Heart & Soul Bed and Breakfast was my choice for accommodations on a visit to Mt. Airy, North Carolina, the real Mayberry. When I pulled up to the four room B&B located at 618 N Main Street, owners Pam and Chris Bastin were sitting on the porch, ready to greet their guests.
About Heart & Soul Bed and Breakfast
Chris gave me a tour of the house, while Pam assisted another guest. I stayed in the Pleasant Valley Suite, a two-room suite with two queen beds along with a bathroom combining a large modern two-person shower with its original claw foot tub. The suite was a tribute to Chris’s earlier career as a firefighter.
A lamp made from old fire extinguishers and another made from old steam engine gages provided the lighting. Chris’s many firefighting helmets, awards, alarms, photos and other memorabilia decorated the room. In his previous life, Chris was a member of Virginia Task Force 1, an international urban search and rescue unit responding to natural and fabricated disasters. He was at the Pentagon on 9/11, the Oklahoma bombing incident and at the Kenyan Embassy fire.
The well-appointed room with fascinating memorabilia was a nice way for me to learn more about my hosts. The personal touches are what make bed and breakfast stays so special and memorable. Heart & Soul is full of them.
The four suites are named and decorated after places that the Bastins have lived during their 35 years of marriage. The Crystal Cove and Coventry suites have king beds, The Stafford suite, a queen, and The Pleasant Valley suite, two queens. Rooms are reserved online by specific room, so you can choose the suite that meets your needs. Weekends are the most popular nights, so a visiting early in the week will offer some savings.
Dining Options at Heart & Soul Bed and Breakfast
Chris pointed out a book in the living room filled with information on local restaurants, mostly within walking distance of the house. Mt. Airy is within the Yadkin Valley, an up and coming wine district. Chris suggested the finer dining would be at the wineries. There are over 30 of them in the area. Beyond providing a comfortable gracious bed and breakfast experience, my hosts take interest in their guests having a great time in Mt. Airy.
A self-serve beverage station on each floor allows guests to help themselves to a coffee, tea, soda, or water to enjoy in the living room, guest rooms, or on the wrap-around front porch. Wine glasses and a corkscrew are also available. Purchasing a bottle of locally produced wine and bringing it back to the Inn to enjoy is strongly encouraged.
In the morning, breakfast began with a choice of orange juice or fresh made strawberry juice. Poached pears with vanilla Greek yogurt, almonds and gingersnap crumbs was our starter. Chris prepared fresh peach and blueberry crepes with Pam-made whipped cream. Butternut squash, roasted red potatoes and sausage beautifully garnished the crepes. Pam and Chris came out of the kitchen at the end of breakfast to chat with guests about the house and its history, and answer any questions about the area.
About Heart & Soul and Mt. Airy
The Bastins are not native to Mt. Airy, but searched for a town that could support their desire to open a B&B. They purchased the William E. Merritt House on the edge of the Historic District and spent a year renovating. The empty nesting couple truly poured their hearts and souls into this warm and welcoming home. Restoring it back to its 1901 roots, the property is the perfect blend of antiques and décor from its original period, combined with modern plumbing, electric, locks and door codes, and new and comfortable mattresses and linens.
Mt. Airy is a 14 mile drive east of the I-77 exit. It is worth the short drive for north-south travelers looking for an overnight destination with more character and charm than a typical roadside motel. Whether visiting Mayberry or tasting Merlot, you can’t do better than Heart & Soul right on Main Street.