I recently found the most awesome castle while searching for B&B’s in Warren County. And that castle turned out to be Brian Manor B&B.
Christopher Brian, Brian Manor B&B owner, has been laying bricks for nearly 20 years, building this castle. For those of you who might be interested, 10-14 pallets of brick have arrived on a semi, two to three times a year for 18 years. That’s a lot of bricks!
Two experiences gave Chris his vision. The first was the creative experience of his mother. His father would bring home bricks from torn down buildings in Cincinnati and Chris’ mom created brick walkways at their home. Second, on a trip to Italy in 1988, while in Rome, he saw an 800-year-old brick monastery. Now, Christopher’s vision is coming to life in Brian Manor.
Located in Lebanon, Ohio, this stunning B&B is an oasis of peace and calm, a place to rejuvenate the mind and body. Chris and his partner Jan Berg are creative people who enjoy sharing their talents and passion for life. The paintings on the walls on the interior created by both Chris and Jan are remarkable. They offer art classes and Jan is a Reiki master, certified clinical hypnotherapist and practitioner of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
Since my husband and I were celebrating our 35th anniversary this August, I decided a night at a B&B would be a unique experience. A friend had suggested Brian Manor, telling me how amazing it was, and I was sold.
Upon arriving at the 3 pm check in we were greeted by Jan. She gave us a walking tour along the brick paths throughout the gardens. Chris met up with us and took my husband into the Arboretum to view the hundreds of trees he had planted over the 20 years he’d owned the property.
Jan & I sat in the courtyard taking in the sights of the bastion, curtain wall, keeps and turrets. She told me that Chris started the courtyard construction in 1995 and he figures another two years will complete it. Laughing he said, “It was six years ago I said two more years.”
When the guys returned from their walk we were taken up the narrow, winding steps to the wall walk to look out over the house, gardens and barn. Wow is all I could say. The house was built in 1885 with add-ons in 1987, 1990 and 1997, and it is truly magnificent.
My husband and I left the grounds for a dinner date, with the promise of dessert when we returned. Dessert was a delicious banana cake with fresh chopped walnuts from their land, served in the garden. Following dessert we were given the house tour (imagine round rooms and intricately designed tile floors or patterned wood floors). Again we ended up on the wall walk, this time entering from the home, to view the starlit sky.
Our suite, the Garden Suite, had a view of the gardens and brick walls. The Rose Suite, Yellow Room and Cool Water Room were also included on our tour. Sounds like a great place for a girlfriend getaway, family reunion or when guests visit from out of town. And it was definitely a wonderful place for a couple to get away and just spend some time together.
Breakfast the following morning was in the courtyard and we had a variety of tables and settings to choose from. When booking the night Jan asked what we liked to eat and gave me a couple options. So that morning, on a large table facing an outdoor fireplace, we were served fresh fruit, orange juice, turkey bacon and cheese blintzes with fresh made black raspberry sauce (from their gardens) and zucchini bread. We also took in the view of the gardens, paths and brick wall. Was I really in Lebanon, Ohio? It felt like we were far away.
I am thinking we should visit this property every season to reconnect and getaway. It was an A++++ experience for us and made our 35th Anniversary a memory not to be forgotten.
The website contains more information along with beautiful aerial photos, directions, healing arts, history, gallery and studio and much more. So check it out, call them, and say Carol sent you!