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Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Charleston, South...
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706 posts
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Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Hey y'all.

We're going to be staying at a place called Barkwells, which is a pet-freindly retreat in Fletcher. It looks great on the website, but I know how these things can be.

Have any of you ever heard of or been to this place? I'd love to hear some reviews.

Also, are there any restaurant recommendations for Fletcher/Hendersonville/Asheville or anywhere else near there? I'm feeling a bit too lazy to use the search function today. ;-)

Thanks for any replies!!!

.....Hey Bud!

Northern Kentucky
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1. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Dear Trip Advisor readers,

Our recently-completed stay at Barkwells (April 27-30, 2008) was incredible. The cabin was first rate, the grounds tranquil & well cared for, and our dogs were enchanted. Their claim of "pet-friendly" is not merely accurate, but also understated. Other so-called pet friendly accommodations that we have researched often require that pets be crated when you are away and usually limit the size and number (usually one, under 40 lbs.) that they will accept! Best to read the fine print, eh? The doggie doors, beds, bowls, fenced yards and gated porches speak well of Barkwells attention to detail. The proprietors are obviously pet owners who love their animals and, like we do, consider them part of the family. The human comforts, i.e. the wonderful hot tub, washer/dryer, dish washer, and TV with DVD, were not bad either! Also, even though the 6 cabins were fully booked while we were there, it never seemed crowded or busy--yet we met and talked to some very nice fellow renters and their wonderful pets. The food, shopping and attractions in Asheville compare favorably to much larger cities, without the hassles. If someone wants specific restaurant recommendations, please ask--this was our 3rd trip to Asheville in the past 2 years. Last, we took three really awesome hikes with the dogs off the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Dupont State Forest (waterfalls, great mountain views), all easily accessible with Barkwells as a base of exploration. Rest assured that we look forward to returning with our dogs in the near future. Regards, Jim & Pam Martin, Marsha Daniel and dogs (Ellie, Emma, and Popeye), Alexandria, KY [My Trip Adviser handle is 1avidadventurer]

Charleston, South...
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706 posts
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2. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

We're looking to go back to the mountains later this year, but funds are a little more scarce this year. So, unfortunately, we're probably going to end up somewhere else, which is too bad because this is a wonderful place. It's just that Barkwell's is a little too pricey for us this year. I wish they had a 'return renter's' discount!

I'm glad you had a great time, Avid!

Western North...
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407 posts
46 reviews
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3. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

I am confused..... but still on my first cup of coffee here.....

Thornhill's Fine Dining is close and you would LOVE it!

Here is my review:

Thornhill’s Fine Dining definitely acquired my attention when I learned it was a restaurant located in a newly renovated 1880’s church in Arden that specializes in French Cuisine. And to add to the enticement, the chef, Joseph Landers, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute @ Hyde. I just love great food in creative ambiance. I have always been pleased with my culinary experiences garnered by CIA chefs, and hoped this new find in sleepy Arden would blow my epicurean mind. So with two tempting traits that triggered my curiosity we embarked to Avery Creek with expectations that bordered on pure excitement.

The scenic drive takes you through rural Buncombe to the outer border of the Cliffs at Walnut Cove. The old southern church, complete with steeple, sits atop a knoll and is painted in a traditional country barn red; alleviating any thought that Sunday services begin at 8AM. The Cliffs hover in the background adding a sense of Old World romance to the area’s charm with architecture inspired by the ageless villages of Europe. The scene is set for dinner in the French countryside a la Arden, North Carolina.

The rich reds and warm woods, coupled with metal art and leather furniture throughout the interior invokes a sense that time has change. A library of old law books in the main dining room compliment the colors of the room and may have strategically been placed to represent the sophisticated and educated patrons. The atmosphere could be described as relaxed elegance balanced with rustic charm. The petite restaurant’s intimate dining room seats about 8 tables and is flanked by a small private dining room for a large party.

An enticing vegetable amuse-bouche arrived at the table as we awaited our dinner order, followed by an exquisite salad of ultra fresh greens, cucumber, red onion, tomato. Parmesan crisps, and candied walnuts on a chilled plate. The house dressing was flawlessly executed and danced on the taste buds. We shared a beautifully crafted order of Coquille Saint Jacque; an appetizer of mussels, shrimp and scallops in a heavenly white wine cream sauce with white truffle oil. A colorful mango sorbet drizzled with tantalizing raspberry sauce was enjoyed as a delectable Intermezzo. I ordered the Potato Encrusted Sea Bass that was seasoned and wrapped in strands of potato and pan seared. The accompanying pineapple mango salsa was perfectly balanced between sweet and citrus. The fish was paired with a side of julienne vegetables that hinted at a bit of heat. The heat and sweet combination was well done! My husband chose a 9 ounce Filet Mignon that was accompanied by a wild mushroom demi glace, wonderfully seasoned Polenta and julienne vegetables with a hint of heat. The steak was perfectly cooked, tender and flavorful.

