Bed and Breakfast Garden

About the Innkeepers

Susan: My father was born and raised in Raleigh, and as children we spent our summers on the North Carolina shore, but my mother was the daughter of a diplomat and traveled all over the world. As a child, I listened to her stories and developed a case of wanderlust for myself. I was fortunate in finding a partner who felt the same way I did.

James: I came from a New York based family without any diplomats. However, early on I knew I wanted to work and be exposed to the diversity of living overseas. I don’t think I was aware of Susan’s wanderlust when we first met, but something must have clicked since we have been married for over 35 years and have three wonderful daughters.

Susan and James Murray

Now, after 27 years in Europe and Asia, we are happy to be settled in one place. We have been very fortunate in the places we have lived (Paris, Hong Kong, London, and Singapore) and have been able to travel extensively, collecting art and furniture along the way. This has all been augmented by family pieces. Susan loves the fact that the small Victorian what-not shelf in the parlor here traveled from her great-grandmother’s house in Charleston to her parents’ home in Connecticut, and then it circumnavigated the globe only to end up back in North Carolina. The portraits of James’ ancestors have a similar tale and now adorn the walls of various rooms at the inn. As expats, you learn to welcome all sorts of people into your life and to embrace aspects of other cultures, which augment your own. Paris gave us art and great food, Hong Kong and Singapore gave us exposure to Asian hospitality and warmth, and London and the UK gave us a love of green spaces and gardens. We hope to bring all of this together in the Carolina Bed & Breakfast to create a uniquely warm and welcoming home for our guests.

Sara is our Assistant Innkeeper. She has been with us since we bought the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in 2009.  Sara has lived in Asheville for more than ten years and was previously an Assistant Innkeeper at the Richmond Hill Hotel.  Her knowledge of Asheville and its surroundings is extensive and, although we have learned a lot about our city, Sara is still our go-to person for information.  Susan and Sara often work side by side in the kitchen.  She has helped develop some of Susan’s recipes and has a deft hand and imagination for canapes and hors d’oeurves.  Universally loved by our guests, Sara is an important member of the Carolina family and we know that if we can’t be there our guests are in good hands with Sara.

Otis is the “Backstage Cat” at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast.  We call him that because he is never allowed in the inn itself but lives with us in our quarters.  Nevertheless, Otis loves people and he may come up to welcome you as you walk through the garden or enjoy sitting on our front porch.  He is a very soft and purry fellow and we hope you won’t mind.  But please don’t let him follow you in! Otis in front of fire

 

Our Guests Say...

The Robin’s Nest room was small and cozy and out of the way, which is just what we were looking for. The bed was plush and there is a great corner gas fireplace that kept the room toasty.

— Andrew, Decatur, GA

Wow! this is one terrific B&B! The host and hostess were welcoming and informative. the breakfasts, every one, were five-star stuff – creative and delicious! Stay here, you will have a marvelous time and come away with great memories!

— Mary Ann, Palm Springs, CA

A Note from Your Host…

The Holiday’s are upon us!  It doesn’t seem possible.  But shortly the inn will be decked out for the end of the year and we will be busy baking mince pies and other holiday treats.  And of course we have some specials and suggestions for our guests as well.

Be sure and  check out our Biltmore Christmas Special.  Four floors of the Biltmore decorated from top to bottom for Christmas with an evening visit which includes rooms not open during the day. The fireplaces are lit and trees aglow as you tour the house.  This year’s theme is “Hearth and Home”.  It’s a Christmas tradition not to be missed!

In addition to the display at the Biltmore, you will want to visit the Grove Park Inn to view the finalists in the National Gingerbread House Competition, on display from November 27, 2016-January 5th, 2017.  On a smaller scale, the Smith-McDowell House is an Antebellum Mansion  built in 1840 which offers a Victorian Christmas Display from November 17th.  At the Carolina we follow our family tradition of honoring Thanksgiving by refraining from decorating until after that holiday.  But once Thanksgiving is over, we give in to a whole hearted love of Christmas with a live tree decorated with glass ornaments and small trees in every room.  Special holiday baking is also a in important part of the month!

Share your Asheville Experience with someone else with the following  gift suggestions:

  1. Share your love of Asheville with someone else and purchase a gift certificate to stay at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast.  We can tailor this to meet your budget and needs.
  2. Bring a touch of the Carolina B&B to your home with a purchase of my cookbook, Our Family Table: Recipes and Lessons From A Life AbroadOrder now for shipment in time for Christmas.
  3. In conjunction with the publication of my cookbook, we will be offering a cooking package , Cooking With Susan,  at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast this winter.  Book one, two or three classes and enjoy two days in Asheville at our B&B while learning some of the recipes and lessons I learned in 27 years overseas.  For more details, click here:  Cooking with Susan  Call 828-254-3608 for more information or to book.