By Wendy Holdren
The Ambrosia Inn is southern hospitality at its finest — from spacious rooms with gorgeous views to decadent food served up by a professional chef, this newly opened bed and breakfast has it all.
Upon arriving at one of Beckley’s oldest mansions, you’ll be greeted by the lovely Chef Sawsan Galal, who is sure to be whipping up something delicious in her island-style kitchen.
“This is where you’ll usually find me,” Galal said with a smile, as she stirred up a fresh batch of homemade grape jelly.
She picks her own grapes from a tiny vineyard located in the backyard, and she prides herself on using as many fresh ingredients as possible in her cooking.
She gave the jelly a quick stir, adjusted the heat settings, and said, “Come on, let me give you a tour.”
From the kitchen, guests are welcomed into a sunlit common area, with a bay window that wraps around the room. Chandeliers hang overhead and artwork of all sorts lines the walls.
Galal led the way to a breezy deck that overlooks several fruit trees outside. Guests are invited to smoke outside on the patios if they want, but no smoking is allowed inside the home.
Back inside and up a beautiful wooden staircase, guests will find three charming rooms, all named for edible flowers — Rose, Marigold and Sage Blossom.
The Rose Room is decorated in deep reds and light gold tones, with a mahogany four-poster queen bed, and is located near the hallway bath.
The next room, the Marigold Room, is decorated with gold and deep maroon tones, with a queen bed and a cozy reading corner.
Galal saves the master bedroom for last, the Sage Blossom Suite. While all the rooms are impressive, this one is jaw-dropping.
A four-poster king-sized bed, decked out with green and beige linens, sits in the middle of the room, with windows to the left and two giant closets to the right.
The suite’s adjoining room has a full-length mirror and a beautiful chest of drawers. Just past this room lies an in-suite bathroom, equipped with a shower and a luxurious sunken tub.
That’s not all the Sage Blossom Suite offers — just past the bathroom, suite guests are invited to enjoy a private balcony overlooking the grounds.
Amenities, like bathrobes, toothpaste, and other toiletries, are available for guests during their stay, and Internet access is also available.
An additional common room is also on the second floor, where guests can find a television, microwave and refreshments.
Back downstairs, Galal stopped in the dining room, equipped with a long table and 10 chairs, to talk more about her cooking background and the history of the home.
Before Galal and her family moved to Beckley, she said they lived in Boston and she always had an interest in cooking. Even though her background was in science, when her daughter, Salwa, was in pre-school, she decided to attend culinary school.
She received her culinary degree from Newbury College, where she was trained in French classical and international cuisines with a concentration in baking. Galal even traveled to Versailles, France, to attend Lenotre for an intensive cooking course in French pastry.
Their family moved to Beckley and into the historic home in 1997. Galal said the home was built in 1924 and the first documented owners were the Mentors.
The stone-covered Victorian mansion sits on over two acres of land filled with flowers, mint leaves and blackberry bushes and has one of the oldest magnolia trees in southern West Virginia.
Galal said her husband passed away a couple years ago, and her daughter lives in Boston, so she decided to transform the spacious, historic home into a bed and breakfast.
“There’s nothing around here like it, and I’ve had a lot of interest in it so far.”
All throughout the home tiny decorative treasures can be found, many of which were collected by Galal and her late husband during their travels.
Local artwork also adorns the walls, some purchased from the Cynthia Bickey Art Gallery, and there are even some needlepoints created by Galal and her mother.
She lives in the private upstairs quarters of the home, along with a few furry friends who can be found scampering around the house.
Breakfast is served daily and Galal will cater to any special dietary needs of her guests. She also offers a weekly cooking lesson, for an extra charge, available to the guests and the public.
The Ambrosia Inn is located at 611 N. Kanawha St. in Beckley. To contact Galal, call 304-253-0429 or e-mail email@example.com.
For rates, availability and some great recipes, visit www.theambrosiainn.com.
— E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Wendy Holdren
Aspen recognized again for excellence in golf course renovation
A golf course designed by a Daniels company has been ranked the No. 1 renovation of the year project by a national magazine.
The Country Club of Buffalo golf course was recently awarded the 2014 Renovation of the Year award by Golf Inc. for projects that cost more than $1 million.
Remodeled McDonald’s in Beaver now operational with new design
The rebuilt McDonald’s at 200 Airport Road in Beaver reopened at midnight Wednesday.
Engineering firm opening new office
An engineering firm with a statewide reputation and a local presence is opening a new office in the Raleigh County Industrial Park near Beckley.
Beckley physician chosen as BOM chief
A Beckley psychiatrist has been elected president of the West Virginia Board of Medicine.
New River CTC fills two key positions from within
New River Community and Technical College has filled two senior level administrative positions from within the ranks of its employees. Leah A. Taylor has been named vice president of Administrative Services, and Heike Soeffker-Culicerto has been named chief financial officer.
Mechel Bluestone pays McDowell back taxes
A settlement has been reached with a Russian-owned coal company that owed McDowell County approximately $1.2 million in back taxes.
NRCTC names Workforce, Technical and Community Education dean
Steven R. “Steve” Wise has been named dean for Workforce, Technical and Community Education at New River Community and Technical College. He began his duties July 7.
He has served New River CTC as Mercer County Campus d ean for the past three and a half years.
Ohio coal mining company says rival pulled double-cross
One of the biggest U.S. coal-mining companies is accusing an Illinois rival of a double-cross.
- Roadside market thriving seasonally in Daniels
Personal service offering personal sense of style
Are you looking for an outfit that is as unique as you are? You might find everything you need and more at the Younique Boutique, a business that opened at Dove’s Outlet Village in Fayetteville.
- More Money Headlines
- Aspen recognized again for excellence in golf course renovation