Brunch on the Belle wraps up fall-fun getaway weekend

Published 8:13 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

It’s fun; it’s fall; and the Washington Harbor District Alliance is marketing Sept. 23-25 as a fall-fun getaway, with a getaway on the river wrapping up the event-filled weekend.

The Belle of Washington Sunday brunch cruise on Sept. 25 is just one of many events on a full schedule that includes dinner theatre at the Turnage Theatre; Arts of the Pamlico’s Hands-On Arts Fall Festival, and the Pamlico River Quilters’ Guild quilt show at the Washington Civic Center —all surrounding one of Washington’s signature events, the all-you-can-eat crab-and-shrimp festival on the downtown waterfront, Pickin’ on the Pamlico.

For John Butler, bring able to contribute to the weekend’s success helps introduce visitors to an overall view of what Washington has to offer — and remind residents of the many options they have around them.

“It’s good when everyone works together toward a common goal,” Butler said. “I feel like whenever there is an iconic event such as Pickin’ on the Pamlico, if there’s businesses that have something to offer, they should offer it.”

Butler and partner Richard Smoot are owners of the Belle and the West Main Street bed and breakfast, Elmwood 1820. The Belle offers lunch, dinner, beer- and wine-tasting cruises and can be rented for private events. It’s made many two-hour tours on the Pamlico River since the pair took it over, because being able to give people the chance to actually be on the river, rather than observing the river, is part of the Washington experience, according to Butler.

“You know there’s that saying: if you can’t own a boat, have friends that have a boat. We want to be the friends that have a boat,” Butler laughed. “Giving people lots of options for getting back on the river is a great thing. … I feel like — we hope that — the Belle of Washington is an integral part of the Washington waterways and we want to remind people of that.”

That’s why they signed on with the fall-fun getaway weekend — to round out a weekend of entertainment with a leisurely “Build Your Blood Mary and Make Your Mimosa Magnificent” brunch cruise from noon to 2 p.m. Butler said the experience is different from going out to a sit-down restaurant for brunch, as Belle guests can move around, from inside to outside, upper deck to stern deck, and mingle in a relaxed environment.

“There is no dress code. It’s whatever you feel comfortable in. We’re a coastal, casual town and that’s how we are on the Belle,” Butler said.

Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased through the Belle’s event site. No Belle events are cancelled because of rain, he said, because there’s plenty of lounge space inside, as well. As for those making their travel arrangements through fall-fun getaway website, the Belle’s brunch cruise is offered at a 10-percent discount, Butler said.

“Who doesn’t want to end a great weekend with a boat trip on the Pamlico?” he asked.

Tickets can be purchased at