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Welcome to Your Carolina Inn. We wanted to give you a place to share your favorite Carolina Inn memory or experience in Chapel Hill. Read, post, share and become part of the community.


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July 07, 2014 | 03:02 PM

The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC Chosen As An Expedia Insiders’ Select® 2014 Winner

The Carolina Inn was chosen as an Expedia® Insiders’ Select™ 2014 winner, one of the top-ranked properties on Expedia! Expedia Insiders’ Select is an annual award, recognizing the very best hotels available in the global Expedia marketplace, as judged by the experiences of Expedia customers. Based on nearly 2 million guest reviews submitted annually, The Carolina Inn, a Chapel Hill hotel, is one of only 650 winners worldwide.

We have been identified by Expedia customers as consistently delivering superior services, an exceptional guest experience and value for money. Earning a place on the Insiders’ Select list is a testament to our ongoing commitment to excellence.

July 06, 2014 | 11:13 AM

National Fried Chicken Day in Chapel Hill, NC

Today is National Fried Chicken Day! Celebrate by preparing Chef James Clark Simple Fried Chicken Recipe. It’s finger-lickin’ good…


  • 2 3lb Chickens Cut Into 8 Pieces
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbs. Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbs. Paprika
  • 1 Tbs. Dried Sage
  • 1 Tbs. Cumin
  • 3 Tbs. Crystal Hot Sauce
  • ½ C. Buttermilk
  • AP Flour
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
  • Peanut Oil


  1. Combine all dry spices together.
  2. Add the hot sauce and buttermilk, then pour mixture over the chicken. Mix until coated well. 
  3. Place chicken back into the refrigerator and let sit for at least 1 hour.
  4. Add flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and place mixture into a paper bag.
  5. Add chicken four pieces at a time and shake bag.
  6. Once chicken is completely coasted with flour, place it on a cookie sheet.
  7. Let chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  8. While the chicken rests, heat oil to 360°.
  9. Coat chicken one more time in the flour before placing it in the oil.
  10. Fry in two batches until golden brown.

Bon Appétit!

July 04, 2014 | 10:02 AM

Fire in the Triangle

Checkout the deliciouse dishes prepared by Executive Chef James Clark, Pastry Chef Sara Thomas and Chef Bill Hartley during the Fire in the Triangle Competition this past Tuesday.

Cheerwine Braised Heritage Farms Slab Bacon


Toasted Nut Buttuer Torte


Seared Scallop

June 18, 2014 | 04:10 PM

Chilled Asparagus Salad in the Best Chapel Hill Restaurant

Kickoff the summer season with a tasty, healthy salad. Executive Chef James Clark, of Carolina Crossroads Restaurant, makes this delightful chilled asparagus salad with baby frisée, spring onions, quail eggs, garden-fresh herbs and homemade "jar dressing." Each bite brings out a different combination of ingredients. So, get to your local farmers’ market and handpick local produce to create this delicious and satisfying salad. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any summer supper.


  • 12 Jumbo Asparagus
  • 2 Heads Baby Frisee
  • 12 Spring Onions
  • 4 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1 C. Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Pickling Spice
  • 2 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 Quail Eggs
  • 2 Qt. & 2 C. Water
  • 3 Tbs. Salt
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  1. Put 2 qts. of water on the stove and add the 3 tbs. of salt and bring to a simmer. In a separate pot, add the sugar, vinegar, thyme and pickling spice and bring to a simmer. 
  2. While both pots are heating both up, trim Asparagus and peel way the woodsy skin which is about mid may down the stalk, rinse, and set aside.
  3. Next, take the Ramps and trim and discard the root. Then separate the bulbs from the green leaves and rinse. Keep separate and set aside. 
  4. Once your salted water is simmering (have an ice bath ready), drop in the Ramp bulbs. Poach for 2 minutes.
  5. Pull out of the water allow to drain and place them in a small no reactive bowl and pour the vinegar pickling liquid over the Ramp bulbs. Immediately cover and place into the refrigerator. This can be done several days in advance.
  6. Next simmer Asparagus for 2 minutes. Pull out and submerge in ice bath. Do not oversoak. Once cooled place asparagus on a towel to dry.
  7. Repeat this process with the Ramp leaves and set aside. You will be adding the leaves to the dressing. 
  8. Trim the dark green off the Frisee down to where it turns light green to white, cut the root end, then wash and dry. 
  9. To cook the eggs, heat olive oil in a small nonstick pan. Once hot, gently crack the quail egg and allow to cook until the egg white has cooked through. Serve sunnyside up.

Jar Dressing

  • 1 Tbs. Tarragon ~ Sliced
  • 1 Tbs. Basil ~ Sliced
  • 1 Tbs. Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 Shallot ~ Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic ~ Minced
  • 2 Scallions ~ Grilled & Minced
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbs. Capers ~ Chopped
  • ½ Red Pepper ~ Diced Small
  • ¼ C. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 ¼ C. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

Place everything in a pint size jar, and shake vigorously. Dressing lasts up to a week in the refrigerator.

Bon Appétit!

June 18, 2014 | 09:38 AM

North Carolina Moonshine Tasting in Chapel Hill

This past Saturday, 6/14th we held our first-ever moonshine tasting. Well received by the Chapel Hill, N.C. community, 65 attendees rallied on the Front Porch of The Carolina Inn. The day was ideal for this sold out event. The weather was absolutely perfect – gentle breeze, lots of shade, and stunning Carolina blue skies.

With bluegrass music playing in the background, you could hear the sounds of mason jars (filled with moonshine of course) clinking as guests made their toasts. Made available to the attendees included a variety of moonshine. TOPO Organic Carolina Moonshine, Troy & Sons Moonshine, Broadslab Legacy Shine, Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon, Howling Moon Moonshine and Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine were all available for sampling.

Also served was Crossroads’ delicious culinary delights paired perfectly with the North Carolinian moonshine that was offered. Guests enjoyed Southern favorites such as Seared Pork Belly, BBQ Beef Short Rib on a Biscuit, and Braised Pork Cheeks just to name a few.

Our celebrity guest, Moonshiner Wayne, from the Discovery Channel’s TV Show “Moonshiners” was on-site meeting his fans, and answering their questions. Also known as “Hill Billy,” Wayne brought his very own still and an oversized backdrop of his still located in the backwoods of North Carolina. Guests had big smiles as they posed for pictures in front of it with the Moonshiner. Even the Chapel Hill Fire Department made a surprise visit to the tasting as they, too, wanted their picture taken with Wayne.

Here’s to another fun and unique event held in downtown Chapel Hill at The Carolina Inn.


June 05, 2014 | 11:33 AM

It's National Martini Day in Chapel Hill, NC

Refreshing cocktail anyone? Try the Mojitotini when you come to Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar at The Carolina Inn. Not planning a Chapel Hill, NC getaway anytime soon, then make this citrusy beverage yourself. 

  • 2 oz. Bacardi Limon
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Roses Lime Juice
  • 1 Lime Wedge ~ Squeezed and Added to Shaker
  • 3-4 Springs Fresh Mint ~ Torn and Added to Shaker
  • Fresh Mint ~ Garnish

Add all the above ingredients into a shaker. Shake vigoursly and pour martini into a chilled glass. Garnish with fresh mint.



May 28, 2014 | 01:58 PM

Moonshine Tasting in Chapel Hill, NC

Intrigued by moonshine? Join us on Saturday, June 14th from 5 PM until 7 PM for our first ever moonshine tasting. Sample a variety of North Carolina made moonshine while endulging on our culinary delights. Moonshiner Wayne Nix (a.k.a. "Hill Billy") will be our featured guest at the event. One of his very own stills will be on display for you to view.

Call for reservations at 919.918.2735. Seating is Limited.

View Menu

April 01, 2014 | 06:47 AM

"Liquid Pleasure" Live Music in Chapel Hill, NC

Now serving “Liquid Pleasure” at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar. Named after a local Chapel Hill, NC band, Liquid Pleasure has been performing up and down the east coast for more than two decades. Their music is just as enjoyable as our cocktail.

Enjoy fresh air relaxing on our Front Porch while you savor Crossroads’ drinks and scrumptious cuisine. Don't forget to order a round of "Liquid Pleasure." 

Not in Chapel Hill to enjoy the ambiance at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar? Here's our recipe. We look forward to seeing you the next time you're in town.

  • 1 oz. Absolut Citron
  • 1 oz. Stoli Raspberry
  • 1/2 oz. Chambord
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Sparkling Wine
  • Seasonal Berries for Garnish

Shake! Pour! Enjoy...Cheers!


March 27, 2014 | 03:22 PM

Seared Tuna Burger, Lemon Horseradish Sauce on Whole Wheat Bun in Chapel Hill, NC

Quick, easy, delicious and healthy! It doesn't get any better than enjoying Executive Clark's flavorful Seared Tuna Burger with Lemon Horseradish Sauce. Come into Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and enjoy Chef's tuna burger at lunch, or prepare this dish in the comfort of your home.

Tuna Burger Ingredients

  • ½# Fresh High Grade Tuna
  • 3 Scallions ~ Minced
  • 2 Shallots ~ Minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic ~ Minced
  • 3 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  • Make sure your tuna is free of skin, bloodline & scales. 
  • Slice the tuna in strips so that it will fit into the meat grinder. 
  • Using a meat grinder attachment grind your tuna meat using the medium size dye. Hint be sure you chill the grinder attachments in the cooler ahead of time.
  • Once the tuna is completely ground, add the remaining ingredients, and form into 6 oz. patties.
  • Cook until medium rare which is about 1 1/2 minute on each side. Serve on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato and lemon horseradish sauce.

Lemon Horseradish Sauce Ingredients 

  • ¼ C. Fresh Squeeze Lemon Juice and Zest
  • 3 Tbs. Fresh or Prepared Horseradish
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 C. Olive Oil Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  • In a glass or stainless steel bowl whip together the first four ingredients untilmixed well.
  • Slowly add the olive oil into the mix until a mayonnaise consistency is formed.
  • Once combined, season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!


November 18, 2013 | 02:50 PM

Fundraiser in Chapel Hill for Typhoon Haiyan Victims - Thursday, November 21st

The Philippines is on the road to recovery after Typhoon Haiyan hit the country's islands recently, but there's a tremendous need for humanitarian aid. In support of relief efforts, this Thursday, November 21st The Carolina Inn will donate 10% of sales generated at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar directly to the American Red Cross.

We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner so pick your favorite mealtime at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar and help support the American Red Cross.

If you are unable to join us on Thursday, you may make a donation to support the typhoon victims through our E-Store.

We thank you for your support!

The Carolina Inn

November 13, 2013 | 07:50 AM

Santa’s Secret Martini at Carolina Crossroads Bar in Chapel Hill

Phillip Ivey longtime bartender at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar created a holiday cocktail dubbed Santa’s Secret Martini to be enjoyed by all. Tis the season to enjoy great cuisine and tasty cocktails!

Santa’s Secret Martini

  • 1 oz. Domanie de Canton
  • 1 oz. Stoli Vanilla
  • ½ oz. Kahlua
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s
  • Splash of Cinnamon Schnapps ~ Just a Splash!
  • 1 oz. cream


  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
  • Pour into a martini glass rimmed in colored sugar and cinnamon.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


November 05, 2013 | 02:28 PM

Holiday Dessert Recipes from Our Chapel Hill Kitchen to Yours

It’s that time of year to begin planning your holiday menus. Carolina Crossroads Restaurant's highly skilled Executive Pastry Chef Sara Thomas has shared one of her exceptional dessert recipes for Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake. This tasty layered cake is moist and airy with great textures and seasonal flavors. Add a scoop of Roasted Potato Ice Cream and garnish with Butterscotch Sauce. From our kitchen to yours, this simple dessert recipe will leave your guests asking for more.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake

  • 6 oz. Melted Brown Butter  
  • 1 ½ C. Sugar  
  • 2/3 C. Brown Sugar  
  • 2 Eggs  
  • 1/3 C. Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ C. Sweet Potato Puree
  • 9 oz. AP Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Cloves
  • ¾ tsp. Salt 


  • Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
  • In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, cream together sugar, brown sugar, and eggs.
  • Add the buttermilk and sweet potato puree. Then add all the dry ingredients.
  • Add the brown butter until all ingredients have been incorporated.
  • Pour mixture in two 10” cake pans.
  • Bake at 350° for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until done.
  • Completely cool cake. For best results refrigerate to cake overnight.
  • Slice the cake into 3 slices.
  • Place a layer of cake on a plate and add a thin layer of icing on top.
  • Add another layer of cake and add a thin layer or icing; repeat one more time.
  • Refrigerate cake for approximately 2 hours.
  • Cut cake into 12 – 16 slices.
  • Add Toffee Sauce on plate.
  • Place slice of cake on the plate, and add a scoop of Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Icing

  • 12 oz. Brown Butter  
  • 24 oz. Cream Cheese  
  • 1 tsp. Maldon Salt ~ Can Substitue with Kosher Salt 
  • 1 C. Brown Sugar 
  • 10 oz. Powdered Sugar  
  • 1 T. Vanilla Extract  
  • 1 C. Pecans ~ Toasted & Chopped


  • Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
  • In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and salt until creamy.
  • Add the brown butter and mix until completely incorporated.
  • Add the brown sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Finally, add the chopped pecans.

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 6 oz. Brown Butter
  • 3 ¾ C. Sugar
  • 2 ½ C. Corn Syrup
  • 2 ½ C. Heavy Cream
  • 1 ¾ tsp. Salt


  • Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
  • Add the sugar and corn syrup; bring to a boil.
  • Add the salt and heavy cream; bring to a boil again.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Store in the refrigerator. Butterscotch Sauce will last for about one month.

Yield 12 Cups

Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream 

  • 12 oz. Roasted Sweet Potato
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg Smidgen Cloves
  • 8 ¾ oz. Sugar     
  • 17 ½ oz. Heavy Cream
  • 17 ½ oz. Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 3 ½ oz. Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp. Maldon Salt ~ Can Substitute with Kosher Salt
  • 7½ oz. Egg Yolks


  • In a saucepan, heat up the sweet potato, all the spices and sugar. Mix everything together.
  • Add the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Temper the egg yolks with the hot mixture.
  • Combine the cream mixture and egg yolks completely.
  • Place in an ice bath until cool.
  • Place mixture in a container and refrigerate overnight.
  • Pull that vanilla bean out.
  • Spin mixture in an ice cream machine.

 Yields 2 Quarts


August 15, 2013 | 02:57 PM

Praline Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding like you’ve never had before. This delicious recipe is a dessert to serve after any meal any time of year. Sara’s praline bread pudding is made with homemade southern pralines and topped with a sweet caramel sauce. Each bite will melt in your mouth with smooth and tasty flavors.

Southern Pralines

3 ¼ C. Pecans 
2 ¼ C. Sugar
2 ¼ oz. Butter
¾ C. Buttermilk
Splash Corn Syrup
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Baking Soda
Splash Vanilla Extract
1. Combine everything together in a large sauce pot, and cook on medium heat.
2. Stir occasionally to ensure mixture does not burn.
3. Cook until mixture thickens or until it reaches 230° F – 235° F.
4. Remove pot from hear, and stir until the mixture cools down slightly about 5 minutes.
5. Scoop pralines onto a lined sheet pan.

Yields 2 lbs. 5 oz. 110 pieces of Pralines

Praline Bread Pudding

2 C. ½ & ½
2 C. Heavy Cream
8 oz. Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean ~ Sliced
8 oz. Yolks
30 Croissants ~ Rough Chopped
1 lb. 4 oz. Pralines ~ Broken into Pieces
3 Bananas

1. In a sauce pot, bring together the ½ & ½ , heavy cream, vanilla bean and sugar to a boil.
2. Temper yolks with hot cream, and combine mixtures together.
3. Pour hot mixture over croissants and pralines.
4. Let mixture stand for a few minutes to allow the croissants soak in the hot mixture.
5. Place the croissant mixture into your desired pan/dish/mold.
6. Place dishes into a water bath and bake at 300 °F for about 45 minutes or until done.

Yields 17 Tins (6 oz. in each)


July 12, 2013 | 10:52 AM

The Carolina Inn Unveils Historically Significant Hotel Renovation in Chapel Hill

Built on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1924, The Carolina Inn’s original concept was “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni...and University visitors.” Almost a century later, the award-winning property delivers on that mission more than ever.

The AAA Four Diamond Carolina Inn features 185 charming and well-appointed guestrooms including 7 luxury suites and 14,000 sq. feet of unique meeting and event spaces, with an additional 15,000 square feet of outdoor venues.

Historic Chapel Hill Inn

The Carolina Inn has undergone seven major renovations in its storied 89-year history, and each has left its own distinct stamp on the beloved hotel, but in many ways this 4.5-year renovation is the most comprehensive and most exciting. Along with completely remodeling the guestrooms and extensively renovating the function rooms and public areas, much of the Inn’s infrastructure has also been updated.  

