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Bed and breakfast flavored with a taste of England

By Staff
RELAXING AT OAK KNOLL n Karen Shaffer takes a moment to relax in the downstairs parlor of The Lion and Harp bed and breakfast in Meridian. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star.
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
August 25, 2001
Janet and Thomas McBrien researched bed and breakfast inns for more than 20 years before opening their own.
On Sept. 1, the McBriens will celebrate their first year at the State Boulevard bed and breakfast, called The Lion and Harp at Oak Knoll, named for her English ancestry and his Irish roots. The house was built in 1890 and was located at Sixth Street and 30th Avenue before being moved to its present location in the 1970s.
Janet McBrien uses a mix of English and American recipes when making breakfast, serving specialties such as eggs Benedict, crab omelette, crepes and pastry on fine china. In the afternoon, she serves traditional English scones and tea from either a silver or china serving set.
The China compliments the Victorian home and its antiques. Guests who enter through the stained glass door will find themselves under 16-foot ceilings and surrounded with oak moldings.
The house is furnished, with McBrien taking notice of the slightest details. Guests may sit in the downstairs parlor, eat breakfast in the elegant dining room or relax in the upstairs sitting room with the more modern amenities of leather furniture, a television and a selection of videos and reading material.
Guest rooms are named after English china patterns and include the king size Wedgewood with a 1890s fireplace, private bath with claw foot tub and bedside sitting area; the Worcester with a queen size, four-poster bed, sitting area and private bath; and the Derby with two brass queen beds, fireplace and sitting area.
Guests are free to roam about the grounds on the property's bricked patio with arbor, a wrap around porch with a wicker swing or at one of the sitting areas on the lawn. Guests on business travel have access to a photocopier, fax and Internet services.
McBrien said she remains full most weekends, especially during NAS wingings when she gets the most requests for reservations.
She caters to both regular customers and travelers passing through.
McBrien said she also opens her doors for weddings, receptions and parties.
For more information, contact the McBriens at 485-8235 or on the Web at www.lionandharp.com.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.