Watergrasshill Bed & Breakfast: Honoring Family
By Liz Glover Wilson
From Issue 44: Fall 2019
Watergrasshill is in southeast County Cork, Ireland, with its last census boasting a population of 1,086. It was on a family trip to that beautiful village that Alana Colucci and her family found the inspiration for their new Bed & Breakfast in Gardiner.
While the business is new, the home, on Phillies Bridge Road, is rich in history. Originally built in 1810, set on 16 acres with calming and expansive views of the Ridge, Watergrasshill B&B is a real oasis and a beautiful homage to Alana’s ancestors. Watergrasshill, Ireland, is where her maternal great grandmother was born.
“One of my favorite memories of the trip was staying at all of the B&B’s and being treated like family.” Alana remembers, “The innkeepers shared stories with us, gave us advice on local restaurants and treated us to delicious homemade Irish breakfasts. I decided that I wanted to bring this type of accommodation to Gardiner.”
Her paternal grandparents, the late Bart and Doris Colucci—beloved Gardiner natives—bought the house in 1978, and Alana and her family spent much time there during her childhood, building warm memories with family, friends and community. In opening this B&B, she says “I love being able to honor both sides of my family in my business.”
Alana spent some time working for Penguin Random House in NY as a book cover designer, and her eye for style and balance are found in every detail of this beautiful home. “When designing the rooms, I wanted to highlight the old farmhouse charm while accenting with modern design elements,” Alana says.
Each of the four guest rooms is stylishly decorated, with comfort in mind to ensure that each guest feels welcomed and relaxed. This 19th Century farmhouse offers a unique 300 square foot kitchen studio, and a dining room with original wide plank wood floors, Dutch door, built-in cabinetry and original bread oven. “On the weekends,” Alana says, “guests enjoy a full, farm fresh breakfast, such as blueberry scones with homemade triple berry jam, veggie frittata with a side of hash-browns and bacon.” She goes on, “On weekdays we serve a continental breakfast of homemade baked goods, fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, oatmeal, homemade jam, and hard boiled eggs.” The land, previously a dairy farm, was most recently farmed as an organic fruit and vegetable farm by her grandfather, Bart, so Alana serves her guests blueberries from bushes; bringing farm to table quality to her breakfast offerings.
Alana offers monthly workshops, such as hands-on cooking classes for adults and children, crafts and floral design classes, and their newest addition, calligraphy classes. The kitchen studio and adjacent patio are available for small private events, such as birthday parties or corporate functions, with all classes also available for those events.
Watergrasshill B&B truly exudes warmth. Consider joining a workshop at this beautiful addition to Gardiner.