Photos: Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls
The roads leading towards The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls are long and winding. Best described by my tour guide as a bowl of spaghetti noodles dropped on a map. As each hill becomes taller you begin to wonder what will lie on the other side, bringing surprise at every turn. Although I have never been to Scotland, the rolling hills and grazing sheep reminded me of the picturesque hillsides I have seen in books and movies. It’s strange to think that in a State that is condensed to only containing corn fields and farmers there could be such an interesting slice of paradise chalked full of cliffs, waterfalls, rich history and interesting people.
When we arrived it was sunny and the air was crisp, reminiscent of a mid-March day. The Inn itself is nestled around a curve in the road making it beautifully secluded from the rest of the world.
As we arrived we were whisked away to a spa treatment where we were greeted by kind employees, offering glasses of water and neck warmers. The spa in itself is very unique as it sits on its own separate area of the grounds. The small cabin is situated halfway down a steep hill, in order to allow it to be hidden while still offering the amazing views that look over the wooded valley below. My guest and I were given two different spa treatments, a facial with back massage and a hot rock massage. Being the ticklish, sensitive person I am, I was dreading the upcoming hour but unlike the other attempts of a massage, this masseuse was gentle and strong. Soft nature sounds playing in the background made it impossible not to relax and forget about the rest of the world for a moment in time. The facial was also wonderful, incorporating many moisturizing and exfoliating steps that left my skin rejuvenated and happy.
After our spa we had a few hours to kill before checking in and while it may be habit to want to sit down and watch TV during this time, the large plot of land gives one plenty of options for short walks or long explorations. Each tree lined path led to a new destination. As we wandered we came across the Inns bee farm where they harvest their own honey and use it for their delicious home made granola. We also stumbled upon their garden, which was mostly barren but in the summer months is usually stocked full of vegetables and herbs for the chef to use at his disposal. Near the vegetable garden is their fire pit with plenty of chairs for lounging around and chatting with friends.
Dinner at the Inn is made by Chef Anthony Schultz and is prepared with local and fresh ingredients, always changing depending on the season. The dining area offers larger tables for big events similar to ours as well as anything as small as two people for an intimate, romantic dinner. Each table is presented with freshly cut flowers and rustic style place settings. While the room is an add on to the original building it maintains the same atmosphere with the exposed wooden cabin walls, made with re-used wood from around the area.
Before dinner, the guests were invited for cocktails where the special was a mixer made with locally made moonshine and ginger beer. Before the main course, a series of appetizers chosen by the chef we brought out. The roasted cauliflower pieces with hummus and kale salad was delicious, flavorful and a refreshing vegetarian alternative.
My main course, portebella mushroom ravioli with sautéed kale, roasted pine nuts and a mushroom cream sauce was also perfectly put together. The noodles were cooked al dente and the filling was flavorful and creamy. The kale and pine nuts added some varying texture that kept the quite common dish interesting.
Dessert was shared amongst the table, ranging from creme brule, to the Inn’s famous berry cobbler, to a pear bread pudding. The creme brule, while it had been brought out as a surprise, instantly became everyones favorite. Served in a traditional white ramekin, the first layer of burnt sugar was cracked to expose a creamy pudding, topped off with a caramel drizzle and a dollop of whipped cream.
All photos by Lillian Dent.
Disclaimer / Editor’s Note: Columbus Underground was invited to participate in the Comfort Food, Crystal Caves & Moonshine Media Tour in the Hocking Hills area in January 2016, and utilized the opportunity to send photography intern Lillian Dent on a multi-day photo shoot experience to hone her skills as a writer and a photographer. Food and lodging was provided to her free of charge as a part of the media tour event.