Doylestown County Seat Bicentennial – Party Time!

There will be lots to do in Doylestown Memorial Day through June 2. That’s the week that Doylestown celebrates 200 years as the county seat of government.
According to the bicentennial committee, the decision to move Bucks County government from Newtown to Doylestown actually took several years to come to fruition in the early part of the 19th century. Doylestown’s close proximity to being the geographic center of the county while at the crossroads of Philadelphia and Easton in the north-south direction as well as the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers in the east-west direction, the enclave, circa 1812, was transitioning from a sleepy hamlet into a village and soon could boast in addition to the public buildings, a school, a post office, a newspaper, several houses of worship and a few roads.
Hargrave House itself was built between 1813 and 1815, so we’ve got a milestone birthday coming up too!
But back to 2012. The events kick off Memorial Day with Doylestown’s annual parade through town, beginning at 10 a.m. Head on over to Fonthill to catch the antique car show they’ve got on the grounds of Henry Mercer’s famed castle-like home. And speaking of Henry, look for him throughout the week. He may even have his faithful canine companion, Rollo, at his side. Each time you spot him, ask him for a free entry ticket to Central Bucks Family YMCA’s Bicentennial Picnic and Fireworks June 2. You might just win some great prizes in a raffle drawing.
Our next-door neighbors, Doylestown Historical Society, will host a series of events throughout the week, starting Wednesday, May 30 at 7 p.m. with a lecture on the Lenape Indians, the Native American tribe that settled in the Bucks County area. Come back the next night and hear a talk on the Civil War given by Dick Neddenriep, portraying Lt. Edwin Fretz of Bucks County’s 104th Pa. Voluntary Infantry Regiment. If you return Friday at the same time, you can learn about Doylestown’s best-kept secret explorer, William Edgar Geil, the first Westerner to document his travels across the Great Wall of China. It’ll be a fascinating journey through the ages, to be sure.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 12 Comments

A Small World in Doylestown, PA

A recent guest at Hargrave House Bed & Breakfast had quite a “small world” experience. Julie is from a small town in southern Australia where she helps make lunch for a children’s day school, and she was staying with us while her husband was in business meetings.

One morning after breakfast she was walking up Main Street doing some shopping when she heard her name called out, “Julie, oh Julie”. She assumed they meant someone else, as the only two people in Doylestown that she supposed knew her name were either at a meeting (her husband) or cleaning up after breakfast (Lorna, our Innkeeper).  She kept walking, but she heard “Julie” again rather breathlessly and heard running footsteps approach. She turned around to see an unexpected but familiar face. It was a woman from her home town in Australia!

Over a pleasant lunch at the Pennsylvania Soup & Seafood House, they compared notes. The woman was one of the Moms whose child Julie had been preparing lunch for only a week or so prior in Australia!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Doylestown in snow

The snow is golden at night, with the warm gas street lights shining on the drifts, here in Doylestown, PA. Our compact little town makes walking an attractive option even in the middle of January.  One of the delights of winter is more chances to go to the movies.  Right now The County Theater is showing two award winners, Black Swan and The King’s Speech.  I’ve seen both of them twice and thought that The King’s Speech holds up better to multiple viewing.  The County is always showing something you won’t find at the mall and it’s right in the middle of town.
You can easily spend a day visiting our two unique museums, the Mercer, which has a huge collection of tools of early American life, including a real whaling boat and a Conestoga wagon hanging from the ceiling (and if you’re lucky you can watch the kids sledding on the museum hill); and the Michener, which has the best collection of works by Bucks County artists, as well as traveling exhibits, a really great gift shop and a small café.  In the summer you can eat outside in the courtyard and watch the sculptures or the people, but today I’d sit inside and see how the sculptures look covered with snow and maybe buy myself a new piece of jewelry.
So after a day visiting our museums, and having a great dinner at one of our many restaurants, seeing an award-winning movie and stopping in at a coffee house or a friendly bar for a nightcap, you can walk the block and a half, back to your cozy room in the Hargrave House Bed and Breakfast.  You’ll just be chilled, making the big hot tub and the king size bed all the more attractive.  In the morning our superb innkeeper, Lorna will send you on your way with a tasty breakfast.  And you’ll be longing to return to Doylestown to see what spring has to offer in beautiful Bucks County.
Posted in Bucks County, Bucks County Lodging, Doylestown, Doylestown Bed and Breakfast, Doylestown Events, Doylestown lodging, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can you Enjoy World Class Luxury Lodging in Downtown Doylestown?

