Glasbern Country Inn
Glasbern Country Inn
Address: 2141 Packhouse Road
Web Address: http://www.glasbern.com
Just outside Allentown Pennsylvania and under 2 hours from New York and Philadelphia, Glasbern was an old run-down farm from the 1800's when the current owners purchased it in 1985. Seven of the original farm buildings have been restored and converted to luxury accommodations. The setting is wonderful with rolling hills and ponds and lots of rustic charm. In 2005 plans were implemented to transform the back portion of the 100 acre property to a working farm. What has evolved is truly remarkable and unlike anything we have seen in this country with the possible exception of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.
Today, Glasbern grows its own flowers and organic vegetables and herbs. Two greenhouses, heated by a wood furnace, were added in 2008 and can provide produce year-round. Devon milking cows provide fresh milk and by-products of yogurt and cheese. Laying chickens provide fresh eggs. The Farm also raises Scottish Highland beef cattle, Katahdin sheep, and ‘Large Black" Birkshire hogs. At any given time you'll also find turkeys, ducks and chickens, although no turkeys were to be found during our visit on Thanksgiving week....
This is a great escape from Philadelphia or New York and the perfect "home base" if you are visiting one of the 7 colleges in the Valley.
38 rooms and suites are spread over the property in the seven original farm buildings. Each is decorated with a blend of country and antique furnishings. Much of the rustic charm of the old buildings has been retained, while flat screen TV's, DVD's, refrigerators and Internet access add a modern touch. Most of the rooms have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs and many also have wonderful patios with rocking chairs overlooking the rolling hills and ponds that dot the property.
While all the rooms are nicely appointed, our Garden Cottage was exceptionally comfortable. Downstairs was a living room with a stone fireplace, mission style furnitire, a wet bar, a large flat screen TV and a desk. Upstairs was a spacious bedroom with a King bed, another stone fireplace and another large TV. A door led, off the bedroom, to a private patio with two rocking chairs overlooking a traquil pond. The bed had some of the softest linens I've experienced in a long time and Select Comfort controls that allow you to adjust the firmness of each side of the bed. Nice.... If the Garden Cottage isn't available, we also liked The Stables and the Farm House rooms and suites.
Knowing that the farm produced all its own produce and meat, we eagerly looked forward to our dinner and were not disappointed. Seated before a fire in an elegantly rustic former barn, we began with a salad of garden greens, apples, candied walnuts, dried cherries and a cider vinaigrette and a trumpet and oyster mushroom pot pie. Entrees included the Glasbern chicken with a parmesan risotto and a port-chicken demi glace and a roasted grass fed beef tenderloin with maple coffee glazed fingerling potatoes. We paired our meal with a delicious Chilean Pinot Noir recommended by the innkeeper. Wine Spectator award winning wine list. Nice selection of ports, dessert wines and cognac. 3 courses $48.00, 4 $55.
Breakfast the next morning brought lots of choices, but we opted for an excellent bacon, Gruyere frittata with caremelized onions. Great coffee and juices, homemade yogurt and granola.
The staff was attentive, pleasant and well trained. An innkeeper was always on duty and ready to help. The service in the dining room was particularly crisp and efficient. The innkeeper/bartender/server working the night we were there was also well-versed in the wine list and recommended some excellent wine pairings with our dinner. The grounds are very well maintained and even the maintenance crews greeted us as we walked around the property.
From $150. Breakfast included in the rate.
WHAT OTHERS SAY.....
10 Great Places to Find an Offbeat B&B. USA TODAY
"Seven beautifully restored buildings on a 130-acre working farm now house guests at this luxurious Pennsylvania countryside inn. "Livestock still graze here, and the meat and vegetables from well-tended gardens offer up a delicious bounty for guests' meals...The romantic suites have seamlessly blended barn-board authenticity with rustic elegance. Most rooms include a fireplace and a hot tub."
WHILE YOU ARE THERE....
There is a delightful pool just off the Carriage House and a fitness center where spa treatments can be arranged. There are also hiking trails on and around the property. Nearby there are museums, arts centers, antique stores and wineries. There are local golf courses, riding stables and white water rafting, all within a short distance from the Inn. 7 colleges within 20 or so miles also provide a wealth of activities.
DRIVING DISTANCE: Philadelphia: 1 hour, Harrisburg: 1 hour 20 minutes, New York City: 1 hour 45 minutes, Baltimore: 2 hours, 37 minutes