 Carolina Inn Renovation

“Aesthetically the renovation has achieved a remarkable balance between the historical elements of the Colonial Revival style, dating to 1924, and contemporary style in fresh paint colors and vibrant, luxurious fabrics,” said Dr. Kenneth Zogry, historian of The Carolina Inn since 1998 and author of The University’s Living Room: A History of The Carolina Inn. “Many of the Inn’s treasured antiques and works of art are featured in new settings that celebrate both the past and the present.”

Hotel renovation Historic Carolina Inn

Added General Manager Jack Schmidt, “The result is that The Carolina Inn is ready to provide everything for the comfort of the 21st century guest, in a unique atmosphere that reflects the rich history of both the hotel and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the nation’s great public universities.”

 Chapel Hill Inn

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Carolina Inn recently won a “Best Practices” Award from the National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America Program for its extensive new historical displays, an integral part of the recently completed renovation.

 UNC Hotel

The displays relating to UNC history are the most extensive anywhere on campus. In the public areas these include some 90 student-drawn cartoons from The Daily Tar Heel over the past 70 years, lining the walls of the newly renovated Carolina Crossroads Bar. Throughout the guestroom corridors and lounges are nearly 700 images and brief biographies of noted UNC alumni, faculty, and landmarks.

The attention to detail in the newly renovated Carolina Inn makes it not just a hotel, but truly a destination for travelers, UNC alumni, weddings, meetings and corporate events. 

Hotel renovation Chapel Hill meeting venue


May 22, 2013 | 07:37 PM

Soft Shell Crabs with Corn Maque Choux

Crab is truly an amazing “candy” of the ocean. When crabs molt and their shells soften, you will taste the true flavor and sweetness they offer. Whether breaded, grilled or fried, they are sure to melt in your mouth. This is a great dish to serve with a Sparkling Rosé or a Crisp Light Riesling.

Soft Shell Crabs
4 Prime (Industry term for Small Size) Live Soft Shells
4 Tbs. AP Flour
4 Tbs. Fine Cornmeal
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
Blended Olive Oil  

Maque Choux
1 ½ C. Corn off the Cobb and Corn Milk Scraped off the Cobb
½ Red Bell Pepper ~ Diced
½ Green Bell Pepper ~ Diced
½ Vidalia Onion ~ Diced
Grape Tomatoes ~ Quartered
Bacon ~ 2 Strips
Pinch of Smoked Paprika
Pinch of Dry Mustard
Pinch of Coriander
1 ½ C. Cream
½ Lemon
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

½ C. Dukes Mayonnaise
1 Dill Pickle Spear ~ Diced
2 Tbs. Parsley ~ Chopped
2 Tbs. Tarragon ~ Chopped
1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
Hot Sauce ~ Couple of Dashes
Lemon ~ Just a Squeeze
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  • This can be done 1 day in advance, and can be refrigerated up to a week; some discoloration may occur.
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator.

Soft Shell Crabs

  • Clean soft shells by cutting off the face, removing the gills and the under flap. Set aside.
  • Mix flour and cornmeal together and season with the salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Maque Choux

  • Maque Choux can be made and left to sit warm crabs are sautéed.
  • Add olive oil and bacon to the pan, and slowly brown.
  • Add onions and peppers and allow them to cook until soft. 
  • Add corn and tomatoes and cook them for an additional minute. 
  • Once all ingredients are cooked, add cream and spices. Allow to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes or until the cream is thick and coating the corn.
  • Right before serving, squeeze lemon juice and stir it in well.

Soft Shell Crab Dish

  • Heat a heavy bottom sauté pan and heat. 
  • Toss crabs into the flour cornmeal mix and lightly dust. 
  • Add olive oil to a the heated sauté pan.
  • Add crabs and began to cook. Once the edges turn red about 1 ½ minutes, turn them over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • Serve crabs over corn maque choux and garnish with parsley and tarragon remoulade.

Serves 2

Bon Appétit!

May 20, 2013 | 12:13 PM

Give our Historic College Town a Try for your Next North Carolina Meeting

Although budgets continue to be closely monitored and with minimum flexibility, it’s imperative to think of ideas and unique selling points to assist with closing the deal. While highlighting the wonderful features your property offers, it’s important to sell the location, too.

Chapel Hill, NC’s historic Carolina Inn resides on the oldest state-supported university in the United States – UNC Chapel Hill. Rooted in the traditions and charm of the south, Chapel Hill is home to rich history and exuberance of life with culture, arts and recreational activities. This university town is part of a rich food and wine scene with numerous cultural attractions featuring fine shopping boutiques, art museums and local dining establishments. Chapel Hill also serves as one of the corners to the highly respected Research Triangle Park (RTP) only a 15 drive from the Inn.

The Carolina Inn’s pricing is very competitive for the unique meeting experience provided. Attendees will feel enriched by their unique surroundings, and appreciate the Inn’s fully renovated guestrooms, meeting spaces, and public spaces. In addition, The Carolina Inn’s unmatched meetings expertise and impeccable service standards ensure a successful, stress-free event.

You are invited to stay in the iconic Chapel Hill, NC hotel and enjoy a unique blend of tradition and timeless quality.

March 24, 2013 | 04:32 PM

The Gourmez Features Carolina Crossroads Restaurant's Media Dinner

"Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a complimentary media dinner at Carolina Crossroads in Chapel Hill. Carolina Crossroads is located inside the Carolina Inn, which has received 4 diamonds from AAA for the last 16 years. The restaurant has received 11 consecutive 4-star AAA ratings and 13 consecutive 4-star ratings from Forbes, which is quite an accomplishment. This night was a whirlwind tour of Chef James’s winter menu offerings. By whirlwind, I mean we had twelve dishes over seven courses, counting an amuse-bouche. Insanity!" - Becca Gomez Farrell

Read more about Becca's dining experience at our Chapel Hill restaurant

March 24, 2013 | 04:25 PM

Executive Chef James Clark Featured by The Local Palate

"If you find yourself wondering where to eat next time you’re in Chapel Hill, you should ask someone how to get to the Carolina Inn’s Crossroads Restaurant and Bar—for there you will find at least two of the most hauntingly satisfying dishes the Tar Heel town has to offer. Having attended a recent six-course tasting dinner, I have to keep telling my mouth that I cannot get into the car and drive from Durham to Chapel Hill to enjoy more of Chef James Clark’s innovations. I worry I might wake one night finding myself halfway there, my taste buds somehow having commandeered the rest of the my body. Lucky for me, I live but 20 minutes away." -Elizabeth Shestak

Read full blog post about our Chapel Hill chef by Elizabeth Shestak, TLP Correspondent.

March 06, 2013 | 09:29 AM

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Recipe

A guest who attended the Annual North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) "Taste of North Carolina" event requested Executive Chef James Clark’s Bacon Wrapped Turkey recipe on our Facebook wall. The request and recipe are noted below. Enjoy!

Please, please, please post Chef James's recipe for the bacon-wrapped turkey from the annual North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) "Taste of NC" event! Land sakes that was wonderful! Great staff, too! Thanks. :)

12 Slices of Cherry Wood Smoked Bacon
Half a Turkey
Cackalacky Sauce
Plastic Wrap
Meat Thermometer
Drip Pan

Prepare the Day Before

  • 12 Slices of Cherry Wood Smoked Bacon laid out long ways overlapping.
  • Cut turkey long ways and wrap bacon around turkey.
  • Shape in plastic wrap and keep even on both sides.
  • Sit overnight in the refrigerator.


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Unwrap turkey from plastic wrap and place on a rack with a drip pan underneath.
  • Roast turkey in the oven for 1 hour and take an internal temperature.
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 120°, pull the turkey out and baste it with Cackalacky sauce every 15 minutes or until the turkey reaches an internal temp of 160°.
  • Once it reaches 160° remove turnkey from over and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4-5

Bon Appétit!

February 28, 2013 | 03:15 PM

New Art Coming to Downtown Chapel Hill NC

Beginning in March, downtown Chapel Hill will come to life with site-specific art works by local artists featuring storefront art, interactive performances and an artist-conceived bus wrap!

Windows on Chapel Hill is a collaborative year-long project between the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and The Town of Chapel Hill's Public and Cultural Arts Office as part of the Downtown Art Program. Additionally, an art wrapped transit bus by Chapel Hill artist Mary Carter Taub entitled Mobile Mural will be traveling downtown routes for a year. Meet the artists and hear about these great collaborative arts initiatives on March 8th from 6 PM to 8 PM, and from 6 PM to 7 PM the Mobile Mural art bus will be parked along Franklin Street in front of The Courtyard.

January 23, 2013 | 10:57 AM

The Carolina Inn's 18th Annual Bridal Showcase Chapel Hill, NC

It’s your wedding day – and we all know there’s nothing more important than choosing the right vendors to help it go off without a hitch. Thankfully, The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is here to help all of you brides. 

This uber-fabulous wedding event is happening right in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, at the gorgeous historic hotel, The Carolina Inn on January 27, 2013 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Showcase features some of the most creative and experienced wedding vendors in the North Carolina area. Just wait until you see the SPECTACULAR agenda for the day, which includes TWO dazzling fashion shows, a yummy cake sampling, music and the most exquisite wedding gowns from top couture designers!

The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is more soirée than show. So, be sure to mark your calendar and purchase your tickets! Don’t forget to bring every bride and groom-to-be you know...this is going to be a fabulous event. Happy planning!

We look forward to seeing you at the 18th Annual Bridal Showcase.

January 17, 2013 | 09:48 AM

Seared Scallops Recipe

Executive Chef James Clark’s Seared Scallop recipe is elegant, simple to prepare and delicious! These tender scallops are well-balanced with sweet and nutty undertones and can be served as an appetizer or entrée. The scallops are finished with North Carolina trout caviar – what more could you ask for?

Pickled Radishes
2 Radishes
2 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. Salt
¼ C. Red Wine Vinegar

  • Slice the radishes thin and place in a non reactive bowl.
  • Heat and dissolve the sugar, salt and vinegar and pour it over the radishes.
  • Place radishes into cooler for a day. They are now ready to be used.

¼ lb. Arugula
1 Shallot ~ Minced
1 Clove Garlic ~ Minced
3 oz. Crushed Pecans ~ Toasted
3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Honey
Zest of 1 Lemon
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

  • Blanch and shock the arugula. Press out the remaining water.
  • Chop the arugula and add to a food processor.
  • Add all reaming ingredients and purée.


  • Choose high quality dry packed scallops that are 10-15 scallops a pound and keep them dry.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear in a hot pan with olive oil.
  • Once the edges begin to brown, flip the scallops over and sear for approximately another minute. Don’t overcook the scallops.

Serves 2

Bon Appétit!

December 28, 2012 | 09:23 AM

2012 Gingerbread House Competition Winners in Chapel Hill, NC

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Gingerbread House competition.

Youth Competition
1st Place Patrick Noonan ~ Old Well 
2nd Place Kaitlyn Beal ~ Barn   

Adult Competition
1st Place Ann Bailey ~ Tree Stump
2nd Place Robin Bilodeau ~ Red Square

Enjoy viewing images of the first and second place winners in both categories.

2nd Place Adult Robin Bilodeau2nd Place Youth Kaitlyn Beal1st Place Adult Ann Bailey

December 14, 2012 | 03:18 PM

Candied Bacon at The Carolina Inn ~ Chapel Hill, NC

This is an amazing recipe...It's sweet! It's savory! It's delicious! If you think everyone loves bacon, you haven't seen them jump into a plate of candied bacon.

1 C. Brown Sugar
1 C. White Sugar
2 T. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1# Thick Slice Bacon

1. Preheat your oven for 350°. 
2. Combine both sugars and black pepper on a large plate. Add bacon and coat well.
3. Place bacon on a nonstick cookie sheet or Silpat and cook in the oven for 12 – 18 minutes rotating the cookie sheet every 5 minutes.
4. When the bacon is brown and caramelized pull out of oven.
5. Place cool bacon on a wire rack. Bacon will become crispy. 
6. Cut into pieces and serve immediately. Candied Bacon can be enjoyed until the next day.

Serves 6

Bon Appétit!

December 14, 2012 | 12:39 PM

Build Your Own Gingerbread House ~ Tips from Executive Pastry Chef Sara Thomas

Executive Chef James Clark and his talented culinary crew has been busy literally making and baking Christmas memories and holiday cheer daily. In fact, Executive Pastry Chef Sara Thomas and her team will make about 2,000 Christmas cookies of all shapes, sizes and designs this month, including 500 for our Christmas Day brunch. Sara says to save room for sugar cookies loaded with sprinkles and chocolate stripes.

Sara is really excited to help judge our 10th Annual Gingerbread Village Competition and offers five of her own gingerbread house tips:

1. Have a theme and it does not have to be just Christmas. It could be local landmark or a place that is celebrating a big anniversary, or perhaps a current event. If you want it to be Christmas, then maybe the 12 days of Christmas, Santa’s Workshop, etc.

2. Icing is key as it needs to be right. This could take a little trial and error but follow the recipe below. The trick is to make sure it is not too firm because it will be too hard to pipe. But if it is too loose it will not stand up and make a mess.

3. It is also important to have a solid gingerbread recipe. Now this is not like a gingerbread that you would eat on Christmas morning; it is a little more dense so it can stand up. Follow recipe below. 4. Make sure you have all the tools you need ready so that you are not looking for the ruler when you need it. Gingerbread houses are like building a regular house; all your measurements need to be consistent and precise.

5. Last let your imagination run wild and have fun!

Gingerbread House Dough
Yield: 1 14in. X 12in. House with Roof
Shortening –  1 ½ cups
Sugar –   1 ½ cups
Eggs –   3 each
Molasses –  1 cups
AP Flour –  6 ¾ cups
Ginger –  1 ½ T
Cinnamon –  1 ½tsp
Baking Soda –  1 ½tsp
Salt –   1 ½tsp

1. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and sugar
2. Add the eggs slowly
3. Add the molasses
4. Then add all the dry ingredients
5. Chill the dough for about 1 hour
6. Roll out the dough to your desired pieces
7. Bake @ 300’F for about 15 to 20 minutes

Royal Icing
Eggs whites –  12oz
Powdered sugar – 4#
Cream of tartar – 1T
1. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment
2. Add the powdered sugar and cream of tartar
3. Slowly add the egg whites until you get the constantly
4. You might need to add more egg whites if the batter is to thick or you might need to add more powdered sugar if the batter is to runny.

Happy Holidays!

November 16, 2012 | 02:05 PM

Sweet Potato Bisque with Vanilla Bourbon Chantilly Recipe

Enjoy Chef’s Sweet Potato Bisque with Vanilla Bourbon Chantilly recipe! This rich and creamy bisque will warm you and your guests up this holiday season.

4 Large Sweet Potatoes ~ Peeled & Diced
½ Sweet Onion ~ Diced
1 Carrot ~ Peeled & Diced
2 Cloves Garlic ~ Chopped
1 C. White Wine
2 C. Vegetable Stock
3 C. Heavy Cream
2 T. Olive Oil
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
2 T. Bourbon
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. In a heavy bottom soup pot, sweat the carrots, onions and garlic.  Once soft, add the sweet potatoes and cook for 4 – 5 minutes.
2. Deglaze pot with white wine.
3. Once the white wine has reduced by half add the stock and two cups of the heavy cream. Cook at a slow simmer until sweet potatoes are very soft. 
4. Take the remaining cup of heavy cream and whip it until thick and soft. Add the bourbon and vanilla and whip until a little thicker but not stiff. 
5. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, season the soup with salt and pepper and then purée in a blender until smooth. 
6. Serve immediately with a small dollop of bourbon vanilla cream. Bisque can be made ahead of time and served later.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

September 28, 2012 | 01:11 PM

Tailgating with Pimento Cheese at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC

What will you serve during your next Tailgating event? Executive Chef James Clark has the answer, Pimento Cheese! This delicious recipe is simple to prepare and is the perfect tailgating food. Serve pimento cheese on burgers, pizza or simply on a cracker. This all-star recipe is packed with flavor and will surely be a touchdown during your next get-together or tailgating event.

2 Sweet Onions ~ Rough Chopped
2 Cans Diced Pimentos
3 lbs. Cream Cheese
5 C. Mayonnaise
5 lbs. Extra Sharp Cheddar ~ Grated
3 Logs of Goat Cheese
5 lbs. Gruyere Cheese ~ Grated
½ C. Crystal Hot Sauce
Salt to Taste

1. Drain ½ the liquid from pimentos onto the onions. Transfer the onions to a blender and liquefy.
2. In a heavy duty mixer add the cream cheese and whip until soft. Scrape the sides of the mixer with a rubber spatula a few times.
3. Add the mayonnaise, onion mixture, hot sauce and goat cheese. Continue to whip until blended well and sides are scraped.
4. Turn off mixer and add ½ of the grated cheese.
5. Turn mixer onto medium speed and add the goat cheese mix. Add the last ½ of grated cheese and mix until blended well and smooth. Do not over blend or the mixture will break down the cheese.
6. Add salt to taste.

