Food & Drink Magazine

Are You Visiting East Scarborough Fair?

By Bethschreibmangehring

About 5 years ago, my husband woke up and said to me, “Lets buy a duplex in Cleveland Heights!” I’d wanted to move back into the city for quite a few years, but he was reluctant. We’d been living in apartments for many years at that point, close to my parents so that we could keep them in their home. I had been really missing my gardens and had even made a secret wish over the Yule Log at Winter Solstice for a house that I could call home again with a lovely patch of dirt that I could turn into orchards, vegetable and herb gardens. That morning, we began to scour the real estate ads. There was only one duplex for sale so on a whim we decided to go see it. We drove up and looked at each other. It was absolutely perfect. A grand brick side by side, with 2 porches (one up and one down) the length of the whole house. The yard was large enough to be sold as another lots and the realtor proudly told me that I could pay a good chunk of my mortgage if I sold it. I was aghast. It had three gorgeous heirloom apple trees already and lots of red raspberry bushes. It already had the foundations for beautiful gardens and a lovely side yard planted with herbs and perennials. It even had two trees to string a hammock between which had been one of my secret longings. We bought it one week later and christened it  East Scarborough Fair. Living here has been a dream come true. We love our neighborhood and more than that we love our neighbors, community minded couples young and old who love the diversity and heart that this neighborhood, part of what is known as “Royal Heights” has to offer. There’s a 4th of July Parade, there are block parties. There are spontaneous cocktail parties and lots of wonderful children running around.

The holidays here are so warm and welcoming.

 So we lived here for a year by ourselves and finally decided to try to rent the other side of the duplex which we easily and quickly did. Yet it never has felt right. I’ve always felt that this house had something else to do…something very special. This summer when the lease was up, my renter let me know that she couldn’t continue. I put ads in the all of the usual places and started interviewing potential renters. I quickly found myself frustrated and I wasn’t sure why. Then it hit me. Our home wanted to be an Air Bnb.

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Last year when we went to California for the winter, we stayed in a couple of wonderful air BnB’s. What a wonderful experience they were. When you stay in one you have the experience of immersing yourself in a community. The air bnb owners were wonderful people and they all spoke of  really enjoying getting to know their guests as part of the experience. I come from a family of luxury retailers and way backwards in time, Swedish inn keepers. I longed to be having the fun with my home that our hosts were. There’s nothing I love more than providing a beautiful experience and remarkable service.

So it is with a huge leap of faith that we are embarking upon this dream. It makes so much sense to me because inn keeping runs through my veins on my mothers side, her family were innkeepers in Sweden. In her honor I’m going to use her family crest as our logo!


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