Archive for the ‘Lodging near Glacier National Park’ Category

Fat Trout Force the Horse to Change Dining Room Hours

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

It’s fall…arriving a bit early this year, but this is Montana and the weather is  fickle as a teenager’s heart. But with the cooling weather comes one of the best times of the year in the Rockies…crisp days, clear nights, the aroma of wood fires floating on the evening air, and, most important, fat and sassy trout

One such trout – a particularly rotund specimen of approximately 20 inches – has forced me to alter my dining room schedule for the fall allowing me one more evening to try to land ‘her holiness’.  There are many  great reasons to live in Montana, fall trout fishing is one of the best…and spending a stolen evening on the river with a 5 wt in my hand beats standing over a hot stove, even if I’m cooking up some special fare for great friends and visitors. So please forgive me, but I’ve changed my dining room hours to Thursday – Sunday, 5pm – 9pm for dinner and Sunday Brunch, 9am – 2pm…on the flip side, I have extended my season through the holidays.

The lodge dining room is available Monday – Wednesday for private dinners and events for 12  to 56 persons. So if you are planning a holiday party, special family get-together or just a night with good friends, include the Horse in your plans. We’d love to host your event here or help you give a stellar performance in your home.

So here’s to a great fall, brilliant fishing and a delicious dinner at the Horse..see you soon. Kathleen

Al Fresco Dining in the Horse’s Spectacular Garden!

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
The Garden is open for your sipping pleasure!
And what a garden it is this year…so leave your daily stress at the door
and enjoy a delicious glass of wine and an al fresco meal while you bask in
the golden silence of a lovely Swan Lake evening.
To celebrate the arrival (finally!) of summer, this weekend we’re presenting a refreshing Mediterranean Antipasti Plate for two
with two glasses of Gain Bay Cabernet  (a Stag’s Leap appellation) for $25. You’ll enjoy freshly char grilled and marinated
vegetables bursting with the flavors of Sardinia, an assortment of Greek olives, hard Italian meats, and yeasty French artisan
bread with rosemary olive oil perfect for dipping. 
Reservations: 406-886-2080
PS. Thanks to our many swallows and brown bats, the garden is mostly mosquito-free!

A Heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to Old and New Friends from the Horse on Finishing Our 10th Year

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

As the snow begins to sugar the mountain tops here in Swan Lake, I begin the task of closing the Horse for the long winter. First the gardens, so lush and beautiful this year, are cut back and a few tears fall as the last of those glorious hollyhocks are stuffed into the mulch bag – their seed pods carefully saved for gorilla gardening around the neighborhood. Those monstrous hanging baskets of sunrise pink petunias are delivered back to the nursery and the drip systems are drained. The herb garden – so prolific this summer – gives up the last sprigs of lovage, savory and tarragon to flavor the fall stew bubbling on the back burner.

The highway is quiet, the lake even more so. No jet skis, boats or swimmers – just flocks of migrants heading south stopping in for a quick bite and respite. This is my favorite time of year – full of gold light and the smell of winter on the air. The few visitors coming through the door are a hardy breed seeking stillness and ready for any weather Nature may send their way.

It has been an amazing season thanks to the many returning guests who over the years have become good friends. And so many new faces that portend an even rosier future for the Horse.  It has been 10 years since the doors opened and what a wonderful ride it has been…fascinating visitors and guests, exciting stories of traveling adventures, quiet moments on sunset contemplations and the absolutely wonderful gratification of knowing that my staff and I have contributed in some small way to making special memories for you and your families.Kathleen on porch

Although the lodge will be  closed November 1 thru April 30, we won’t be idle…upgrades and improvements will take place over the winter to make your 2010 stay even more comfortable.  On behalf of Nikki, Cooper, Sampson and Juliet – thank you – for the hikes, the cookies and the new vocabulary (Sampson has incorporated a distinct New Jersey accent and now knows the main theme to Encounters of the Third Kind!)

For all our new and old friends – have a safe and exceptional winter. We’ll be looking forward to welcoming you back to the Horse next year.  Kathleen

Laughing Horse Lodge A Haven for Foodies in the Flathead Valley

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Now in her tenth year as owner, chief cook and bottle washer, Kathleen continues to bring in the rave reviews for Laughing Horse Lodge from locals and visitors who have discovered this Swan Lake dining ‘secret’.

This season, Kathleen heats up her menu with nightly specials from the ‘over the top’ Asian flavor sensation of Saffron Soba Noodle Cake to the Norman Rockwell down home comfort of savory meatloaf floating in a sea of Crimini Mushroom Prime Rib gravy.

The Horse offers a laid-back, old Montana dining experience where the value is on the plate – mostly organic, always fresh and totally delicious ingredients prepared with care, presented with joy and affordably priced.

So if you are a foodie looking for the best the Flathead has to offer, take a short drive to Swan Lake and see what Kathleen is cooking up for the evening… “hmmm…all natural Tuscan-style Black Angus Prime Rib, or a large steaming bowl of clams swimming in a broth reminiscent of late summer nights in Capri?”

The dining room is open 5pm Wednesday – Sunday for dinner with a public brunch offered Saturday and Sunday 8am – 2pm. The kitchen is closed Monday and Tuesday night so that Kathleen may bring her creative skills to the private homes of the Bigfork/Swan Lake area for parties from 12 to 100.

 Reservations definitely suggested…406-886-2080.

