Canyon Kitchen restaurant Cashiers, NC luxury residential community

Progress is in the air

As we bid farewell to the cold and wet winter months, we are excited to see the sun shining in the valley and look forward to warmer spring days ahead.  It has been a busy offseason here at Lonesome Valley with many improvements and upgrades to enhance the experience of our residents and guests.

Our team has been making improvements in each area of our operation. A lot of these improvements are well underway or complete and few others we plan to have completed in the next couple of months and in time for the summer season.

Long Lake
Additional decking around the boat house and around the lake will improve the opportunities for more families to gather around Long Lake.  We have added more boats and paddle boards and have replaced all the furniture in the boathouse.  A small sandbox has been created for kids at the beach area.

Spa, Fitness and Racquets Sports
The installation of our two new pickleball courts is going well. The plan is to have them ready for use this summer.  Our tennis courts will be resurfaced to create a fresh plating surface.  A basketball hoop will be added on one of the pickleball courts.  Canyon Spa has added a HydraFacial machine to their list of offerings.

F&B Operations and Farmhouse
Working with the F&B team we identified a few areas that needed improvement to help our team and deliver the level of service expected.  We have redesigned the bar area at Canyon Kitchen to add more working space for the bar staff.  Added 24 outdoor seats in the garden area to offer more space for residents and guests.  We improved our food and beverage work area at the pool and have added a TV in the pavilion for resident enjoyment.

Stewardship and Landscape
Kyle Pursel, our new Stewardship Director joined our team late last year and has already made a significant impact in improving the conditions of our trails and greenspaces.

Teen and Kids Center
Based on the feedback we received from our residents, we have converted the A-Frame building into our activities center. This area will provide our younger residents with games and activities.

We are thrilled with all of the improvements and look forward to sharing them with our residents and guests this season.

Cashiers Highlands NC fine dining restaurant

New Chef at Canyon Kitchen

We are excited that our new Executive Chef, Ed Selle, was featured in the latest edition of the Laurel Magazine.


Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley has named a new executive chef to oversee its nationally-recognized culinary operations.

Chef Ed Selle, a North Carolina native, has been tapped to direct and oversee meals and events for the restaurant and community, including special events and weddings. Chef Selle will continue the restaurant’s lineage of talented Southern chefs following in the footsteps of Chefs John Fleer, Adam Hayes and Ken Naron, and will continue the restaurant’s focus on fresh, seasonal, locally sourced products as its new executive chef.

A graduate in Culinary Arts & Sciences and Restaurant Management from AB-Tech in Asheville, Selle’s primary focus and passion is Appalachian cuisine. 

Though he’s spent winter seasons working in Big Sky, Montana, and Tallahassee, Florida, along with classically trained French chefs – making him a well-versed culinarian – Western North Carolina is home. Selle has spent the bulk of his career in the kitchens of Cashiers’ most prestigious private clubs and restaurants.

Growing up in Brevard and working on his family’s farm, Chef Selle embodies the ideals of Canyon Kitchen’s philosophy and believes wholeheartedly in the “Farm to Table” or “Field to Fork” concept that the award-winning restaurant is known for. Locally grown produce, dairy, sourwood honey, and various fauna play a major role in his menu development, for which he constantly seeks out the freshest and best ingredients.

Canyon Kitchen is one of the most beautiful restaurant settings in the country, framed by verdant forests and meadows, encircled by thousand-foot granite cliffs. Located in the Lonesome Valley community but open to the public since 2009, Canyon Kitchen is a seasonal restaurant featuring an exquisite dining experience in a relaxed setting. The restaurant is housed in the rustically elegant Jennings Barn where its post and beam structure and accordion-style walls open to view the kitchen gardens at the foot of Cow Rock Mountain. This incredible setting has given Canyon Kitchen the rare distinction of being recognized as an Open Table Diners’ Choice Award for Top 100 Scenic View Restaurants in America.

Canyon Kitchen is open seasonally to the public Wednesday through Sunday from Easter to Thanksgiving.

For more information on Canyon Kitchen, please visit or call (828) 743-7967.

