Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beautiful Autumn! 

This has always been my favorite time of year, perfect for exploring our area.  There is so much to do and see and the beatiful autumn weather makes any activity better!

Enjoy our local theater offerings.

Port Tobacco Players present "To Kill a Mockingbird" at the Port Tobacco Playhouse through October 7. Call 301-932-6819 or

For theater lovers, the Newtown Players present "Steel Magnolias" at Three Notch Theatre through October 21. See for more info.

Help the animals.

On Sunday, October 7, animal lovers can Walk for the Animals at Bark in the Park. This event benefits the Humane Society of Charles County:

Enjoy Maryland wine and an old-fashioned Oktoberfest.
Sotterly Plantation hosts the Riverside Winefest on October 6-7. This event celebrates the best of Maryland wines in the breathtaking setting of this national historic landmark. Wine tastings, live music, artisans, exhibits, demonstrations, tours, children's activities:

The 3rd Annual Oktoberfest will be held October 13-14 at the Charles County Fairgrounds. All proceeds to benefit Hospice of Charles County, Inc. This is a family friendly event featuring live German entertainment, lots of good things to eat and much more. See: http:

Annual Oyster Festival

Be there for the National Oyster Shucking competition at the St. Mary's County Oyster Festival on October 20-21.  If you love oysters and other good food, don't miss this spectacular annual event:

For more information on local events:

Brictoria Cottage is a proud member of the Maryland Bed and Breakfast Association.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It Already Feels Like Autumn!

The recent morning temperature was 47 and while cooler temperatures usher in a new season, it is also the beginning of a flurry of fun activities in and around Southern Maryland.

Just this week, we've welcomed visitors from England who traveled here especially to see many of the local sights including the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. This is the only official Naval museum dedicated to telling the scientific and technological story of U.S. Naval Aviation research, development, testing and evaluation.

Information about this and many other sights can be found at Maryland's Tourism Web site:

Highlights of upcoming activities include:

Sep 22 - Sep 25, St. Mary's County Fair: Livestock, home arts, flowers, field crops, 4-H and school exhibits, horse pulls, carnival.

Sep 28 - Oct 2, Calvert County Fair: Learn about the rich legacy of rural and agricultural America; exhibits, rides, farm animals.

Oct 1, Maker's Market: Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park & Arts Center: More than a farmers market, it's everything handmade, homemade and homegrown in Maryland!

Oct 1 - 2, Blessing of the Fleet: Arts and crafts, Southern Maryland seafood, continuous music, boat ride to St. Clement's Island to visit Blackistone Lighthouse, children's games and rides, parade, fireworks.

Oct 1 - 2, Riverside Winefest at Sotterly: Wine tastings, live music, exhibits, demonstrations, food and artisan vendors all in a breathtaking setting.

Oct 8, Patuxent River Appreciation Days: Boat rides, music, crafts fair, toy boat building; parade Sunday at 2pm.

Oct 13 - 15, Ghosts of Sotterly Tours: Walking tour featuring recreated legends and history.

Oct 15, Summerseat Annual Quilt Auction: Auction of handmade quilts, variety of patterns and original designs in an 18th-century farm setting.

Oct 15 - 16, Civil War Comes to St. Mary’s: Experience old and new world Civil Wars-American and the English through living history activities.

Oct 15 - 16, St. Mary's County Oyster Festival: The National shucking contest and oyster cook-off; lots of other seafood, exhibits, arts and crafts and live entertainment.

Oct 23, La Plata Fall Festival and Taste of La Plata: Enjoy music, local dance performances and food from local vendors.

Oct 22, Halloween in the Garden: Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park & Arts Center offers safe trick-or-treat for children of all ages; local businesses and outreach programs decorate paved pathways; dress in costume!

On Oct 29, Historic St. Mary's City Grave Matters:  A moonlit glimpse into 17th-century life and death in a fun and possibly haunting event.

These attractions and many more await your visit to Brictoria Cottage.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Trails!

I've recently been enjoying early-morning bike rides on Three Notch Trail.  Most of my previous riding was as a child when I used my bike for exploring all five streets of the small town in which I grew up.  Once I started driving, the adored bike was parked in the shed and never hit the road much after that.

My interest in riding was renewed when St. Mary's County Parks and Recreation opened Three Notch Trail.  The Trail provides a path for experiencing nature and the serenity it can bring.  Although I have ridden the Trail many times, the scenery always seems to change.  Fields of corn and soybeans give way to cool wooded areas and as the seasons change, so does the view.

I'm not alone in my enjoyment, but there is never a sense of being crowded.  The recreational trail was constructed along the 28-mile, County owned railroad right-of-way, which runs south from Hughesville (in Charles County) to Lexington Park (to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station). 

Information about Three Notch Trail

Information about Charles County trails

Three Notch Trail is just one of the many ways to enjoy yourself on a visit to Brictoria Cottage at Charlotte Hall.  Remember to bring your bike or your walking shoes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just Perfect!

