COVID-19 Travel Update | Greyfield Inn

To Our Guests,

We are pleased to welcome you for your upcoming stay at Greyfield. Even in these unprecedented times, it is our continued mission to provide a unique experience grounded in nature, island explorations, and delicious food and drink.

In order to safely do so and still provide you with an exceptional stay, we have enacted added measures and adjustments to our guest services and already stringent protocols to ensure the continued health of our guests and staff. This “new normal” will require some necessary modifications to our past procedures, but it does not mean our commitment to hospitality will waver in the slightest.

PRE-ARRIVAL & EXPECTATIONS

  • Prior to your arrival, we ask that each individual visitor answers and returns our questionnaire no less than 72 hours before scheduled arrival. (Please note: you will receive this questionnaire via email in advance of your stay.) Any information provided will be kept strictly confidential.
  • Fully vaccinated guests are no longer required to wear masks when inside any Greyfield buildings, cottages, or anywhere outside on the property. We do ask that all unvaccinated guests please wear their masks when inside all common areas at Greyfield, whether in the main house or any of the cottages. 
  • Boat times are as follows. For arriving guests, available departure times from our Fernandina Beach dock are 9:30 AM and 12:15 PM. For departing guests, available departure times from our dock at Greyfield are 8:00 AM and 10:45 AM. Travel times via the Lucy R. Ferguson is 45 minutes, each way.
  • Please advise our boat captains if you are exhibiting or reporting any of the following symptoms:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell
  • If, during your stay, you develop any of the above symptoms, please immediately inform staff so that we may arrange to ferry you to the mainland so that you may seek proper medical care and/or treatment.

ARRIVAL

  • Upon arrival to Cumberland Island, staff will be on hand to greet you and to provide you with an informational welcome tour.
  • Please be aware that check-in times may vary to ensure that each room is properly and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized per CDC guidelines. Check-in time to your guest room is after 1:30 PM. Your patience and understanding are very much appreciated.
  • Be assured that each room is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to check in. All cleaners, sanitizers, disinfectants, and procedures have been thoroughly vetted and cross checked by referring to the CDC and EPA standards.

DURING YOUR STAY

ROOM SERVICES

  • Some room services and daily housekeeping of guest rooms may be limited or omitted during your stay for the health of both guests and staff.
  • Room service for meals will not be available.
  • For those guests who prefer no housekeeping services, please let us know if you require more towels during your stay. If you intend to re-use your linens, please leave them hanging.
  • Greyfield Inn provides L’Occitane toiletries in each guest room for use and enjoyment during your stay.

COMMON AREAS

  • All public restrooms will be thoroughly sanitized on a regular, frequent schedule.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

  • As you may be aware, communal aspects such as meals, cocktail and hors d’oeuvre hours, and naturalist outings are an important part of the Greyfield experience.
  • Self-serve coffee & hot tea will be available in the Porch Dining Room daily, after 7:30 AM.
  • Our typical “continental breakfast” station will be available upon request. If you desire bagels, English muffins, toast, jams, etc., please inquire with our staff.
  • The back “communal” kitchen located on the first floor is open to our guests! Here you will be able to access lemonade, iced teas, water, your daily picnic lunches, and pantry snacks.
  • We are thrilled to announce the return of our traditional “communal” Greyfield dining service. As offered in the past, private tables will continue to be available. Either during the reservation process or upon your arrival to Greyfield, you’ll have an opportunity to advise us of your seating preference. Limited outdoor seating is available, weather permitting.
  • Communal hors d’oeuvres normally served at cocktail hour will be replaced by a small bite or “amuse-bouche” presented at the start of your meal, after being seated in the dining room.
  • Dinners are three fixed courses, save for dietary restrictions and allergies. Printed menus will be made available for dinner.
  • As a Greyfield tradition, jackets are required for men during dinner service; with comparable attire for ladies. But during this time, we are relaxing our dress code so that jackets are recommended but not required.

NATURALIST OUTINGS

  • Our naturalists are hard at work providing opportunities for guests to visit different areas of the island.
  • At 4:00 PM every day, the Naturalists will have a sign-up sheet in the living room for available outings on the following day. Please see any staff member for additional information about the outings, or for assistance in signing up for them. Naturalists reserve the right to offer tours to guests with earlier departure dates, thus making it more likely that all guests have an opportunity to explore.

