Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Inn at Little Washington

the Inn at Little Washington - formerly a garage- the large front windows were once the garage doors.

the draped entrance to the inn- a charming touch

entrance lobby

bales of hay, zinnias, and gourds make a festive floral display

the inn is a member of the Relais and Chateaux family of properties. Relais and Chateaux was established in France over 50 years ago and is a collection of excellent inns and restaurants throughout the world. All of the properties in the Relais and Chateaux group were chosen for their superb food and the unique and  distinctive beauty that their property offers its guests. 

main dining room with tables spaced far enough apart to have a private conversation

another dining area facing the patio

a sweet spot for breakfast

the lounge  for after dinner drinks and conversation

crisp potatoes stuffed with a "french onion dip cheese" filling and finished with fresh herbs and caviar
to start the meal

" a touch of autumn " soup and cheese puffs  as the next course.  Soup is made of apples, butternut squash, rutabaga, onions, carrots and cream and finished with a touch of maple syrup- divine!


pappardelle with chanterelle mushrooms, blenheim apricots and ribbons of country ham

ice cream sandwich - oh help me- please!
Southern Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwich with Bittersweet Chocolate and Hot Caramel Sauce

freshly made breads and pastries for breakfast with  homemade jams

a plastic cow rescued from the county fair and repurposed as a rolling cheese cart!  too cute for words!
When the waiter brings him out , they wave an antique toy that makes the sound of a cow moo-ing!

A recent addition to the inn-  a new state of the art kitchen.

pot rack is fashioned over a huge window that lights the room with sunlight during the day's prep time

notice the grooves at the bottom of the buffet to hold the room service trays upright.

the cute bar - where you are first taken when you arrive at the inn and presented with  a signature cocktail to welcome you.
There is no formal checking in at this establishment - no asking for your credit card,etc.  It is like you are arriving at
your best friends home for the weekend.

the well stocked bar
hand painted monkeys in the bar area

the garden off the dining spaces

koi fish in the patio water feature

patio entrance to the dining room

the cutting garden - there is a florist on premises to keep the exquisite arrangements in the inn perfect.

by the cutting garden
the vegetable garden - still producing this late in the season

eggplant ready for the chef

lots of greens

grazing sheep

fresh eggs everyday
a house available to rent through the inn

another cottage for rent

garden in the back of a cute little cottage


Opening in  the seventies in the small little bucolic town of Washington, Virginia - less than 2 hours west of Washington, D.C., the Inn at Little Washington is a true gem.  It has consistently received 5 star ratings and has been said to be one of the top 10 restaurants in the world.  And with all of these accolades and numerous prestigious awards, the chef proprietor, Patrick O'Connell is a self taught chef!  How cool is that!  Once you arrive, your luggage is grabbed from you and immediately taken to your room, while you are given a welcome tour and a cocktail in the bar.  It is like they know who you are - no asking for a credit card - just "it's good to have you here - let us show you around"! The decor is whimsical, a little bit Ralph Lauren, a little bit baroque, but very cool. Antiques abound and are upholstered in rich jewel tone colors.  The gardens in and around the property are inspiring and well cared for.  The gift shop was tasty; full of home accessories and books that you wanted-needed to buy. But the highlight of the stay was the food- oh my my!  When first sitting down, you are presented with a specially prepared menu just for you. Surprised with amuse bouches throughout the dinner service, it was a meal to remember forever.  Purchasing Patrick O'Connell's cookbook was a must as it is filled with unique recipes - most simple enough that a home cook could attempt them. Staying at the Inn at Little Washington was a treat beyond words- the staff so nice and down to earth.
If there was such a thing as a "6 Star" rating, the Inn at Little Washington would receive it! If ever in the area, this is a must do! 


Anonymous said...

Makes me really want to go there.. So utterly charming! And the food looks incredible. This is a must- see for me!

Cynthia said...

Every year, we meet East Coast relatives somewhere in "the middle" (We're in the Midwest). Virginia is one State we love to visit. I am going to present this for consideration! The food looks divine!