Enjoy Executive Chef James Clark’s Recipe Thyme video below.

Makes 3 lbs. of Pimento Cheese

Bon Appétit!

September 26, 2012 | 03:36 PM

Fall, Football and Fridays on the Front Porch!

The fall season is gorgeous in the Triangle and with mild temperatures and low humidity; it’s my favorite time of year. The leaves are turning into beautiful autumn colors; the evenings are pleasant and are the perfect time to enjoy great outdoor music!

There's no better way to celebrate the end of a conference-filled workweek, or better yet, begin a meetings-filled weekend than at The Carolina Inn’s Fridays on the Front Porch (a.k.a. FOFP) event!  I have hosted many successful client events at FOFP which encourages relaxation, and allows my groups to kick off their shoes and unwind from the busy day. FOFP has been enjoyed by the local community and our overnight guests for 10 seasons; it’s always a great reason to add an extra night at the Inn just to experience the fun at Fridays on the Front Porch. Relax under the shady oaks and magnolias on our front porch while listening to live music, sipping on local craft beers and enjoying a delicious picnic menu created by our talented culinary team.

Chapel Hill, N.C. is truly the southern part of heaven!

September 24, 2012 | 08:38 AM

Crispy Oysters on the Half Shell

The fall season is the time of year to enjoy fresh oysters. Executive Chef James Clark teaches you how to create one of his favorite dishes, Crispy Oysters. These flavorful breaded and fried oysters are served with country ham and leak reduction topped with an artichoke relish. These delicious oysters are irresistible, so be sure to make plenty for sharing and definitely seconds for all.

Country Ham Leek Reduction
½ C. Country Ham ~ Diced
½ C. Leeks ~ Diced
1 tsp. Garlic
1 T. Olive oil
Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
1 C. Heavy Cream
Oyster Liquor
2 T. Pernod 

16 Shucked Oysters ~ Save the Liquor and Bottom Shells
1 C. AP Flour
1 C. Fine Corn Meal
2 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning
Sunchoke Relish
Enough Peanut Oil to fry Oysters at 365°

1. Mix dry ingredients together. Toss in oysters and coat well. 
2. Place each oyster in the hot oil and fry  about 30 seconds, until crisp.
3. Place a small spoonful of the reduction on the shell.
4. Top each shell with a crispy oyster strait from the oil.
5. Finish with a dab of Sunchoke relish!

Enjoy Executive Chef James Clark’s Recipe Thyme video below.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

September 11, 2012 | 11:46 AM

The Cow Parade has Arrived at The Carolina Inn

CowParade is the world’s largest public art exhibit featuring life-size fiberglass cows, hand-painted by local artists and auctioned off to raise money for charity. CowParade first began in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1998 and has raised more than $30 million for nonprofits.

The beneficiary of CowParade North Carolina is N.C. Children’s Hospital, a 150-bed state-of-the-art facility offering complete pediatric inpatient and outpatient care as well as more than 25 satellite outpatient clinics throughout North Carolina.

More than 80 vibrantly painted cows will be on parade across Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill through December 7th 2012. The cows are approximately eight feet long and five feet high and will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at a gala on January 26th 2013. Cows that aren’t sold in the live auction will be auctioned online.

The UNC Mooo-saic, Lady Carolina Bloo, from artist Paula MacLeod, is dressed in a mosaic of Vietri stoneware dishes, porcelain and glass tile featuring iconic UNC logos and hidden barn animals. Lady Carolina Bloo will live at The Carolina Inn during our Twelve Days of Christmas through the end of December.

To see the locations of all Carolina’s cows, visit

August 08, 2012 | 08:50 AM

How to Can Mid-Summer Pickled Cucumbers

Its summertime, and what better time to learn how to can homemade pickles than now. Executive Chef James Clark will show you how easy it is to prepare pickled cucumbers from the garden that will last you many months to come. Harvest your cucumber crop today and start canning!

4lb Small/Medium Pickling Cucumbers ~ Firm not soft, even from end-to-end and not too fat
¾ C. Sugar
½ C. Pickling Salt
2 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 C. Distilled White Vinegar
4 C. Water 
For Each Jar
¾ Tbs. Dill Seed
¾ Tbs. Fennel Seed
2 Sprigs of Dill
½ a Chili Pepper of Choice ~ Optional

1. Bring your canning pot to a slight simmer and place jars, lids and sealing bands in the water to sterilize.

2. In a separate non-reactive pot, add salt, sugar, vinegars and water and bring to a slow simmer. Make sure all salt and sugar are dissolved. 

3. While everything is heating up, slice cucumbers about ¼” thick.

4. Once your jars have sterilized, carefully remove them from the pot onto a clean towel. While jars are hot, add dill and fennel seed and then add 2lbs of cucumbers. Add dill and chili pepper and continue to fill with cucumbers making sure you pack everything in tightly. 

5. Once all jars are filled, ladle the hot pickling liquid in each jar leaving a ¼” open on the top.
6. After pickling liquid has been added, wipe clean the top of each jar with a hot clean towel and carefully assemble the sealing tops and bands.

7. Now it is time to seal. Place each jar into your canning pot. The jar must have at least ½” of water over the top of the jar. Allow to slowly poach for 18 minutes. Once done, pull jars from the water and allow them to sit and cool on a dry towel on the counter. Do not put jars in ice or the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The lid should not have a bubble that bounces up and down. If the lid is sunk in you’ve completed the canning process!

Allow the jars to sit in your pantry for at least 3 weeks before enjoying your pickles!

Makes 4 Quart Jars or 8 Pint Jars

June 06, 2012 | 03:54 PM

Chambord Glazed Scallops with Frisée and Fingerlings

Watch Chef Peter Brodsky prepare a summertime seafood delight; a perfect dish for the everyday cook. This quick and simple recipe includes fresh seared scallops, frisée, fingerling potatoes and is dressed with a flavorful Chambord glaze. Accompany this delicious entrée with a Riesling or Chambord cocktail.

10-12 oz. Diver Scallops
2 oz. Thick Cut Bacon ~ Cut into Small Strips
2 oz. Chambord
1 oz. Unsalted Butter
8 oz. Fingerling Potatoes
2 Heads Frisée
½ c. Olive & Canola Oil Blend
¼ c. Raspberry or Sherry Vinegar
10-15 Raspberries
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Split fingerling potatoes lengthwise, and toss with a small amount of oil, salt, and pepper. Roast potatoes at 350° F for approximately 25 minutes or until tender. 

2. Clean and dry frisée, remove the root, and separate leaves into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside until you are ready to assemble salad. 

3. Render the bacon in ½ c. blended oil until crispy. Pour hot bacon and most of the fat over frisée. Add warm potatoes and raspberry vinegar to frisée and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Place salad on plates.

4. Reheat pan with remaining bacon fat and oil. Once the pan is very hot, briefly sear the scallops on both sides, and place scallops on salad. Deglaze pan with Chambord and add butter. Remove pan from heat, and spoon Chambord Glaze over seared scallops. Garnish with Raspberries.

Serves 2

Bon Appétit!

May 25, 2012 | 02:37 PM

Don’t Forget to Bring your Skateboard to Chapel, Hill NC

Do you enjoy “Sidewalk Surfing” a.k.a. skateboarding? Skateboarding is a relatively modern sport born in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s by Californian surfers who wanted something to surf when the ocean was flat. It’s unknown who created the first board, although it seems that multiple people developed designs similar to each other. Can you imagine the first skateboarders used wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom?

This summer, be sure to bring along your skateboard the next time you travel to Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill Skatepark is in close proximity to The Carolina Inn, and we would be thrilled to provide you with transportation to and from the park. You’ll get a super workout skating on their ramps and practicing your ollie’s, kickflips, wheelies and pivots. Or, you may be new to the sport still learning how to balance and be comfortable riding your board. Let the team at the Chapel Hill Skatepark help guide and teach you the tricks of the trade. Keep in mind if you’ve never skateboarded before, it’s never too late to start skateboarding as a new hobby or pick-up where you’ve left off.

Don’t forget to celebrate “Go Skateboarding Day” recognized every year on June 21st!

May 02, 2012 | 05:04 PM

Tar Heel Tea

Quench your thirst with our signature drink the Tar Heel Tea created by longtime bartender of Carolina Crossroads Bar, Phillip Ivey. This southern beverage is made with fresh juicy lemons, mint sprigs, bourbon and is topped off with a secret ingredient. Watch this short video to learn how to make this refreshing drink, and discover what Phillip's secret ingredient is.

1/4 tsp. Sugar
4-5 Large Sprigs of Mint ~ Torn
3 Fresh Lemon Wedges

1. Muddle sugar, mint, lemon wedges in a rocks glass.
2. Fill rocks glass with ice.
3. Add one shot of bourbon of choice.
4. Fill glass with sweet tea made with black tea such as Earl Grey or English Breakfast.
5. Pour into a shaker, shake vigourously and serve.


May 01, 2012 | 01:47 PM

Are You Ready for a Culinary Throwdown?

As sales managers, our minds are constantly in motion generating innovative and unique team building ideas. Your phone rings - the meeting and event planner reaches out to you inquiring about what type of exercises at your property have been successful with past groups. The sales manager’s focus is distinctive and energizing activities, whereas the planner’s interests are interaction through fun and friendly competitions. Recently, The Carolina Inn held a successful and scrumptious Shrimp-n-Grits Throwdown. Seven local star chefs from renowned restaurants competed for the title of Shrimp-n-Grits Champion.

A panel of judges included food writers and local industry experts who determined the winner. The object of this culinary event was to engage the local foodie community, bringing everyone together for a great cause (proceeds benefitted TABLE, serving Chapel Hill-Carrboro children at risk for hunger), and to determine which star chef’s shrimp and grits reigned supreme.

So, what does a Shrimp-n-Grits Throwdown have to do with meetings and events - friendly competition. Make your next team building exercise exciting and innovative by incorporating your version of a Throwdown. Divide the group into teams with a minimum of two on each team. What’s the challenge you may ask? A Medicinal Potion Throwdown! Teams will concoct their version of a tasty potion that remedies pain after a long, grueling day. Each team would utilize at least 3 of the same ingredients chosen by the hotel. The challenge is fast and teams are required to think on their feet so, the competition should last no more than 30 minutes. In the end, two judges will sample each “remedy” and based on a predetermined set of criteria, a Medicinal Potion Throwdown winner will be announced.

What type of Throwdown ideas do you have in mind? The bottom line is, just make it fun!  

April 16, 2012 | 01:38 PM

Grilled Asparagus with Arugula and Prosciutto Recipe

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh grilled asparagus on a bed of arugula, and the addition of prosciutto and Locatelli cheese makes this dish out of this world. Who knew gourmet cooking could be this simple? 

Grilled Asparagus with Arugula and Prosciutto Recipe


20 Asparagus Spears ~ Snapped at the Bottom
2 c. Arugula
4 Prosciutto ~ Thinly Sliced
4 T. Locatelli Cheese
4 Eggs
Aged Sherry Vinegar
1 T. Za’atar Spice
6 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and grill until just tender.
2. Divide onto four separate plates and then add arugula, prosciutto and locatelli cheese
3. Drizzle salad with desired sherry vinegar.
4. Cook four sunny side up eggs and place on top of salad.
5. Mix Za’atar spice and remaining olive oil together and drizzle on top of egg.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

April 12, 2012 | 02:30 PM

Parsnip Potato Soup

Parsnips play the starring role in this hearty soup recipe. When shopping for parsnips, look for ones small to medium-sized, and should be blemish-free and firm. Enjoy this hearty meal packed with seasonal ingredients, fresh herbs and a touch of heat; the aroma will immediately sweep you off your feet!

Parsnip Potato Soup Recipe

1 c. White Onion ~ Medium Dice
2 Pieces Apple Smoked Bacon ~ Medium Dice
3 c. White Potatoes ~ Peeled and Chopped Rough
2 c. Parsnips ~ Peeled and Chopped Rough
1 Gallon Chicken stock
3 Bay Leaves
1 T. Roasted Garlic
½ c. Heavy cream
2 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
Tabasco to Taste
Cider Vinegar to Taste
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

1. Sauté bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crispy.
2. Add onions and sauté 3-4 minutes.
3. Add potato and parsnips, salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes.
4. Add chicken stock, bay leaves, roasted garlic, and cream. Cook until potato and parsnips are cooked through.
5. Add Tabasco, vinegar and thyme.
6. Purée in a blender until smooth.
7. Season with salt and pepper.

April 12, 2012 | 10:29 AM

Grilled Sumac Scented Grapefruit and Frisée Salad

Enjoy using ingredients you've never utilized before until now! The use of fresh local ingredients only enhances the enjoyment and flavor of this delightful spring dish!

1 Grapefruit ~ Cut into Segments
1 T. Sumac Powder
4 c. Frisée Greens ~ Chopped Rough
4 T. Feta Cheese ~ Crumbled
4 T. Toasted Pistachios
1 Icicle Radish ~ Sliced This
4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T. Moscatel Vinegar
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste

1. Simply mix all the ingredients together and divide into four separate plates.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

April 11, 2012 | 08:17 PM

Orange-Chipotle Glazed Pork Belly, Jicama Salad & Candied Kumquats

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to braise a pork belly? Let Executive Chef Jimmy Reale show you the way! The medley of seasonings will sing to your palette bite-after-bite. What are you waiting for? Get to your local farmer's market and start cooking - there's a tasty meal in your future!

Braised Pork Belly
3 lb. Pork Belly
1 T. Coriander
1 T. Mustard Seed
1 tsp. Fennel Seed
5 Garlic Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
Veal Stock
Chicken Stock

1. Toast seeds and crack them in a food processor.
2. Lightly season pork with salt and pepper and rub them with the toasted seed mix.
3. Refrigerate overnight.
4. Grill pork so it becomes slightly crisp and place in a braising pan with garlic, bay leaves, and then cover with chicken and veal stock.
5. Cover pan with foil and cook at 275° for 4 hours.
6. When pork has completed cooking, remove foil and place in refrigerator to completely cool.
7. Remove pork and cut into 2” by 2” squares.
Orange Chipotle Glaze
8 c. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Chipotle Pepper plus 1T. Adobe Sauce
1 T. Honey

1. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and reduce by 75% then pour through a fine mesh strainer.
2. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Jicama Salad
1 Medium Jicama, peeled and julienned
1 Red Pepper ~ Sliced Thin
1 Green pepper ~ Sliced Thin
3 T. Cilantro ~ Washed and Finely Chopped
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste
Orange Vinaigrette ~ To Taste

Candied Kumquat
2 c. Fresh Kumquats ~ Sliced Thin and Remove Seeds
4 c. Sugar
2 c. Water

1. In a sauce pot, place water and sugar over low-medium heat.
2. Stir until sugar has dissolved then add kumquats.
3. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and cool completely.

1. Sear pork bellies on both sides in a sauté pan.
2. Add 1 cup of orange-chipotle sauce.
3. Place in a 325° oven and glaze bellies every few minutes until cooked through.
4. Place some Jicama salad in middle of plate.
5. Place pork belly on top of salad and pour some glaze over it.
6. Top with candied kumquat.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

April 03, 2012 | 08:47 AM

Za’atar Seared Scallops with Tabbouleh

Liven your palette this spring with a succulent seafood dish! Executive Chef Jimmy Reale channels his Lebanese heritage to create a mouthwatering Za’atar Seared Scallops with Tabbouleh. The citrusy flavored Za’atar spice burst with robust flavors seasoning the Scallops and complementing the fresh ingredients in the Tabbouleh.

Enjoy Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's instructional video below.

1 c. Cooked Bulgur Wheat
½ c. Parsley ~ Washed and Chopped
¼ c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ c. Cucumbers ~ Seeded and Diced Small
½ c. Tomatoes ~ Diced Small
2 T. Fresh Mint ~ Chopped
2 Green Onion Sprigs ~ Sliced Thin
3 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste

1 T. Oil
4 U-10 Scallops
2 T. Za’atar Spice
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste

1. Place ¾ cup of uncooked bulgur wheat in a bowl and add 2 cups of very hot water. Let bulgur wheat soak for 45 minutes or until soft. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any excess water.
2. For tabbouleh, mix all ingredients together in bowl and taste for proper seasonings. My preference is to add a lot of lemon juice.
3. Place 1 T. of oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, place scallops in pan and cook for around two to three minutes. Flip scallops and cook to desired temperature. Remove from heat and sprinkle with za’atar spice.
4. Place tabbouleh on four plates, top with scallops and add more za’atar spice.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

March 12, 2012 | 11:00 PM

Wedding Tip Wednesday ~ Keeping Your Sanity

I am in the middle of wedding planning season. I wouldn’t say that it is the calm before the storm but it is more like the storm before the calm. I have noticed an increasing number of brides that are overwhelmed with all the choices that are put before them. With Pinterest and Facebook and all of these blogs out there, it's hard to commit to any decisions with new ideas popping up all of the time.