Real Estate in Cashiers NC, Lonesome Valley, Land and Homes for Sale

Plant for the Plateau

Last year, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, an effort to pair the popularity of gardening with helping the hungry took root in our area. Highlands Food Pantry and Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry in Cashiers invited members of the Highlands-Cashiers community to Plant for the Plateau last summer. The residents and staff of Lonesome Valley heeded the call.  Participants pledged to grow tomatoes, squash, peppers, corn, onions, potatoes, carrots and beans and harvest them to donate to the food pantries to supplement the typical canned and boxed offerings. The effort was a success and allowed the charitable organizations to stretch their resources further.  The Lonesome Valley community is also looking at ways to get more involved with Plant for the Plateau after residents asked to be part of the effort last year. Andrew Renfro, resident services and activities director, said the project was very appealing, especially for members of the garden club.  “We’ve always had an active and busy group, and they saw the call to action at the beginning of the pandemic regarding food insecurity on the plateau, so really everything just kind of fit perfectly and they said we really want to do this,” he said. “They wanted to give back, and the initiative was a great way for us to give residents a sense of community and connection to the greater Cashiers community.” It was eye opening to learn how much need is right here in the area, Renfro said.  “You never expect for a region like this to qualify as a food desert, but it does just in terms of access,” he said. “To be able to participate in a project like Plant for the Plateau, it really does help paint that complete picture of why it is important to grow
food. It really has helped connect our residents to the plateau and a lot of the need many families face up here. We’re excited to continue running with the program.”
Lonesome Valley has a community garden with row beds for residents’ use and is expanding that area to produce more for the needy in 2021, Renfro said. While COVID-19 guidelines made programming challenging during most of last year, the community hopes to hold “plant days” every Saturday morning during the upcoming growing season and get even more people on board, he said. “Involvement is good, and it’s continuing to grow,” Renfro said. “As we see more and more people spend time here in the shoulder season, we’re also seeing more community buy-in. It’s nice to be connected in this way to an initiative that affects a lot of people here on the plateau and to be able to get your hands dirty in the most basic form of giving back. A lot of folks are used to being on boards, so this is a new way for them to help.” Doug Lanning, Lonesome Valley’s certified horticulturist, said he is looking forward to another great year of producing food for Plant for the Plateau. “I think people are going to be more inclined to come to the garden workdays and gather with others because they haven’t been able to do so for so long now,” he said. “I think that now it’s going to be kind of
a mainstay of our community garden that we always find space to grow things for donation purposes”

Real Estate in Private Community Cashiers NC, Lonesome Valley, Land and Homes for Sale

410 Roll Cast Ln.

Located on Lot 106, the Dragonfly Estate has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, rests on over 1.26 acres, enjoys frontage on the west fork of Logan Creek, and is located just a short walk from Trout Pond Park. The main home offers a spacious open floor plan with first floor living of a large kitchen, dining room, great room, laundry/mudroom, and the master suite. Three additional bedrooms and baths on the upper floor provide plenty of room for family and guests. A covered walkway connects the main house to a 2-car garage with a closet for additional storage.

Price:  $2,400,000

Bedrooms:  4

Bathrooms:  4.5

Acres:  1.26 +/-

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2020 Real Estate Recap

homes for sale cashiers ncAlthough this past year was a tumultuous time, it caused many people to look to the mountains for a more peaceful way of life. As a result, home buying at Lonesome Valley is at an all-time high, and everyone at Lonesome Valley Properties is excited to see where 2021 will take us.

In collaboration with Caliber Fine Properties, Lonesome Valley Properties sold 8 homes, 14 developer homesites, and 12 resale homesites! With 33 new families to welcome into our beautiful Cashiers oasis, we couldn’t be more thrilled for the future and all the memories that will be made here. We have just 25 lots left, so let your family and friends know today if they’re interested in living the Lonesome Valley lifestyle.

