For some, being innkeepers of a bed & breakfast is a dream job. On a recent trip to Eugene, Oregon, I meet two such people. Nate and Brian Foster, who after years of dreaming of becoming owners of a luxurious B&B, decided to make it happen. They quit their jobs and went on a two-year house hunt to find their Goldilocks location. After almost two years, they found it at The Oval Door Bed & Breakfast.
Not only did I have the opportunity to meet this intrepid pair of proprietors, but I also had the pleasure of being hosted for two days at their lavish bed and breakfast, which is only three blocks from the heart of downtown Eugene.
Wine, Cookies, and Relaxation at The Oval Door
After six hours of driving, my entire body relaxed the moment I entered The Oval Door Bed & Breakfast. Nate, my gracious front-of-the-house host, offered to bring my luggage up to my room. Then, he asked if I cared for a glass of wine or a fresh-baked cookie. Knowing I'd soon be having dinner and drinks at the Plank Town Brewing Company on Eugene's Ale Trail, I declined but decided it would be a perfect nightcap.
Nate then gave me a tour of The Oval Door. The first floor featured a spacious living room with gas fireplace, cozy seating areas, a two-person pub-style table along the front window, and a buffet with their comment log book, tea, and coffee.
The living room opened to an elegant dining room with a table set for six, and a door leading to the wrap-around front porch with tables, chairs and a porch swing.
As a lover of the written word, I took an instant liking to the library. It included plenty of reading material, a lounging window nook, wine, cookies, as well as a small business center.
All the guest rooms are on the upper levels, and as we made our way up to my third-floor room, Brian stopped to point out the second-floor complimentary beverage area and explain their system for breakfast. Each day, three selections are posted for breakfast. Guests write down their choice next to the name of their room and the time they'd like to have breakfast. They may also choose to have in-room coffee service.
The Florence Room at The Oval Door
My room, the Florence Room, featured a metal four-poster bed with curling vines, a custom-made king bed with soft linens and a dark purple comforter to reflect the sunsets along Florence's coast. Next to the bed were two truffles.
It also had an antique desk, hand-painted armoire, and sitting area with a flat-screen television. One of the features of the room that I soon became addicted to was the Amazon Echo. Upon entering my room, I'd say, “Alexa, play Cole Porter,” who grew up near my hometown of Wabash, Indiana. Seconds later, I'd be serenaded by one of his many songs like Anything Goes and Easy to Love.
During my two-night stay, I slept peacefully and enjoyed the spaciousness of the room and its soothing colors. I particularly appreciated the natural daylight from the front-facing window and a huge bathroom with jetted tub and strategically placed diamond shaped window with view of lush green tree tops.
All six of The Oval Door Bed & Breakfast guest rooms are named after nearby locations or activities—Florence, Cascades, Vineyard, Mckenzie, Hult, and Willamette. Florence is named after the county's coastal beach town, known for its towering dunes with dune buggy tours and sand boarding experiences as described by writer Elizabeth Rose. It was a fitting choice for this trip—I'd dine in Florence and visit the nearby Sea Lion Caves, Heceta Head Lighthouse, and Cape Perpetua Trailhead.
The Oval Door B&B Gourmet Breakfast
Breakfast at the Oval Door B&B is an experience you don't want to miss. The owners have a passion for food, and they use fresh ingredients, local dairy, and organics whenever possible. Brian is the back-of-the-house guru and a remarkable self-taught chef whose breakfasts wowed me from start to finish.
On my first morning, breakfast started with a broiled orange and then a garden Benedict with sautéed asparagus, mushrooms, cherry heirloom tomatoes and pesto over a Parmesan tartlet.
The next morning, breakfast started with fresh fruit and homemade bran bread.
The night before, I'd chosen the poached egg in a hashbrown cup with fresh sautéed garden vegetables and chopped bacon for my breakfast entrée.
After two amazing breakfasts, I felt very blessed to have the opportunity to dine at The Oval Door Bed & Breakfast twice.
Wandering Eugene's Restaurant Scene
The city of Eugene is dappled with trees, surrounded by green hills and sits along the meandering Willamette River. There are plenty of activities that cover a range of interests from walking trails and museums as well as culinary adventures along Eugene's Ale Trail, urban wine bars, and restaurants.
Markets, Tacos, and Dessert
On my first night, we dined at Plank Town Brewering in the nearby town of Springfield. I ordered a beer sampler flight, a fresh garden salad, and cod with sauteed wild mushrooms and greens.
On Saturday morning, we stopped by the Lane County Farmers Market for a pour over coffee and a savory pastry to feast on while we admired the freshly fresh picked vegetables and local wares.
For our next dinner, we stopped by Tacovore for tequila drinks and tacos. Located in the eccentric Whiteaker neighborhood, there is plenty of walkable options nearby for restaurants, breweries, and marijuana shops. If you want to know more about this neighborhood, writer Elizabeth Rose shares her finds along the Eugene Ale Trail.
We wrapped up our evening at Sweet Life Patisserie for a key lime tart. My culinary take away—Eugene has an impressive and flavorful food scene.
Situated close to downtown, and nearby dining and activities, The Oval Door Bed & Breakfast provided a perfect locale for exploring Eugene. And, their fantastic breakfast and amenities gave me a chance to unwind and be pampered.
To book a room visit The Oval Door B&B, which is a two-hour drive from Portland, OR.
For more information about the area visit Eugene Cascades and Coast.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations and meals for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.