Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

November 27th, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

How does your Thanksgiving compare?

Simple Tricks to Make Your Life Just a Little Bit Easier :)

September 25th, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

Have you ever seen something and thought to yourself “why on earth didn’t I think of that?!”  I know I have!  Here are just a few tips & tricks to make your life just  a little simpler!

1. When serving a crowd, cut a circle in the center (place a small bowl on the cake and trace around it). Then cut the outer ring into slices. You’ll have nice square pieces that fit on a plate, instead of long wedges that drop off the edge. You can cut the small round middle into pieces too!   (From Woman’s Day magazine)

2. When you paint a room, fill a small jar (preferably with a plastic top) with extra paint.  Keep it for when you need to do small paint touch ups.   (From Real Simple magazine)

3. When packing for a trip, use a small piece of plastic wrap for your  shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles to prevent them from leaking in your suitcase.  Instead of wasting countless ziploc bags, simply unscrew the cap, place a piece  of plastic wrap over the mouth of the bottle, and screw the cap back on!  (From

4. Have you ever  driven yourself crazy trying to put nails in  the wall to hang a frame? Don’t they always seem to be just a little off?  Well, simply place  a piece of tape between the holes on the back of the frame, remove the tape, place on the wall  (use a  level if needed), and drill holes at the end of  the tape!  (From I Heart  Nap Time)

5. Worried that your card will get separated from the actual gift?  Never fear!  A clever way to avoid this is to cut the wrapping paper several inches larger than the amount needed to wrap the item. Fold paper in half, pattern side in.  Fold top layer of paper back partially creating a pocket of desired depth; press to crease.  Wrap and tape presents as you normally would, keeping the pocket fold in place. Decorate the pocket with ribbon, cord, or other trim, and then pop the card into the “envelope” you just created!  (From Martha Stewart)

Happy First Day of Fall!

September 22nd, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

Today is the first day of fall!  Although I’m sure it’s not quite time to break out the sweaters and scarves, it’s the start of one of the most beautiful seasons in Virginia!

Are you looking for a fun fall activity for the family?  Visit for resources such as a Fall Foliage Report, Leaf Colors, and a search engine to find a Fall Event or Activity in Virginia.

Also, don’t forget that the State Fair of Virginia is from September 27 to October 6!  Visit for more information.

Happy Fall!

A beautiful fall tree in Colonial Williamsburg

44th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival

September 6th, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

44th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival

Don’t miss Blackstone’s 44th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival from September 14th to 15th! The hours are 10 AM to 5 PM each day. The event will include lots of vendors, including food, crafts, and gift items. There will also be a parade and lots of fun for the kids!

SACT’s Newest Play: The Odd Couple!

August 17th, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

Mark your calendars for August 23rd, 24th, & 25th, as well as September 6th, 7th,  & 8th!  Southside Area Community Theater (SACT) will be performing “The Odd Couple.”  Shows on Friday & Saturday will be at 7 PM; Sunday shows are at 2 PM.  Tickets are $15.  Check Facebook for more information.

Make sure you come out and see our very own Mr. Innkeeper, Jim Hasbrouck, play Oscar in the show!

See you there!

What We Served for Breakfast!

August 3rd, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

What We Served for Breakfast!

We served up a delicious Croissant French Toast topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Bacon, a breakfast essential, was served on the side. What a great start to a beautiful Saturday morning!

Summer Pup-Sicles for Your Furry Friend

August 1st, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

You may have stocked up on frozen summertime treats for you and your family, but what about Fido?  Here’s a simple, fun recipe for frozen “pup-sicles” for your favorite pooch!  It’s so easy you could even have young children help!  I know our dog, Chelsea, would just love these treats!

Frozen Pup-Sicles

2 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth/stock
2/3 cup water
Small rawhide sticks

Mix the water and broth together, then  pour into popsicle trays.  Put the trays in the freezer; add a rawhide stick about halfway through freezing.  Serve cold on a hot day for a refreshing treat!

ImageOur pretty dog, Chelsea 🙂

Blackstone’s Hometown Jams – First Concert of the Season

July 26th, 2013 by Grey Swan Inn

Blackstone’s Hometown Jams – First Concert of the Season

Be sure to check out Blackstone’s Hometown Jams tomorrow from 7 PM  to 10 PM!  The concert will feature live entertainment from SOUTHBOUND!  Admission is $5 for ages 13 years & up and $3 for children ages 3 to 12 or those with a military ID.  Click on the link above for a PDF version of the Hometown Jams flyer!