Kindling a Stronger Community

Our Lonesome Valley Community Woodshed near Trout Lake was recently completed! Brent Smith and Willem Hattink started the wood-splitting project out of a desire for good conversation around a warm fire, but it quickly transformed into a way to clean up the neighborhood and give back to the community! Down trees and limbs are cut and stored in the newly erected shed off Lonesome Valley Road.  Not accessible by car or truck, residents bring their golf carts and mules to acquire their small load of firewood to take back to their homes.  I think this begs the question, s’mores anyone?

community garden residential living cashiers nc

Resident Garden

Our Lonesome Valley residents, in conjunction with our certified horticulturalist, Douglas Lanning, have toiled all year to build our Resident Garden.  Located near Canyon Kitchen and the Chicken Coop Garden, crops such as corn, squash, potatoes and lettuces grew bountifully during our unseasonably dry and warm summer.  When it was time to harvest, our residents were encouraged to come share in the bounty.


Why I Love Lonesome Valley

Don’t take our word for it, hear from one of our Lonesome Valley residents about why she loves Lonesome Valley.

A real estate agent based in Atlanta, GA, Merrel has owned her home since 2017.  She worked with Srebalus Construction, Platt Architecture and Nancy Warren Interiors to create a beautiful mountain retreat.

“We found Lonesome Valley through very close friends who owned purchased a Lot in 2007.  We had been visiting LV with them for years, and loved it from the first visit!”

“The LV sales staff were hands on while having patience with us as we made our final decision!  They were professional in every way, made us feel right at home, and answered every question we had.  The staff felt like family, and we felt right at home from the beginning.”

“It is hard to pick even a few favorite things I love here in Lonesome Valley!  I love the feeling I get when I drive through the gate!  I love the fresh air, the views, the hikes, the activities, but most of all I love the people I have gotten to know, both members and staff. I love that this wonderful place is where we want to gather as a family, and I love that this is my home!”

“My time here is special and spent being happy.  I love to be outside on my porch, hiking on the trails and often spending time with friends that are here!  I love reading books, and sharing books with neighbors!  I even love splitting wood with my husband and friends and stacking it around the Valley for neighbors to use!!”


Another fabulous Davis Family Wine Dinner

Canyon Kitchen was thrilled to welcome back vintner Guy Davis and his wife, Judy, this June for another fabulous evening of food, wine and music.  Chef Ken Naron perfectly complimented the famed Davis Family wines with Seared Scallops, Whipped Corn, Crispy Corn, Braised Wild Maitakes and Roast Pork Loin, Caramelized Baby Fennel, Green Strawberry Chow Chow, Sea Island Blue Grits.  Lilac Wine serenaded the crowd with upbeat tunes as the fog started to settle after a light rain.  It was a beautiful evening that won’t soon be forgotten.


Tennis Center

We’re pleased to announce that the new tennis center has been completed and play has officially begun. We enjoyed a grand opening celebration on Saturday, July 29th. Drop in and see our newest venue.

The recent inaugural celebration party at our Tennis Center marked the culmination of Lonesome Valley’s amenity facilities. This final piece is especially rewarding as it converted our original maintenance yard into an exquisite new destination.  True to our other recreational infrastructure and facilities, the Tennis Center is simple yet well appointed, with a pavilion offering restrooms, refreshments and comfortable sitting areas.  And the courts are carefully positioned, allowing them to blend naturally within their setting, tucked away on East Valley Drive. A new backboard will soon be installed, adding to the opportunities for play and enjoyment at our newest addition.

Wedding Season

Now that it is winter and another wedding season that has come and gone, we thought now would be an apt time to thank our brides and grooms for choosing Lonesome Valley to celebrate their marital unions.

Throughout the transitional months between spring and summer, and summer and winter, we hosted a range of wedding rehearsal dinners, ceremonies and receptions. For each of these celebrations Lonesome Valley is the backdrop to the memories that are now living in the minds of families and their chosen guests.

Although all of the couples chose Lonesome Valley as the setting, each wedding celebration was entirely unique. Looking back, it seemed as if each wedding used our event space as a canvas and built a special home for themselves and their guests to celebrate in. On any given wedding day Canyon Kitchen and the surrounding meadow area would be transformed with walls of flowers, candles, and organic garland draping across the tables. We see each wedding that we host as a special experience and we love having the opportunity to work with couples and their families to create the event of their lifetimes.

This year, with a satisfied smile, we are saying, “see you soon” to our wedding checklists and getting some much needed rest until our spring wedding season is upon us. We cannot wait until the smell of spring blooms and we get to host more wedding celebrations.

