Years after my in-laws used their gift certificate to visit The Beekeeper Inn, I decided to book a stay there for myself. I was compiling my list of “fifty new places visited while in my fifties” and it was a relatively cheap addition to the list. Sitting along the banks of the Buckhannon River in Helvetia, the rather plain Beekeeper Inn stood beside The Honey Haus, which seemed appropriate enough.
Following directions to check in at The Hütte, I was given a key to the Rose Room. Located on the ground level, the room had its own entrance. I don’t remember too many specifics but the room was crowded with a hodgepodge assortment of furnishings and knickknacks, not unlike the interior of the restaurant. What sticks in my mind the most was that it smelled like my grandmother’s house, a bit dusty and a bit like damp basement. I was flooded with memories.
During dinner. I was surprised to find myself sitting, once again, at the “priest’s table”. I wasn’t surprised when Eleanor, ever the gracious hostess, stopped by my table for a chat. I mentioned how trusting she had been with payment for the gift certificate and she laughed. Apparently, a lot of diners showed up to eat without realizing they couldn’t use their credit cards. She said she’d only been cheated out of her money one time but figured the check got lost in the mail. After cobbler, I purchased a cookbook and an ornamental Helvetia pin as a souvenir, then settled into my room for an enjoyable night.
Last week, I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I’d been to Helvetia. She laughed and said she remembered that I had given them a visit there and she proceeded to tell me a story I hadn’t heard before. They arrived at The Hütte in time to enjoy the Sunday smorgasbord. The next morning, when they walked to the restaurant for breakfast, Eleanor met them at the door. She seemed surprised to see them. When my mother-in-law asked about breakfast, Eleanor, being a few steps beyond normal, shocked them by saying “After all the food you ate last night, I didn’t think you’d want breakfast.”