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North Carolina weather is always unpredictable; those snow days followed by a perfect 70 degree day, you never quite know what to expect. But apart from asking the Groundhog this month what he expects the rest of winter to hold, check out what else is on our calendar to enjoy:

Artisan Confections: Not everyone is a “teddy bear and flowers” kind of person, me included, so this year I am celebrating it at the Artisan Confections event. It is the weekend before Valentine’s Day (yay no crowds!) and includes a combination of chocolate and gin. Executive Pastry Chef, Evan Sheridan, is partnering with the Durham Distillery, and will be teaching everyone how to make Liquid Bon Bons, which is basically chocolate with gin inside. This is a win all around. Tickets can be purchased at 919-447-4050 and takes place on Sunday, February 7th.

Umstead Uncorked: Continuing with the Valentine’s Day alternatives, our monthly wine tasting, Umstead Uncorked, will be held on February 25th, and all about Italian wines. And I don’t mean the typical Tuscany or Veneto wines, but the Southern Italian wines. I’m looking forward to sipping my way through Italy while Sommelier, Hai Tran, teaches us a few things. Tickets available at 919-447-4050.

Mash and Lauter: Unless you are familiar with the term, sour beer might strike a nose curl at the thought. But I couldn’t be more excited about the new Mash and Lauter opening up above the Busy Bee where the Hive use to be. Chris Powers, a sour beer enthusiast and the one who convinced me to give it a try, has just opened this Belgium-inspired bar, which is the perfect place to taste for yourself. Especially with Cicerone, Sean McKinney, behind the bar.

Ghost Tour: We all know Christmas in July, but what about Halloween in February? Try out the Raleigh Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour for a little scare and step around town. The 1.5 mile walking tour is a great way to hear about local folklore and ghost stories. Children ages 8 and up, tickets are $15 a person with tours every Saturday this month.

Compliments of the house:With the weather already getting warmer, ask our Concierge about renting one of our bikes complimentary. Perfect for a light ride through the neighboring Umstead State Park.

Looking for more? Talk to our concierge at concierge@theumstead.com or give them a call at 919-447-4030. They are the best keys to unlocking the city.

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