Fire Up for Fall

From one coast to another, the United States offers an incredibly diverse range of natural wonders that attract visitors from all directions. The Great Smoky Mountains are some of the lushest mountains in the country, and, during the fall season, the landscape fires up with brilliant hues of red and orange. Fortunately for us here in Lonesome Valley, the range in elevation from the foothills to the mountaintops allows the color show to continue for about a month, with its peak now in mid-October.

With over one hundred species of native trees, there is no shortage of variety as the leaves contrast and complement one another throughout the seasonal transition. The bright crimson red shines through the leaves of the dogwood, black gum, sumac, and sourwood, while the golden leaves show on hickory, birch, and black walnut.



Lonesome Valley is nestled in the largest box canyon east of the Rockies. At the center of our community hardwoods and pines frame bold granite faces. This quintessential Lonesome Valley view is always spectacular, especially during fall, when the colors seem to become more brilliant with each new day. Combine the crisp autumn air with loved ones by your side and you’ll have fond memories for a lifetime.

Lonesome Valley is a special experience best shared with family and friends. Two of our community amenities, Canyon Kitchen and Canyon Spa, are available to the public to enjoy. We invite you, your family and friends to join us here to begin making your memories in these mountains we call home.


How about them apples?

Sitting atop of the hill above Canyon Kitchen is a quaint patch of trees. Still green, these trees are not only surviving and thriving, but also sprouting new life. Finally, the crisp fall air has brought apples to the branches of these trees—creating an autumn sight that has been eagerly awaited.

Naturally, the culinary team has been anxious to roll out their apple cobbler recipes and their cozy fall sweaters. Every day since the apples have started to ripen, pastry chef, Jorden, and her staff have walked the short distance up the hill to collect enough apples for their pastries and jams. They bring wooden baskets full of apples back to the bakeshop, and line the counters of their work space with the marbled red-green skin of harvested fruit. From this point, the apples become everything from the base of pie fillings to the garnish for desert plates.

It is wonderfully autumnal at Canyon Kitchen with offerings of apple and biscuit bread pudding on the weekly menu.  An insider source hinted that apple monkey bread might be on the menu in the coming weeks and that a fresh batch of apple butter is underway!  Feel free to stop in to experience the delightful aromas of the season and to receive more information on what the team is cooking up this week.

apples on tree


Kermit Lynch Dinner – August 19th

An evening perfectly paired with Kermit Lynch

Join us Friday, August 19th

for dinner and showcased wines from Kermit Lynch


Thomas Morgan of Kermit Lynch will serve as guest sommelier for the evening. 

Wine tasting, 4:00pm – 6:00pm in the garden


For more information or to make a reservation call  828.743.7967 or


Cashiers NC community recreation pool

Fit and Swim

Following months of excited anticipation, the Fitness Barn and Pool were opened to residents during the Memorial Day weekend. Both venues have been abuzz with activity ever since.

The unassumiNC real estate family friendlyng, low-profile Fitness Barn offers a bright, open interior with large exposed beams and perimeter French doors that allow fresh mountain breezes inside. Assorted classes focusing on stretching, yoga and aerobics are available to residents and their guests along with a wide array of equipment and free weights to hone and tone.  Staff are available to assist with technique and helpful instruction.

And after “feeling the burn,” the pool is available for a relaxing cool down or morning swims designated for lap swimmers.  With nearby massive oaks and signature views across the meadow to the granite faces of Cow Rock and Laurel Knob, the setting is both calming and energizing.  One resident described her three swims in one day as a “spiritual” experience.  (Must be something in the water.)

Our new Food Truck boldly boasts the cow logo and serves creative light meals and snacks prepared by our Canyon Kitchen chefs.  Located poolside, next to the pavilion and bath house, the Food Truck has already proven to be a big hit for our families.

All this and summer has just begun! We are thrilled for all that the remaining season holds in store. Hope to see you soon in the Valley!


Guy Davis Wine Dinner

Guy Davis Wine Dinner – July 13th

An Evening with Winemaker Guy Davis at Canyon Kitchen in Lonesome Valley

On Wednesday, July 13th, Sonoma County Vintner Guy Davis will join Canyon Kitchen’s Executive Chef Adam Hayes for an incredible evening of wine and food pairings.