We ended our evening with Bananas Foster. This eight dollar dessert is worth every penny. The homemade cinnamon ice cream was coated with toasted pecans and topped with a flambéed mixture of bananas, brown sugar and Grand Marnier. Heave on Earth folks and worth every extra calorie!

Entrees range from 14-29 dollars. The Potato Encrusted Sea Bass was 22 dollars and the Filet Mignon was 29 dollars. Our appetizer was 12. For the quality of the food and the excellent preparation and presentation, these prices are extremely reasonable.

The restaurant also has an impressive wine selection that even boasts a bottle of Opus One.

This restaurant is a true treasure to the area! It is well worth the drive. This was one fabulous fine dining experience. The service was impeccable and professional. The ambiance was wonderful, the food was divine and the location was spectacular. My hat’s off to the chef!

Jupiter, Fl
8 posts
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4. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Avid, thanks for the post about Barkwell's. I'd appreciate any restaurant recommendations (someplace to bring dog?) and any other helpful hints for a family with teenagers (boy and girls) Also, if you have any advice about what we should bring to make our stay at the cabins more enjoyable (we will be there the 2nd week of June). Thanks again.

Savannah, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
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5. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

imagoo,

a quick Google turned up this list of restaurants in Asheville that allow pets:

http://blazenskyy.com/pages/FunThings.php

Western North...
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407 posts
46 reviews
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6. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Well it is a heath code violation to bring a dog into a restaurant, so you will not find restaurants that will allow you to bring your canine friend inside.

With that said, I have eaten at a number of restaurants with outdoor seating that did not seem to mind. I had a 101 pound Chocolate Lab, so I definitely was not hiding him LOL and he was very well behaved (and cute on top of it!) Asheville is VERY dog friendly. My tip would be to walk directly to the outdoor seating area and sit the furthest away from people and other tables and tie your dog so that he is not in the way of any foot traffic. As long as he/she is not in the way and not the center of attention, I have found these places to be accommodating:

Thai Basil - Located in Grove Arcade Market - this is a restaurant that actually comes right out and says that pets are allowed in the outside seating area. So... a very good bet here.

The Laughing Seed Cafe will allow dogs in the outside seating area as long as they are confined to your table.

Cats and Dawgs - also at the Grove Arcade is pet friendly and only at the outer tables.

Bouchon - dogs are allowed at the outer tables and must be on leashes.

Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company - will allow dogs only at the outer tables and must be on a leash.

New French Bar Courtyard Café (my pick for best dog friendly seating!) has an outdoor seating area (down the covered hallway) complete with grass. We have eaten here a number of times with our Dog and servers even brought water and scraps for him. Sit away from people and at and in a perimeter table.

Salsa's - if you can manage to get an outdoor table on the sidewalk and keep your dog out of the way of servers and pedestrians you can eat here with your canine friend.

Mellow Mushroom's outdoor seating. Outdoor to the left (under the trees) - furthest table from people and closest to sidewalk perimeter.

Cafe on the Square. Outside and only if the restaurant is not full of people. We find tables on the perimeter of the movie-theater type ropes; where our dog could actually lay on the other side but still be at our table.

Weaverville Milling Company. Outside on covered deck.

Western North...
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407 posts
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7. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Ps... Bone-A-Fide Bakery in Black Mountain is a cool stop! :)

Jupiter, Fl
8 posts
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8. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Brad and NcMyst, thanks for the helpful tips. Much appreciated.

Boca Raton
5 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

Hi dog lovers. We recently drove from Forida to Barkwell's and it was definitely worth the two day drive. We were a family of four, plus the teenagers each brought a friend. Oh, not to mention the two pooches. We arrived with exteme car fatigue and instantly perked up upon our arrival at Barkwells. We had rented the largest cabin which was so much nicer that what you see on the web. Ellen, the owner, had put out fresh water inside and outside for the dogs, and was there to welcome and orient us. Super kitchen with everything we needed to cook our own meals (supermarket close by), and the living room was lovely with lots of windows and a big flat screen TV, and remote control fireplace. Lots of local magazines on coffee table about the area--so we could plan restaurants, etc. The beds were luxurious, and everything was so clean! The smell of the wood inside was heaven. Our huge deck had a fantastic view of the little pond (which the labs loved!) and tons of birds. Loved having our morning coffee out on the deck in our rockers listening to the rooster and the bullfrogs. There are rabbits for the dogs to chase, and the chickens are really really cute. Everyone used the very clean hot tub on the deck. The dogs had so much fun using the doggie door to go in and out(and in and out!) They loved the option of being on the deck or their own private yard , or out in the field with all the other "kids". Ellen even brought us fresh eggs for breakfast from the chickens. We took the dogs to a hike at Dupont State Forest to see the falls--a "must do" if you like a mild hike. We also left the dogs one day to go white water rafting which was fun. Asheville is 20 min away and is a nice place to walk around for the evening and then have dinner. We all cried when we had to leave--not really, but we wanted to. The dogs had a blast! We had a great mix of relaxation and fun. Would definitely go back in a heart beat. Worth the price.

10. Re: Barkwells Retreat in Fletcher

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