Remember how easy it was when Franck entered the scene in Father of Bride - do a little of this and a little of that and it was all taken care of. He had all of the right answers and made it incredibly easy to make all the decisions. Those were simpler times.

So if you are trying to keep your sanity amidst planning your big day, I offer to you my suggestions on how to keep it together and enjoy the journey, I mean this should be fun...right? 

Five Golden Rules of Wedding Planning:

1. Never ask too many people for their input - and believe me, when you tell your family and friends that you are engaged everyone will have an opinion on what your dress should look like, what colors your flowers should be, and what you should serve as a meal. So, pick one or two people to help you with your decisions. You will always know who to go to and you can shut out the "noise" that comes from too many opinions.

2. Pick a palette and go with it - most brides know how they want their wedding to look - white, pink, coral - they know. In most cases they have been thinking about it and looking at pictures for a very long time. If the decision has already been made then don't try to talk yourself into something else, this is energy better spent on planning your life together.

3. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Focus on what matters and just let the rest go. It's not the end of the world if you don't find the perfect pair of shoes, or if you can't find the perfect linens, or Aunt Mary doesn't like that you are serving beef instead of chicken. Just let it go, all that matters at the end of your wedding day is that you are married to the perfect person, I highly doubt that you will remember anything else when you are 80. 

4. Keep it Simple - You don't have to try and incorporate every idea from every website or Pinterest board that you have ever seen. Sometimes simple is best. I'd rather see a bride invest her money in things that get the most bang for their buck. Linens, flowers, photographers! Always pick a few beautiful, breathtaking (and most likely expensive) things over lots of inexpensive and less than lovely items.

5.  Make Decisions! The most frustrated brides that I see are the ones that make lists upon lists upon lists and then have to make a list to keep track of their lists. You must make decisions otherwise you will be simply overwhelmed and not even know where to start.

You cannot do it all. You cannot please everyone. You cannot be perfect. So, just let it go. Start making what matters the most to you happen and start crossing the other things off of the lists!

Enjoy the journey...and happy planning!

February 29, 2012 | 03:52 PM

Marinated Rabbit Loin with Fregola Sarda Salad

Rabbit…the other white meat. Executive Chef Jimmy Reale shows us how simple it is to prepare a succulent Rabbit Loin dish. The Rabbit is immersed in a Shallot, Citrus, Olive Oil marinade, and then cooked to perfection. It’s placed on top a Fregola Salad mixed with Fresh Spinach, chopped Herbs, and a creamy Madeira Butter Sauce. As an entrée or appetizer, the marinated Rabbit Loin recipe is a unique dish sure to satiate any food lovers’ appetite!

Enjoy Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's instructional video below.

2 tsp. Oil
2 c. *Fregola Sarda
1 T. Shallot ~ Peeled and Diced Fine
1 T. Parsley ~ Chopped Fine
1 Orange ~ Zest
1 Garlic Clove ~ Minced
2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Rabbit Loins
2 Applewood Smoked Bacon Pieces ~ Sliced Thin
½ c. Tomatoes ~ Diced Medium
1 c. Spinach ~ Chopped Rough
¾ c. Madeira Wine
2 T. Butter
2 tsp. Chopped Herbs Mixture ~ Parsley, Oregano and Rosemary
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Cook Fregola like you would pasta in boiling salted water. It takes longer to cook than regular pasta, approximately 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and taste for tenderness. When fregola is cooked, strain and place in ice water to stop cooking process. Then strain and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Remove any silverskin from rabbit loins being careful not to remove too much meat. Marinate rabbit with shallot, parsley, orange zest, garlic and olive oil. Preferably, marinate rabbit the day before cooking.
3. Heat a sauté pan to medium high heat.
4. Salt and pepper rabbit and sear on all sides until rabbit is cooked through.
5. Remove rabbit from pan and let rest; add bacon to hot pan and render fat.
6. After bacon is rendered, add Fregola, tomatoes and spinach.
7. Cook until all ingredients are hot.
8. Remove pan from burner and add Madeira wine.
9. Place pan back on burner; be careful of flames if using a gas burner.
10. Add butter, herbs and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
11. Slice rabbit loins on the bias into four pieces.
12. Serve in small bowl and enjoy!
Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

*Fregola Sarda is a type of pasta from Sardinia, similar to Israeli couscous. Fregola comes in varying sizes, and typically consists of semolina dough rolled into balls 2-3 mm in diameter, toasted in an oven. Fregola Sarda can be found in most specialty food stores.

February 10, 2012 | 06:40 AM

Medjool Dates Stuffed with Spanish Blue Cheese and Lentil Salad Recipe

Don't you think it's time to add an exciting new recipe to repertoire? Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's Medjool Dates stuffed with Spanish Blue Cheese and Lentil Salad is a refreshing change to your everyday first course. The variety of ingredients used provide a medley of flavors that will engage your palette like no other salad before!

Enjoy Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's instructional video below.

Medjool Dates Stuffed with Spanish Blue Cheese, Wrapped in Prosciutto with Balsamic Syrup

12 Medjool Dates ~ Sliced in Half and Remove Pit
4 oz. Spanish Blue Cheese
12 Slices of Prosciutto
3 c. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Syrup
1. In a medium-saucepan, over medium heat, add balsamic vinegar.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
3. Simmer until liquid reduces by 3/4, approximately 30 minutes or until syrup-like consistency.
4. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Lentil Salad
1 c. Red Crimson lentils
2 c. Water
½ c. Arugula
¼ c. Green Onion ~ Thinly Sliced
¼ c. Red Peppers ~ Diced Small
¼ c. Yellow Peppers ~ Diced Small
2 T. Basil Oil
To Taste Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Cook lentils until just tender approximately 10-12 minutes.
2. Strain and cool.
3. Place lentils in bowl and toss with all remaining ingredients.

Basil Oil
1 c. Basil leaves ~ Tightly Packed
½ c. Parsley ~ Chopped and Washed
2 c. Olive Oil

1. Place all ingredients in blender and purée uree for 5 minutes.
2. Pour through a fine mesh strainer.
3. Keep refrigerated.

Pomegranate Balsamic Syrup
2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
¾ c. Pomegranate Juice
¼ c. Sugar

1. Place all ingredients in pot and simmer until reduced by 80%.
2. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Bon Appétit!

December 07, 2011 | 03:25 PM

Spiked Pumpkin Milkshake & Peppermint Patty Hot Chocolate Recipes

This year break out of your culinary holiday rut and branch out with these decadent seasonal beverages! Try out our holiday drink recipes:

Spiked Pumpkin Milkshake Recipe

1/3 c. Pumpkin ~ Fresh or Canned
¼ – ½ c. Milk
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. Cinnamon
1/16 tsp. Cloves ~ Use a pinch or an 1/8 tsp. measuring spoon and fill it half way.
1/16 tsp. Nutmeg
3 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
2 c. Vanilla Ice Cream
2 oz. Premium Dark Spiced Rum
1 oz. Crushed Candied Pecans

1. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Pour a ¼ c. of milk and the remaining ingredients in a blender and purée.
2. Slowly add more milk as needed.

Peppermint Patty Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot Chocolate Ingredients
1/3 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¾ c.  White Sugar
1 Pinch of Salt
1/3 c. Boiling Water
3 ½ c. Milk
¾ tsp. Vanilla Extract
½ c. Half-and-Half Cream

1. Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
2. Add the boiling water.
3. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir.
4. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the mixture.
5. Stir in 3 ½ c. of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla.
6. Divide hot chocolate between 4 mugs.
7. Add cream.

Pepperming Patty Hot Chocolate Ingredients
1 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
½ oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 tsp. Créme de Menthe
10 oz. Hot Chocolate
Approximately1 oz. Whipped Cream
Shaved Chocolate

1. Pour Vanilla Vodka and Crème de Menthe into a glass mug.
2. Fill mug with hot chocolate and top with whipped cream.
3. Garnish with chocolate shavings.


November 22, 2011 | 11:43 AM

Cranberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe

Looking for a last minute dessert to wow your guests this Thanksgiving? Executive Chef Jimmy Reale of Carolina Crossroads Restaurant has a simple recipe for a sweet finish to your holiday meal. Prepare Chef’s Cranberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding this season; it will certainly be added to the list of traditional favorite’s year-after-year!

½ c. Dried Cranberries ~ Reconstitute in warm water then discard water
½ c. White Chocolate Chips
8 Eggs
1 ½ c. Granulated Sugar
½ qt. Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Cinnamon Ground
1 tsp. Nutmeg ~ Whole or Ground
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 c. Day Old Croissants ~ Cubed

1. Place dried cranberries and white chocolate chips in food processor. Pulse 4-5 times enough to break into pieces.
2. In a large bowl cream together eggs and sugar.
3. Incorporate the cranberry and white chocolate mix with the remaining ingredients.
4. Let mixture sit 30-45 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.
5. Place into greased muffin pans and cook at 325 degrees until set, approximately 30-40 minutes.

Bon Appétit!

November 01, 2011 | 08:13 PM

House-Made Lamb Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash Recipe

Have you always wanted to prepare a lamb dish, but didn’t know how? Executive Chef Jimmy Reale from The Carolina Inn walks you through each step to prepare this flavorful appetizer in no time.

Lamb Sausage
1 lb Ground Lamb
2 Tbsp. Minced Onions
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Allspice
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp. Fennel Seed
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Fresh Egg
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Place ground lamb in mixing bowl.
2. Incorporate remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Set in refrigerator overnight to develop flavors.

Sweet Potato Hash
½ c. Diced Red Onions
½ c. Red and Green Peppers
1 ½ c. Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Diced and Blanched
1 Tbsp. Butter
4 Small Pita Bread or English Muffin

Pink Peppercorn Maple Syrup
1 c. Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Pink Peppercorns

1. Warm syrup and peppercorns in pan just before ladling the syrup on the dish.

Bacon Jam
½ c. Red Onion ~ Diced
½ lb. Smoked Bacon
½ c. Brown Sugar

1. Chop bacon into small pieces.
2. Render bacon until crispy then remove from pan.
3. Sauté onions in bacon fat until caramelized.
4. Add brown sugar and bacon.
5. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cold.

1. In a hot sauté pan brown a ½ cup of lamb sausage.
2. Add onions, peppers and sweet potatoes. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add butter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper as desired
4. Place sausage hash on plate.
5. Ladle desired amount of maple syrup over hash.
6. Place warm pita bread on top of hash and spoon a tablespoon of bacon jam on top.
7. Fry an egg sunny side up and place on top of pita.

Serves 6-8

Bon Appétit!

September 28, 2011 | 08:40 PM

Fried Green Tomato Salad Recipe

Fried Green Tomato Salad, Carolina Crossroads style! Watch as Executive Chef Jimmy Reale shows you step-by-step how to create this flavorful salad -an excellent accompaniment to any lunch or dinner.

3 Green Tomatoes ~ Sliced ½" Thick
1½ c. Buttermilk
1 c. Flour
1 c. Corn Meal
4 c. Oil
1 c. Arugula
1 ear Smoked Corn or Corn Cut Off the Cob and Lightly Sautéed
¼ c. Toasted Pecans
3 oz. Local Farmers Cheese or Feta Cheese
1 Lemon
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

Chipotle Buttermilk Dressing
1 Tbs.  Chipotle ~ Puree
1 c. Buttermilk
1 Tbs. Champagne Vinegar
½ c. Sour Cream

1. Place shucked corn on outside grill and smoke using your favorite wood chips.
2. Cool. Cut corn off the cob and set aside.
3. In a heavy duty sauté pan or cast iron pan, heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
4. Place tomatoes in buttermilk then dredge in flour and cornmeal.
5. Fry tomatoes in small batches. Do not overcrowd the pan.
6. Fry tomatoes until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
7. Remove tomatoes from oil and season with salt and pepper.
8. To make salad, place arugula, smoked corn, pecans, cheese and approximately three tablespoons of the chipotle dressing in a mixing bowl.
9. Season with salt and pepper and toss; lightly coat the salad with dressing.
10. Place four fried green tomatoes on a plate. Top with salad and fresh lemon zest.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

September 06, 2011 | 02:04 PM

Summer Watermelon Salad Recipe from The Carolina Inn

Executive Chef Jimmy from The Carolina Inn is delighted to share with you his flavorful Watermelon Salad recipe which includes fresh local ingredients purchased from the Carrboro Farmer's Market such as Red Watermelons, Frisée and Jalapeños.

2 c.  Seedless Watermelon ~ Diced Medium
1 c.  Frisée
12  Pickled Cucumber Slices (See Recipe Below)
1 tsp.  Jalapeño Peppers ~ Diced Small
1  Red Radish ~ Sliced Thin
3 Tbs.  Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette (See recipe Below)
4 oz.  Ashe County Juusto Cheese or Halloumi Cut Into 4-1oz Portions
Watermelon Gelée Cut into triangles (See Recipe Below)
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

Pickled Cucumbers
1 Cucumber Sliced
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Water
1 c. Champagne Vinegar
1 c. White Wine
2 tsp. salt

1. Place all ingredients in small pot except cucumbers.
2. Bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally.
3. Place sliced cucumbers in heat resistant container.
4. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers, cover and place in refrigerator.
5. Wait 2 hours before removing cover. Serve cold.

Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette
1 Juiced Orange
1 Juiced Lime
1 Juiced Lemon
½ Vanilla Bean ~ Scrape Seeds
½ tsp. Chopped Garlic
1 tsp. Chopped Shallots
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tbs. Honey
½ c. Corn Oil
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Place all ingredients in bowl except oil.
2. While whisking ingredients together, slowly drizzle oil until emulsified.
3. Taste for proper seasonings.

Watermelon Gelée
1 Quarts Pureed Watermelon
1 oz. Gelatin Powder
1/2 c. Cold Water

1. Heat watermelon liquid.
2. Dissolve gelatin in cold water.
3. When watermelon becomes hot add gelatin.
4. Quickly pour evenly on tray and cool.
5. Cut into squares, then triangles.

Plating the Watermelon Salad
1. In mixing bowl place watermelon, greens, jalapeño and radish.
2. Pour in dressing, season with salt and pepper then gently toss.
3. Lay watermelon gelée and pickled cucumbers on plate.
4. Add watermelon salad to plate.
5. Pan fry Juusto cheese on both sides to warm and add to top of salad.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

September 01, 2011 | 04:07 PM

The South's Best College Towns

Southern Living writes about "The South's Best College Towns." It's no surprise that UNC Chapel Hill is among the best, and The Carolina Inn is highlighted as the place stay when visiting Chapel Hill. 

You don't have to be a backpack-slinging coed to love these collegiate classics. Read the complete Southern Living article here.

June 27, 2011 | 11:00 AM

The Carolina Inn Serves Up Summer

On Friday night, I had the good fortune of being invited to The Carolina Inn for a preview of Carolina CrossRoads' summer menu.

Our group of 10 – which included the inn's new Director of Sales and Marketing Jack Schmidt and Moreton Neal, co-founder of La Residence – did not leave hungry.

Chef Jimmy Reale presented to us an amuse bouche and petite plates of four appetizers, three entrees and a dessert sampler that featured four creations by pastry chef Suzanne Menius.

Chapel Hill Magazine

June 03, 2011 | 11:23 AM

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, RTP, The Triangle, Research Triangle Park…How Many Names Can One Place Have?

Before I came to North Carolina I thought of this area as Raleigh. As time and years have taught me, there are as many names for this “part of heaven” as there are types of BBQ!  I'm bringing this up to Meeting and Travel Professionals because, depending on how you search for hotels  or venues in "the Triangle" you might be missing large portions of this area.

In researching this topic I found that originally this region was defined by the three major Universities in the area: Duke University, North Carolina State University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Then in the 1950’s, the Triangle took on new meaning with the creation of Research Triangle Park. Research Triangle Park or RTP is a 7,000 acre Pine Forrest that has now become home to some of the most predominant high-tech research and development companies in the world. To sum it up, RTP is a triangle inside the original triangle, formed by the Universities.

• Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh are each in separate counties. Keep in mind they each have a separate CVB which represents them. 

• Raleigh - Durham International Airport (RDU) is at the center of the Triangle for easy and quick access to all points in this area.

• The Triad is another area of North Carolina which is right next to the Triangle, however, it is comprised of completely different cities.

• Warning! If visiting this area during March Madness, be prepared to pick a side; College Basketball is SERIOUS business around here.

The message of my blog – Don’t be a SQUARE and come meet in The Triangle!