Also make sure you  stop by the ornament table and say hello to Christine & Jim!  We’ll be selling the newest collectible ornament commemorating Blackstone’s 125th Anniversary!  They are $20 and will look beautiful hanging on your tree in December!

Have a safe & happy weekend!

Blackstone, Virginia Walking Map

February 26th, 2011 by Grey Swan Inn

Blackstone, Virginia is on the National Register of Historical Places and is a good walking tour for visitors to Blackstone. The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast is a part of the registered site, located at 615 South Main Street. Other places of interest include downtown Blackstone (which is a Virginia Main Street community), Schwartz’ Tavern and The Carriage Museum. Wear good walking shoes, bring your camera, and enjoy Blackstone’s history!!

Below is a walking tour map beginning at The Grey Swan Inn and outlines the residential areas that are part of the National Register:

View Larger Map

What a President Would Have Eaten

February 21st, 2011 by Grey Swan Inn

Happy President’s Day!

While volunteering at our local Blackstone Friends of Library bookstore, The Book End, I found a wonderful little cookbook “Monroe Family Recipes” which was published in 1988 by Ash Lawn-Highland, College of William and Mary, the home of James and Elizabeth Monroe in Charlottesville, Virginia. What a find… it gave a bit of the history of the cooking and foods available during Monroe’s time.

Here’s one of the recipes which we’ll want to try at the Grey Swan Inn when the summer tomatoes are in:

Tomatoes and Eggs

(Original recipe: Grease muffin tins; put one thick slice of unpeeled tomato into each tin; season with salt and pepper; break one egg on top of each slice; again season with salt and pepper and put a small piece of butter on top of each egg. Back in an oven until the egg is set. Serve on rounds of toast and garnish with parsley. This is good with cheese grated over the egg.)

1 large ripe tomato
6 eggs
salt, pepper
6 slices of bread, toasted
1/4 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease six muffin cups thoroughly with butter. Place one thick slice of toato in each cup. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Break one egg into each cup. Season it with salt and pepepr and place about 1/2 tsp. butter ontop of each egg. Back until the eggs are firm and set.

Serve on hot toast with cheese and parsley sprinkled over each egg. Serves 6.

Arsenic and Old Lace

May 12th, 2009 by Grey Swan Inn

SACT (Southside Area Community Theatre) & Mitchell’s Restaurant presents Arsenic & Old Lace

Enjoy a play about a dramatic critic who comes home to become engaged to his love, only to find out that his two sweet dear old aunts have developed a bad habit of poisoning lonely old men. They feel what they are doing a service putting these men out of their misery. They even bury them in the cellar complete with funeral services. Fortunately, his brother is a perfect patsy since he already thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt – the murders could be pinned on him and he live out his days in Happy Dale sanitarium. Unfortunately, the other devious brother makes an untimely return home with his drunken doctor friend. They too have been on a killing spree.

This play is full of comedy and will delight all. Many local celebs are making appearances in this play – Liz & Charlotte Walters, Jim Hausbrouck, Tom Forrester, Kelly Forrester, Pete Smith, Richard Aviles, Joe McMillan and many many more! This play is directed, organized and kept on track by Christy Aviles (Director) and Mary Sydney Gilley (Stage Manager) just to mention a few. Without the kindness of Mitchell’s – we would be doing this all on the street! Can’t forget the blood, sweat and tears of Tilly Conley (Producer) and Bev Boyko and their crew of volunteers!

I STRONGLY urge you to come – the talent is amazing – It will be a great show.

Show Dates and Specifics –

May 28, 30 & June 4 & 6 at7:00 pm Dinner & Show – $25.00 – please arrive 1 hour before performance

May 31 & June 7 at 2:00 pm Show Only – $10.00

Please call Mitchell’s to make reservations (434-292-4100) Limited seating is available.

Coming Soon to Blackstone – Arsenic and Old Lace

May 7th, 2009 by Grey Swan Inn

More to be posted soon – with dates and ticket information!

