DAIRY HOLLOW HOUSE

Home of Nouveau’ zarks Cuisine

What brought me to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for the week-end was the promise of the next big thing in food trends-Nouafter the quilt in the Dutch Rose pattern that covers the double bed, is, logically enough, a study in tones of rose, pink, and raspberry. The Iris Room, which is done up in shades of soft blue, has one twin bed and one double bed. Both were after the quilt in the Dutch Rose pattern that covers the double bed, is, logically enough, a study in tones of rose, pink, and raspberry. The Iris Room, which is done up in shades of soft blue, has one twin bed and one double bed. Both were booked, so I stayed at the new two-story Cottage at Dairy Hollow, located just down the hill from the original Dairy Hollow House. The $119-a-night Summer Meadows suite has two bedrooms (one with a queen-size bed, one with a double) each with a private bath, a kitchen, a living room with a queen-size sleeper couch, a sunroom, a deck, and a front porch (complete with a gliding rocker). Downstairs is the $99-a-night Peach Blossom Suite, with one bedroom with a double bed, one bath, a kitchen, and a living room/dining area.

Over the course of my weekend in the Summer Meadows suite. 1 was continually struck by the loving attention to detail. After I let myself in (the key was in the mailbox), the first thing I saw was a basket of Queen Anne’s lace and field daisies and a note directing me to a pitcher of iced herbal cooler in the refrigerator. Then I took a tour: the living room included a display of Crescent’s books, a shelf of games and well-chosen paperbacks, a native stone fire-place, and a hanging latticed twig wall, representing every kind of tree in the Ozarks. Both beds were covered with antique quilts, and throughout, the fresh color scheme of yellow, white, and cornflower blue was accented by framed illustrations from children’s books.

After I finished admiring my abode for the weekend. I headed to Dairy Hollow House for the S29-a-person Nouveau’zarks Haute Country Cuisine dinner: on this night, a definitive green salad, cascadilla (a cold, creamy gazpacho). warm-from-the-oven dinner rolls. vegetable quiche, steamed broccoli, ginger-maple carrots, and Grand Marnier Chocolate Decadence. which consists of chocolate mousse, orange sections. homemade ladyfingers, crushed amaretti cookies soaked in Grand Marnier, and whipped cream. (One warning: if you want wine with dinner, as I did, you need to bring it with you or acquire it in town.)

For breakfast the next day. I joined the other guests in the red and white calico bedecked Dairy Hollow House parlor. There was fresh fruit salad, strong French Market coffee, and Dairy Hollow House’s trademark German baked pancake, a soothing crepe/ popover served with lemon juice and powdered sugar. When I exercised my option to have breakfast delivered to the cottage the next morning, a tomato quiche and oat-bran muffins with butter and strawberry preserves arrived, all wrapped up in lavender calico in a local vine basket.

Even someone as single-minded as I am about food couldn’t eat Dairy Hollow House’s sensual, healthy fare continually, so between meals I did explore the sights of Eureka Springs, a resort town that is known for its eccentric. Lake Wobegon-like population, its Victorian architecture, and its fall leaves, which rival New England’s for autumnal glory.

There are two in-town attractions that are not to be missed. The first is a drink at sunset at the Top of the Crescent at the Crescent Hotel, a limestone castle of an old hotel. If you concentrate on your Campari and the splendidly vernal view of the tree-covered hiils, it’s easy to ignore the indoor-outdoor carpet. Then there’s Center Street Bar & Grill, where you feel like a regular by your second visit.

There is also one outdoor activity that I recommend. As a confirmed urban couch tomato, 1 was extremely reluctant to embark on a four-hour float down the Buffalo River. However, it turned out to be supremely restorative, the best four hours of the trip-the best four hours I can remember, for that matter.

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