by Truly Malin
New York, New York
August 5, 2002
We were instructed to arrive before 6pm, when the front desk staff leaves for the night, but we didn’t make it. Downstairs, dinner was being served, and the waitress checked us in and gave us our room key. Later, after she too left, the chef gave us his phone number in case of problems and said he’d either be home or at the bar down the street (!) if we needed him. And with that, he (the last of the staff) walked out, leaving the asylum run by the inmates, I guess!
The dinner we missed is apparently quite the gourmet affair. Reservations a must for this semi-private meal! There is one seating at 7pm and four courses for a very reasonable $30 per person. The breakfast included in the price of our room was just so-so. Undercooked pancakes and a tiny bowl of fruit salad? I’d rather eat out.
Our room, #9, is one of Mrs. B’s two "Norwegian rooms". #9 contains the one and only sleigh bed, built and painted in 1986 in traditional style. This wonderfully oversized construction must have been great for insulating pre-central heat-era farmers from the cruel winter cold. It was practically its own room! Decorations were as authentic as you would expect in a room with a painting of a young boy and a troll, and lace festooned every object, from the homemade doll on the bed to the lampshades.
Aside from its quirky sense of style, there was little else to recommend the room. It was not much bigger than the bed, the bathroom was due for a renovation, and the ‘patio access’ mentioned on the website ended up being little more than a mandatory entry to the wheelchair ramp to the street – not a nice place to sit in any season, especially not a rainy and unseasonably cold spring weekend. On the other hand, a half bottle of Australian shiraz, chocolate chip muffins, and a fruit plate waiting for us on arrival was pretty classy.
Location-wise, you can’t really go wrong in Lanesboro because it’s so small, but Mrs. B’s is indeed right on the Root River bike/ski trail as promised on their website. Overall assessment? For $95 in the off-season, I think we were ever so slightly ripped off – but unless you have a Scandinavian carpenter for a grandfather, where else are you going to find an authentic Norwegian Sleigh Bed to sleep in?
From journal Bear right at the elk herd: Lanesboro, MN