Q: Tell us a bit about Lucinda’s
A: Lucinda’s Country Inn is in the heart of Fair Play wine appellation. It’s a modern and spacious five-room custom-built bed and breakfast that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Daryl (my husband) and I designed and built it ourselves in 2004. Lucinda’s is really ideal for groups because we have a really nice great room that serves as a lovely area to gather, along with ample space to accommodate up to 14 people. In addition to the great room, Lucinda’s has an outdoor patio that is a bucolic spot to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day.
Q: What made you decide to open a Bed and Breakfast in Fair Play?
A: We began visiting Fair Play when we were 19 years old, and in those times the cheapest entertainment was to take a road trip, so we would explore the country roads – this was before wineries. We ended up participating in car rallies, and several were in Fair Play, which was ideal because the way the roads meet up, it made getting lost hard. We always wanted to live here but couldn’t figure out what we would do. We eventually left Elk Grove for Southern California, and during that time thought about changing our lives. In our jobs, we had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and locations and wanted to find a way to continue to do that, ideally in Fair Play. At that time we began spending time in Fair Play again, often for wine tasting and realized there was only one B&B in the area. We figured out that the area could support another one, and began the process of looking at property and eventually designing what became Lucinda’s Country Inn.
Q: What does a perfect weekend in Fair Play look like?
A: Well the primary reason to come to Fair Play is to go wine tasting at the many wines in the appellation, but there are plenty of activities to do beyond that. Lots of our guests go to Apple Hill, so we explain to them our secret way to go the back way from Fair Play (AKA: Snows Road). In the fall this allows them to avoid the Apple Hill traffic, and other times it gets them real close to the Carson Road Wineries. Jenkinson Lake is only 10 miles from Lucinda’s, where you can find plenty of hiking and biking trails and water activities including paddle boarding and kayaking. Head into Historic Downtown Placerville for window shopping, dining, and yes, more wine tasting! History buffs wanting to explore gold country should head to the Gold Bug Mine in Placerville as well as Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma.
Q: Wine tasting – what are some notable wineries?
A: It’s hard for us to pick a favorite. That’s like asking you to pick a favorite child! That said Windwalker Vineyard is the closest winery to us, and we work together when they have events. Iverson Vineyards and Winery is at the other end of Perry Creek Road, and we both moved to Fair Play at about the same time. We’d see them when they volunteered at Windwalker for events, and they wanted to do something on their property, eventually building a winery. We’re still good friends with them and try to support each other. Everybody in Fair Play supports each other, including the wineries, which are known to make recommendations of other wineries to visit based on wines that guests enjoy.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your signature dish.
A: Country Eggs Benedict is our classic breakfast recipe. Benedicts always make a really nice presentation, and we’d looked at doing one of our own. Knowing that there are people that don’t like poached eggs, we looked at doing something different that had its own presentation. We collaborated and decided on scrambled eggs in a puff pastry shell. It’s a great introduction to Lucinda’s.
Lucinda’s Country Eggs Benedict
2 pastry shells (Pepperidge Puff Shells)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dry basil leaves or mixed Italian herbs
½ pkg hash browns (Simply Potatoes Fresh Not Frozen 1 pound package)
½ stick butter
¼ tbsp cream cheese
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
¼ cup fine chopped green pepper
Paprika (sprinkle for color)
6 pieces Canadian bacon rounds
2/3 cup Hollandaise sauce (McCormick Hollandaise Sauce Mix)
Cook pastry shells on cookie sheet per package instructions.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the garlic and basil.
In a frying pan large enough to hold the eggs, melt the butter and sauté the onions & peppers until soft. Add the hash browns. Cook hash browns until soft. Melt the cream cheese in the hash browns mixture. Add the eggs to the hash browns and cook until firm with a creamy texture. In a separate skillet, cook the Canadian bacon.
Remove the center of the pastry shell. You may need to use a butter knife to scoop out some of the shell when you remove the center top. Place the shell on the 3 pieces of Canadian bacon, the pieces slightly overlapped in the middle of a small plate. Fill the shell with the eggs. Pack the shell firmly full of eggs, then add more eggs on top (shape a mound about 2” high by cupping your hand over the eggs). Place the center top piece of pastry shell on top of the eggs. Cover with hollandaise sauce and sprinkle Paprika on top for color.
For more information about Lucinda’s, visit LucindasCountryInn.com.