May 04, 2011 | 02:23 PM

A Light on the Hill

Imagine the places that touch your heart. Is it your childhood home? The tree in your best friend's yard? A high school theater stage or performance hall? What gives you “a sense of place?” For me, it’s The Carolina Inn.

When I was 4 years old, I declared that one day I would live in a house with a black and white checkerboard floor just like the ballroom in The Carolina Inn. When I was 12, my sophisticated friend Sarah and I organized a trip by ourselves to the beauty parlor followed by lunch at The Carolina Inn. We ordered hot dogs, and then hastily added a side of carrots. Isn't that what grown-ups do? When I turned 40, and had just completed almost a year of cancer treatments, my dear parents hosted an amazing birthday party for me – yep, at The Carolina Inn.

Years later, as the parent of high school students, I traveled to visit colleges across the United States. I came home, time after time, grateful that in Chapel Hill and for our University, we have a beautiful and treasured place to stay right on campus.

It’s really no surprise that The Carolina Inn is called “the University’s living room.”  Meetings, memorial services, weddings, celebrations, fundraisers, reunions, seminars and more happen at the Inn on a daily basis.

We have the experience and vision of John Sprunt Hill, UNC Class of 1889, and an extraordinary convergence of events to thank for the creation of The Carolina Inn.

• During Hill’s college years, the first Carolina football game was played in 1888 against Wake Forest. Our biggest rival in those early years was the University of Virginia. Trainloads of alumni and supporters started filling the town on football Saturdays. Townsfolk festooned porch railings in their houses along Franklin Street with blue and white bunting for the football weekend.  Hotel rooms in town were scarce.

• In 1889, to coincide with Hill’s graduation festivities, the University organized an invitation to alumni to return to campus for the Centennial Celebration.

• On University business in 1921, Hill spent the night at the Eagle Hotel (where Graham Memorial is now). He couldn’t sleep that night, as luck would have it.  Supposedly, the racket of rats rustling in the corner of his room was the final straw. He dressed and walked out into the night across campus. A full moon lit the way. He stopped at Mrs. Graves Boarding House, on the corner of Cameron and (now known as) South Columbia Street.

Hill bought Mrs. Graves’ house. He hired Arthur Nash, the architect developing Polk Place, to design The Carolina Inn to blend into the style of the campus. Nash’s design for the Inn was inspired by Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home.

Hill and his family gave The Carolina Inn to the University in 1935 with the stipulation that profits go to the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library, which continues today. An engraved brass plaque from 1941 now hangs at the front desk of The Carolina Inn: “This generous gift affords a cheerful inn for visitors, a town hall for the state and a home for returning sons and daughters of alma mater.”

Historian Kenneth Zogry writes in his book, The University’s Living Room: A History of the Carolina Inn, “…the story of this place is complex; sometimes joyful and sometimes sorrowful, sometimes proud and sometimes embarrassing. But these contradictions are just what make the place, and its history, so compelling.”

Oh my, if the Inn’s walls could talk! And, now, they almost do. Have you walked the halls lately? History has indeed been brought to life in photos and memorabilia, all lining the halls. Peek inside the new gym for guests. Of course, a guest can change the wrap on the punching bag to, shall we say, “neighboring schools.” This is Chapel Hill, after all!  

“Fridays on the Front Porch,” gets into full swing in the month of May. Every Friday, 5 pm – 9 pm, a live bluegrass band plays on the front lawn of the Inn, with food and drinks available. Most special of all is the mix of folks sittin’ and enjoying the music, the start of the weekend, and each other. A true experience of this Southern Part of Heaven. See you there!

April 25, 2011 | 01:29 PM

Wonderful wedding weekend

My wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Carolina Inn in March. The Inn is known for being a popular wedding spot -- and now I know exactly why. First, the hotel and grounds are gorgeous. You will have no trouble getting beautiful photos and video here. Secondly, the staff and event planners are wonderful to work with. Every single detail was taken care of and I didn?t have to worry about a thing. I planned my wedding by myself, but felt like I had the benefit of a wedding planner when working with Devon at the Inn. I enjoyed every experience, from the menu tasting, January wedding show, and details meeting, to the entire wedding weekend. Many of our guests stayed at the Inn and everyone was thrilled with the beautiful and luxurious accommodations. My ceremony was held in the Bryan Courtyard and it was a romantic, intimate setting. The reception was in the Old Well Room, which is a gorgeous, elegant room. I can?t compliment the Inn enough on its customer service, attention to detail, beautiful accommodations and delicious food. Take a look at my video and you?ll see how fabulous it was!

April 19, 2011 | 11:12 AM

Wedding Weekend

The Carolina Inn staff were awesome this past weekend during the events of my daughter's wedding. The weather was less than cooperative but the staff made adjustments seamlessly. Devon was absolutely wonderful in helping us plan the event and Sarah made sure the reception went smoothly. Sarah was very helpful in making sure items from the reception were taken to the appropriate rooms. The food was excellent as well. I would highly recommend the Carolina Inn for any event.

March 01, 2011 | 08:24 AM

Celebrate the Launch of the INFINity Team Blog - A Conversation with Karen Knox, CMP, CMM

Welcome Everyone! Today marks the birth of our INFINity blog – thank you for taking the time to join us and I hope you find value from our team. INFINity Team is short for INsurance and FINance Affinity Team, and is a group of about 20 individuals that focus their efforts on Insurance and Finance Meetings.

My name is Darby Gyscek and I am so lucky to be located at the picturesque Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My time on the INFINity team has been short so far as I just started with Destination Hotels & Resorts this July – but I have really found a warm and welcoming team (which you will soon find out for yourself). Having worked in the industry for almost 13 years I hope to share some of my experiences with you and learn some things too! I grew up in Rochester, NY but spent my high school years in Massachusetts. For the last nine years I have been a vegetarian so I am always happy to help with suggestions for those groups – as I know we are tough to plan for at times.

As you regularly visit our blog you will find great content put together by our team. Today I wanted to share an interview with you of a local Insurance planner that is near and dear to us!

Karen Knox, CMP, CMM is the Senior Corporate Meeting Planner at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and I had the opportunity to sit down with her and have a lovely chat over lunch. I hope you find value in some of the highlights from our discussion.

I often joke that I am the “one person” that actually uses the degree I went to school for in my everyday work, but today I found out that Karen’s degree is also in Hospitality Management. She recounted that fateful day of sitting on the quad flipping through her course catalog and making the decision to go into meeting planning. “This industry gives you so much opportunity” she said as I heard stories of her first positions in the Association and then Incentive markets.

When I asked Karen if she ever found value in reaching out to the event planner community she put the question right back to me “How could you ever do your job in isolation?” She often uses other planners as a sounding board and as a resource. I personally loved hearing that the 8 people that were in her CMP study group 10 years ago are some of her closest sources and friends!

It is not news to anyone reading this blog that there have been major changes in our industry after the financial crisis. I asked Karen to tell me about the advice she would give to others and even herself if she could travel back in time to the beginning of all the change. “Don’t sell yourself short”, Karen said, and went on to list the numerous tasks that planners take on including budgeting, negotiating, administrative, etc. and it is easy to get labeled “just a meeting planner” and start to devalue your true worth.

Essential tips she wanted to share for any planner providing a case for their ROI:

• Expand your knowledge base (don’t allow yourself to be pigeonholed)
• Understand what your roles are and how your skill sets help the company to achieve their goals
• Know what you bring to the table
• Remember the importance of partnering with internal clients – don’t get territorial
• Develop and embrace collaboration

The final tip Karen had for planners was in response to my question on emotions. I had asked her about the emotional process of making the case, and while she noted that yes it can be very emotional to remember, it is all about business “Work is work, but it is not all you are”.

February 24, 2011 | 12:40 PM

Chapel Hill Receives Bicycle Friendly Community National Designation Celebration

Chapel Hill is already known as a bike-friendly town. Now, the League of American Bicyclists has designated the town as a bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community.”

A special event to celebrate the designation of Chapel Hill as a Bicycle Friendly Community will take place at University Mall on the stage in front of Dillard's.

Read More Here

February 02, 2011 | 03:10 PM

Scenes from The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase

With this weekend's delightful winter heat wave came a welcomed reminder that spring is just around the corner. And with spring will come wedding season -- a fact that was very evident at yesterday's Bridal Showcase at The Carolina Inn.

Chapel Hill Magazine 

January 27, 2011 | 04:10 PM

The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase 2011

I have planned weddings for many years now and it is an incredible task to scribe every detail into existence.  I have spent hours imagining where each table should be placed, how each napkin should be folded, and how each bride will feel when they enter the magic of their wonderland.  There is always that one moment when I can see the black and white notes that are buried somewhere in my office burst into life.   I felt that way yesterday as I watched Classic Party Rentals constructing our tent for the Bridal Showcase on Sunday.   It was cold, it was raining, and it was certainly muddy… but the masterpiece that awaits the brides on Sunday is outstanding.  I couldn’t help but track my muddy feet into the middle of the courtyard underneath the glass chandeliers and the strands of mini lights and look up through the clear ceiling to watch the rain pour down.  I was left with feeling sheer anticipation  about the most elegant event that we have planned for our brides.  We are joined by the finest vendors in the area and together we can’t wait for you to see all we have put together for you to enjoy.    The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is just waiting to burst into life.  Don’t miss the party.


January 17, 2011 | 10:06 AM

Enjoy a Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner at Carolina Crossroads

Carolina Crossroads is the perfect place for a romantic evening. Enjoy an unforgettable meal with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day in our AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four-Star restaurant. Our four-course menu is sure to excite your palettes and warm your hearts.

First Course
Crossroads Mixed Organic Field Lettuces, Choice of Dressings  

Organic Baby Spinach, Zinfandel Poached Pears, Maytag Blue Cheese, Spiced Walnuts, Grilled Red Onions, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Red & Yellow Beet Salad, Arugula, Truffled Goat Cheese,
Toasted Macadamia Nuts, Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette

Second Course
White Bean & Chorizo Soup, Locatelli Cheese, Marinated Artichoke & Toasted Pistachio Salad

Butternut Squash Soup, Crumbled Gingerbread & Cinnamon Crème Friache

Shrimp & Grits, Pan Seared Prawns, Old Mill of Guilford Stone Ground Yellow Grits, Benton’s Country Ham, Crispy Collards, Roasted Pepper Velouté  

Lamb Bolognese, Semolina Gnocchi, Pesto, Arugula, Shaved Ricotta Salata

Middle Eastern Black-eyed Pea Cakes, Hillsborough Feta Cheese, Pickled Beets, Lentils & Rice,
Green Beans & Cinnamon Tomato Sauce, Spiced Yogurt 

Oven Roasted NC Catfish, Shrimp Jambalaya Carolina Gold Rice, Batter Crisp Onion  

Sumac Grilled Organic Salmon, Cauliflower Purée, Crawfish, Fennel & Mint Salad, Moroccan Couscous, Heirloom Tomato Chutney  

Slow Cooked Chatham County Heirloom Chicken, Maries Tomato Sauce, Giacomo’s Italian Sausage & Blue Hominy Ragout, Wild Mushrooms, Kale

Espresso Rubbed Angus Beef Tenderloin, Potato Purée, Carrots, Asparagus, Green Beans, Toasted Chestnuts, Veal Demi-Glace

Slow Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco, Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Collard Greens, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Bourbon Brown Sugar Apples

Chocolate Pâté, Amarena Cherries& Vanilla Sauce

Cinnamon Raspberry Streusel Cake, Brown Sugar Sour Cream Ice Cream & Raspberry Sauce

Trio of Sorbets with Seasonal Berries and Shortbread Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Hearts with Chambord “Spiked” Berries and Chocolate Sauce

Although not necessary, reservations are strongly recommended by clicking on the OpenTable link, or call us directly at 919.918.2777.

January 17, 2011 | 09:20 AM

Carolina Crossroads Participates in Triangle Restaurant Week

Carolina Crossroads Restaurant is participating in Triangle Restaurant Week, a weeklong celebration of culinary excellence. Please join us during January 24 – 30 for an exquisite 3-course dinner.

First Course
Ditalini Pasta, Venison Sausage, Fava Beans, Roasted Red Peppers, Pumpkin Seeds, Pecorino Romano Cheese & Garlic Basil Broth

White Bean & Chorizo Soup, Locatelli Cheese, Marinated Artichoke & Toasted Pistachio Salad

Second Course
Grilled Organic Salmon, Cauliflower Purée, Crawfish, Fennel & Mint Salad, Moroccan Couscous, Heirloom Tomato Chutney

Middle Eastern Black-eyed Pea Cake, Hillsborough Feta Cheese, Pickled Beets, Lentils & Rice, Green Beans & Cinnamon Tomato Sauce, Spiced Yogurt

Chocolate Waffle, Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce

Trio of House Made Sorbets with Seasonal Berries & Shortbread Cookies

Although not necessary, reservations are strongly recommended by clicking on the OpenTable link, or call us directly at 919.918.2777.

January 14, 2011 | 12:30 PM

Renovating the "University's Living Room" - Chapel Hill Magazine by Eleanor-Scott Davis

74 guest rooms at The Carolina Inn have been renovated, primarily in the 1924 and 1940 section of the building. In addition, two new suites have been added including the three-bedroom Chancellor's Suite. We had the privilege of taking a tour with the fascinating inn historian, Ken Zogry, whose knowledge of the history of the inn is only exceeded by his passion to preserve it.

January 14, 2011 | 12:10 PM

Carolina Crossroads Debuts Winter Menu

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale and Carolina Crossroads debuts it's winter menu.

Come inside and warm up with a hearty meal at Carolina Crossroads. Our new winter menu has a variety of meals to suit all palettes. Executive Chef Jimmy creates menu items that explode with flavor such as his most recent creation, the Espresso Rubbed Angus Beef Tenderloin.

Click here to view our winter menus.

December 24, 2010 | 11:25 AM

2010 Gingerbread House Competition Winners

The Carolina Inn would like to thank all of the participants in this year's Gingerbread House Competition. The artistic talent shown in this year's contest made for another exciting display of gingerbread houses at the Inn. 

First Place winners received a $100 South Point Mall gift cerificate and Dinner for Four at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. Second Place winners received a $50 South Point Mall gift certificate and Brunch for Two at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. 

The winners of this year's contest are:

Adult: 1st Place Winner - Amalia Bolivar
Adult: 2nd Place Winner - Francesca Monachino

Youth: 1st Place Winner - Lynalese Kindy
Youth: 2nd Place Winner - Margret Conrad Troop #378

Congratulations to all our winners! Information regarding the 2011 Twelve Days of Christmas and Gingerbread House Competition will be posted online next fall.

November 05, 2010 | 04:39 PM

The Carolina Inn's 8th Annual Gingerbread House Competition

The Carolina Inn welcomes all talents to enter in our 2010 Gingerbread House Competition!

Download Entry Form

The competition is open to everyone, professionals and amateurs alike, except employees of The Carolina Inn and their immediate family and/or household members. The contest includes a separate adult and youth category. Entries are accepted from individuals or groups of up to 5 members.

Deadline for entry forms is Friday, December 3, 2010
Via Fax: 919-918-2795
Via Email:
Via Mail: 211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 Re: 12 Days of Christmas, Attn: Heidi Werner
Drop Off: Drop off your form at the front desk of the hotel at any time. Clearly mark envelope, Attn: Heidi Werner.

• To be eligible for the competition, a signed and completed entry form must be received by fax or mail prior to 5PM Friday, December 3, 2010. Entries that are not pre-registered will not be accepted. 
• Only one entry per entry form is permitted.  
• The 2010 Gingerbread House Competition Entry Form must be signed by the individual entering the competition. If the individual is younger than age eighteen by the date of the competition, a signature from a parent or legal guardian is required along with the minor’s signature.
• Entry numbers will be assigned upon receipt of completed entry forms, and competitors will receive a letter or email with entry number confirming their entry into the 2010 competition. 
• Team entries are allowed under the following guidelines:
o Complete one entry form for the team that only includes the team captain’s contact information. In the case of school groups or girls or boys scout troops entering the competition, the classroom teacher or troop supervisor should be listed as the team captain and provide his or her contact information.
o A separate typed list of each team members’ first and last names, along with ages, should be included with the team’s entry form.
o A signature from a parent or legal guardian will be required for each team member under eighteen years of age.
o In the event a Team Entry places in the competition, the team captain will be the recipient of any prizes. Distribution or splitting of any prize will be left to the team captain to determine. 
o A Team should consist of two to five individuals working on a single entry. No more than five individuals are allowed to work on a single entry.

Note:  Due to limited display space, we can only accept 20 entries 10 Adult and 10 Youth by order received. Only one entry is allowed per household.

In the event you are no longer able to compete in our Gingerbread House Competition, please call our Twelve Days of Christmas concierge at 919.918.2755.

Adult (15 and older)  
Youth (15 and under)

Note: Teen and Child competitors may be supervised while baking, for safety precautions, by a parent or guardian. However, all gingerbread house construction, design and decoration must be done by the individual(s) entering the competition.