August Event – Amelia Bluegrass Music Festival

August 10th, 2008 by Grey Swan Inn

Amelia Central Virginia Family Bluegrass Music Festival

August 14, 15, & 16, 2008
An Annual Event on 3rd Weekend for 29 years!
Amelia Family Campgrounds, Amelia, VA

Free Parking – Bring Lawn Chairs
Tickets: Weekend – at the gate $60
Thursday – $20 Hours – 1:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday – $25 Hours – 12 noon – 10:30pm
Saturday – $25 Hours – 9:30am – 10:30pm
See Campground website for more information!

Come stay at The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast
We’re under 25 miles to Amelia and the Festival and can provide you
with the comforts of home!!

The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast Joins Virginia Green Lodging Program

August 9th, 2008 by Grey Swan Inn

The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast is now a participant in the Virginia Green campaign. To become a participant, the inn had to meet a required minimum of core practices in the following areas:

1. Linen services.

2. Recycling and waste reduction.

3. Water conservation.

4. Energy conservation.

5. Green event practices.

Our Green Statement:

“While honoring the past and its gilded history, The Grey Swan recognizes our responsibility for conserving energy and our natural resources. We initially started by inviting guests to reuse towels and charging bed linens every3 days or as needed rather than daily. We also let our guests know that we will recycle any plastics, glass, aluminum, or paper that is left int heir rooms. We have recently been participating in a community effort to establish a recycling center in the the town. Becoming green is an ongoing education process for us, reviewing our current practices and the willingness to change as we can to become better stewards for our property, community, and world.”

Here are some of The Grey Swan Inn’s practices:

Linen Service: use of cold water, use of non-phosphate, non-toxic, and biodegradable laundry detergents, minimized use of bleach, changing towels and bed linens every 3 days or longer rather than daily

Recycling and Waste Reduction: recycling glass, aluminum cans, plastic, toner cartridges, newspaper, cardboard, and packing supplies, tracking overall wast bills, eliminate the use of styrofoam, use reusable dishware and glasware, and minimizing the use of disposables

Water Conservation: tracking overall water usage and wastewater, preventative maintenance of drips and leaks

Energy Conservation: replacement of light bulbs with CLF light bulbs, use of hybrid vehicles, lighting sensors, conservative use of guest room air conditioners and heaters when unoccupied

October 11, 2008 – 12th Annual Taste of Brunswick Festival

July 28th, 2008 by Grey Swan Inn

Just 20 miles to Alberta from The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast in Blackstone, VA!

TOURISM WORKS for Your Virginia Business!

July 23rd, 2008 by Grey Swan Inn


TOURISM WORKS for Your Virginia Business!

Meet with Virginia Tourism at the John H. Daniel College Campus in Keysville for Tourism Web Training on August 7

Virginia Tourism wants to drive traffic to your business! Meet one-on-one with Virginia Tourism staff to get listed on, the Commonwealth’s official travel and tourism website. Come by during lunch or a break and you’ll leave with a new, online AD listing and access to Virginia Tourism marketing, development and educational tools to help your tourism business GROW!

·ALL visitor-friendly restaurants, lodging, events, attractions and retail shopping are eligible

Including B&Bs, hotels, motels; diners, fast-food and delis; retail wine, food, clothing, home and accessory shops

·Get listed on and get in front of 5 million+ website visitors a year! – FREE

·Leave with your own website AD listing and reach more people using the Internet

·Reach vacationing families, weekend getaway couples, business travelers and the media to increase business

·Leave with access to a new, dynamic marketing mix that will enhance, or jump-start, your marketing efforts

·Let ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ work for your business and link visitors’ passion for life, food & travel with your business

·Tourism is one of Virginia’s most powerful industries, generating $17.7 billion in revenue, supporting 208,000 jobs and providing $1.2 billion in state and local taxes to Virginia’s communities.

Thursday, August 7-9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

John H. Daniel College Campus – Workforce Development Building > Room 108

200 Daniel Road, Keysville, VA 23947

* Bring existing advertising, brochure and website copy as a guide for your online AD Listing

* Parking through main entrance, pass main building, then park at next building on left, Workforce Development Building in the lot provided.

