By Dave Shuffett from February 2014 Issue
Credit: Barbara Napier
Romance comes naturally at Irvine B&B with 300 acres to explore
Do you and your significant other have a passion for both romance and the great outdoors? I know a place you may want to visit for Valentine's Day weekend, or anytime for that matter.
Before you even get to Snug Hollow Farm Bed and Breakfast, the scenery will captivate you. Cone-shaped knobs rise straight up from the valley floor like volcanoes, contrasting beautifully with the sweeping pastureland below where cattle look like dots in the distance. This is Estill County, part of Kentucky's unique knobs region.
Snug Hollow couldn't be a more perfect name for this bed and breakfast. The farm is surrounded by the knobs—small, unintimidating mountains that snuggle against you like a blanket. The accommodations consist of the main farmhouse and two cabins, one a 180-year-old restored chestnut log cabin. When the sun sets behind the peaks, the glow from a cabin fireplace grows brighter and as the firelight flickers across the face of your loved one, you can't help but do a little snuggling of your own.
As the evening fades into darkness, make time for the celestial show. On a warm night, you can lie flat on the ground, look up at a sky without light pollution, and be mesmerized by the incredible brightness of countless stars.
The next morning, owner Barbara Napier fixes homemade biscuits and gravy, a fried-potato smoked cheddar omelet, and oatmeal with dried cherries, among the variety of offerings. Afterward, you can throw in a line at the bass fishing pond or take a walk along the babbling creek that runs through the heart of the 300-acre farm. For more exercise, the two of you can go on a full-blown hike and take in spectacular vistas as the trail winds its way up a knob.
If you like to watch wildlife, each lodging room is equipped with binoculars so you can watch for deer, turkey, dozens of bird species, and other wild animals.
Napier lived here for 20 years before she built the farmhouse and opened the bed and breakfast in 2001. "Finally I just had to share the beauty of this farm. It's a place for visitors to reconnect with nature, themselves, and each other," she says.
I agree with that. While staying at Snug Hollow, my Sandy and I gazed up at the star-laden heavens and listened to the mountain breeze whisper to us like the ghost of an old Cherokee—and we rediscovered each other.
• There are no televisions at Snug Hollow Farm B&B. The setting allows couples to create their own entertainment.
• A big breakfast is provided, and lunch and dinner are by reservation.
• Owner Barbara Napier is the author of Hot Food and Warm Memories: The Snug Hollow Farm Cookbook, available on the Snug Hollow Web site.
• For more information, go to www.snughollow.com or call (606) 723-4786. The B&B is located at 790 McSwain Branch in Irvine.
DAVE SHUFFETT is a public speaker and host of Kentucky Life on KET, airing Saturdays 8 p.m. ET and Sundays 4:30 p.m. ET.