Our first fresh tomatoes!
While preparing fresh fruit for our weekend guests it struck me that there is hardly anything more perfect than sweet summer bounty.  I could not resist tasting the cantaloupe and strawberries I had selected and just washed and sliced.  Their flavor was sublime after a long bike ride on our Three Notch Trail. Additionally, they would be just perfect for a breakfast treat or late night snack.  There is hardly ever any fruit left when visitor's depart for home. I can understand. It is a particular weakness of mine and I love it all...but summer brings out the best...and I just never get tired of the watermelon, cherries, berries and cantaloupe.

After finishing that, and before I began baking the cinnamon streusel bread (also for our soon-to-arrive guests), I remembered that I had set the sprinkler to water our tomatoes and it probably needed moving.  Then it hit me that there is nothing quite so wonderful as the season's first, fresh, real tomato.  Our plants are just now bearing fruit as we got them in late....but they are full of pale green tomatoes and this morning I noticed several had ripened overnight.  So before I picked them for tonight's salad, I wanted to preserve their delicious memory.  I will serve them with fresh basil sprinkled on top.  Elegant and lucious in their simplicity.

Summer guests get to enjoy the best our area has to offer...both the fresh fruit and breads that I prepare and the wonderful cut flowers that fill the local Amish market. Sunflowers are often my flower of choice for the cottage or a lovely mixed bouquet in a Mason jar.  Sweet, juicy fruits and berries....just-baked cinnamon or fruit-filled breads....fresh-cut flowers...all are waiting for you when you come stay with us at Brictoria cottage.

We can promise your visit will be just perfect.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The sounds of summer

Cooper practicing the fine art of doing nothing

Summer, in all its steamy, sizzling glory has finally arrived. Last night's thunderstorms added to the warm morning fog that circulates among the trees as the sunlight streams through the leaves. Today's temperature hovered near triple digits. Although memories of ice and snow are distant, I remind myself of the winter days when I was struggling to chip ice from the sidewalk and my mind turned to precisely the kind of day we are now experiencing.

My cats have the right idea for enjoying such days. They stretch out on the porch and soak in the sun's warmth. As it gets hotter, they simply move less and finally slip into a lazy nap. Rather than struggling against what is, they just give into the fact it's easier to sit and do nothing. Given the choice of coming into the cool house and staying outside in the steam heat, they choose the latter. Every day in the summer is a good cat day because, they just lounge around waiting for the sun to go down...listening to the sounds of summer.

People who have never lived in the woods are often surprised by the noises we are accustomed to.....During the day, the birds cause a ruckus making you wonder just what is going on at the feeders. Normally, it's because a squirrel is hanging upside down trying to steal the sunflower seeds. Late afternoon and evening bring the loud humming of the cicadas and bird songs drifing softly as they settle in for the night....then the crickets, frogs...and other nature sounds join the symphony that entertains us until we finally succumb to our sleepiness and turn the night watch over to our cats.

All of this is offered free of charge. We look forward to sharing the sounds of summer with you very soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Special 3 for 2 Summer Offer

Although many of us take vacations throughout the year, some people feel that summertime is really vacation time. That is why we are offering a 3 for 2 weekday booking from now until Labor Day. Book any 3 days Monday through Thursday and you only pay for a two-day visit.

It's a great way to create a special "staycation" if you live in our area....or to take a short break traveling during the week. We love it when visitors request longer stays as it gives us an opportunity to get to know them and offer little touches that an overnight visitor might not have time to enjoy.

The garden area is perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and watching the fireflies blinking in the woods. We often take in their nightly show as do our kitty cats who love sitting on the swings with us!

We hope you will come share the summer at Brictoria Cottage and consider our 3 for 2 offer in the very near future. Bookings are subject to availability, of course, so call early and make your reservations.

Summer is beautiful at Brictoria Cottage!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Marty was here!

Another adorable pup recently visited Brictoria Cottage. Marty is the curly-haired companion of Scott and Michelle, who brought him along to enjoy the countryside.  His sweet personality won the "he can stay" approval of our five-member cat committee.  Marty spent the day traveling the back roads of Southern Maryland and even attended the Potomac Speedway Demolition Derby.  It was a long, long day and we know everyone slept soundly that night. As pet owners, we appreciate that people want to bring their furry friends when traveling rather than putting them in a kennel.  All our approved pet visitors have had impeccable manners, and we could not even tell they had been here!

Which brings me to another subject....cleanliness of our cottage.  Last week, we got a call for a another booking that included a pet.  However, the caller was concerned about our cleanliness based on her experience staying at another place that had welcomed pets.  It had been “stinky” she said!  We agree, that is not good.  However, she needn't have worried because we are vigilant about cleaning the cottage when guests leave.  Having stayed at less-than-spotless places in our travels, (one place had toothpaste stuck on the wall!) cleanliness is something we pride ourselves on. 

In addition, as Members of the Maryland Bed and Breakfast Association, Brictoria has been inspected and passed the rigorous process for getting their stamp of approval before opening our doors as a B&B.

We hope you remember us when traveling to our area with your pet.  However, non-pet owners can rest assured Brictoria will never go to the dogs (or cats!).