Whether it's warm light spilling from the idyllic farmhouse on a cold winter night or the yeasty aroma of bread just pulled from the outdoor summer oven, the Kleffmans know how to welcome B&B guests. Robin's passion for baking bread, Elaine's love of hosting (but not hovering!), and their joint effort to create a new farmhouse that feels authentically old offers a fresh twist to the Mississippi River Valley's B&B scene. The couple fell in love with the property just south of Red Wing in 1998 and decided to replace the aging farmhouse. They reused what they could, using foundation stone for a dining room hearth, salvaged lumber for the extensive woodwork and the property's black walnut tree for a 12-foot dining room table. They opened five guest suites in 2002.
Winter guests are welcome to unwind in the spacious living room by a crackling fire or grab a hot beverage from the upstairs guest lounge. Warm-weather guests are more likely to linger on the pretty porch or gather in front of the backyard brick oven for evening baking lessons. Each guest room has a theme, such as birds or spinning wheels and wool, and all feature deep tubs. The most luxurious one, the Willow Suite on the top floor, even has a branch swing facing the fireplace and an alcove bed positioned to catch moonlight through the window. Even though the luxurious beds threaten make it hard to get up in the morning, the aroma of fresh bread is more motivating than the scent of steaming coffee. Elaine serves phenomenal multicourse breakfasts. A sample menu: poached pears in raspberry sauce, and a main course of cinnamon apple pie French toast with vanilla custard and maple syrup-glazed bacon.
After breakfast, guests are welcome to a guided tour of the 1914 round barn. Visitors then get to take home souvenir loaves of crusty buttermilk bread, appropriately baked into the shape of the barn. Room rates from $159 to $249; call well in advance for reservations during the busy fall-color season.