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 difference between staying at a B&B and a hotel is the difference between being a stranger in a strange land and visiting good family! James and Susan were so accommodating and really know their town. Nothing could be better than this.

— Sally, Virginia Beach, VA

Breakfasts were stunningly beautiful and sinfully delicious.

— Steve, Hillsborough, NC

A Note from Your Host…

The peonies of May are finished in our garden and the daisies of June and July are spreading their color, flanked by roses and nasturtiums. Our tomato plants are lush and already heavy with fruit.  The jalapenos are gifting me with their usual non-stop harvest and this year, at last, I might get a zucchini or two!  It is summer in Western North Carolina with long hot days and nights cooled by the mountain breeze.  The ceiling fans revolve in a lazy circle over the porch swing.  It’s a perfect vantage point to watch the children ride by on their bikes and listen to the birds as they sing in the trees.  This is when “seasonal” cooking really comes into its own.  Each week brings a new pleasure from the early radishes and sweet peas of summer to the red plums of June and the sweet peaches of July and August.  With so much abundance it is hard to decide what to make for our guests so every week brings something new to the table.

We love our town and our mountains and look forward to welcoming you to the Carolina Bed & Breakfast!