Rocheport is a community of 242 people situated along the Missouri River Valley and the Katy Trail in central Missouri. Les Bourgeois Vineyards is arguably Rocheport's most well-known destination, and until recently it was the only frame of reference I had for the town. So, it was with great interest that I took a magazine story assignment that gave me the opportunity to journey to Rocheport for an overnight stay at the Yates House Bed & Breakfast. I arrived in Rocheport on a chilly, overcast January afternoon. Upon entering the Yates House, a reproduction of an 1850 roadside inn that was built in 1991, I was greeted with must-needed warmth from the living room fireplace. Innkeeper Dixie Yates also had a plate of her famous chocolate chip, coconut and almond oatmeal cookies waiting for me. We enjoyed a cup of tea while chatting about the history of the property followed by a tour. First, I saw the three guestrooms, the spacious guest kitchen and sitting rooms available at the Yates House. Then, we went next door to the Garden House which was built in 1840 and features two standard rooms, a suite, a commercial kitchen, a dining room and a common sitting area. Dixie and her husband Conrad are currently renovating the Garden House with new interior design and amenities to give it a slightly more modern and updated feel. Both buildings are beautifully appointed with antique furnishings and hardwood floors. I immediately felt comfortable and at-home in the cozy setting.
After the tour, Dixie took me around Rocheport to showcase some of the local businesses. January is off-season for the town, but a few of the shopkeepers opened up their doors just to give me a peek. We visited Manitou Studio, Richard Saunders, Inc., Shirhaze Gallery and the Rocheport General Store. One of the attributes of Rocheport is that it is small enough that you can walk everywhere very easily. Dixie says that many guests park their cars and never use them again until they depart.
The day ended with dinner at Abigail's. The restaurant's menu changes nightly and is presented on a rolling dry erase board that is taken to each table. But, don't be fooled by the casual atmosphere, the food at Abigail's is top-notch. I had the salmon topped with tomatoes, feta and spinach. The sides were roasted potatoes, broccoli and yellow zucchini. It was a phenomenal dish. The fish and vegetables were fresh, expertly cooked and bursting with flavor. For dessert, I tried the gooey butter cake. I'd had this sweet treat before at other restaurants, and this was easily the best version I've ever tasted.
Back at the B&B, I settled into my room on the top floor of the Yates House. I took a hot shower and lounged around in one of the luxurious robes that is provided in each room. Then, it was time for a good night's sleep in the plush king-sized bed with pillow-top mattress. The next morning, I woke up to a breakfast of decadent creme brulee French toast, fresh fruit, bacon, russet potatoes and a slice of frittata all prepared by Dixie. I can't think of a better way to start the day.
Although the winery is the first thing you'll see upon entering Rocheport, there is so much more beyond the grapevines to explore. Savor a glass of wine, the gorgeous views of the Missouri River and a world-class meal at the establishment's Blufftop Bistro and then continue on to the shops, eateries, art galleries and B&Bs that make up this charming mid-Missouri treasure.
My full story on the Yates House B&B will be published in the Spring 2013 issue of Lake of the Ozarks Second Home Living. magazine. For more photos from my trip to Rocheport, check out the PNM Media Facebook page and follow PNM Media on Instagram (@pnmmedia).
Hello! I am Porcshe N. Moran. My nearly two decades of professional experience covers print and digital journalism as well as strategic communications, content marketing and copywriting.