Natural Porterhouse Pork Chop on a Green Chili Frittata

Natural Porterhouse Pork Chop on a Green Chili Frittata

Black Truffle Sacchetti with Slivered Asparagus Featured at Laughing Horse Lodge this Week!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

“Whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens…” yes, those are two of my favorite things, but in the spring my thoughts and my kitchen turn to two other favorites…black truffles and fresh asparagus. This week (June 17th – 21st) Laughing Horse Lodge is pleased to present a deceptively simple yet flavorful dish featuring both.


Slivers of black truffle are folded into a lovely blend of three Italian cheeses and spooned into petite pasta sachets which are tossed with julienned asparagus and a simple garlic-infused brown butter sauce. Of course the dish wouldn’t be complete without a splash of fresh herbs from the Horse’s garden.


Pair this dish with a cool Lodge salad of organic greens and a bright Hacienda Molleda Garnacha from Zaragoza and you have a perfect meal for a warm Swan Lake evening.


For dinner reservations, call 406-886-2080

Laughing Horse Lodge Finding New Ways to Protect the Environment

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Over the past several years Laughing Horse Lodge has attempted to become more environmentally aware in its business practices. Each year, more organic produce, grains and dairy, as well as natural meats and line caught wild fish are placed on the menu. Cleaning products have gotten gentler: guests are choosing to keep their linens longer; and now, the one area that is always a challenge for inn owners – guest amenities – has gotten a renewal and upgrade.

Thanks to the efforts of GREENWICH BAY Soap Company, a family owned and operated business that has been manufacturing fine toiletries since 1962, the Horse has been able to remove plastic shampoo bottles from the rooms and reduce bar soap waste.

Greenwich Bay’s Shampoo & Body Bar uses only the finest natural ingredients and is sulfate and paraben free. Using essential oils and very little filler water, the recycled paper wrapped bars require less energy to produce and fulfill two services in one for overnight guests.  A small notice in the rooms lets guests know the benefits of the bar and how they are helping to reduce waste and potential chemicals in the water table.

We’ve still got some areas for improvement, says owner Kathleen, but we’ll keep searching for new ways to reduce, minimize and conserve while still giving our guests an exceptional Montana experience.

July 5th Celebration of the American Cowboy with Music, Poetry and BBQ at Laughing Horse Lodge

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

It’s Independence Weekend, and what could be more iconic of independence than the American Cowboy? So brush off your Levis, polish up your boots and head to Laughing Horse Lodge for an evening of great cowboy music with Joe Zambrano and Blue Smoke, Cowboy Poetry, dancing, open mike competition for poets,and of course, a delicious Cowboy Grub BBQ. Adults $18, kids under twelve $12. Beer and wine available. Secured reservations required. Do you have a poet lurking somewhere inside? This is your opportunity…pick a poem 2 – 4 minutes in length…and get ready to wow the crowd. A $50 gift certificate the Horse goes to the winner as decided by crowd response. Let the Horse know if you plan to participate in the open mike as space and time is limited.

Event begins at 6pm in the Garden at the Horse, located at milemarker 71.5, Hwy. 83 in Swan Lake Montana. Don’t be late!

The Best Dining in Bigfork is in Swan Lake!

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Travelers and locals agree  that the short drive from Bigfork to the village of Swan Lake is well worth it…not only for the marvelous scenery along Swan Lake, but for what awaits you in the dining room at Laughing Horse Lodge.  The menu at the Horse features the freshest organic produce available, along with exceptionally tender, aged, all natural Angus beef, line caught wild fish, natural pork and chicken. Simply prepared and elegantly presented, the dishes offered by Chef Kathleen have been compared to the some of the finest restaurants in San Francisco and Chicago.  The intimate dining room, warmed by a wood stove in the corner and the laughter of happy diners, welcomes you with the aromas of freshly baked bread and pies.  If you want to escape the hurried crowds of Bigfork in high summer, jump in the car and drive the 16 miles to laid back Swan Lake. Enjoy a walk on the beach before sunset and then settle in to enjoy an evening of excellent food, good wine and the conversation of new friends. Reservations required. Call 406-886-2080. The dining room is open for dinner Wednesday – Sunday, 5pm to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday, 8am – 2pm for brunch.

Spring Fishing in Montana is Fantastic!

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Shake off those winter blues, gas up the boat and head to Swan Lake for some of the best spring fishing we’ve seen in years! On Sunday, May 10th, a 47# pike and an 8# Bull Trout won the honors of Catch of The Day in the little lake located near Bigfork, Montana. Swan Lake is located in the NorthWest corner of Montana and offers up some of the finest lake fishing in the country. Fishing licenses are available at Swan Lake Trading Post and Laughing Horse Lodge is offering a great fishing package for May including 2 nights lodging for two, dinner each evening, breakfast each morning and a gourmet sack lunch, for your day on the lake…all for only $259. Ranked #1 in the area for great food, lodging and hospitality by, the Horse is where you should be this spring!

We’re Toasting the Bigfork Summer Playhouse 50th Reunion All Summer Long

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Bring  your evening’s playhouse tickets to Laughing Horse Lodge Wednesday – Sunday this summer, and you’ll receive a complimentary glass of draft microbrew or wine. Located just 16 miles from Bigfork, the highly-reviewed Horse opens at 5pm so that you may enjoy a leisurely dinner and be back in the village in time for the first curtain.

To make reservations, call 406-886-2080.