Speckled Hen Inn

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Winter is for the Birds

Are you so tired of winter’s snow and cold that you have decided that winter really is for the birds? Watching our feathered friends at the bird feeder is one way to make the short winter days seem even a bit shorter and there are a few ways that you can expand that joy of bird watching in the winter months.  Read on! If cabin fever hasn’t set into your home, there are many Wisconsinites that would like to know your secret. It’s the time of year when many have stopped watching the weather forecast knowing that one thing is certain. It’s going to be cold. The excitement of freshly fallen snow has disappeared. Winter sports have become commonplace. So,
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Madison WI Winter Festival February 18-19, 2017

  Madison WI will be celebrating winter at Madison Winter Fest on February 18-19 on the capitol square in downtown Madison.  Events begin on Friday and continue through Sunday.  There are all kinds of things to get involved in as a participant or a spectator.  Watch ice carving and snow sculpting.  It is not the olympics but there will be running and racing and snowboarding and tubing and shoeing and xc skiing and just a grand winter fun time.  If you get chilled you can pop into the Wisconsin State Historical Society Museum on the Capitol Squate for a viewing of their Odd Wisconsin display.

Madison’s Top 10 Things to do in Fall and Winter

Madison Wisconsin is a lovely place for a spring or summer getaway but don’t forget just how charming this city can be in the cooler, even frigidly cold, months of the year.  Here is a list of the top or first 10 things that the innkeepers at The Speckled Hen Inn recommend to their visiting guests. 1.   The Dane County Farmers Market  The largest producer-only farmers market in the nation is a year-round affair.  In mid-November the market moves indoors to the Monona Terrace Convention Center and then after Christmas you can visit the market at the Mifflin Street Senior Center.  You will be amazed at the bounty of the market while the gardens sleep.  The markets just before Christmas are
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Perfect Spots for Romantic Sunset Views in Madison

Sunset Viewing in Madison Lately, as I walk through the neighborhood on any given evening, there are several times I have to take in a deep breath and take in the aroma of a grill prepping for dinner. Finally, I put together the fixings for shish kabobs and grilled asparagus. I even happened to have some fresh cut rhubarb available and used it to put together a tasty treat for dessert. It was well worth the wait. After dinner, concluding that we really would enjoy ice cream as a companion to our dessert, we headed out for the errand. To make it more worthwhile, we decided that it would be a beautiful night to watch the day pass into night
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Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

How many Wisconsin specialties can you list? Artisanal cheeses, craft beer, the Packers, our beautiful, great outdoors. There’s a lot to be proud of. One thing that likely does not come to mind is asparagus. Is it really a Wisconsin delicacy? Well, maybe not to everyone, but it is delicious and Wisconsin does grow some of the most tender and flavorful asparagus.  The Bacon Wrapped Asparagus recipe that follows is proof that you can even enjoy Asparagus for breakfast.   Being able to grow an asparagus patch takes patience, the perfect soil conditions and, because it can take two to three years to establish and produce a crop, it requires even more patience. Even though it can grow in most
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Good Advice for Runners

Good Advice for Runners

Now that we’ve emerged from the winter dungeons of treadmills we thought that it might be a good time to pass along some good advice for runners in the Madison, WI area. Running safety is a serious concern and shouldn’t be taken lightly. That means bringing out the bright running gear to ensure attentive drivers can see us. Regularly changing up your running route, facing oncoming traffic, and running without headphones are other simple measures a runner can take to ensure safety. There have been many tragedies for runners and bikers over the years and the Maureen Mengelt 5k Memorial Day run in Sun Prairie is just one of many that honor fallen athletes from our area. There is still time
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Great Cheese Shops in Madison WI

Great Cheese Shops in Madison WI

Read this to find useful information about some great Cheese Shops in Madison WI. Ask anyone around the country (and possibly other areas of the world) and they’ll tell you that Wisconsin is known for the Packers, cheese and chilly winters…and oh yes, beer. Likely, in that order. Growing up in Wisconsin, the love of cheese seems to be an integral part of our DNA although I didn’t realize the intensity of this desire for quality cheese until I lived outside of the state for a few years. On my visits home, I would purchase cheese en masse from cheese factories, package it, freeze it and ration the precious contents until I could once again return to replenish the supply.
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We Still Love our Madison Bookstores

The Gazebo at The Speckled Hen Inn

As technology becomes more ingrained in our daily life, there are other aspects that get shoved to the wayside. Once upon a time, seemingly forever ago, we had conversations with people verbally, our children were taught with the simple tools of a pen and pencil and we once read stories written in ink, on paper in a bound version of a book. And to get those books we frequented Madison bookstores and libraries. But, we don’t visit bookstores and libraries anymore because our iPhones and tablets have made it so much more convenient to get all of the books we love without ever having to leave the comfort of our couch and blanket. What a difference a decade has brought
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Favorite Ethnic Restaurants in Madison WI

Spring Rolls are a favorite of guests at The Speckled Hen Inn

  We want to share with you a bit of information about a couple of our favorite ethnic restaurants in Madison, WI. Many guests here at the Speckled Hen Inn ask for recommendations on local restaurants especially seeking those that are ambassadors for the unique flair of Madison. I find it intriguing how much of our behavior depends on the weather and the timing of the rise and setting of the sun. Often we feel sluggish during the deepest days of winter and our spirits and activities liven with the first signs of spring. There is something about those spring signs that signal my brain to get off the couch and try something I’ve never tried before. Growing up in a
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What to do for Valentines Day in Madison WI

It may seem like you have weeks to prepare for it, but I assure you, it will sneak into your calendar view before you know it. What is it? Well, Valentines Day, of course. Many marketing companies have exploited Valentines Day for it’s commercial qualities and yes, we also agree that romance shouldn’t be forced or limited to a single day. There are many others that would argue its value in their relationship, that this is one of the few days they are admired with the passion adrift in daily regiments of daycare and bath time, career and commute, and health regiments and physician visits. Valentines Day, along with other romantic “Hallmark Holidays”, give a needed focus for many.  
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