Competitors are not limited to the structure of a house. We welcome and encourage competitors to uniquely design their entry for this years’ competition, as long as the entry is in keeping with the competition Rules & Procedures.

Entries will be judged by the general public and our Pastry Chef. The entry with the highest number of points in its category will be the winner. Entries will be judged on each of the following criteria on a scale of 1-5: Overall Appearance, Originality & Creativity, Difficulty, Precision, and Consistency of Theme (theme should be competitor’s own and consistent throughout entry). Winners will be announced on Monday, December 20, 2010 and will be posted on our website.


  • Entries must not exceed 1.5 feet in height, 1.5 feet in width, or 1.5 feet in depth, including the board used as a base. We suggest using ½” or ¾” plywood as a base for your entry.
  • Write your name, entry number, address, and phone number on the underside of your base.
  • Entries must be made primarily of gingerbread and entirely of edible products (except for the base). Candies must be unwrapped. Edible materials are not limited to sweets.
  • No artificial display materials, such as styrofoam or interior lighting, are to be used in the construction of the house.


  • Entries accepted Friday, December 10, from 9:00 am 12:00pm. Entries that are not pre-registered will not be accepted.
  • Please check-in with our front-desk agents the day of delivery and they will direct you to one of our ballrooms where we will store all our entries by category and in order of entry number.
  • The competitor’s name, entry number, address, and phone number must be labeled underneath the base.

Note: We reserve the right to refuse any entries deemed inappropriate for display at the hotel.


  • Entries will remain on display in The Carolina Inn lobby starting Saturday, December 11 through Monday, December 27, 2010.
  • Entries may be picked up Tuesday, December 28th from 9:00 am to 12:00pm.
  • Entries will be discarded on Wednesday, December 29th. No exceptions.

Category Place Prize
ADULT-First Place: $100 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and "Dinner for Four" at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.
ADULT-Second Place: $50 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and “Dinner for Two” at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.
YOUTH-First Place: $100 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and "Brunch for Four" at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.
YOUTH Second Place: $50 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and “Brunch for Two” at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.

How to Enter
Deadline for entry forms has been extended to Friday, December 3, 2010
Via Fax: 919-918-2795 Attn Heidi Werner
Via E-mail:
Via Mail: 211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516 (Re: 12 Days of Christmas, Attn: Heidi Werner) 
Or, you may drop forms off at the front desk of the hotel at any time. Clearly mark envelope “Attn: Heidi Werner”

Note: Due to limited display space, we can only accept 20 entries (10 Adult and 10 Youth), by order received.

Group or Business Name: (If applicable)  
Competitor’s  or Group Captain’s Name:  
Street Address:
City, State and Zip:

Daytime Phone:  
Evening Phone: 
E-mail Address: 
Preferred method of contact: 
Category for Entry: (Check one)   Adult   Youth                             
Type of Entry: (Check one)   Individual   Group
Type of Entry:  (Check one)   Professional   Amateur

I understand that to be eligible for the contest, I must complete and return this entry form by December 3, 2010 and be accepted into the contest by The Carolina Inn. In addition, I must deliver my completed entry Friday, December 10, 2010, between 9:00am and 12:00pm with competitor name, category, address and phone number on the base on I have read all requirements and understand that my entry must be completely edible and primarily made of gingerbread. I understand that my entry will be on display at The Carolina Inn from December 11 – December 28, 2010 and relinquish all responsibility from The Carolina Inn for any damage to my gingerbread house caused by public display. Winners of the competition will be announced Monday, December 20, 2010 and posted at as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Signature of Applicant:_____________________________________Date: __________________
If the applicant is younger than the age of eighteen (18) by the date of the competition, please complete the section below.

I affirm that the applicant listed above is ______ years of age and will independently design, construct and decorate the entry to be submitted.

Applicant’s date of birth (required for Applicants under the age of 18):_______________
Signature of Parent or Guardian:___________________Date: ________________

*NOTE: Group entries should only include the group captain’s information. A secondary list of each group members’ name and signature should be included along with date of birth and signature from a parent or legal guardian if under 18 years old.

October 31, 2010 | 12:45 PM

Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Shrimp, Chorizo and Crystal Hot Crema

Autumn brings beautiful seasonal color changes, falling leaves and an abundance of new food items to be used in your fall cuisine. Chef Jimmy Reale from Carolina Crossroads Restaurant shares his recipe for Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Shrimp, Chorizo Sausage and Crystal Hot Crema, a hearty and flavorful soup sure to be a crowd-pleaser this season.

Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Hot Crema


1lb       Dried red beans-soaked in water and refrigerated overnight
¼ c      Oil
5 oz     Chorizo sausage, small dice
2 T       Garlic, fine chop
½ c      Onions small dice   
½ c      Yellow peppers small dice
¼ c      Green peppers small dice
¼ c      Carrots small dice
½ c      Celery small dice
1 T       Thyme, chopped
1 T       Chili powder
1 T       Cumin ground
2 c       Can chopped tomatoes with juice   
2 qts    Chicken broth
Cider vinegar to taste
½ lb      Small shrimp, peeled and deveined
Crystal Hot Crema (Recipe follows)

Crystal Hot Crema
½ c      Sour Cream
1 T       Lime juice, fresh squeezed
Crystal Hot Sauce, to taste

1. Place oil in a pot over medium heat
2. When oil is hot add chorizo sausage and begin to render fat
3. Add garlic, onions, peppers, carrots, celery, thyme, chili powder and cumin
4. Season with salt and pepper then sauté for 5 minutes
5. Add red beans after you have discarded the water
6. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and stir well
7. Bring soup to a simmer and continue to cook until beans are finished
8. Add shrimp just before serving and cook until shrimp is cooked through
9. Skim any fat off of soup and discard
10. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary
11. Add cider vinegar
12. Use a hand blender and pulse soup a few times just to give it some body
13. Add more chicken broth if necessary

Place soup in a bowl and drizzle with crystal hot crema

Come into Carolina Crossroads today and enjoy Chef Jimmy's fall menu. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

September 10, 2010 | 02:38 PM

How to Choose the Perfect Wedding and Reception Venue

Our very own, Social Catering Manager Devon Schwartz was featured on The Green Kangaroo blog. The Green Kangaroo specializes in unique wedding invitations and stationery. Her expertise in the wedding planning field was sought after to learn about her insider tips when choosing a wedding and reception venue.

Here is an excerpt from The Green Kangaroo’s blog:
Devon, what are the top things couples should consider when looking at wedding and reception venues? There are so many things to consider! The biggest key is to do your research on your venue and vendors before committing to them. Check those references!

Read the rest of Devon’s recommendations.

July 26, 2010 | 10:43 AM

Summer Watermelon Recipes from Chef Jimmy Reale

Summer brings an abundance of fresh local fruits and vegetables including a childhood favorite - watermelon. Chef Jimmy Reale, from the Carolina Inn's Crossroads Restaurant, shares his recipe for Watermelon and Feta Salad, a delicious light summer dish that brings watermelon back for adults.

Watermelon and Feta Salad
Serves 4


2 cups             Baby Arugula
1 oz                Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cups             Seedless Watermelon, Diced Small
4 oz                Crumbled Feta Cheese (Hillsborough Cheese Company is my favorite)
To  Taste         Thin Sliced Red Onion
2 oz                Fig Balsamic Syrup (see below)
1 Tbsp             Fresh Mint –Julienne

Method: Fig Balsamic Syrup
12 oz               Dark Balsamic Vinegar
3 oz                 Dried Figs

1)      For fig syrup, reduce dark balsamic vinegar and figs by ¾ over low heat.
2)      Strain and let cool.


On four separate plates place arugula that has been lightly tossed in olive oil. Portion the watermelon, feta, red onion and mint on all plates. Drizzle with fig syrup right before serving and enjoy this wonderful summer appetizer. Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

 *For more delicious ways to enjoy watermelon, visit The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and try Chef Reale's Summer Watermelon, Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Arugula, Picked Cottle Farm Cucumbers, Jalapeno Peppers, and Radishes with a Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette.


July 23, 2010 | 09:46 AM

Vice President Joe Biden Visits The Carolina Inn

Vice President Joe Biden was at The Carolina Inn last night for a Democratic party fundraiser. Secret Service agents and local Chapel Hill police worked steadily to ensure that the Inn was ready for Biden's 6:30pm arrival.

200 guests were in attendance for Vice President Biden's speech which included a welcome by Gov. Beverly Purdue and covered topics from the economic recession, to the Gulf Oil crisis and the growth coming from our RTP area.

July 02, 2010 | 04:26 PM

Hot New July Specials at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Bar

Looking for a great way to beat the heat this July? Check out our new menu specials at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Bar. Each day brings a different summertime special:

Mondays- Chef's Summer Tasting Menu: Buy One, Get One Free.
Choose a Three, Four or Five Course Menu

Sip & Slide Tuesdays- Three House Made Sliders & a Draft Beer for $10

No Whining Wednesdays- Half Priced Wines by the Glass

Thursdays on Tap- $3 Drafts All Day

Fridays on the Front Porch- Live Bluegrass Music, Cool Drinks & a Summer Picnic Menu. Starts at 5:00pm

Saturdays- Double Reward Points for our Culinary Rewards Members. Join Today!

Bloody Good Sundays- Half Priced Bloody Marys & Small Plates

*Don't miss our July specials running all month long:

Locals Rule- Show us your driver's license with your Chapel Hill/Carrboro address and we'll take 10% off your dinner bill in July

Dinner at Dusk- Three Course Menu for $39 available Tuesday through Sunday for diners seated before 6:00pm

Click here for a printable calendar. Keep one on your fridge, in your office or in your car so you always know what's happening at Carolina Crossroads!

June 26, 2010 | 09:49 AM

Uncle Sam Visits The Carolina Inn

The hot weather didn’t keep people away from last night’s Fridays on the Front Porch. The crowd was entertained by live music from The Gravy Boys and a special appearance by Uncle Sam! Uncle Sam worked the crowd while juggling from atop stilts.

He visited The Carolina Inn to spread the word about the special holiday edition of Fridays on the Front Porch taking place on Sunday, July 4th from 2:00pm to 7:00pm. Stop by and enjoy live bluegrass music from Big Fat Gap, cool drink specials and a summer picnic menu. Fireworks and entertainment at UNC’s Kenan Stadium begins at 7:00pm so stop by the Inn before walking over to the stadium.

Even if you will be at the beach for the 4th of July, start the weekend off right at Fridays on the Front Porch on July 2nd from 5:00 to 8:00pm. The Gravy Boys will be back to perform their popular Acoustic Americana music.

 A special thanks to our juggling/stilt walking Uncle Sam – Duane Deardorff!

June 26, 2010 | 03:39 AM

May Wedding

My husband and I are both Active Duty military and once we had decided on The Carolina Inn for our wedding and reception, we designated my mother as coordinator while we attempted to overcome the time difference to communicate with the wedding planners at the beautiful inn. Not only was the staff more than flexible and accommodating, they were exceptionally helpful and calming on the day of our wedding! We couldn't thank them more for dealing with our crazy families & wedding day with ease and professionalism!

May 23, 2010 | 01:56 PM

Contest Winners Visit The Carolina Inn

My wife and I were recent winners of 4 nights accommodation at the CI and 3 rounds of golf. We knew from looking at the web site that it was going to be nice but we had no idea how nice. The Inn was elegant as expected but the town and the campus surroundings were also terrific. The Golf courses we played were all excellent and the weather made it so special. As we recently celebrated our 46th anniversary, we decided to have a special night at the Inn with dinner at the Crossroads Restaurant. We were certainly not dissappointed. As we have family in Charlotte, we were able to visit them and spend some more time in the south end of N.C. but after all the years and visits to Charlotte, we now know that there is so much more here to see and do and we will be back. We thank all of those concerned for their hospitality.

May 21, 2010 | 08:51 AM

Twenty Three Reasons to Visit North Carolina

After a recent trip to Chapel Hill and The Carolina Inn, Norm Woods, owner of GolfScene Media, reflected on his visit with “Twenty Three Reasons to Visit North Carolina.” Below are his top five reasons:

1) The Preserve - A Davis Love III Signature Golf Facility
2) Room 180 in The Carolina Inn, AAA Four Diamond Hotel built in 1924
3) Gene Fones, the affable General Manager of The Preserve Golf Club
4) Tasting North Carolina Wine made primarily from Muscadine Grapes and Vinifera grapes (there are now 76 wineries in North Carolina)
5) Walking Franklin Street, the main street in Chapel Hill - full of boutiques, restaurants & students

To read the full list, click here.

May 18, 2010 | 02:29 PM

Summer Visits to Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill: just the name – like San Francisco, New York, and Chicago – elicits in the American mind its own particular personality, a vaunted history, even a mood.  Hillsborough: a town where time hasn’t stopped, but where history has been preserved.  And Carrboro: North Carolina’s progressive, idealistic mecca for artists of every kind.  Orange County.  To call it a national treasure, while not inaccurate, undermines its importance in the contemporary life of this country.  What’s truly remarkable is that cities like New York and Chicago count there populations in the millions, while our towns are still just that:  towns.  And it’s no exaggeration to say that there are no other towns like them in America. 

History, that sepia patina, plays a part in all this.  The first state university is here, founded in 1789, which means it was the first institution of higher learning where all a young man or woman had to do was get here to take a class, and the only state university to graduate students in the 18th century.  Over two hundred years later it’s the doing the same thing, but better, changing as the world around it changes.  It’s constantly innovating and remains a model for universities everywhere.  Thomas Wolfe, one of the greatest writers America has produced, came here in 1915, when he was only fifteen years old.  He predicted that that his portrait would one day hang in Old West near that of North Carolina governor Zebulon Vance, and he was right: it still does today.  Other literary luminaries soon followed, and many of them have changed the face of contemporary American literature: Russell Banks, Taylor Branch, Shelby Foote, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Armistead Maupin, to name a very, very few.

What’s harder to see is how a similar history is being made right now.  There are more world famous writers in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough, per capita, than in any other place in the world.  You can see them everywhere, meet them in the produce section of the grocery store, sitting at the table next to yours in a restaurant: you can even say hello, and tell them how much you love their writing (rumor to the contrary, they can’t hear that enough).  Do something particularly outrageous and who knows: you could end up in their next book.  Give it a shot. 

Chapel Hill, to this day, is sustained by the arts, and it sustains everybody with its art.  This is a community where art is practiced and perfected, and where professionals from around the world come to play, dance and sing.  Memorial Hall, on campus, hosts everybody from Yo-Yo Ma to Earl Scruggs, dance and drama from all over the world, one-stop shopping for the sort of culture that teaches while it entertains. 

On the other side of campus is Playmakers Repertory Company, whose productions are staged in Paul Green Theater.  Playmakers is considered the leading theater in the Carolinas, and has been honored by the Drama League of New York as one of the best regional theaters in the country.  Recent offerings include The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, an ambitious eight hour stage play, Romeo and Juliet, and The Glass Menagerie

And, as almost everybody knows, the Art of Basketball is performed here September through April, and more often than not it’s performed at the highest level, an exemplar of what human beings can do with a round orange ball.  You can see them rise like dancers, turn and spin, elegant and powerful, smart and fast as lightening.  Not unlike our literary tradition, famous practitioners of the art have lived and played here, including the greatest man to have ever played the game, Michael Jordan.  In this last decade alone two national championship banners have been hung from the rafters of the Dean Smith Center.  And yes: you can see our artists there as well, cheering along with half the population of the entire town. 

But this decidedly world-class offering of cultural happenings doesn’t end on campus: it radiates through the entire county like a ripple on the surface of a pond.  Carrboro hosts so many festivals you might think there’s one happening there every single day of the year: there are film, poetry, comedy, dance and music festivals.  In Hillsborough, there’s the annual Handmade Parade, featuring giant puppets the likes of which you’ve never seen before (trust us).  Just to maintain an appropriate balance between the arts and . . . everything else, Hillsborough also hosts Hog Day, now in its 28th year, a down-home traditional pig-picking and barbeque contest, and the largest classic auto show in the state.

No, you will not go hungry in Orange County.  World-class cooks – two James Beard finalists – live and work here.   On Franklin Street alone – Franklin Street being Chapel Hill’s one and only drag – there are over fifty restaurants, from the elegant to the ridiculously informal.  And many of these establishments serve the freshest produce you’ll ever eat, because local farmers drive into town from their farms, dozens of which surround us like a great wall of organic goodness.  

It sounds like a polyester promise, but there’s something for everybody here.  The Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro is the only significant music club between Washington D.C. and Atlanta, so for a little town we get the biggest bands.  About a mile away, The Ackland Museum in Chapel Hill hosts over a dozen of shows every year . . . Oh, it’s tempting to continue, because once you start thinking about what’s happening here you realize that there’s very little that isn’t.  Even the weather is perfect.  Come at your own risk, because after coming you may not want to leave.  Even our buildings are adorned with murals.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Orange County: It’s not one thing: it’s everything.