If August 7 is not convenient, consider these other locations and dates where we’ll be nearby –

·Tuesday, August 5-9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Franklin Business Incubator in Franklin, VA

·Wednesday, August 6-9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Christanna College Campus in Alberta, VA

For more information, contact Virginia Tourism’s Angela Wiggins ( – 804.545.5553)

What’s Going On in Blackstone, VA

April 14th, 2008 by Grey Swan Inn

Here’s what is happening in Blackstone, VA and surrounding area this coming week. Thanks to Courier-Record newspaper of Blackstone for most of this information!

April 15, 2008 – Free blood pressure screenings
Ripberger Public Library, Kenbridge from 10-11:30 am
Spencer’s Drug Store, Blackstone from 1-4 pm

April 16, 2008 – Education Program:
Advance Directives, Part 1 How to approach and discuss difficult issues;
Part 2 – Legal Aspect
Location – Piedmont Geriatric Hospital, call to reserve space: 434-767-4521

April 17, 2008 – Free blood pressure screenings
Victoria Public Library, Victoria from 1:30-3:30 pm

April 19, 2008 – 2008 Strawberry Season at Chesterfield Berry Farm
General Admissions: $5 per person (children under 2 free)
Activities include: Hayrides to and from strawberry fields, pig race, picnic area, Farm animal corral and goat walk, sand area, straw area, strawberry picking take home containers, weekend intertainment
SuperPass: $9 per person Activities includes above activities plus wagon train rides, strawberry cannons, barrel train rides, moonbounce, duckraces There will be a separate charge for wine tasting, pony rides and gem mining
NOTE: one $5 admission fee will be taken off an 11 pound box of strawberries. One per person with admission receipt.
Farm Hours: Mon-Thur 8 am to 7 pm Fri, Sat, & Sun 8 am to 4 pm

April 19, 2008 – Dance with band “Casper” The South Hill Moose Lodge, 8 pm until Midnight
Tickets $25 for more information call 434-447-4547

April 19, 2008 – 4th Annual Consignment Auction, Darvills Ruritan Club, Rte 40, Darvills, VA at 10 am
For further info call: 804-478-5161, 804-586-1622, 804-720-4334, or 804-712-2432

April 19, 2008 – Wildlife Mapping from 1-2 pm, Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park

April 19, 2008 – Benefit Dance, American Legion Post 50, Crewe, VA
Admission $10 Doors open at 7 pm with Music at 9 pm
Music provided by “Billy Shakes with the Tremors”
BYOB, suds, setups, ice, snacks for sale; 50-50 raffle, Proceeds benefit local Veterans

April 19, 2008 – Picking Up Our Pride in Blackstone
Blackstone Rotary Club hosting town wide clean up project
Meet at Seay Park at 8 am for street/task assignment

April 21, 2008 thru May 2, 2008 – Spring Clean Up Time for the Town of Blackstone

Many of the upcoming Blackstone events are within walking distance to The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast at 615 S Main Street, Blackstone, VA 23824

Let’s Go Fishin’

April 1st, 2008 by Grey Swan Inn

This past week, Jim & I drove to Twin Lakes State Park. It was a warm spring day and a perfect time to go on a drive in the country! We found that there wasn’t much activity going on.. maybe a handful of families camping out. Both lakes are dark brown from tannin, but according to a few people we encountered, the fishing was good… crappie and brim were caught from Goodwin Lake. They even caught a large mouth bass in Prince Edward Lake.

We drove by their conference center and it appears to be a good facility for family reunions, wedding receptions, conferences. At the main entrance we saw an announcement for an upcoming event: April 5, 2008, Twin Lakes Family Bluegrass Festival, featuring the Bluegrass Brothers, Shallow Creek and country Fried Grass bands. The music starts at 1 pm with gates being open at 9 am. Parking lot pickin’ is encouraged. No dogs allowed in concert area. Overnight camping is available at the park and food is available. Tickets are $10 (advance sales) and $15 at the gate. No refunds. Will be held on Prince Edward Lake at Cedar Crest Conference Center. Call 804-561-0705 for more information.
Other lakes with driving distance to Blackstone, Va are:
Amelia Lake
Briery Creek Lake
Brunswick Lake
Chesdin Reservoir
Great Creek Watershed Lake
Nottoway Lake
Sandy River Reservoir
Swift Creek Lake
Fort Pickett Lakes

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website has a great amount of information with some photos. I also found a lot of information on Virginia’s Retreat website.

facebook twitter mail rss