Just down the road a piece, on Lake Almanor’s crystal blue north shore in Chester, CA lies a charming little bed and breakfast known as the Bidwell House. Named for General John Bidwell, famous founder of the city of Chico, CA, this unique and antique bed and breakfast was built in 1901, on the edge of an amber meadow and the banks of the gold rich Feather River, as a summer home for the General and his wife Annie . Later purchased by Earl McKenzie, Bidwell House was moved to Chester and nestled in next to a new meadow brimming with water birds. For many years it served as the summer party hub for Stover-McKenzie Cattle Company . In 1991, after extensive renovation, Bidwell House opened as the blissful 14 room bed and breakfast it is today. Sleepy and snow topped Mount Lassen looms large in the background and the volcanic national park it hosts is a favorite nearby attraction for locals and Bidwell House guests alike. My favorite bird watching spot of all time is within walking distance along the causeway, and many of our local feathered friends are regular visitors to the beautiful sprawling lawns and rainbow colored flowerbeds at Bidwell House. Even the birds and often a deer or two can’t resist a stay in this peaceful storybook setting.
Imagine if you will the romantic perfection this seemingly fictional backdrop offers on a whimsical Wedding Day. Managers Filip and Eva Laboda are happy to host your special day and offer several wedding packages starting at just $495. Please visit their website at www.bidwellhouse.com or call 530-258-3338 for full details, options and rates. Whether you prefer a sunny garden wedding in the gazebo with 200 of your friends, or just want to elope and say your “I do’s” privately before the fireplace on a sparkling winter evening, the Labodas will flawlessly accommodate your dream. How romantic– heavy sigh!
A quilt topped king size bed, soft as a marshmallow, draped with flowing netting and a jacuzzi tub for 2 are just the frosting in the antique furnished rooms. Careful attention to detail has earned these comfy, spacious rooms a 3 diamond rating from AAA as well as a coveted spot In Frommer’s Northern California’s Best Places Guide Book. The friendly and efficient staff ensure top notch service and seem to anticipate your every need. Decorated in rich greens, burgundy or blues each room is plush and unique. The wide variety will leave you hard pressed to pick a favorite. Quite a cozy place to call home for a few days, the Bidwell House is larger than the traditional bed and breakfast and most of the rooms have an outside entrance overlooking the lovely patio. No worries of waking the house for you night owls coming in late. After all, a good vacation knows no schedule. Do it your way!
Breakfast at Bidwell House is a delicious 3 course affair beginning with cool fresh yogurt sprinkled with granola and drizzled with honey–a sweet, crunchy, tangy party for your taste buds. Rich, aromatic, organic coffee from J.P. McWalsh is slow roasted 13 miles away in Westwood and served steaming hot in the homey dining room with breakfast or in your room on request. I prefer a cup of “ambition” before I face the day myself. The main course may be a fluffy Bacon, Spinach and Cheese Omelet with multigrain toast or perhaps the light, golden Blueberry Walnut Pancakes that Bidwell House is famous for. I promise this is one bed and breakfast fare that will never find you leaving the table hungry. A fresh fruit pastry for dessert is the delicate, tasty finale to the morning’s dining delights. What a way to begin a crisp mountain morning. A second cup of coffee in the bright, plant filled sun room is a great opportunity to soak in the beauty of nature at Bidwell House both indoors and out. The day doesn’t call you from there, it just simmers outside the windows, patiently awaiting your company. Lodging at the Bidwell House is so much more than renting a room and a meal, it’s more like going to visit old friends at their quiet mountain retreat on Lake Almanor. Become a new, old friend of Filip and Eva Laboda. Give them a call at 530-258-3338 or visit their website at www.bidwellhouse.com and arrange a visit. You are sure to feel the bliss.