-Written by David Wallace for the Orange County Visitors Bureau

May 10, 2010 | 12:58 PM

Making History at The Carolina Inn

A graduation ceremony was held on Friday, May 7thfor the Sales & Catering Team of The Carolina Inn. Each staff member completed a seven-week training class on the history of The Carolina Inn and was treated to a program by the Inn’s historian – Kenneth J. Zogry, Ph.D.

The unique history of the Inn and the important relationship between the Inn and The University of North Carolina was described as each employee read The University’s Living Room by Kenneth Zogry. From the Inn’s beginning in 1924 through the New Deal Era, Civil Rights movement and into present-day, The Carolina Inn has remained a fixture on the campus of UNC and truly is the University’s living room.

Click here to view an interactive timeline of the Inn’s history. Also, on your next visit to the Inn be sure to view our new historical photo display.

Front row – Jim Phelan, Tracie Panko, Beverly Ingram, Alison D’Agostino, Elizabeth Rubio, Ashleigh Collins

Back row – Terri Nier, Elizabeth Bischoff, Kenneth Zogry (Inn’s Historian), Margaret Oppegard, Julie McCay, Mark Nelson






May 03, 2010 | 08:52 AM

Best Dish of North Carolina Contest

The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant has been chosen as a fine dining finalist in the 2010 Best Dish in NC Contest. The contest, held annually by the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, aims to determine who serves the best food in the state using ingredients that are grown or produced in North Carolina. Click here to read more about the contest and other participating restaurants.

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale and his culinary team will be showcasing the following dishes during the month of May as part of the contest:

Appetizer - Grilled Local Asparagus, Arugula, Prosciutto di Parma, Hillsborough Cheese Company Ricotta, Crispy Latta Farm Poached Egg, Aged Sherry Vinegar, Za’atar Oil

Salad – Organic Arugula Salad, Red & Golden Beets, Hillsborough Cheese Company Feta, Toasted Hazelnuts, Blood Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette

Entrée– Roasted Chatham County Poulet Rouge, NC Fingerling Sweet Potatoes, Local Asparagus, Caramelized Cippolini Onions, Zucchini, Roasted Chicken Jus

Our featured dishes showcase local produce and North Carolina products from Latta’s Egg Ranch, Hillsborough Cheese Company, Red Farms, Sonny’s Pride Scott Farms and local area farmers markets.

A team of mystery judges will be sampling our featured dishes and a contest winner will be announced later this summer. Stop by our restaurant to try these featured dishes and earn double points toward our new Culinary Rewards Program.

Check back on our blog to see photos of our featured dishes, recipes and chef tips on making the most of local produce.

April 27, 2010 | 09:20 AM

Carolina Crossroads Culinary Rewards Program

As a guest of the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar, you have experienced our graceful dining atmosphere, enjoyed our impeccable service and savored our unparalleled menu. As a way of saying thanks for being our valued customer, we have created a new loyalty program that rewards you just for dining with us.

With our Culinary Rewards Program, you'll earn points every time you dine at the Carolina Crossoads, so you can enjoy more great food and good times on us. As a member, you'll earn one point for every dollar you spend at the restaurant and bar. Once you have accumulated 300 points, we'll give you a $20 Carolina Crossroads gift card that can be redeemed any time at our restaurant - it's that easy! Additionally, rewards members will receive special invitations to Members Only events and offers, as well as preferred reservations on high demand dates.

Enrollment in the program is simple - and free! Enroll now or register in person during your next meal with us. And just for signing up, you'll receive 25 bonus points to get started.



April 21, 2010 | 09:45 AM

UNC and The Carolina Inn Celebrate Earth Week

On Monday, April 19th the UNC Sustainability Office held its first annual “Farm to Fork” event in Gerrard Hall to celebrate Earth Week. The event featured guest speakers and local food tastings provided by the Lantern Restaurant, Green Planet Catering, Vimala's Curry Blossom Café, Carolina Dining Services, Neal’s Deli and our very own Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. Executive Chef Jimmy Reale and his teamed served a delicious Greek Salad with local hydroponic Bibb Lettuce, radishes, Sunburst tomatoes and fresh goat cheese.

Below is a listing of the local vendors and farmers the Carolina Crossroads used for their Greek Salad:

Bibb Lettuce - Green Haven Farms

Red Radishes - Cottle Farms

English Cucumbers - Barham’s Farms

Sunburst Tomatoes - Sunburst Tomato Company

Feta Cheese - Hillsborough Cheese Company

The Earth Day celebration continues on April 22nd at The Carolina Inn with a prix fixe menu at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant designed to showcase local and organic ingredients. Stop by to try our three course menu for $55 person, four course menu for $65 per person, and five course menu for $75 per person. Call 919-918-2735 or visit the Carolina Crossroads for reservations.  




April 16, 2010 | 10:18 AM

To Right These Wrongs Publication & Film Event

History was re-visited last night in The Carolina Inn’s historic Old Well Room. The Inn was host to the publication event of To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America. The book, written by Duke Professor Robert Korstad and UNC-CH Professor James Leloudis, focuses on the North Carolina Fund’s efforts to end economic and racial inequality in the state.

The event highlighted an eight minute film of Governor  Terry Sanford calling for racial equality in a 1963 speech in The Carolina Inn’s Old Well Room. Click here to view and download the speech.

Guests were also treated to a discussion with the authors moderated by William Friday followed by a book signing with the authors. Historical 1960s photography by North Carolina photographer Billy Barnes was displayed in the Alumni Room.


March 30, 2010 | 08:34 AM

Chef Reale Celebrates Earth Day at Briar Chapel

On Sunday, April 18th Briar Chapel will host a Celebrity Chef Charity Event featuring several Triangle Chefs demonstrating their favorite recipes using locally and healthfully grown foods in each of their model homes.

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale will participate as a Celebrity Chef for this event. Check out this interview where he talks about his job as a chef, using fresh local ingredients, and his participation in Briar Chapel's Earth Day event.

March 01, 2010 | 08:38 AM

UNC Yearbooks from 1890 to 1966 Now Available Online

Students can now access the hairstyles and favorite quotations of the students who preceded them with the click of a mouse.

University Libraries posted yearbooks from 1890 to 1966 online in February, offering the UNC community a resource to reflect on student life from more than a century ago.

The digitization of  the Hellenian and Yackety Yack yearbooks kicked off a string of projects conducted by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center to provide online access to photographic collections, scrapbooks and pictures of museum artifacts.

Click here to view the full Daily Tar Heel article or view the digitized Yackety Yack online.

 UNC System President Erskine Bowles in 1966

 UNC Sports Radio Announcer 
                                      Woody Durham in 1963

 Author Thomas Wolfe in 1919

 CBS Newsman Charles Kuralt in 1955

February 22, 2010 | 12:53 PM

Surely Blue Heaven

In December my father, son, and myself visited Chapel Hill and went to a Carolina basketball game. This might not sound that amazing except for the fact that we live in Torrance, California about a mile from the ocean. Yes, the same Torrance that is home to Deon Thompson. I lived in NC as a young boy and hadn't been back for over 30+ years and my son has never been there. What an amazing experience and visit we had. The Carolina Inn is just beautiful and has that southern charm that makes you feel at home. The entire town and university is so historical, so beautiful, and truly moved me. My son loved it so much he even told me he would love to live there, and so would I. Thank you Chapel Hill for one incredible trip.

January 11, 2010 | 06:41 PM

Warm Birthday Memories

On December 5, 2009, my family came to the Carolina Inn for a birthday luncheon for my mother Helen who was 78 years young that day. Ten of her children and grandchildren gathered from Oregon, New York and Florida to celebrate with her. It was cold and rainy outside, but inside the Inn was warm and all aglow, beautifully decorated for Christmas. We all loved the whimsical "Twelve Days of Christmas" display complete with two live turtle doves. We enjoyed a delicous lunch served in the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. Thanks for helping to make my mom's birthday such a fun and memorable one!

December 30, 2009 | 09:22 AM

"New Years Eve for Procrastinators"

Still haven't made your plans or reservations for New Years?  You're in luck!  News and Observer's Restaurant Critic, Greg Cox, comes to the rescue with his hot list of local restaurants that most people probably have not thought of for their end of the year celebration.  So if you hurry, you might be able to get your name on the books.  Click here to view Greg Cox's New Years Eve Hot List. 

The Carolina Inn wishes Chapel Hill community members and out-of-town guests a safe and happy new year!      

December 22, 2009 | 02:52 PM

7th Annual Gingerbread House Competition - And the Winners Are...

Every year, amateur and professional bakers from Chapel Hill and surrounding areas showcase their creativity and imagination with their edible masterpieces in the lobby of The Carolina Inn.  This year we had 16 contestants enter elaborate and unique gingerbread houses, which will be on display through Sunday, December 27th.  For one week, Carolina Inn guests and community members were encouraged to vote for their favorite entry in the adult and youth categories.  The gingerbread houses are everyone's favorite part of our Twelve Days of Christmas display and we received an overwhelming amount of votes.  Today, we are happy to announce the winners.      

Adult Category
First Place
: Laura Makay-Gondek and Paige Gondek, Stone Cottage
Second Place: Christina Perry, Pastel Summer Cottage
Runner-Up: Amalia Boliner, Traditional Gingerbread House

Youth Category                                                   
First Place: Brendan & Richard Haygood, Church & Parson Brown House
Second Place: Patrick Noonan, Chicken Coup
Runner-Up: Kendall & Kimberly Clark

Thank you to all our contestants for participating in this year's Gingerbread House Competition.  We hope to see you again next year! 

Adult #1

Adult #2

Youth #1

Youth #2

December 16, 2009 | 01:42 PM

The Carolina Inn Named Top Holiday Retreat

The Carolina Inn was recently named one of the nation’s Top 8 Holiday Retreats by  We do in fact "go all out, with Christmas trees everywhere, gingerbread galore, carols, and of course, Santa" during our "Twelve Days of Christmas" annual celebration.  To view the full listing of the Top 8 Holiday Retreats click here.  

UNC-TV recently aired a story on our Twelve Days of Christmas celebration on North Carolina Weekend.  View the video here and see what our month of festivities is all about.  The Daily Tar Heel describes it well in the article "The Carolian Inn exhalts Christmas."

If you have not had a chance to visit us this season, it's not too late!  Our decorations will be up and holiday events in full swing through January 3rd.  For more information and reservations visit our Twelve Days of Christmas page. 

We also invite you to share your holiday pictures and videos on this blog.  Tell us why you think Chapel Hill and The Carolina Inn are magical places to see during this time of year.   

December 15, 2009 | 09:19 AM

Santa is Ready to Ride!

Santa gets a clean bill of health for his trip around the world to see all boys and girls on Christmas eve. From his heart to his risk of diabetes, hear it from his own UNC physicians in Chapel Hill whether he's in shape and ready to ride.  This video was produced by Courtney Potter with UNC Medical News Center Office. 

Do you have a video or picture of your visit with Santa?  Post it on our blog.  We're looking for pictures depicting the holiday season in Chapel Hill.   

It's not too late to schedule a visit with Santa before Christmas.  Make your reservations today for Breakfast or Brunch with Santa at The Carolina Inn.  Click here or call 919.918.2711 for more information and to reserve your seats.  Don't forget to bring your wish list!     

December 08, 2009 | 08:25 AM

Tar Heel Wedding

Livi and Jeremy celebrated their wedding with us Carolina style.  KA Studios Cinematography captured their special day on film.  Click here to view their beautiful wedding video.  It truly was a Tar Heel dream wedding.  Congratulations Livi and Jeremy!


A large percentage of our brides and grooms are Carolina Alumni.  Since The Carolina Inn is owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and located on the UNC campus, it is a Carolina girls' dream to walk down the aisle in our beautiful Hill Courtyard and celebrate the beginning of her new life in our elegant Old Well Room.

Carolina brides, tell us your Tar Heel wedding stories right here on our blog.  How did you meet your loved one?  How did he propose?  What was your dream wedding like?   

November 30, 2009 | 12:48 PM

Chapel Hill - Voted Best Place to Raise Kids in NC

"In its current issue, BusinessWeek magazine has ranked the best places to raise kids in each of the 50 states and the winner in North not in the Triad.

Chapel Hill gets the nod, with the magazine touting its affordability, healthy lifestyle, cultural opportunities and highly educated population. Cary and Jacksonville were named runners up.

Last year, Jacksonville was first, with Greenville named runner up. The magazine offered no explanation what had changed in any of the cities named during the past year to change their rankings."

By Laurie Paolicelli - Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau


"Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina, part of the world-famous Research Triangle. It attracts residents who enjoy a healthy lifestyle, cultural and historic attractions, and an intellectual environment. The area is home to one of the most educated populations in the U.S., as reflected by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools' three high schools, four middle schools and 10 elementary schools. The district has the state's highest average SAT score. And more than 90% of students go on to college."

By BusinessWeek
To view BusinessWeek's current issue click here.

November 13, 2009 | 11:17 AM

Why I am The Biggest FOFP Fan!

Mary Norton submitted this great video for our #1 FOFP Fan Contest.  See why she's our biggest Fridays on the Front Porch Fan.  Deadline for contest entries is today, Friday, November 13th at 5PM.  Post your entry on this blog or our facebook wall.  The Grand Prize winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon, between 12:30 - 3:30 pm, during our last Tailgate Party on the Front Porch of the season prior to the UNC vs. Miami home football game.   

Mary owns "everything that's ever been made with the Front Porch logo" and all the CDs of our FOFP bands.  She makes sure she doesn't miss any of our Friday celebrations.  Her family has three generations of biggest FOFP fans and everyone knows their table on the porch! Thank you for your entry Mary.  The Carolia Inn staff really enjoyed hearing your story!

November 07, 2009 | 01:43 PM

Searching for a Home in the Tar Heel State

New York Post recently ran an article about the appeal of living in North Carolina.  Author, Douglas Rogers, and his wife ran into the wonders of North Carolina while trying to find a place to live where they would both feel at home.  During their stay at The Carolina Inn,  the couple discovered that Chapel Hill was exactly what they were looking for.  From the pianist playing jazz tunes and southern guests enjoying a leisurely afternoon tea service in the lobby to the bluegrass band playing music on the front porch of the Inn, the Rogers were "marveled at the easy community of it all". 

Read more

November 06, 2009 | 04:47 PM

UNC Homecoming Weekend in Chapel Hill

Carolina homecoming weekend is an exciting time to be in Chapel Hill.  The town is taken over with Carolina blue and Tar Heel spirit, alumni come from all over the nation, and downtown is hopping with Tailgate parties at every street corner, including The Carolina Inn’s very own Tailgate Party on the Front Porch (party starts at 12:30 PM this Saturday, November 7th) with special appearances by Rameses and Carolina Cheerleaders. 

For the Carolina Inn staff, it is always a pleasure to work on homecoming weekend to welcome returning UNC alumni and fans who stay with us every football season.  It is like welcoming family members into your house.  The inn has a distinct energy on home football weekends.  Even if you’re not a football fan, that energy is contagious!    

Two things in particular will make this year’s homecoming one you won’t want to miss!  First, the Duke-Carolina rivalry continues as the Duke Blue Devils will visit Kenan Stadium.  It's a rivalry that doesn't get nearly as much attention as these schools’ basketball teams, but it's a strong historic rivalry nonetheless.  The Carolina-Duke game this Saturday will be much more intense than in the past because both of the teams’ seasons are kind of on the line - a win on Saturday will keep them moving towards bowl eligibility

Finally, UNC school leaders have decided to bring back an old tradition: homecoming parade!  This will be the first homecoming parade at UNC in 16 years.  The parade will start at 11 a.m. on Columbia Street (coming out of Swain Parking Lot on campus) towards Franklin Street.  For the parade route click here

For those of you who will be participating in the homecoming or football game festivities, tell us all about it right here on our blog.  If you're not a big football fan, we still want to hear your experience in Chapel Hill during this exciting time of the year.  Go Heels!

November 02, 2009 | 04:55 PM

Thanks Carolina Inn team!

We traveled to North Carolina for a wedding in Durham and stayed one night at Chapel Hill's Carolina Inn. We had a wonderful time! The staff was very friendly and the Inn was charming with a historic feel. We arrived on Friday afternoon just in time for Fridays On the Front Porch. We loved sitting outside listening to the live bluegrass band while our 2-year-old son ran around and danced to the music. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Crossroads Bar. Even though the bar was crowded with a special event, the staff was friendly and the service was very prompt. The next day was a football game day, and the Inn had a tailgate party with more live music and an appearance from the UNC Cheerleaders to get everyone into the Tar Heels spirit. We're not UNC alumni, but our stay at The Carolina Inn made us wish we were!