Last week, TripAdvisor.com named a local bed and breakfast as #2 among the Ten Best Luxury Bed & Breakfasts in the US and #4 on the World Top Ten List (see here and here). Huge congratulations to Mike Amery, the Owner of this now (even more) famous Inn at Bowman’s Hill just south of New Hope, PA.

We have been acquainted with Mike for some time. He was even kind enough to walk through the Hargrave House Bed & Breakfast a few years ago, when we were re-furnishing, and give us advice on how to improve the comfort and experience of our guests here in downtown Doylestown. Our guests should be grateful to Mike for our adoption of some luxury items like the “amazingly comfortable” beds & linens, Keurig coffee makers, flat-screen HDTVs, individual fridge, individual climate control and the atmosphere and service we provide. While Mike provides a romantic setting in his estate near the Bowman’s Hill and Wildflower Preserve with his pond and pool and beautiful grounds, we find Hargrave House provides a home away from home for many business travelers and lawyers during the week and, on the weekends, we host guests who want to enjoy the unique atmosphere of our lovely town, attend special events, or have a second honeymoon. We thank Mike for helping us to be able to host this diversity of guests to Doylestown with style and luxury, and we wish him well in dealing with the increased world-wide guest traffic this well-earned bit of fame will provide.

Posted in Bucks County, Bucks County Lodging, Doylestown Bed and Breakfast, Doylestown lodging | 23 Comments

7th Annual Christmas in Doylestown House Tour December 3-4

This is the real “Spirit of Christmas” stuff – and one of the nicest traditions in Doylestown, PA!   Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church runs this amazing tour of some of Doylestown’s nicest homes every year.  Four different homes are chosen and decorated most imaginatively and beautifully each year within an easy walking distance of each other (1.2 miles) and the church (at the corner of Pine and Oakland).  You can take a guided walk through each of the houses and then retire to St. Paul’s Parish House to do a little shopping at the Boutique.  They always have wonderful hand-baked sugar cookies, other baked goods, seasonal gifts and decorations and greens.  There are also raffles and very nice tea and refreshments.  All in all, a most festive beginning to this season!

Tickets are available for advance sale now at the Parish Office ($20).  You may also purchase them at the Parish Hall door during the event ($25).  The event times are: Friday, December 3rd, 6 to 9PM, and Saturday, December 4th, Noon to 6PM.  (Snow date is Sunday, December 5th, Noon to 6PM.  Cor more information call (215) 348-5511 or visit the St. Paul’s website at www.StPaulsDoylestown.org.

Proceeds benefit the Bucks County Housing Group (Doylestown Homeless Shelter) and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Posted in Bucks County Upcoming Events, Doylestown Events, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

From Israel With Love

Believe it or not, a large portion of our clientele are from over seas. Who would have thought that quaint Doylestown was a hub for international tourism? But in just the past few months we received guests from China, Europe, and most recently, Israel.

As with all guests, we go the extra mile to suit the needs of all those who come to our lovely B and B. This is especially true when those staying with us are not only in a a new town, but a whole new country. We’re careful to extend our personal service and care to those particular travelers, even when there is a language barrier, and have been very successful to this end. In fact, we recently obtained a translation of a couple Hebrew  notes that were left for our Inn Keeper, Lorna, and here is what they said:

Dear Lorna,

I will warmly recommend this place to all of my friends.  Your warmth and your willing to help and answer all our needs, turned this stay to a wonderful experience.

With deep friendship,
Koby

P.S.  I will surely return here with my family every chance I could!!!

Dear Lorna

I arrived from Israel for business, to a town I’ve never heard of.  I stayed a week at Hargrave House.  The town is enchanting and the hotel feels like home and is charming, with gorgeous rooms that spoil you.  Lorna, the hostess, imposes a fun and relaxing atmosphere with services I have never encountered.

It was an amazing week on all accounts.  I recommend it very warmly!!!  I will come back here with my family.

Nir

Posted in Bucks County Lodging, Bucks County Upcoming Events, Doylestown, Doylestown Bed and Breakfast, Doylestown lodging | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

Annual Christmas in Doylestown House Tour and Boutique

A really nice way to start your Holidays in Doylestown is the Annual Christmas in Doylestown House Tour and Boutique.  This event is sponsored by Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church to raise funds for the local homeless shelter and other projects at Saint Paul’s.  (Over the years Saint Paul’s has donated over $72,000 to the Bucks County Housing Group to benefit the Doylestown Homeless Shelter – major percentage of their non-government funding.)