The festive event at Canyon Kitchen will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and will be followed by wine and food pairings.  There will also be a magnum bar for guests to enjoy a large selection of Davis’s award-winning wines and live music throughout the evening.

 The event takes place from 6-9 p.m., and the cost is $125 per person.

Reservations are required.  Call 828-743-7967 to make your reservation.

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What it means to have a destination wedding

Destination weddings are hugely popular.  It is a wonderful way to embrace a location that has been meaningful to a couple or family and celebrate it.  Hosting a destination mountain wedding can be daunting to plan but the rewards are great.  The weddings we host here at Lonesome Valley are almost exclusively classified as “destination.”  Even if the couple or parents are local then the majority of the guests are coming from out of town or even from other countries.  Most often, everyone is coming from afar. 

Hosting a wedding in this part of the world breeds a different wedding experience.  By being surrounded by the serenity of nature, guests get a chance to decompress.  They are more relaxed therefore the family, and ultimately the couple, are more relaxed with them.  It gives folks from bigger cities the chance to look up at the stars or enjoy time around a bonfire, throw on some hiking boots and get lost for a few hours.  For good or bad, cellphone coverage is pretty spotty around here so people are forced to detach from their devices and enjoy their surroundings.  

Destination weddings have morphed in to mini adventure vacations. It is a great time to bring your friends and family to a part of the world that they may have never explored before.  Outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and kayaking are natural ways to keep guests entertained.  I often hear from clients that they chose Western North Carolina for their destination wedding in hopes of keeping their guest count down, but in my experience, people are so intrigued with this area that not only do they check “yes” on their RSVP but they will likely be staying a few extra days to really soak it in.


The Rise and Fall of the Cicada

In Celebration of Seasons: The Rise and Fall of the Cicada

Last week was warmer. The ceiling fan and the wide open window coaxed the outside into the bedroom. Good sleep and fresh air go together. It’s colder tonight, so the window is opened only slightly. Just enough to allow the wisp of a cool breeze.     

With the fresh air also come night noises like the rhythmic, hypnotic whir of Cicadas.  Colder nights mark the early seasonal shift from fall to winter and the slow demise of the rasping symphony.  The transition is almost imperceptibly slow.  Nevertheless, the once deafening din of summer’s countless Cicadas diminishes to fall’s distinguishable few.  And then, following the first hard freeze, there are none.

These mountains abound with predictably sequenced cycles: autumn’s leaves evolve from green to red and orange to brown before carpeting the forest floor; fallen hardwoods are cut and split and stacked and fed to the woodstove; winter’s familiar milestones of first frost, first snow, last snow, last freeze; next comes the hint of first green on the tips of trees on the lower slopes as the sun returns to its higher arc in spring; then the well-ordered summer blossoms of Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron and Flame Azalea; and finally, the return of the Cicadas and their ephemeral chorus.  It’s a periodic and continuous circle.

The ebb and flow of annual patterns remind us that change is both inevitable and constant. Seasonal flux can either be reassuring or unsettling (depending on the size of your wood pile), provoking either welcomed anticipation or tempered angst.  Every year provides a fresh revelation of new life and old death and the repeated promise of resurrection.

On the coldest, grayest days of winter I fantasize about life on a tropical island.  Endless days of warm sun, clear skies, white sand and steady tides. I think that would be nice…perhaps for a few weeks.  Then the monotony of seasonless life would crash the beach party. I know that I would eventually miss the distinctly opposing seasons that punctuate the mountain calendar.  The recurring contrasts of warm and cold, green and brown, life and death, and the rise and fall of the Cicada.

Charlsey + Justin

Charlsey and Justin were married on a picture perfect June day.  Charlsey’s family owns a home just over the ridge from Lonesome Valley and have always been huge supporters of what we do here.  We are thrilled that they chose to celebrate their special day with us and thankful that they brought along Verge Events for the fun. Anna Kirby Photography provided all of the beautiful imagery from the day and Studio Flora Diva worked their magic with the floral design.  Top it off with the A-Town, A-List and it was a party!!


An Artist’s View

It is always a pleasure to see how artists depict the spectacular views we have here at Lonesome Valley. Recently, many of our events have included commissioned artwork for the invitations with a majority using watercolor as their chosen medium.  

