines, and Cabernet Sauvignons in particular, I believe you would have found this weekend to be a lot of fun. I know we did!
Ah, winter. A time to stretch out and relax, and enjoy all there is to do here during the season: skiing, skating, dogsledding, ice-fishing, hiking…. or just curl up with a book! The options are endless once you settle into the laid-back vibe that is Bayfield in winter time.
Here at the Inn, we’re also using this time to catch up on some maintenance of our lovely buildings, and dreaming up more improvements! We recently replaced the tile in several of our bathrooms and whirlpool surrounds, and are very happy with the results. We’re also finding creative ways to add elegant shelf space in our bathrooms, aided by our on-staff woodworking wizard, Don German. For those who have noticed our wonderful new sign that was installed here at the Rittenhouse Inn in summer 2011, that was Don’s work!
We’re also using this time to prepare for our upcoming Bayfield, WI events: a Red Wine Tasting on Feb 3-4, and Valentines Dining and Packages from February 10-14. After Valentines Day, we look forward to Book Across the Bay on February 18th, The American Birkebiener xc ski race on February 25, and the Bayfield Winter Carnival on March 2-4. There are so many fun reasons to come to Bayfield this time of year, we hope you’ll join us!
Of course we are offering great winter rates and lodging specials. Give us a call at 715-779-5111 and plan your winter getaway in Bayfield.
This is surely one of our most favorite times of year… Wedding Season in Bayfield, Wisconsin! Bayfield is fast becoming known as a Wisconsin Wedding Destination, and for good reason: the beauty of Bayfield and Lake Superior offer numerous locations for your ceremony and reception. The Rittenhouse inn and our historic properties are ideal Bayfield wedding venues offering both indoor and outdoor options.
Our on-site Wedding Planner and Events Director, Wendy Phillips, works closely with couples to help bring their dream wedding to life. Wendy can arrange for a wide array of wedding services including Officiants, Menu Planning, Wine and Bar Service, Professional Event Staffing, Florists, Musicians, Wedding Cakes and Tortes, Hairdressers and Make-Up Artists, Massage and Spa Treatments, Tent Canopy Rental, Banquet Rental Items, Limosine Services or Horse-drawn Carriage, and even Babysitting!
Bayfield wedding receptions at the Rittenhouse Inn or Chateau Boutin are as unique as the couples who are married here. Our on-site wedding planner and helpful staff guide you thorough the planning process to create an event that reflects your individual taste and style. If you can dream it, we’ll do our best to make it a reality. And when it comes to fine dining and catering, no-one in the area can top Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant.
A Bayfield wedding reception at Le Chateau Boutin offers a wealth of options. Butlered appetizers and cocktails on the veranda… or a tapas buffet set-up in the home’s original dining room make a lovely start to your event.
Our Signature Five-Course Gourmet Dinner is an ever-popular choice for wedding receptions. This meal, for which the Inn is most noted, allows guests to select a soup, salad, tart fruit sorbet, entrée with side dishes, and dessert.
Other options for your Rittenhouse reception may include a Two-Course Petite Dinner offering your choice of soup or salad, and an entrée; a Three-Course Victorian Luncheon consisting of a salad, choice of entrées, and dessert; or even an up-scale Champagne Brunch served with festive mimosas!
For wedding parties larger than 35 people, a tent canopy is suggested for set-up on the croquet lawn where everyone can take in the panoramic view of Lake Superior. Whether you choose a sit-down or banquet-style meal, we offer a large selection of unique menu items for your reception. Our on-site wedding planner will help you customize a meal that fits your dreams, and your budget.
Over the past 35 years, Innkeeper (and non-denominational minister) Jerry Phillips has married literally hundreds of happy couples. We are always grateful to see these couples return, sometimes many years later, to celebrate their special day.
This Sunday, Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant is serving a delicious 3-course Mother’s Day Brunch. The Rittenhouse is well known for it’s elaborate multi-course meals, and brunch is no exception!
The first course includes a choice of a mixed greens salad tossed with dried cranberries, goat cheese, shaved dark chocolate, and a balsamic tarragon vinaigrette or warm fruit salad poached in Chardonnay with mint whipped cream. You’ll also enjoy our fresh muffins and croissants with housemade preserves.
The entrée choices include: French Toast: thick sliced cranberry wild rice bread dipped in a cinnamon and vanilla Infused batter grilled to golden brown and served with thick sliced bacon and WI maple syrup; Eggs Benedict with salmon lox, poached egg, and herbed hollandaise on a toasted baguette; Rittenhouse Quiche with bacon, roast potatoes, asparagus, and red pepper coulis; Double-smoked 6th Street Market Ham served with asparagus and artisan cheese macaroni; Beef Tenderloin Tips in a Burgundy wine sauce with spring peas and pearl onions served over a homemade herbed biscuit; Wild caught Lake Superior Trout poached in a classic court boullion and served with dill pesto sauce, wild rice pilaf, and a small arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette.
Your server will recite the Mother’s Day desserts, which include Classic Hot Fudge, Buttered Rum or Turtle Sundae; Chocolate Cake with molten Truffle center and Raspberry sauce; Bread Pudding; Fresh Vanilla Panna Cotta.
Cost is $22.50/person plus tax and gratuity. Space is limited! Please call 715-779-5111 to reserve Brunch at Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant.
Make plans to join in this weekend’s wine tasting events at Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant, celebrating 35 years in business in 2011.
Friday night at 7pm, join special guest wine expert Gary Binter for a “Zinful” evening with all you can eat appetizers and five delicious red Zinfandels (with repours of your favorites!) At 1pm on Saturday Afternoon, it’s “Sideways Revisited”! We’ll sample West Coast Pinot Noirs, moving vertically from North to South. Save room for Saturday’s 6:30pm dinner that features Wines From the Mediterranean, focusing on Spain and Italy. Savor 6 courses of gourmet food designed to compliment and elevate the flavors of these great Mediterranean wines. Reservations required: 715-779-5111.
Red Wine Tasting Dinner
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Roasted Corn and Crab Tartlet with brie cheese
The El Coto, Rosato
Beef and Barley with roasted mushrooms
The Castell del Remei, Gotim Bru
Baby Spinach with shaved chocolate, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, tart cherry vin
Entrée choice 1
Seared Duck Breast with savory wild rice pilaf and a cream sherry roast mushroom sauce.
Entrée choice 2
Braised Lamb Shank with white beans, smoky bacon, soft polenta, and a rich sauce made with braising jus and a vegetable mirepoix
Scavino, Rosso da Tavola
Wisconsin Artisan Cheese Plate
Dontella, Rosso di Montalciono
Menu items subject to change. Reservations required: 715-779-5111
$75/person plus tax and server gratuity.
Notice: Consuming raw or undercooked foods may cause food borne illness.