WE BOUGHT THE WICKWOOD INN IN 1990 from our next door friends, the Louis', who created the inn as the village's first bed and breakfast in 1980. Bill is a long-time resident of Saugatuck and knows almost everyone, and all the best golf greens! I grew up in Kalamazoo, then spent twenty-five years in New York City where I co-founded the Silver Palate gourmet take-out shop, and authored five pretty popular cookbooks (one, The Silver Palate Cookbook, is in the Cookbook Hall of Fame Whew! That's about as good as it gets!). In 1988, I finally got smart, found Bill again and now live on the Lake Michigan Shore.
Thank goodness that during the years I did travel, I'd collected French and English antiques, a 16th century Flemish tapestry, indulged my love of art with sculpture, drawings, oils and photography and zillions of books. My extra acquisitions no longer have to linger in our warehouse just because I ran out of room at home. They're nicely ensconced at the Inn so everyone can enjoy them.
As Getaway Magazine was nice enough to say, A bed and breakfast operation may have been a natural outlet for the creativity that has made Julee's cookbooks so successful. But the Wickwood, layered with art objects, collections, fine rugs and starched linens, is a far cry from the typical tchotchke-filled B&B. The many guests who return to Wickwood two and three times each year testify to its enduring appeal. A note Julee left for one Chicago couple arriving for a getaway weekend summed up her take on inn-keeping: We want you to live here the way you do in your imagination, and leave refreshed and recharged. Please call if you need anything we're just next door.
Although we Millers don't live at the Inn, and guests are happy we keep our dogs, Black Jack and Taz, at home, we're pretty visible. Bill does the building and gardening at the Inn fixing an electric switch or roto-tilling the garden to make way for a croquet and bocce ball court. In his spare time he collects antique cars, of which the Wickwood English Taxi is one. I decorate, lend a hand with the weeding, plan the garden and menus and oversee the staff of Innkeepers and housekeepers. Most of all, both of us like to be at the Inn to just chat with our guests.
While we're slowly but surely working toward making all of our dreams come true, we have big plans for the immediate future. I always say, First, we concentrated on comfort and pampering at the existing Inn, now we want it to be more fun! Everyday we keep in mind my mother's view on life How much fun can we have today?! We want that for our own lives and for that of our guests. Life's too short not to laugh a lot every day, Bill agrees. So, stay tuned...for news from Wickwood.
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