Water color wedding invitation.  NC Mountain reception venue watercolor wedding invitation.  NC mountain reception venue watercolor wedding invitation.  same sex reception venue in NC mountainsIn addition, live art during the reception can be a creative way to provide a unique experience for you and your guests.

Live art wedding reception North Carolina mountain venue

Sunday Grant Photography

Custom artwork can we a wonderful way to personalize your event.  Use our views as your inspiration.

Artwork provided by: Shannon Berrey, Sable & Gray, Sara King, Rylan and Howard Sian


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Filling the Outdoor Adventure Gap

We all view adventure differently.  For some, the adrenaline-rush of a perilous sport is desirable; for others, substituting fries for chips is a bold move.  Some level of adventure is important in life; otherwise, things become dull and predictable. Granted, adventure is not required (or advised) in every aspect of life.  For many years U-Haul advertised “Adventure in Moving” on its trucks and trailers until someone realized that folks didn’t necessarily want more “adventure” added to an already challenging experience. 

Adventure is to life what seasoning is to food: too much can be unsavory or unhealthy, but not enough will be bland and unappealing.  Balance is key in determining the right amount of this vital yet often neglected ingredient. Unfortunately, our adventure is often relegated to “action” or “reality” TV shows and video games, and we have been slowly seduced into passively observing rather than actively experiencing.  As a recovering TV-addict, I know that couch potatoes aren’t born, they’re cultivated. 

One obstacle to adventure is that it can initially seem scary or unsafe.  Winnie the Pooh, with his trademark trepidation, was hesitant to step toward adventure. In “Adventure is a Wonderful Thing,” Pooh sings this stanza:

That’s the beauty of adventurepooh
It’s strictly sink or float
It runs you ’til you’re ragged
Then it grabs you by the throat
You struggle to survive it
Though the chances are remote
Hoo, hoo, lucky you
Wish I was coming too
Adventure is a wonderful thing


Safe to say that Pooh’s relationship with adventure was tentative at best, and it didn’t involve a Go Pro or snowboarding down an avalanche-prone mountain or kayaking over hundred foot waterfalls.  Nevertheless, he understood adventure’s visceral appeal and that it happened best outside.  Pooh’s recipe for adventure usually included a combination of woods, a pinch of limited (though seemingly real) risk and a dash of imagination shared with an assortment of friends.  For Pooh, when self-fabricated fears were put to rest, memorable adventures followed.

Adventure is best introduced early in childhood and then allowed to evolve naturally according to interest and enthusiasm.  And exposure is more important than degree.  Simple hiking, camping, star gazing (meteor showers are best!), wild berry picking, identifying basic plants and animal tracks all provide loads of opportunities to explore and learn.  Kids simply need to put down their mind-numbing electronic games, give their thumbs a rest and experience something bigger and more awe-inspiring than their cul-de-sac.

More than ever, kids need streams to wade, trees to climb, woods to explore and meadows to run, because adventure is the stuff that kids thrive on, and, the truth is, we’re all still kids.

A Summer Remembered


It is hard to believe that summer 2014 has come and gone.  It was a busy one around the Valley with wonderful new additions and traditions.

We began the summer with the opening of our newest amenity, Canyon Spa.  Housed in the newly renovated Caretaker’s Cottage, the spa offers signature treatments using the farm fresh ingredients from Canyon Kitchen’s garden.  We were pleased to bring in Melanie Marshall as Spa Director and Tim O’Brien as her right hand man.  They are doing a great job!  We have received wonderful feedback about the Spa and hope you will schedule an appointment to try it out for yourself.  828-743-0006


It was another strong summer for Canyon Kitchen.  In addition to dinner service, the team hosted wine dinners featuring Kermit Lynch and Staglin Family Vineyard wines.  With the opening of John Fleer’s newest venture, Rhubarb, in Asheville, the home team of Mitch, Chelsea and Audra, successfully ran the day-to-day operations of Canyon Kitchen while John floated between “his city house and country house.”  John was featured prominently in the August issue of Garden and Gun for both Rhubarb and Canyon Kitchen.


