Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Chocolate Festival: A Sensory Experience

Chocolates to Sample
As Valentine’s Day approaches, thoughts turn (mostly) to love and romance, but this is also THE biggest chocolate weekend of the year. More than 58 million pounds of chocolate are sold during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. That’s $345 million in chocolate sales in just one week! (Annual sales top $83 billion - yes, we do love our chocolate.) 

Chocolate Fudge
At French Lick Resort, we understand your desire to indulge in an exquisite chocolate experience so we are hosting the much anticipated Chocolate Festival, for the ninth year in a row, the weekend before Valentine’s Day. 

Since 2007, chocolate has been savored and celebrated at the resort with a festival that features all kinds of delicious foods created from mild, semi-sweet, dark and intense chocolates. (White chocolate will be featured too, but technically, it isn’t really a chocolate.)

A Chocolate Fountain
The festival will host live demonstrations and tasty confections with samples of brownies, cookies, candies and cupcakes. 

Try your had dipping fruit, pretzels and graham crackers in flowing chocolaty goodness. Your taste buds will be tempted with steamy hot chocolate coffee drinks, fizzy chocolate sodas and an adult beverage bar featuring chocolate wine, beer and martinis. There will also be a Savory Bar where you can experience chocolate dipped meats and veggies. (Chocolate jerky, anyone?)

Chocolate Cookies
Plan to nibble, sip and savor your way through this chocolatey paradise on Saturday, February 11 from 1:00 – 4:00. Tickets are $50 for adults and $20 for children 4-10 years old. (Those 3 years and younger are free with paying adult.) 
A chocolate nirvana awaits.

By Joy Neighbors

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Twins Celebrate 80th Birthday at French Lick Resort

Jan Craig and Ann Wright
Last weekend about a dozen guests threw a spectacular birthday party for twin sisters Jan Craig and Ann Wright as they celebrated their 80th birthday at French Lick Resort.

On January 11, 1937 at St Edwards Catholic Hospital in New Albany Indiana, the twins were born during the 1937 flood. The Main girls, and their mother, were evacuated from the hospital and moved to a relative’s home in Fredericksburg where they stayed for several weeks. (Over one million people were left homeless during the flood with property losses reaching $500 million - $8.7 billion dollars today.)

Flood in Indiana - Filson Historical Photo
According to the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, “In January 1937 one of the largest floods in American history inundated the Ohio River Valley.  Many cities and towns on the Ohio and its tributaries were affected. Louisville and Southern Indiana were among those most devastated.  Torrential rain together with some sleet and freezing rain fell from January 9 to January 23, raising the Ohio River to its highest recorded level.  On January 23 the river at Louisville crested at 51.1 feet, and eventually reached 57.15 feet above flood stage on the upper gauge.”

Jazz Festival
Jan still lives in New Albany, Indiana but Ann now resides in Houston, Texas where she is a nursing director. Both twins remembered the first time they were at the resort. According to Jan, “We attended a jazz concert when we were I.U. students. Dizzy Gillespie and Peter Fountain played and we sat out on the lawn and listened. It was great! Then I came back about two years ago and celebrated my birthday here.”

Dancing Waiter
For Ann, “It was long before the renovations were done. I came with friends and we had a spa and massage. It was a great day away. It was back when the waiters put the trays on their heads – they had such showmanship.”

But coming to French Lick Resort has always been something of a family tradition. “Mom has been coming here for a very long time, since she was about 5-years-old,” Jan said. “Her family drove over from New Albany on Sunday outings. She remembers seeing people sitting on the porch and being told that they were wealthy movie stars.”

1950 Silver Dollar
Ann continued the story, “When our parents came here years ago, they would always tip their servers a silver dollar. Everyone knew them. When mom came back about 10 years ago, she met some of people who had worked here back in the 1950s. She remembered them and was so happy that they were still employed here."

Although the twins can’t always celebrate their birthday together, they try to spend a few days celebrating. “We went to Paris when we turned 50,” Jan said. “Ann called me and said ‘I’m going to Paris for our birthday. Want to come along?’ So I thought for a few minutes and said, ‘Sure.’ We have always enjoyed being together and we try to see each other a couple of times a year. We have the same trend of mind. We buy the same furniture, the same clothes.”

Ann laughs, “And we don’t know what the other one bought; she lives in Indiana and I live in Houston – in fact, I have those shoes, Jan.”
Jan smiled, “We’ve bought the same gift for someone’s birthday. We’ve given the same greeting card to the same person.”

Ann nods, “We even went into the same profession. – We were both nurses” But there was a drawback when Ann had to move to Houston for her job. She remembers it being rough, “It was a difficult move; pulling up those roots … and Jan continues the story, “Because before that we were always close by. I lived in New Albany and she lived in Jeffersonville.” At least for this weekend, the two could celebrate their milestone birthday together with their daughters, grand-daughters and nieces.

