Gray's Journal

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fall Apple Cider Donut Holes

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 people
Makes 24 donut holes


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider
1 tablespoon heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Lightly grease a donut hole pan.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter; let cool.
3. In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons melted butter, egg, sugar, apple cider, orange juice and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and sea salt.
5. Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until a smooth batter is formed.
6. Using a pastry bag or spoon, fill baking pan with batter.
7. Bake until donut holes rise and are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Flip donut holes onto a baking
sheet with a wire rack and cool.
8. In a paper bag or small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Dip donut holes in reserved butter, then evenly coat in sugar mixture. Place donut holes on wire rack.
9. Whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, apple cider and heavy cream to form a glaze. Drizzle glaze on donut holes or dip the tops in glaze. Let glaze set before serving.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A New Face at Graylyn!

The Graylyn Estate and Conference Center welcomes Sandra Zoubek as our new Corporate Sales Account Manager. Sandy comes to Graylyn with vast experience in the communications industry working for Bell South and most recently AT&T. She was responsible for developing, retaining and growing fortune 500 businesses as an international strategic account manager. She enjoys decorating and staying current with home designs trends along with spending time at family gatherings with her husband, 2 daughters and son.  Please join us in welcoming Sandy to Graylyn.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Chef Rollins' Summer Cilantro Cucumber-Melon Salad

Makes: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup each
Start to Finish: 15 mins

2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced (2 cups)
2 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup arugula
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese or ricotta salata cheese

In a large bowl whisk together the lime juice, oil, salt, and crushed red pepper. Stir in cucumber, melon, arugula, and cilantro. Sprinkle with cheese.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Welcome To The Graylyn Family

     Graylyn Estate and Conference Center welcomed Mark McFetridge as the Director of Rooms and Courtney White as a Conference Coordinator. We look forward to the many positive contributions that we know they will make to our community in the coming year with their vast knowledge and fresh ideas. Please join us in welcoming Mark and Courtney to Graylyn.

Mark McFetridge, a veteran of the United States Marines, brings over 15 years of experience as a guest services professional throughout Florida. Before arriving at Graylyn, Mark was the Director of Guest Services Operations at The World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum in Saint Augustine, Florida.  Mark's passion and enjoyment of playing golf has already sparked many conversations of more collaboration between Graylyn and local golf courses. When Mark is not at Graylyn overseeing guest services, engineering, and housekeeping, he can be found exploring North Carolina with his wife and two children.

Courtney White's experience in the hospitality industry and immense knowledge of coordinating events is a great asset for The Graylyn Estate and Conference Center. From Rural Hall, North Carolina, Courtney pursued a degree in Recreation Management from Appalachian State University and enrolled in The Walt Disney College program in Orlando Florida upon graduation. She previously worked at Twin City Quarter, in downtown Winston-Salem, as an event planner for the last four years. At Graylyn, Courtney can be found coordinating multiple group meetings but when she has time off, she will likely be running a local race or hanging out with her pet dog, Penny. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Third Floor Renovations Completed

A Fresh Look

When built in 1932, the third floor of the Manor House served as the attic to Bowman and Nathalie Gray. Over the years, the attic has transformed from storage space to dorm rooms to guestrooms. On June 22, 1980, a fire ignited on the third floor of the Manor House and on the following day, the president of Wake Forest University announced that the home would be restored to its original 1932 condition and be used as an educational conference center. In 1993, Graylyn became an International Conference Center and began hosting guests and organizations from all over the world. 

 The Manor House second floor guestrooms are the 13 original bedrooms and sitting rooms of the Gray family. When the third floor was renovated after the fire, the rooms were meant to pay tribute to the antique rooms of the second floor, with a modern update. In early 2016, plans were set in motion for a rejuvenation of the third floor, with a fresh new look inspired by what the Gray family would have in their attic—their love for travel and a lifetime of cherished memories. Work began in November 2016 with partners from CJMW Architecture and Blum Construction. 

Renovations were completed in early March, and guests were welcomed to the newly-imagined third floor for the first time on March 17. The redesigned space now boasts 14 guestrooms and an estate suite. We invite you to book your next stay in one of our third floor rooms this spring.
To view more photos of the renovations, click here.
Make your reservation today!


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Graylyn Teams with Local Firms for New Renovation

 Graylyn, the historic luxury boutique hotel and conference center, continues its commitment to the community by partnering with an experienced local team to design and build a complete renovation of the Manor House’s third floor. The firms involved – CJMW Architecture (Architecture and Interior Design) and Frank L.Blum Construction Company (Construction Manager) – are headquartered in Winston-Salem and have more than 200 years combined experience working in the Triad.

 “It was very important to us to partner with local firms,” said John Wise, Wake Forest University vice president of hospitality services and the executive overseeing Graylyn. “Graylyn has been a part of the Winston-Salem community for almost 90 years and we strongly believe in working with local organizations. The fact that we found experts with longstanding ties to Graylyn is an important aspect of the success of this project.”

Award-winning interior designer Kathleen Warner, a principal of CJMW Architecture, is leading the design team. Kathleen draws on more than 10 years' experience designing boutique hospitality environments. Amanda Adams, an associate architect in the firm, is providing her expertise as one of CJMW’s historic architecture experts.

Designed by well-known local architect Luther Lashmit for Bowman Gray Sr. and his wife Nathalie Lyons Gray, the estate was completed in 1927 and was home to the family in the early 1930s. Lashmit was a key figure in Northup and O’Brien, a Winston-Salem architecture and engineering firm that is the predecessor to selected design firm CJMW Architecture

“We are excited to walk-in the footsteps of our predecessor, Luther Lashmit,” said Warner. “Graylyn is such an amazing place and an important part not only of Winston-Salem’s history, but its future as well. We are honored to be working on this project.”

Blum Construction will serve as the construction manager on the project, and brings over 35 years of constructing similar projects to the Graylyn team.

“Through the years, Graylyn has become a special place to Blum Construction and our families,” said Mike Lancaster, president of Frank L. Blum. “We treasure the memories we have made there and they mean a great deal to us. We are excited to be on the project team for the third floor renovations.” 

The approximately $1 million renovation will completely update all elements of the third floor. All furnishings and finishes in guest rooms and baths will be updated, as will the corridor and third floor lounge areas. Currently housing 16 rooms, after renovation the third floor will include 14 rooms and one suite.

“The Manor House is the central jewel of the estate,” said Wise. “Guests have always loved the historic second floor rooms which were those of the family. Those on the third floor, which were created after a fire in the 1980s, have not had the same feeling and connection to the house and its history, but soon they will.”

The new design will complement but not attempt to replicate the historic aesthetic, taking inspiration from third floor’s original purpose – a set of rooms where Nathalie Gray kept an eclectic collection of finds, including many from her travels. Each guest room will be distinctly detailed and curated so that each guest experience will be unique.

“The feeling will be that of being a guest of the family, but with the level of service and experience one would expect from a luxury hotel like Graylyn,” said Wise.

Work on the design phase of the project is currently underway; the project is expected to be complete and ready for occupancy in late spring 2017. The hotel is remaining fully operational during the renovation process and Wise says the work will be completed with minimal impact to guest


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Chef Rollins' Grilled Wrapped Pancetta Asparagus

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes 6 Servings
2 pounds medium asparagus
1/2 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme

1. Tightly wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, stir the orange zest and juice with the mustard and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus over moderate heat, turning often, until they are just tender and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.