The Chalet (a post dedicated to my mother, Loretta Collins Maggard)

For our 26th wedding anniversary, we booked 3 nights and the historic Chalet Suzanne in Lake Wales, Florida.


My mother worked here in the 1970s and I have been mesmerized by it ever since.

Here’s a recent shot of us together.

me and Mother

I can remember all the tales that she would tell about the broiled grapefruit appetizer, the famous actors and actresses that came there, the soup that went to the moon, and all the special hospitality that the Hinshaw’s bestowed upon their guests.

I cannot give this place a more glowing review.  I felt like a princess in a fairy tale.

Our room was like stepping back in time.  I loved it!

No credit card key at this place!


Blue Tree!


and Blue Tree South (our room)


DSC_0337          DSC_0338         DSC_0340

Two neat things that were provided nightly were the brandy and the homemade truffles.

DSC_0343                       DSC_0360

I had never had brandy before and I had to look it up on Wikipedia.  It’s called Fire Wine because it is produced by distilling wine.  You’re supposed to warm it in your hand and sip it.  Like I said, I felt like I had stepped back in time.  Open-mouthed smile

DSC_0362           DSC_0349

Ron had tipped the person that brought the truffles and on the second night she brought us 4 truffles instead of the normal 2!


DSC_0367           DSC_0364

And check out these neat night shots!

DSC_0463 DSC_0466DSC_0467DSC_0468

Breakfast was included each morning and it was so delicious.

My teacup was precious.


But I about rolled in the floor laughing when Ron was sipping his!


While our waitress was getting our breakfast, I snapped this shot of a neighboring table.  Don’t you just love how everything is so mismatched!


If you ever go, do not order your eggs any other way than the normal scrambled.  When the waitress took our order she asked if scrambled was ok and I could tell that she was leading us in that direction.  Scrambled it was!  I swear they had to have had heavy cream in them along with chives and goodness knows what else!  They were divine!  And the pancakes!  They were very thin and crepe like.  The lingonberries on top were scrumptious.


Here are some more shots of the restaurant and tavern.




The last night that we were there was our actual anniversary so we picked that night to have dinner!

DSC_0013 (2)

My beverage selection was the famous Vita Claire.

DSC_0012 (2)

Grapefruit Vodka, Cinnamon Schnapps, Bourbon & Grapefruit Juice

Ron got a Dogfish IPA.

Next came the grapefruit

DSC_0015 (2)

and the soup

DSC_0018 (2)

This soup was out of this world delicious.  Really.  Out of this world!  (and I’m not just making a play on the fact that it was taken to the moon on several of the Apollo missions)  Probably my very favorite thing of the entire night.  I’m so excited that since it was our anniversary, they gave us a can of Moon Soup as a gift.  I cannot wait to have it!

DSC_0019 (2)DSC_0020 (2)

and the salad

DSC_0023 (2)

(That’s tomato aspic and orange aspic on either side.  I loved the orange aspic!)

then a little sherbet to cleanse the palate

DSC_0026 (2)

and Mother told me I had to get the Chicken Suzanne

DSC_0027 (2)

Oh my word.  This was so flavorful!

Ron got the Black Angus Steak

DSC_0031 (2)

He gave me a taste and it was like butter.  Totally melted in your mouth.

Next was dessert.

I got the Rum Raisin Pie and Ron got something chocolate.


They were both perfect!

Look at my cup that I had on our last morning at breakfast!

DSC_0039 (2)

I love you Mother and am so very proud you are my mom!  You taught me to love Jesus.  You taught me how to fold napkins and washcloths in fancy ways.  You taught me that “a host above all must be nice to his guests.”   You taught me that even though you might just be a waitress to work as if you are working for the Lord and to never look down upon anyone.  You’ve always loved me and encouraged me to do my best.  I can only pray that I can show my daughters and grandson the love that always seeps from every inch of you.  You are my hero!

mother and us kids in the 1970s

(My brother Billy, Mother, my sisters Tammy and Rosa and me on the trike around the time Mother worked at Chalet Suzanne.)