Shadyside is an area of Pittsburgh with “old money”. The mansions and Victorian-style homes that flank the quaint city streets in the historic part of town are only a glimpse of how the booming city used to look before the skyscrapers changed the skyline and it’s home to an eclectic group: college students, younger families, and folks looking for a touch of old-school elegance. It’s here where Mr. Locke and I spent a couple of days at The Inn on Negley, and the bed and breakfast’s homage to all things Victorian Pittsburgh is just what we needed- and adore.
I have to blame my mother for my love of Victorian homes. As a Canadian woman that embraced her English and Irish heritage, I would listen to her stories about her grandmother and the daily tea time. Each day between lunch and supper it was as though the world stopped for an hour and the only thing that mattered (or needed to matter) was tea time. A cuppa and a quick sandwich and the women went back to their daily job of cleaning, cooking, and mothering.
Fast forward to when my daughter was born: my mother loved calling to ask if The Kid could come to her house for a play date. Those couple of hours gave me the time to run to the store or clean the house. When it was time to pick The Kid up, before I even walked through the door I knew what was behind it- a tea party for two. My mother collected authentic English tea cups so my daughter learned how to make and pour tea, add the milk and sugar, and even how to sip it properly. Sitting under ceiling medallions and chandeliers,
And they both loved every second. My mom would repurpose her gowns by cutting off the hem for my three-year old, purchasing fancy hats, and finding long gloves in antique shops to complete the full tea party look.
Walking through the front door at The Inn on Negley – a Select Registry property, felt like all of those memories of my mother and young daughter had come back to relive themselves for a moment. Surrounded by pretty tea pots, tea cups, and touches of my mother’s home, I felt like I was home.
And I loved every second.
The gorgeous bed and breakfast, combined with the friendly staff and delicious food, made for a visit filled with memories and Victorian elegance.
Each of The Inn on Negley’s eight guest rooms are styled with a different look and feel but still hold the inn’s time and period true with antique furnishings and stunning art work. It was fun heading to its website to look at each room’s decor, but choosing which room we wanted to spend the night in was hard! Finally choosing the MacIntosh Room with its king bed, working fireplace, and lovely, large windows, the room is even more stunning in person than the website’s photos.
We arrived mid-afternoon and, as all of the night’s guests hadn’t checked in, we were able to tour a couple of the other rooms. The Granny Smith Room (pictured above) was just as pretty but with a queen bed. If you like a lot of sleeping space like we do, go for the king bed rooms. Ours was so comfy- and tall!
Tea for Two
The inn offers gourmet dining events (the in-house chef, Alberto Cappucio, is a true asset and creative culinary artist) including Afternoon Tea. The event is filled with finger foods and tea sandwiches, delicious individual pots of tea, and really good conversation.
House made scones with fresh cream and jam started off the experience.
A three-tiered serving platter , filled with delicious offerings, allowed Mr. Locke and me to grab some down time and enjoy the atmosphere. Tea service prices begin at $25 per person in the dining room or you can enjoy a private tea in your room for an additional charge. The inn’s Afternoon Tea is very popular even for folks not staying on property, so if you’d like to experience it make sure to book a reservation when you book your room.
Each night from 5-7pm, The Inn on Negley has a wine social in its Dining Room. With two options to choose from (a red and a white), Mr. Locke and I each had a glass and loved the homey touch.
A homemade breakfast is included with each night’s stay and on the menu is the in-house specialty, Orange Vanilla French Toast. With a choice of breakfast meat (I chose turkey bacon and it was the best I’ve ever eaten), coffee and tea, and a fresh fruit cup for starters, there was plenty of delicious food at our breakfast table to keep us energized for the ride home. The inn does offer in-suite dining options for an additional charge, but it was fun to sit in the dining room and enjoy breakfast with the other guests.
If you don’t mind a short walk, Walnut St., filled with restaurants and both chain and boutique shops, is only a couple of blocks away. You can also take advantage of city transportation via bus, as it makes a stop directly across the street form the inn.
Downtown Proper is only 6 miles away, Station Square is just about the same, and the shopping mecca Robinson Town Center is 16 miles from the inn.
Disclosure: I was hosted by The Inn on Negley and Select Registry to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes the property perfect for a relaxing visit. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own!