The Spa at West Baden Springs Hotel
So what was on the birthday agenda? “Oh we’ll be spontaneous,” Jan said as Ann replied, “The spa and the casino.” Jan nodded, “Okay, and some shopping. Just having everyone together will be fun.” “This group always has fun,” Ann replied. “We’ll just spend time talking and catching up.”

West Baden Springs Hotel
As the two prepared to start their day, Jan remarked, “Turning 80 is special and we wanted a special place to celebrate, so we decided on this special hotel.” Ann smiled, “It’s such a vintage hotel and it has such charm … “ “It reminds me of the hotels in Europe,” Jan continued, “where the service … “ “The service is wonderful and everyone here is always so friendly and attentive,” Ann finished. 

Wishing a Happy Birthday Jan and Ann from all of the staff at French Lick Resort!

By Joy Neighbors

Friday, January 6, 2017

Kitchen Live Events Are Back

They’re back! Let Kitchen Live events add some spice to your weekends this winter. Watch and learn from resort chefs as they chop, mix and work their magic on several delectable dishes. Make plans to attend one or all of the free Kitchen Live events at French Lick Resort.

Chef Paul Owens

January 7th - Chef Paul Owens of French Lick Springs Hotel will demonstrate how to prepare “Beef Wellington.” 

January 14 - Enjoy a “Taste of Italy” when Chef Anthony Barba presents Italian food done right.

Chef Dalyn Roney

January 21 – Chef Dalyn Roney of the French Lick Springs Hotel Bakery will tempt your sweet tooth with “Chocolates and Confections.”

Chef David Lee
January 28 – Chef David Lee of Hagen’s Restaurant will spice up your life with lessons on “Creole Cooking”– namely shrimp and grits.

Chef Michael Stevens
February 4 – What better for the “Month of Love” than a lesson from Chef Michael Stevens in the preparation of “White Chocolate Raviolis with Blackberry Filling and an Almond Sabayon.” 

Chef Ryan West
February 18 – Hola! Take a trip to the home of tapas as Chef Ryan West offers you a “Taste of Spain.”

Chef Jack Chiu

February 25 – Wrap up the Kitchen Live event with information on how to prepare “Hong Kong Style Pepper Steak” with Chef Jack Chiu.

Kitchen Live events take place Saturdays from 1:30 – 3:00 pm at The Grand Colonnade in French Lick Springs Hotel. No registration required. Indulge your inner-foodie and learn just how to up your cooking game.

By Joy Neighbors

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

10 Accomplishments for a Fantastic Year!

Resolutions are great, but we usually give them up after a while. This year, switch it up and decide on accomplishments that will make you happier. Remember, it’s not an “all or nothing” proposition, it’s about creating a more satisfying life for yourself, and others.
1)   Learn Something New
Explore the Library
Now’s the perfect time to visit your local library and check out the latest in books, DVDs and online offerings. Join a book club or attend presentations by speakers on topics you’re interested in. Take an online class and expand your mind.

2)   Get Financially Savvy
Find Financial Opportunities
Decide what financial matters you want to work on now. Look for local college classes or internet courses that will help make sense of the topic. If you’re interested in investing, get a subscription to some of the financial magazines; talk with an investor and start planning what changes to make in your portfolio – or start one.

Indulge in a Mani-Pedi

3)   Pamper Yourself
Indulge in something lavish, just for you.  Splurge on a mani-pedi or treat yourself to a hot caramel mocha when it’s really cold outside. Make a list of what makes you feel special and then indulge a few times a month just because.

4)   Enjoy Life More
Paoli Peaks
New year, new possibilities, that’s why this is the perfect time to try something new. Always wanted to learn to ski? Paoli Peaks is close by. Love pachyderms? Schedule a visit to Wilstem Ranch when the girls are back in town next spring. Want to treat the kids to a surprise? Big Splash Adventure is always a fun excuse to get soaking wet.

5)   Be Healthier
Eat Your Veggies
Select just one healthy alternative and go for it. Nothing big; decide to eat more veggies or drink more water each day. When that becomes a habit, add another healthy option to your life – maybe more walking, or keeping track of your blood pressure. All these little habits will add up to a healthier you.

6)   Help Others
Donate to a Charity
Volunteer. Check with the local humane society and offer to walk dogs and clean cages. Contact your local school and be available to mentor a child. Do that annual New Year’s purge and donate unwanted clothing, furniture and toys to a charity of your choice.

7)   Spend More Time with Those You Love
Take a Family Walk
This is one of the most popular resolutions we make. Plan short outings with the family and enjoy a walk around the park or a ride on the resort trolley. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to count as quality time. Start looking around and you’ll discover other ways to enjoy being together right where you are.

8)   Travel to New Places
Check out local and state parks in your area for a weekend of fun and exploring. Plan a Girl’s Day Out at the local spa or the newest restaurant. If you haven’t been to French Lick Resort, put us on your bucket list. With two historic hotels, two world-class spas, over a dozen restaurants and plenty of kid-friendly activities, there’s no time like the present to explore all we have to offer. 

9)   Keep the Momentum Going
When you’ve achieved one of your goals, add another. That way, you’ll always have something new and adventurous in your life.

