This post was written by Lance M. Burris – from Plainfield, Indiana.
With a light dusting of winter snow on the ground, we drove west on Interstate route 70 from Indianapolis with a destination of Bowling Green, Indiana and a taste of medieval bed and breakfast. We, my wife Nancy and I along with another couple, Scott and Debbie, were to be the “inaugural” guests for the Clayshire Castle slated to open mid-May 2013.
Note: Photo Images courtesy of Lance Burris © 2013
After a 45 minute drive and leaving the black-top onto a gravel road we reached a one-lane gated entryway into a wooded area. After about a three-minute drive and clearing a hill along-side a stocked pond on the left, we saw, on a hilltop directly in front of us, a vision from the past, The Clayshire Castle situated on 120 acres of rolling hills and woods. A mental picture of Kings, Queens, Knights and Jesters entered our thoughts as we pulled up to the front entry way on the castle’s circle drive.
The castle’s “Coat of Arms” hung prominently high over the double wooden door entry. We were met at the door by Innkeepers Lord Douglas and Lady Josephine who would see to it that our visit was a relaxing getaway. Walking into the “Great Hall” with about a 20 foot ceiling I immediately was drawn into a medieval atmosphere. A knight in battle armor stood majestically to my left and a wood fire was ablaze in the fireplace straight ahead. To my right were three double doors leading to an outside promenade court. Behind us was a double stairway leading up to a second floor library and two medieval bedrooms; The Fairytale and The Enchanted Forest.
Before showing us our room, our hosts gave us a tour of the castle. The guest rooms (there are five) were lavishly furnished with ancient, yet comfortable, furnishings of a medieval setting in a modern sort of way. A basement contained a game room, a kitchen, a youth room and three couches, adorned with bear skins, configured around a 60-inch television screen. But, what really caught our eyes was a room that contained over 100 medieval costumes, armor, swords and other items of the times for us to pick and wear, if we so desired, while we were there.
We were called to dinner in the Great Hall by our hosts and were seated at traditional medieval chairs and table. Warm Wassail was served to prepare us for the upcoming feast. Multi-grain bread with Cinnamon butter and cheese was served as an appetizer. One has to be frugal and not over indulge in the preliminaries. A salad of mostly green leafs of lettuce and a secret dressing was presented in expectations of the coming main course. Our Innkeeper brought a steaming platter of Shepherd’s Pie which had an excellent flavor and very filling. Dessert consisted of a powdered sugar castle shaped cake with ice cream, whipped cream, sliced apples and strawberries. It was an excellent medieval style meal with the Innkeeper and Milady offering answers to all our questions and more. Lord Douglas was well versed in medieval trivia and told dinner-time stories that kept our interest through the meal.
At the conclusion of the meal, we headed down to the basement and the game room where we enjoyed exploring the room filled with English costumes and taking pictures for remembrance of our adventure. We played games, and watched a movie and then headed off to bed around midnight where, in the quite solitude, we slept like Kings and Queens.
In the morning it was bare feet on a heated tiled bathroom floor, a shave and a shower and off to breakfast downstairs in the Great Hall. We dined on a unique version of scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage and Scones with homemade, homegrown black-raspberry jelly along with orange marmalade. After a morning of conversation and a medieval song played on the Clavichord and an explanation of the Lute, which Lady Josephine is versed in both, we packed up and headed down the gravel road, past the stocked pond, to the black-top road on our return trip home feeling quite satisfied and content with our Clayshire Castle adventure.