The Canyon Kitchen garden grew too this year with the addition of the “three sisters”: corn, beans and squash that made a great complement to the existing garden.


The Sunday church service in the Barn continues to draw large crowds at the hands of resident priest, Steve Hines.  With nationally recognized speakers and local bluegrass gospel music, St. Frances Chapel has been a great success.


Once again, we had the pleasure of hosting some of the fantastic artists during the Plein Air Festival in the Valley.  LV members and guests of Canyon Kitchen were thrilled to share in the experience of the artists at work.


New traditions were started from old pastimes.  Lonesome Valley decided to take a page from the Jennings family history book and create an unforgettable 4th of July celebration.  Members enjoyed a beautiful night with games for kids and grownups alike and a wonderful meal by the culinary team at Canyon Kitchen.  After dark, the pyrotechnics display was described by several folks as “better than I’ve ever seen.”


Throughout the summer, members and guests have joined together to break bread and enjoy the scenery at the Farmhouse.  We have hosted Friday Friends dinners catered by Canyon Kitchen as well as pot luck meals that have shown the culinary talents of our membership.  However the food was prepared, it was a wonderful opportunity to spend time as a community, let the kids frolic and enjoy the view.

As the breeze gets cooler and the leaves begin to change, we will look back fondly at the wonderful summer shared at Lonesome Valley.

chef john fleer

Garden & Gun

We are so proud of our Executive Chef, John Fleer, on the success of both Canyon Kitchen and Rhubarb.  Garden & Gun‘s feature highlighted what a tremendous asset he is to the Cashiers and Asheville communities both within the culinary industry and outside of it.

The Second Coming of John Fleer – Garden & Gun, August 2014


cashiers and highlands nc spa

Canyon Spa

Wow!  We have had a busy Spring and Summer around here.  I am pleased to announce the opening of our newest amenity, Canyon Spa, which is housed in the newly renovated Caretaker’s Cottage at the front of the property.

Canyon Spa will offer a full array of natural body and facial treatments, therapies and products, all promoting wellness and relaxation.  Many of Canyon Spa’s handcrafted, nurturing treatments will use farm-fresh ingredients from the garden of Canyon Kitchen, Lonesome Valley’s highly acclaimed restaurant. Facials, body treatments and massage options include Signature Anti-Aging Facial, Privai Botanical Facial, Farmhouse Facial, Canyon Detox, Hydration Body Treatment, Farmhouse Renewal, Canyon Stone Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Maternity Massage and Farmhouse Massage.  Signature add-on enhancements, such as Body Brush Exfoliation, Aromatherapy, Warm River Stones and Aqua Gel Face Masque, may be added to services.

Canyon Spa also has a gift boutique with carefully selected products that feature all natural ingredients as well as handcrafted jewelry and paper goods.

Brag alert – My exceptionally talented sister-in-law, Sarah Jennings Kowalski (yes, we know it’s confusing), is responsible for the interior design of the cozy space that maintains the charm and rustic farmhouse feel of the original home.  She was also the mastermind behind the design at Rhubarb.

Canyon Spa is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday.  Bridal packages are available.

Inquiries and reservations may be received by calling (828) 743-0006.


Looking back…and ahead


As we wrap up 2013 and begin 2014, we wanted to share our year in review.

Lonesome Valley continues to be attractive from a real estate perspective, selling a total of 15 homesites and 2 more contracts already in place this year. After several years of enduring a stagnant real estate market, we are beginning to see property values appreciate again, and we welcome the improvement. Our new members (including a pair of bald eagles!) are excited to be a part of Lonesome Valley and many are well underway with house plans.  In addition, a new “spec” cottage will soon to be completed on Long Lake.

To date, 60 owners have purchased 74 lots, and 25 houses are either built or are near completion. We are currently developing 18 spectacular new lots along the West Fork of Logan Creek for immediate release this spring/summer.  We currently have listed 5 resale lots and 2 resale homes. Our resale ratio is quite low compared to other communities, further evidence of the overall health and appeal of Lonesome Valley.

On the amenity side, we have begun the full renovation of the “Caretaker’s Cottage” which will open as the new Canyon Spa in May. The Spa will include three treatment rooms, a well appointed reception area and men’s and ladies’ changing areas.  In addition, we will continue to improve our fishing, trails, roadsides, signs, gates as well as the general landscaping and appearance of the community. In 2014 Lonesome Valley should look the best it ever has.