10) Have a Happy New Year!
May 2017 bring you good luck, good health, good fortune and good times!

By Joy Neighbors

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Event Inspiration from French Lick Resort

Whether it’s a meeting, annual conference, trade-show, incentive trip or social gathering, we’ve had the pleasure of working with clients for many years. Our professional event planners have the creativity, experience and knowledge to make it happen.

·         Venue selection and management
·         On-site floral and décor professional
·         Themed events
·         State-of-the-art A/V and expert technical support
·         Conference concierge services
·         Catering and banquet services
To start planning your event, contact our meeting professionals at (866) 706-4354 or

Check out our Group Sales video

Expanded Choices

You spoke and we listened. We love getting feedback on how we can improve our offerings and adapt to better suit your needs. Your suggestions have resulted in an expansion of the Pete Dye Pavilion and the addition of a venue at our Stables property, located behind West Baden Springs Hotel.

Stables Pavilion
Planners have always loved the experience at The Stables – with fun offerings like the Chuck Wagon Dinner, Hayrides and the Wild West Challenge −  but rain could put a damper on the fun. “When planners would have to move a Wild West themed event into a ballroom, it just didn’t translate,” said Adina Cloud, director of sales. “By adding the covered Pavilion right there on the grounds, guests can be under cover while still enjoying an outdoor experience.” The large open-air venue, which can seat up to 300 people, overlooks the pasture and expansive barn in the tree-framed meadow. The location is well-suited for an unforgettable affair.  

Pete Dye Pavilion
If vistas are what you are after, you simply must consider hosting an event at the Pete Dye Pavilion. Guests can mingle on the covered terrace overlooking the championship golf course before moving indoors for the meal function. “With its expansive views atop one of Indiana’s highest points, the pavilion has become a very popular choice for groups. Now with the expansion, we can host functions for up to 300 people,” said Cloud.

So when you are looking for a property that offers more distinct venues than a city-center hotel, consider the breadth of options all across all of French Lick Resort's 3,200 acres. Ballrooms, exhibit halls and large-scale spaces are available as well as more intimate settings like private dining rooms, hotel verandas and even a bowling alley.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Plan a Day Away to Jasper Indiana

Welcome to the “Wood Capital of the World,” Jasper, Indiana! That moniker was coined because of all the furniture companies located here. But there’s more to this town than household accessories. Jasper also has the only municipally supported Arts Council in the Hoosier State. And Jasper is home to several attractions, recreation and shopping venues, all close to home. In fact, it’s an easy 25 mile drive down SR 56.

Jasper City Mill
First stop, the Jasper City Mill, a renovated building filled with history. In 1828, a young Abraham Lincoln traveled with his father to the mill to have the family’s grain ground. Visitors can take a tour of the mill and watch as the waterwheel provides power to the millstones that grind the corn into meal. Mill memorabilia is also on display and visitors may purchase mill-ground cornmeal in the gift shop.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy time spent at the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame, which features close to 200 Hoosier inductees. There's plenty to see with interactive presentations, an Indiana Hall of Fame, baseball memorabilia and Hoosier baseball exhibits, which include high school, college and professional athletes.

Dubois County Museum Display
The Dubois County Museum is home to more than 38,000 artifacts pertaining to the fourteen communities that make up the county. Exhibits cover the Ice Age to modern day events and provide visitors with a glimpse of the rich heritage that is Dubois County. The museum also houses a 17 room Main Street display where guests can “step back in time” to the 1890s. There’s also a huge model train display and a wild game safari exhibit.

Spirit of Jasper
All aboard the Spirit of Jasper for a scenic trip through Southern Indiana. Pulled by a 1956 General Electric 80-ton diesel-electric engine, the train consists of three renovated rail cars; a club car from the 1940s, the lounge car built in the early 1920s and the parlor car believed to have been built in the 1940s. Ride the rails through the second longest tunnel in Indiana, crossing several railroad trestles and bridges along the way. Train excursions will begin again in the spring.

Schnitz Tasting Flight
Basketcase Brewing Company is a local nanobrewery that produces 1.5 barrels of beer at a time. Their offerings include Revolution English Pale Ale, Busta Nut Brown Ale, Maneater Blonde Ale, Hoppy By Nature IPA, with a seasonal Scarecrow Wheat offering.

Schnitz Brewery and Pub is another local brewery that features four regular and seasonal house-brewed beers. Try a beer flight and sample these Indiana microbrewed beers on tap. Schnitz offers a wheat, blonde, IPA and porter, along with a seasonal offering, and homemade root beer. Enjoy pizza, appetizers and burgers in the restaurant.

Jasper Riverwalk
During warmer weather, stroll along Jasper’s beautiful Riverwalk, a 2 mile scenic path that winds along the Patoka River. There’s also plenty of dining options in town, and numerous events and festivals held throughout the year. Plan a day away in historic Jasper. For more information, contact the Dubois County Visitor’s Center.
By Joy Neighbors