Travel Back in Finger Lakes Time to The Hayward House

April 23, 2011 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Finger lakes Bed and Breakfast

Magic sky at sunset from the front porch

After a restless night where we both lay awake worrying, our boys, 16 and 19, left for a trip to the Big Apple to see a concert. Once we received the word that they had survived New Jersey, the Holland Tunnel and the circuitous trip across Manhattan to Brooklyn, we breathed a sigh of relief and knew we had 36 hours to “roam.”

Finger lakes bed and breakfast

Staircase to guest quarters

Central Finger Lakes, between Seneca and Cayuga was our destination. As we crossed between the Wine Trail and the Cheese Trail, we experienced tastes like “Red Buddy” (cheese) to “69 Ways to have Fun,” (wine).  Around 4pm, our buds lost their bite and we needed rest. Not far away, but 100+ years back in time, we found The Hayward House.

The Hayward House is a Bed and Breakfast in Ovid New York. The house is actually in the middle of nowhere, but not too far from everywhere you might want to go, whether it’s wineries, the lake shore, Ithaca, Seneca Falls, or Watkins Glen. But when you stay at The Hayward House know that you will get peace and quiet, and big sky and stars galore.

The house was built in 1880. The name came from the farm manager, Hayward, who purchased the property from the original owner. A long string of Haywards followed after, until the Mannella’s bought the property and restored it.

Finger lakes bed and breakfast

The Living Room, beautifully decorated

Their attractive combination of authentic restoration skill and great taste in decorating reveals their love for this house. It was obvious to me that every part of my stay had been thoughtfully considered.

Our hosts Kevin and Michele Mannella greeted us, showed us around the guest quarters, answered our questions, and then they LEFT US ALONE! The house was ours. Late afternoon sun streamed through the windows of the Map Room. I wanted to look at the beautiful engravings on the wall, but I needed a post-tasting nap. The house may be full of antiques, but our mattress high-tech.

Finger lakes bed and breakfast

Enjoying tea and cookies in the Map Room

A bit later, I regained consciousness. This time I could linger in the Map Room, made some tea, took a cookie from a plate in the dining room, and one for Charlie (the celiac), ate his, took another, another, and figured I better distance myself from the cookies, so I went outside to catch the last of the day.

Finger lakes Bed and breakfast

West view of Hayward House

Finger lakes Bed and Breakfast

View at Sunset

The photos in this post were taken just before the sun went down. It’s too early in the year for flowers — or even leaves — but the fields around the house were on fire with the last light of the day.

Our bedroom, “The North View,” had a very cool Turkish “Alphabet” Rug, lovely quilts on the bed, USEFUL antique furniture, and a nicely renovated and modern bathroom with a spacious shower. There was a basket of toiletries for folks like me who pack last-minute, and might need to “borrow” shampoo or toothpaste. Sleeping was lovely, as we never heard a sound until about 10 minutes before breakfast, when I heard the clip-clop of horse hooves. I peeked out the window to see an Amish buggy go by.

Ask for the “Innkeepers Picks” which is a listing of the best area restaurants. Their recommendation of Hazelnut Kitchen was worth another blog in itself.

Finger Lakes Summer

3-course breakfast, Sunday morning

Sunday morning a generous three-course breakfast was served at 9a.m. We were fortunate to enjoy their weekend breakfast: grapefruit and orange slices with kumquats, maple yogurt w/granola, Shirred eggs with spinach, bacon, tomatoes and parmesan cheese, scones, gluten-free banana bread, fresh coffee, and orange juice — all provided by local growers (where possible)

Check out their website which allows you to reserve rooms. It has a good selection of photos of the house inside and out and good descriptions of the bedrooms. They are also praised in Trip Advisor.

I am happy to know that returning guests receive $10 off per night!

Finger lakes bed and Breakfast

Backyard Barn at Sunset

This poem describes what the Hayward House is all about:

What We Need Is Here
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

Wendell Berry


Entry filed under: Activities, Bed and Breakfasts, Cayuga Lake, Dining, Finger Lakes, New York, Seneca falls, Seneca Lake, Wineries. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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