-Isaac Gerstenzang, Corporate Director of eCommerce, Destination Hotels & Resorts

October 15, 2009 | 08:52 AM

Fabulous Fall Getaways in North Carolina

"Ready for a fabulous fall getaway, but not so ready to invest in a pricey plane ticket or gallon upon gallon of gasoline? Why trek out of the Tar Heel state when it’s got plenty of perfect vacation points to offer within its perimeters?" 

Victoria Robinette with Charlotte Style Magazine has got you covered.  She's profiled five top North Carolina destinations for those of you craving to getaway for a weekend.  Click here to read full article. 

Been to Chapel Hill yet?  Tell us about your fall getaway in "The Southern Part of Heaven."  What were the perks?  What were your favorite spots in town?  We want to hear all about it!

September 22, 2009 | 04:35 PM

MacNelly Painting Conservation - Before & After

This past January 2009, a long-lost painting of The Carolina Inn, by the late artist and renowned three-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist and alumnus Jeff MacNelly, was returned to the University.  The Macnelly painting was sent  to Ruth Cox, a professional painting conservator.  After several months of meticulous hard work, Ms. Cox sent remarkable before and after pictures of the Inn's treasure. 

"Ms. Cox did a fantastic job!  The difference in the sky and the brightness of color in the before and after pictures of the painting are incredible.  Ms. Cox skillfully repaired the "divet" in the canvas as she rebuilt the stretcher on the back" said the Inn's Historian, Dr. Kenneth Joel Zogry.

Ruth Cox is one of the best conservators in the country--she was trained in Old Masters and does work for the Metropolitan Museum in New York CIty, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Ackland Museum in Chapel Hill, and the Nasher Museum in Durham. 

Dr. Zogry says that with the new custom-made frame, the painting will look terrific hanging in the lobby.  It will really be a centerpiece of the Inn's collection of historic furnishings and art.  

September 21, 2009 | 10:00 AM

Chapel Hill - One of America's Top 10 Coolest College Towns

Once again, Chapel Hill is in the news!  This month’s issue of Travel + Leisure lists the 10 Coolest College Towns and Chapel Hill made the top 10 list.  Click here to read the full article.

“There are notable distinctions between college towns and other American cities. In the student-centric spots, bicycles seem to outnumber cars. Affordable restaurants serve up authentic cuisines from all around the world. The streets are densely packed with businesses, making for a highly pedestrian-friendly environment. Nature is usually accentuated: the shimmering Lake Champlain, back dropped by a saw tooth silhouette of peaks, forms the western edge of Burlington. Madison, WI, is situated on an isthmus between two lakes that draw hordes of hikers and bikers. Boulder, CO, is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.

And don’t forget the bars. Each of these locales offers plenty of opportunities for imbibing, many of them ideal for both people-watching and soaking in the scenery. It’s hard to beat sunset cocktails at Austin’s Oasis, where tiered decks jut from a 450-foot-high cliff over Lake Travis.

These attractions are mainly geared toward the students, naturally, but they can be readily enjoyed by those with no homework assignments or college connections. After all, few sports experiences can top the rafter-shaking raucousness in Chapel Hill, NC, during a Tar Heels basketball game. Many schools benefit from world-class art collections in glittering facilities designed by marquee architects; Chapel Hill’s Ackland Art Museum, featuring a wing by Polshek Partnership, tempts visitors with Warhols, Titians, and Dalís in a way that many university-less cities cannot.”

From September 2009 By C. J. Hughes Travel & Leisure

September 18, 2009 | 01:52 PM

Our music enjoyment!

After we moved to Durham 2 years ago, I was searching for bluegrass music in the area. "Fridays on the Front Porch" was listed and we ventured to sample. We love it. The music isn't always bluegrass but we enjoy all of it. We are there almost every week. The buffet is also nice and I look forward to taking my daughter to a tea in the parlor. She lives in Illinois. Mike and I are true fans. We love the music and the atmosphere which is very relaxing. We also enjoy watching the dancers. The Carolina Inn is the best we have found for a southern atmosphere.

September 15, 2009 | 09:04 PM

Stepping back in time

I grew up in Durham and spent four of the best years of my life in Chapel Hill, but unfortunately both of those took place a long time ago. I moved out of the state after I graduated from UNC in 1990, and have only made it back on occasion, which is why my inaugural stay at the Carolina Inn in August 2009 was so special. I was there for a high school reunion taking place on Franklin Street, but it seemed to me more like a trip back in time to my college days. That Sunday morning, waking up in my immaculate third-floor Inn room that majestically overlooked the corner of Columbia Street and Cameron Avenue, I decided to do something I seriously doubt I ever did during college; I took a walk around Franklin Street before 10 AM. It was a quiet, beautiful morning as the campus slowly awakened, and the sights, sounds ... even smells ... I experienced during my hour-long stroll around campus brought back so many fond memories. So thank you, Carolina Inn, not only for providing some of the most comfortable accommodations I've ever enjoyed, but for allowing me to truly step back in time. In fact, I believe my fellow Tar Heel alum Thomas Wolfe may have been mistaken... You really can go home again!

September 11, 2009 | 02:38 PM

Fridays on the Front Porch Fan Contest

Are you a Carolina Inn Fridays on the Front Porch Fan? Prove it!  Tell us why you love FOFP and you could win a two month FOFP season package for you and four friends valued at over $1,000.  Click "Read more..." for more information.

How To Post Your Entry

All you have to do to enter is tell us through photo, video, essay, haiku, etc. why YOU are #1 Fan of Fridays on the Front Porch. Post your stuff on this blog and use the title: "#1 FOFP FAN - Your Name".

What's the Grand Prize?

The Carolina Inn is awarding the #1 FOFP FAN:

- 2 months (8 Fridays) of FOFP buffet and drink tickets for you and four guest $1,040 value).  Each Friday, you will receive: 10 drink tickets and 5 southern picnic buffet tickets

- Reserved, front row table seating for 5 (priceless!)

- Valet parking for 1 car for all 8 Fridays ($80 value)

- 5 FOFP t-shirts ($100 value)

How We Will Select the Lucky Winner

Our executive team will select the winner based on the creativity, originality and quality of the entry.

When Is The Deadline?

Deadline for entry is Monday, November 2, 2009 at 12PM.
The grand prize winner will be officially announced November 7, 2009 at the Tailgate Party on the Front Porch 3 hours prior to the UNC vs. Duke homecoming game.

Good luck Everyone, and Happy Uploading!

More Details:

- To enter, users need to be Facebook FANS of The Carolina Inn.

- If you are a Carolina Inn employee, you may not participate in this competition.

- Winner will be contacted via a facebook message within 7 days after the competition end-date.

- Should the winner not respond to their Facebook communication within 3 days, the prize will be forfeited and given to the next runner-up.

- Winners should allow 30 days for prize delivery after winner announcement.

- FOFP tickets must be used by November 30, 2010.

- Prize is valid for 1 year! Tickets may be used for FOFP or Tailgate Party on the Front Porch.

- The Carolina Inn shall have the right to terminate the competition immediately and without notice. In the event of such termination, all participants agree to waive any rights that they may have in terms of this promotion and acknowledge that they will have no recourse against The Carolina Inn.

- Submissions must not contain material which is violent, pornographic or otherwise obscene, illegal or racially or otherwise morally offensive.

Entering this competition indicates acceptance of all the above rules.

For more information on our special events click here

View our FOFP 2009 Season Band Line-Up

September 11, 2009 | 08:18 AM

Travel Discounts for the College Bound by MSNBC

Are you one of the 19 million students going to college this fall?  Or are you a parent footing the high tuition bill?  With education costs rising, we know you'll be spending a lot of cash this year, leaving little for traveling between home and campus.  Today you're in luck!  MSNBC's travel writer, Harriet Baskas has done some homework for you.  View her article about travel deals for the college bound, which highlights The Carolina Inn's new 1924 Club exclusively for UNC parents.  For more information about 1924 Club membership and benefits click here


September 10, 2009 | 09:14 AM

The Carolina Inn Named "Best of the South 2009" for Meetings

Chapel Hill's historic Carolina Inn made headlines this week when it was named by Meetings South Magazine as "Best of the South 2009" among the 50 hotels and resorts recognized in the trade publication's September issue.  Only four other properties in North Carolina received this recognition.  Click here to view the article by Carolina Newsire.  Click here to read Carolina Business Connection's coverage. 

September 09, 2009 | 08:32 AM

Care Package for Your Tar Heel

Now that your children are off to college, what can you do to send them your love?  The News and Observer staff writer, Andrea Weigl, suggests sending a care package with healthy treats.  Her article "Sweet Gesture No Sugar Added" offers great tips on putting together the perfect care package for your child.  Click here to view full article. 

September 02, 2009 | 11:47 AM

Life on the Hill

Find out "why Chapel Hill, North Carolina, may be the South's most civilized town (except when it comes to basketball)," in this article published by Garden and Gun.  Author, Nic Brown explains that he's "like the fool who can’t rid his head of memories of the girl he adored in eighth grade" but instead he cannot let go of his hometown, Chapel Hill.  Click here to read full article.

August 13, 2009 | 08:22 AM

A Tar Heel Wedding

Check out this video by KA Studios cinematography on Livi and Jeremy's beautiful wedding day at The Carolina Inn.  Livi recounts Jeremy's romantic and creative marriage proposal, one of the best I've heard.  

To all our Carolina brides out there: Do you have an amazing or memorable wedding proposal story?  Tell us how you got engaged! Post your story, pictures, or videos right here on our blog.  We're looking for the best proposals of the year.   

July 07, 2009 | 01:46 PM

A Light on The Hill

Missy Julian Fox, Director of UNC's Visitor Center, offers a "Chapel Hill 101" itinerary in the most recent July 2009 issue of Southern Neighbor.  She highlights the treats and treasures that Chapel Hill has to offer both our community and its out of town visitors.  So fellow Tar Heels, if you can't get away for vacation this summer, it's ok there is lots to do in your own backyard.  Click here to view the July 2009 issue and view Missy's article on page 16. 

July 02, 2009 | 07:56 AM

Things to Do in Chapel Hill This Summer

There is more to Chapel Hill than just the campus of The University of North Carolina. When planning a summer visit to this charming southern town, there is an endless list of activities to choose from for people of all ages. Below are just a couple of my suggestions - great for families with children. For more information on things to do in the area we suggest visiting The Town of Chapel Hill's official website or the Chapel Hill Orange County Visitor Bureau's website.

Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy an Outdoor Concert or Movie

Fridays on the Front Porch at The Carolina Inn. Every Friday from 5-8 PM through October 16, 2009 with live bluegrass music, great food and drink specials. On the porch overlooking the inn's tree-shaded north lawn. No cover charge or reservations required. View band schedule. View Southern Picnic Buffet Menu.

"Locally Grown" sponsored by The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the Town of Chapel Hill. A free nine-week series of live concerts and outdoor movies featuring local entertainers and family-friendly activities in downtown Chapel Hill. Presented every Thursday on the Wallace Plaza, an urban park atop the Wallace Parking Deck at 150 East Rosemary Street. Click here for more info.

300 East Main Summer Concert Series hosted by Cats Cradle, The ArtsCenter and Musical Roots Productions. Every 4th Thursday, June through September in the parking lot at 300 East Main Street, Carrboro. Gates open at 4:30. All ages are welcome. Admission is free. Vendors include Q Shack, Amante Gourmet Pizza and Carolina Brewery. Click here for more information.

Cool Off at One of Our Acquatic Centers

With the warm weather finally here, visit one of the best kept secrets of Chapel Hill the outdoor & A.D. Clark pool at the Hargraves Center. Chapel Hill also has two public indoor pools the recently renovated (2007) Community Center pool, or jump in at the bran new Homestead Aquatic Center for swimming and aquatic fun.

View the local pool schedules for lap, open swim, and senior swim times. View General Pool Information

Pack a Picnic and Your Hiking Shoes and Explore North Carolina's Natural Beauty

Jordan Lake A 13,900-acre reservoir with 150 miles of shoreline and off U.S. 64, west of Apex. Jordan Lake State Park offers nine recreation areas with facilities for hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, sailing, picnicking, and camping. Order a lunch to go at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant, rent a boat from Crosswinds Marina and spend a day at the lake!

Eno River State Park Minutes from Durham, Hillsborough, and Chapel Hill the Eno River State Park , with more than 3,900 acres of natural resources, offers secluded wilderness trails along the clear river, passing historic mill sites and fords used by early settlers. The River runs from northwest Orange County into Durham County for 33 miles where it joins the Flat River. This is a great place for canoeing, hiking, fishing, and picknicking.

Too Hot for the Outdoors? Discover our Unique Local Museums

Kidzu Museum on Franklin Street, just one block away from The Carolina Inn. A hands-on museum in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill where children 0-8 years old and the adults in their lives can safely discover, pretend, and play to their heart's content. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am - 5 pm and Sunday 1-5 pm. View Kidzu's July 2009 Special Event Calendar.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center on UNC campus, just steps away from The Carolina Inn. Morehead offers dazzling multimedia star shows, interactive exhibits featuring current science research and an array of classes, lectures, and other special events year-round.

Carolina Basketball Museum. This new 8,000-sq.ft. state-of-the-art museum honors the rich tradition of Carolina Basketball. The museum features a Game Day theme where visitors enter a theater for pre-game build-up, then into the main museum space where they can visit interactive displays and view memorabilia from Carolina's storied program on the UNC court. Open Tue-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 9 am - 1 pm.

Tour & Drive Through Chapel Hill, Durham and Surroundings with a Local Connoisseur

Tours n Tales. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Charlie Delmar came to Chapel Hill in 1968, back when everyone knew one another and he learned his many colorful tales from the best teachers available: professors at all the local universities and colleges. See more, do more and learn more about our beautiful area than you could possibly do on your own. Private and mixed tours available in Chapel Hill and Durham. Call 919.656.2595 or e-mail for reservations. 

Looking for a Refreshing Afternoon Snack? I Scream for Ice Cream!

Maple View Farm - a family dairy farm located in Orange County, North Carolina, just northwest of Chapel Hill. The farm has a very popular ice cream store within sight of the farm at the intersection of Dairyland and Rocky Ridge roads. With plenty of flavors to choose from, enjoy your ice cream cone one their front porch rocking chairs with a great view of the rolling countryside. Open 12- 10PM Sunday - Saturday

Loco Pops - Serving gourmet frozen pops with a variety of great flavors daily from 12 - 9 PM. 2 locations in Chapel Hill ? 128 E. Franklin St. and 231 South Elliott Road. A refreshing mid-day snack.

Sugarland - Serving artisan gelato as well as cupcakes and desserts. In the heart of downtown Franklin Street. Open daily from 9 am - Midnight.

What is your favorite thing to do in Chapel Hill in the summer?  We want to know!  - add to our list. 

Mike Megaloudis

June 15, 2009 | 03:03 PM

"36 Hours in Research Triangle, NC"

Click here to read a recent article featured in the travel section of The New York Times on Sunday, June 14th.  J.J. Goode highlights fun cultural things to do and a variety of dining and lodging options in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area, including a highlight on The Carolina Inn. Goode refers to RTP as "a place marked by more than college bars and hoops fans."  Visitors aren't just bound to  our universities.

June 12, 2009 | 07:28 AM

Bolshoi Ballet Performs in Chapel Hill

The Bolshoi Ballet, one of the worlds' most renowned dance companies, is in town performing Swan Lake and Don Quixote with the NC Symphony June 10th-14th at Memorial Hall.  This ballet company rarely tours: in the past two years they've appeared only in London, Paris and Amsterdam and their tour this summer only includes three stops in the United States: Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, NC, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and UC Berkeley in California. 

Memorial Hall is only steps away from the Carolina Inn and has hosted world-class performers since its opening in 1931.  Emil Kang, Executive Director of the Arts, explains what it means to Carolina to have the Bolshoi Ballet performing in Chapel Hill for the first time.  It is evident that Chapel Hill is part of a vibrant, cultural area and has become a leading place in the state to showcase international and national cultural events. 

May 14, 2009 | 02:08 PM

Supporting Local Farmers

I've always felt strongly about the use of local organic and sustainable products and we're lucky to be surrounded by a wide variety of dedicated local farmers. I fully support buying local not just because it's the right thing to do but because it tastes better.

If anyone wants to experience the strong connection between Orange County's local cooks and farmers first hand, I strongly recommend attending Farm to Fork 2009 Picnic, coming up this June 14.

It will be Carolina Crossroads Restaurant's second time participating in this annual celebration. Some of the regions' best cooks, including our very own Chef de Cuisine, Jeremy Blankenship, and Sous Chef, Beth Littlejohn, and Piedmont farmers will be paired together to prepare a picnic-style feast sourced almost entirely from the partner's farm.

This all in support of growing new farms and farmers in North Carolina. We hope to see you there!

For more information on Farm to Fork Picnic visit

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