DEPARTURE

  • Departure boat times are 8:00 AM and 10:45 AM.
  • Your folio (final receipt showing amount due and itemized purchases) will be emailed to you the morning of your departure. Please ensure that we have a credit card on file for remaining balances and incidentals.

We’d like to acknowledge to those who are familiar with Greyfield and to those who have yet to experience the magic of this island: our commitment to providing each of you with a unique experience remains, as ever, unwavering. We are bolstered by each and every team member’s decision to stay with us during this year of uncertainty. We feel that this combination of studied plans, reflection, staff cohesion, and preparation will provide all of our guests with a different and unique, but truly Greyfield experience.

We so look forward to welcoming you soon.

Sincerely,

Mary & Mitty Ferguson

Greyfield Inn Owners and Managing Partners 

Tales from Chef Whitney Otawka’s Kitchen: Tomato Pie!

“I couldn’t tell you when I started making tomato pie. It’s not something someone taught me how to make. I am pretty sure its evolution took place during my years in the South but its origins, I claim them to be instinctual. It’s a marriage of my deep love of quiche (and everything French) married to the revelry of tomatoes in southern summers. I am not saying this is some invention of my own, but this is dish I could make blindfolded at 2am in a cave. I just make it.

Tomato Pie also takes me to a very fond cooking memory. Early in my career I was asked to make 12 tomato pies for a chef I was working for. He needed them for an event the following day. I was asked on a Saturday night, a very busy Saturday night when I was working a very busy station. Needless to say, the tomato pies had to be made after service. My nearest and dearest line cooking partner in crime, Ben, was also tasked with making Chicken Bog for said event. Our prep started around 11:30 pm. The restaurant closed down, the kitchen was empty except for the two of us. We cooked, talked, took a few nips of Pappy Van Winkle from the bar. It was perfect. I couldn’t tell you when I started making this pie, but I can tell you that it’s magical. I hope this recipe brings you as much happiness as I have had making it.” – Chef Whitney Otawka

TOMATO PIE

Yields 1 Pie, 8 slices

Pie Dough*

1½ cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ teaspoon Sugar
¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
1½ sticks Butter, diced and very cold
4½ tablespoons Water, very cold

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Mix together to incorporate. Add in the butter and use your fingers to mix into flour mixture until it feels coarse and pebbly. Add in water and mix until all ingredients just  beginning to become incorporated. Roll the dough into a ball shape and lightly flatten. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F. On a floured work surface roll out dough into a circle until it is uniformly around 1/8 inch thick. Line the pie pan with the dough and trim away the excess edge. Place into freezer for 15 minutes to chill well before blind baking. Line chilled dough with a circle of parchment paper that is 12 inches in diameter. Fill with whatever weights you have, such as beans or rice. Bake the piecrust for about 20 minutes. You want the edges of the pie to be a light golden brown when you remove it from oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes at room temperature, and then remove the parchment paper and weights. The pie shell is ready to filled and baked at this point. It can be made a day ahead, just wrap well and store in the refrigerator.

Pie Filling

2 Heirloom Tomatoes, medium sized
¼ cup Olive Oil
1½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
1½ cups Sharp White Cheddar (Cabot is a good starting point), shredded
4 Egg Yolks
6 Eggs
½ cup Heavy Cream
¼ teaspoon Dried Harrisa
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon Parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Slice the heirloom tomatoes to around ¼ inch thick. Lightly oil a sheet pan with olive oil. Lay tomato slices on oiled pan in a single layer. Use a ½ teaspoon of salt to season the tomatoes. Roast for 40 minutes. Set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks, eggs, heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk well, until slightly frothy.

To assemble pie, layer 1 cup of shredded white cheddar into the pie shell. Add in a single layer of roasted heirloom tomatoes, around half of the tomatoes. Next, add remaining ½ cup of shredded white cheddar. Top with remaining roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle dried harissa over the top tomato layer. Pour egg and cream mixture over the tomato and cheese filling. Top with parmesan and parsley. Bake for 45-55 minutes. The pie filling should be set and the top, golden brown. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Serve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

* The pie dough recipe was taken from the cookbook Summerland by Anne Quatrano. Her book is a look at seasonal cooking in the Southern United States and a glimpse of her creative genius. Her cooking is incredibly inspiring and I highly recommend adding it to your library.

Follow along with more Tales from Chef Whitney Otawka’s kitchen by following her blog: www.whitneyotawka.com.