Canyon Kitchen enjoyed another outstanding year that featured a booming a la carte business in addition to many successful wine dinners and special events.  Along with John Fleer’s successful opening of his new restaurant, Rhubarb, in Asheville, his culinary staff at Canyon Kitchen has done a superb job.  John will be sharing his time between Cashiers and Asheville beginning this spring. We also commend Canyon Kitchen and our Special Events team for receiving the BizBash Event Style Award for Best Wedding Venue in North America for 2013!

We are planning more member gatherings this winter. Our goal is to continue to build our relationships as a community and have a healthy and prosperous 2014!

Dahlias in Bloom


There is an extra pop of color in the valley during this time of year.  It is dahlia and zinnia season!  Our gardens are filled with vibrant hues of red, orange, pink and yellow.  Even the worst florists {ahem, yours truly} can make the most outstanding arrangements without much effort using these gorgeous flowers.

The excessive amounts of rain threatened our crop of flowers this year but our fantastic horticultural husband/wife team of John and Marcia McCarley worked their magic to keep these beauties flourishing.   I pick a new batch about once a week for my office but luckily the Farmhouse and Canyon Kitchen benefit from Marcia’s expert arrangements.

Labor Day

Labor Day weekend marks the closing of another wonderful summer season here at Lonesome Valley.  We were so fortunate to have many of our members in town to join in the many family-friendly events over the extended weekend.



The highlight for many was the “Movie in the Meadow.”  Star Wars played on the big screen in front of the Farmhouse and members both large and small brought their blankets, flashlights and enthusiasm to this unique experience.


Labor Day weekend is always bittersweet.  It is the unofficial end of summer that brings in the joys of Fall.  We are looking forward to crisp weather, football and the vibrant leaves of Autumn.

Davis Family Wine Dinner

It was a beautiful summer evening in Lonesome Valley on Saturday, June 22nd when we hosted a special wine dinner featuring Davis Family Vineyard wines in our acclaimed vegetable and flower garden.  Twenty four lucky guests enjoyed a picnic style meal under the willow tree while paired with some of the best Davis Family wines.  Owner and winemaker, Guy Davis, joined in on the fun and discussed how the wines paired with Chef John Fleer’s menu for the evening.  Guests raved about the snacks of Duck Liver Pate, Berber Pizza and Squash Fritters.  For the main portion of the meal, Leek Braised Rabbit Legs, Pinchito Roasted Okra and Chicharones of Lamb Belly were among the highlights.  Canyon Kitchen Pastry Chef, Chelsea Raby, provided the sweet treats to end the evening including Pecan Pie Cannoli that guests were still talking about days later.  Overall is was a beautiful evening filled with great food and wine and the view wasn’t bad either.  A big thank you to Guy Davis for joining us for this special night here in the Valley.

Chef & Guy Davis

Chef John Fleer and Winemaker Guy Davis

Photo by Roger Foley, Southern Living

Southern Living

Lonesome Valley and Canyon Kitchen have the honor of being featured in the April edition of Southern Living.  Both Chef John Fleer and garden designer John McCarley were highlighted in the article as they discuss how the garden is an extension of the restaurant.  Gorgeous pictures, huh?

Check it out!







Lauren + Ray


Our good friend Alison Taylor from WNC Weddings & Events wrote about Lauren & Ray’s September wedding on Western Carolina Weddings Blog today.

It was a beautiful September day.  The zinnias were as big as my head and the bride and groom looked great.  The food was pretty tasty too!  Thanks to Yve Assad for the beautiful pictures of the happy couple.  Below are a few of my favorites.

Congratulations Lauren & Ray!!

Plein Air: A Great Success!

The recent Plein Air event that was hosted at Lonesome Valley was a big hit!  As artists from all over the Southeast completed their paintings, a thunderstorm rolled in, chasing everyone inside Jennings Barn just in time for hors d’oeuvres before the evening meal.  Artists and patrons alike were pleased as many paintings were sold immediately, before the oils had even begun to dry.  Stay tuned for more artisan events…