This multi-level event will take place on the first weekend in December to coincide with Doylestown’s First Friday – The dates are December 4-5.  This year, four borough homes, gorgeously decorated inside and out by Saint Paul’s parishioners, will be featured on the house tour.  Paxson Hall, the Church Education Center, is transformed into a festive holiday boutique, featuring Tea for house tour ticket holders, and a full array of baked goods, our famous butter cookies, dolls and gifts for the holiday and attic treasures.

The House Tours run from 6 to 9PM on Friday, Dec. 4th, and from 11AM to 4PM on Saturday, Dec. 5th.  The Boutique is free and opens one hour earlier.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  Advance tickets may be purchased by mail by sending a check (made out to “Saint Paul’s House Tour Fund”) and a self-addressed envelope to the parish office.  Orders received after November 25th will be held at the boutique for pick up on tour days.  The address is:

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church
84 WEAst Oakland Avenue
Doylestown, PA 18901

Posted in Bucks County Lodging, Bucks County Upcoming Events, Doylestown, Doylestown Bed and Breakfast, Doylestown Events, Doylestown lodging | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Doylestown Events: This Weekend is THE Weekend!

Enjoy the arts in the heart of Doylestown PA. Stay at the Hargrave House Bed and Breakfast, 50 South Main Street, in the center of Doylestown. They don’t make small towns like this anymore! Almost everything you want to do is within two blocks of Hargrave House. There’s the Annual Art Festival taking place in the streets of Doylestown on Saturday, September 12/13, just 1 block from Hargrave House. And, there’s the James A. Michener Art Museum which opens the doors to the premier exhibit of Jim Henson’s Fantastic World on Saturday, September 12th through November 29th. This exhibit is the inaugural show in the Della Penna-Fernberger | Paton | Smith Galleries, the new exhibition space that is the center-piece of the Museum’s $12 million expansion. Then Sunday the Univest Grand Prix international Bicycle Race will circle downtown between 10AM and 1:30PM Sunday the 13th.

Have fun walking through the art exhibits and galleries in the streets of downtown on Saturday. Shop and dine at your choice of great restaurants. Attend a movie at our wonderful restored Art Deco County Theater (2 tickets on us!) which features smaller and independent films. Enjoy the night life, and then walk (don’t drive) back to your luxurious jacuzzi and featherbed at the Hargrave House. Have a hearty breakfast cooked in-house especially for you in the mornings. Many of the streets may be closed for events like the Art Festival and bicycle race, but you won’t worry because you are parked (for free) in our private lot. Walk over to the Jim Henson exhibit and enter Jim’s world of Muppets and Sesame characters. (Again 2 tickets on us – And these are untimed tickets, not the timed tickets the Museum sells at the door.)

Our price for this terrific art-filled weekend (Friday and Saturday nights) at the Hargrave House is only $350 to $400 for the weekend – depending on room availability. We are sorry, but only two-night reservations are being taken. If you want to stay over an additional night, add a mere $100 for either Thursday or Sunday nights to this offer. See you soon!

Posted in Bucks County Lodging, Doylestown Bed and Breakfast, Doylestown lodging | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Doylestown Events: Childrens Book Sale- July 3rd and 4th

Booktenders is having a blowout sale July 3rd and 4th

Booktenders is having a blowout sale July 3rd and 4th

Posted in Doylestown, Doylestown Events, Doylestown lodging | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Doylestown Events: Doylestown Historical Society William Edgar Geil Exhibit

Doylestown Historical Society is opening a new exhibit featuring the amazing life of William Edgar Geil.  The exhibition will be open to the public beginning Saturday, May 30 – Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free!
Check out this amazing article which relates the amazing impact that William Edgar Geil had on the existence of the Great Wall of China  that lasts until today.
Below is an inside look at the exhibit. But truth-be-told, pictures don’t do the exhibit justice.
Here is a display of Geil's Great Wall of China's expedition

Here is a display of Geil's Great Wall of China's expedition

Here is a news clipping of the enormous crowd that turned out for Geil's speach in Australia

Here is a news clipping of the enormous crowd that turned out for Geil's speach in Australia

To see the rest of the photo gallery, click here.

Posted in Doylestown lodging | 23 Comments