The good life

Fine food, fine art and luxury on the edge of Chico

WORKING OVERTIME <br> Innkeeper Cory Davis takes care of the culinary and curatorial duties at her north Chico getaway.

Innkeeper Cory Davis takes care of the culinary and curatorial duties at her north Chico getaway.

Photo By jason cassidY

Cory’s Country Inn
4673 Nord Highway (530) 345-2955

Cory’s Country Inn

4673 Nord Hwy
Chico, CA 95928

(530) 345-2955

Imagine spending the weekend at an exclusive country retreat where each room is a literal art gallery featuring the work of a world-class artist, and the elegant décor in the spacious, comfortable rooms—drapes, flowers in vases, bedspreads—matches the hues of the artwork.

Now add a large, shaded swimming pool, an outdoor hot tub, a bocce ball court, a private jogging track, and a peaceful, beautifully landscaped “secret garden” in which to relax.

Oh, and don’t forget a sumptuous gourmet breakfast where you get to choose whatever you’d like to have made by a gourmet chef who personally waits on you, pouring your coffee and checking to see if you need any more fresh raspberries, orange juice or another plump, yummy sausage or piece of thick, hickory-smoked bacon.

It seems like something straight out of Hollywood (or at least Napa) pamperdom, and yet it’s right here on the north side of Chico.

I arrived at Cory’s Country Inn, set on a large rural expanse just off Nord Highway (“highway” is a misleading word: it’s a decidedly rural, two-lane road), on a recent morning to experience a little of the special treatment that guests at the three-room bed-and-breakfast are given by proprietor Cory Davis. Cory co-owns the inn with her husband, local attorney Bob Davis, and about half of the nearly 5,000-square-foot building is the couple’s living quarters.

Davis is perhaps best known locally for running her now-defunct but fondly remembered Cory’s Sweet Treats and Gallery on East Third Street for 14 years. Her top-notch cooking, baking and catering talents are legendary, as is her love of visual art.

ARTFUL INTERIOR<br>Each room in Cory’s Country Inn is decorated with works by a different artist.

Photo By matt Siracusa

Davis is in her fourth year of running Cory’s Country Inn, and just as they did at her café, here the food and the art share equal billing. The inn is nearly a museum, filled with dozens of works by the likes of printmaker Janet Turner and widely known painter Salvatore Casa, plus the contents of the individual room galleries: the colorful, elegant Chunhong Chang room; the cool-hued Lois Cohen room; and the calm, black-and-white-toned Nancy Scott Patton room.

Before the tour, Davis served me breakfast, exactly as she would to a guest (Davis cooks only for guests of the inn; there is no “walk-in” food service). We had talked ahead of my arrival about what I might like to eat. Davis will accommodate anyone from meat-lover to vegan. We decided on a menu of fresh fruit, sourdough French toast with orange beurre blanc and roasted asparagus, poached eggs and sausages of her choosing.

Seated in the dining room—well-lit by natural light from the many windows, and graced with walls completely covered in a beautiful landscape mural done by Casa—I was treated to one of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten, served by Cory dressed in her perky chef’s outfit.

The first course was a fruit plate consisting of artfully arranged sliced kiwi, cantaloupe, peaches, banana, strawberries, grapes, blueberries and raspberries, topped with plain yogurt, granola, mint leaves and a drizzled raspberry-orange reduction. Super fresh and delicious. Sips of green tea and orange juice along with my fruit had already put me in a state of bliss.

But then Cory brought the main course. The savory French toast dish made with slices of thick, fresh sourdough bread from Tin Roof Bakery and covered with an orange beurre blanc sauce was absolutely divine. I had never before eaten French toast that wasn’t sweet—though a most delicate hint of sweetness came from the beurre blanc—but I was instantly sold.

The tender, roasted baby asparagus spears, eggs poached exactly as I liked them and delicious, juicy, chicken-garlic-and-basil sausages put this breakfast over the top, in the very best way.

Every bite and sip was perfect, as was Cory’s attention to my satisfaction as a diner.

Though I would rightfully be accused of exaggerating if I said that, at $175-$265 per night, it would be worth it for the breakfast alone, I wouldn’t be off the mark by saying that a stay at Cory’s Country Inn is well worth it once you add the luxurious art-filled rooms and relaxing setting of the expansive grounds. And it’s right here in Chico.