Midwest Living Review
Lovebirds like to nest in the luxury suites at Songbird Prairie B&B located an hour from Chicago and 90 minutes from Indianapolis. The romantic inn run by Barbara Rivera and her husband, Efrain, caters to couples seeking a pampered getaway in a quiet country setting. Tucked in the woods, Songbird Prairie's five posh suites (each with fireplace, rain shower and Jacuzzi) promise romantic pillow talk. Barbara greets all guests. Although just 6 miles west of downtown Valparaiso's shops and restaurants, Songbird Prairie seems out in the boondocks surrounded by corn fields and forest. Walking paths meander through the inn's 6 wooded acres (bug spray and birding binoculars provided). Weekdays, rooms start at $109 include a mini-breakfast, making Songbird Prairie a lovely alternative to big-box properties for travelers flying solo. Weekend rates start at $199 and include a gourmet, multicourse breakfast of Barbara's specialties: glazed poached pear; puffy French toast souffle; and "Bananas Barbara," a layered sweet version of bananas Foster topped with candied orange peels she makes. Each course served on a still-life work of art composed of seasonal, fresh flowers and leaves Barbara picks from her garden and presses between two glass plates. Guests dine in the second-floor, treetop porch where birds feed next to the windows. An expert birder, Barbara can identify a bird by its chirp even though she's in the Provence-style kitchen cooking for guests. She whips up weekend breakfast for the public, $20, and weekday afternoon tea, $23 (reservations required).