Sunday, February 13, 2011

Elegance and Fun

Where: Holly Hill Inn, Midway, KY

For my aunt's birthday a few months ago, we all went out to dinner at one of her favorite restaurants: Holly Hill Inn. To quote from their website: "A warm welcome awaits you at the Holly Hill Inn, a charming restaurant in the heart of Bluegrass Horse Country. The Inn, built ca. 1845, offers fine dining in an historic country setting just minutes from Lexington, Kentucky."

It is, quite frankly, adorable. But adorable in a sophisticated way. (It's a very nice place.)

Pictured above: the plate on which her chocolate-orange torte (?) was served.

To get to the bathrooms, you have to walk through at least one dining room (depending on where you've been seated-- the restaurant is old and laid out like a house, so instead of one or two big dining rooms, there are three or four small ones.) Past the waiter's station, past the door to the kitchen, there's this little alcove where the bathroom doors are. Art, pictured here (first outer door, then inner door), tells you which is which.

There's an outer door, then a small space-- no seating or anything, kind of like a receiving chamber-- and then you are by the inner door, I guess so the bathroom line (if there is one) will be out of the way. The inner door is this adorable antique wooden thing with a wreath and an old-fashioned hook lock on the inside.

The whole bathroom was really high quality. Nice fixtures, great tiling. It was pleasant to be in. The faucet was even mounted in the wall instead of a counter, and the sink was one of those cool arty glass bowl things.

Instead of a paper towel dispenser, there was a basket of (really, really nice linen paper) napkins sitting on the toilet tank. You may note the unusual shape and size of said toilet tank.

The most amazing thing to me was how small it was. It managed to feel spacious-- they knew how to handle their space-- but it was really smaller than some of the walk-in closets I've seen. If it hadn't been for the (modestly curtained) window and the very high ceiling, it could have been stifling.

The light fixture and mirror, like the faucet and door handle, were made of a fancy wrought-iron (or something-- I'm no metalsmith.) I was particularly enchanted by the darling chandelier-- I apologize for the blurry picture-- and the little round hanging mirror with its ornamental metal tassles. The very modern-looking art brought in a juxtaposition present in the rest of the restaurant; old and new sensibilities side-by-side.

I also fell in love with this little antique corner-cabinet. It's painted with a flowers-and-birds theme, and has the cutest little handles. The first time I came to this bathroom, I just thought how darling it was, but on a subsequent visit it occurred to me to wonder if a) it opened, or was locked, and b) if it was functional, i.e. did they keep things in it?

And surprise! All the bathroom supplies, including cleaner, spare soaps, spare toilet paper, and at least six almost-finished rolls of toilet paper. I guess they removed them before they were used up for the aesthetic comfort of the patrons? And I guess the staff finishes them off to prevent waste? I mean, some of them weren't much more than three-fourths gone. This is a puzzle I haven't solved.


  1. Now I'm dying to know about the partially used rolls of TP. Could you have asked the waitress, or is it not that kind of place?

  2. Even if it were that kind of place, I'm not really that kind of person! I wish I were, though, because I'm always so curious.

  3. The restaurant where I worked, we always replaced the rolls if they were mostly used before the lunch and dinner rush to make sure there was always some around. We'd put them back out during slow periods where we could check or often or use them for cleaning.

  4. We did it at J. Gumbos too. You know, for the few weeks I worked there.

    I love the corner cabinet. And want to own it.