Monday, November 8, 2010

An interview with Dick & Lesley Marquis, Innkeepers of the Rosewood Country Inn

Leslie and Dick just celebrated their 19th year of owning the Rosewood. Prior to running the B&B, Lesley was in charge of research and development for chemistry instrumentation at a medical center in Rhode Island for 21 years. Dick was in charge of the laboratories at another hospital in RI.

Lesley says her favorite thing about owning a B&B is meeting all the wonderful people and making new friends. Some of our best friends started off as guests. I also enjoy making each guest's stay special and as perfect as possible.

When asked why they wanted to run a B&B, Leslie replies, "I'm the oldest of 7 children and my Dad passed away when I was 24. I still had younger brothers and sisters at home. One by one, we'd take them in as they made their transition from living at home to being on their own...almost. So I guess you could say we've run a "B&B" almost all our married lives."

Leslie muses, "For me the most challenging part of running a B&B is separating myself from the business. It's not that we're not able to get away; we take an extensive vacation every year. But even when we're away I'm  thinking of new ways we can heighten the guest experience. On an early spring trip to Vermont we stopped at a wonderful little nursery. They had done such a nice job with their container gardens that it got me thinking. We got in touch with our County Home Horticulture Bureau and we set up a Mother & Daughter Weekend with a container gardening workshop with a Master Gardener, and a Spring Tea."

Leslie says, "Days off in the summer are spent gardening. "I guess you could say it's my passion in life, right after my grandchildren. Years ago when we moved here our neighbors from RI sent us perennials from their gardens so we started a "Friendship Garden" along our stone wall. Now, we're able to share many seedlings and cuttings from our garden for guests to take home. Tell me you like our mallow, or our yellow sun drops, and they'll be a pot full of them by your trunk before you check-out. Dick enjoys fishing, both fresh and saltwater and hunting."

An enquiry about are there certain things that you and your significant other prefer to do at your B&B and how do you split the tasks to be done returns from Leslie, "As I mentioned, I love gardening, so Dick doesn't venture into the flower beds.  He enjoys the mowing so I leave that to him. We do share time with the guests. He helps to serve breakfast in the morning, while I'm the chef. He takes care of the books while I'm in charge of answering the phone, taking email reservations and sending our confirmations. The bar is also his domain. He makes the world's best apple martini."

Leslie says, "The Rosewood is a great place to visit because its in the perfect location! We have downhill skiing at both Mt. Sunapee and Pat's Peak, We have snow shoeing and X-C right from our back door. With West Meadow Stables within walking distance, we're able to offer sleigh rides in the winter, hayrides and horseback riding. There are 2 colleges close by, and the summer offers scenic cruises on Lake Sunapee, a romantic dinner cruise in the evening, a wonderful summer theater in New London, craft fairs, Farmers' Markets. There's always something going on."

When people think of the Rosewood, they think romance. They have a reputation as a romantic inn...cozy fireplaces in almost all the rooms, Jacuzzis-for-two, five foot doubled-headed showers. And we specialize in small, intimate weddings. Leslie comments, "Guests say it's the caring service and the hospitality. They come as guests and leave as friends." The Rosewood appeals to a broad range of people...newlyweds and romantics, bikers and hikers and baby boomers.

When asked, What would you say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast before? Leslie says, "Try it. It's so much more personal than staying in a hotel where every room is the same as the next." She also comments, "At a hotel or motel, you're checked-in and given your key. It's pretty anonymous. I think that most people that stay at B&B's are interested in socializing with the other guests and making new friends. They want our opinion on places to see and things to do. We can share with them the special, out-of-the-way places to swim or picnic. Or places that have the best vantage points to see the fall foliage. We also do a full, three course breakfast."

Leslie also adds, "We're big believers in "farm to fork" dining and using local produce as much as possible.  During the summer I personally pick the berries for our Raspberry Stuffed French Toast and our Blueberry Stuffed Croissant at one of our local farms."

Leslie comments, "Each B&B is unique. I don't think any two are the same. Here at the Rosewood we do lots of theme weekends. Coming up we have our Dickens Christmas Weekend with a festive holiday dinner and a storyteller. We also have sleigh rides and snow shoeing right from our back door. In the spring we do our Mother & Daughter Weekend with a gardening workshop with a master Gardener and a four course Victorian Tea."

Rosewood Country Inn
1-800-938-5273 | 67 Pleasant View Road, Bradford, NH
Rosewood Country Inn...selected time and again as
America's Most Romantic Hideaway.