Our 20-page seasonal newsletter was discontinued a couple years back -- so we'll be periodically pulling old stories from this, as well as from the way-way back newsletter called Resonance of the Festival. Here's a story published in our Winter 2007 newsletter about our love of a roaring, crackling fire, especially this time of year...
Come Gather ‘Round the Fire, Friends...
What is it about a dancing flame that draws people together in mesmerized bliss? Warmth? Beauty? Something deeper - an elemental connection of some sort? Who knows - but it's a helluva lot of fun. To that end, we'll point out just a few of the fiery touches one can discover across the Kingdom.
If a crackling fireplace sets your soul aglow, then how about a rendezvous at the Blue Moon Tavern in Portland? Take a seat around its unique circular fireplace, the perfect spot to dry your rain-soaked clothes, read a book or perhaps make eyes at someone across the way. Or head west to the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove to snuggle up in front of the fireplace in the Yardhouse Pub [today called Pat's Corner - ed.]. Smoke a cigar, sip a scotch and contemplate the flickering light.
Don't like being cooped up indoors? We understand - which is why many of our pubs and hotels across the land now have year-round outdoor iron fire pits. Take the ones in the courtyards at the Old St. Francis School in Bend. What could be more romantic than huddling close around a fire, spirit-laced coffee in hand, while the snow falls down around you? A memorable experience, to be sure. Check out more of these pyramid-shaped fire pits at places like Cornelius Pass Roadhouse in Hillsboro, Kennedy School in Portland and High Street Café and Brewery in Eugene.
In an article about fiery spots across the Kingdom, we'd be remiss if we didn't talk about Edgefield's Little Red Shed. Back when the estate served as the county poor farm, this wee shed was an incinerator in which trash was burned. Today, it's a fine place to warm your hands, enjoy a glass of wine or a scotch and perhaps contemplate the lovely artwork that you purchased at Edgefield's glass blowing studio. Talk about hot - these ruddy Gorge Glashaus artisans keep the home fires burning at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit as they craft luminous vases, ornaments, sculpture and more.
And don't even get us started on our woodstoves! Oh - too late. Here we go. We love woodstoves. We've got a collection of museum-worthy Round Oak stoves (including one of the biggest models ever produced, which stands tall at Centralia's Olympic Club) along with smaller, more compact brands like that found in the Tavern & Pool in Northwest Portland. These portly installations radiate a friendly, welcoming heat, beckoning you in from the cold and rain.
There's just something about the smell of a burning fire that perfectly complements a pint of Terminator Stout - have one this season as you admire the many fireplaces, woodstoves and even blazing pipe art at McMenamins. You'll see what we mean.