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Inn at Little Washington (3 Michelin Stars)

Main Building and Lobby of the Inn at Little Washington

We stayed at the famous Inn at Little Washington back in November during Thanksgiving week and loved it. The Inn is located in the tiny village of Washington, VA, which is about an 1.5 drive from Washington D.C. It’s only about 10 minutes away from the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park so the scenery is beautiful. There isn’t much to the town and the Inn pretty much owns most of the buildings in town which are various rooms, cottages or dining areas.

The chef is Patrick O’Connell who is a bit of an eccentric but the results are worth it. He’s created his own little wonderland here in the middle of nowhere, complete with its own garden, chicken coop, bucolic sheep and even herding llamas. The buildings have been painstakingly decorated down to the tiniest detail. We stayed in The Gameskeeper Cottage which came with a stone fireplace, upstairs bedroom and back patio looking onto what the Inn calls its “Field of Dreams.” It was stunning.

Gameskeeper Cottage at the Inn
Living Room of our Cottage
Upstairs bedroom
View from our back patio

Probably the biggest draw to the Inn is the restaurant, which is simply The Restaurant at the Inn at Little Washington. Two years ago the restaurant finally garnered that coveted third Michelin Star, of which there are only 14 total restaurants in the U.S that have 3 Michelin Star status. We ate at the restaurants both evenings and it was incredible. The chef loves to play with food so he does a lot of riffs on “low brow” cuisine included pimento cheese appetizers, “star kissed” tuna fish in a can with saltines and even a play on a drumstick ice cream cone for dessert but believe me, none of these were low brow or boring by any means.

The main dining room at The Inn – note the fancy mannequins for social distancing!
The quiet side dining room where we were seated
The Inn’s “Living Room” where you can have a pre-dinner cocktail
The Monkey Bar, another pre or post-dinner cocktail location

We loved dinner both nights though I have to say that it’s a lot of food. The menu is a tasting menu only and you have a choice between a vegetarian tasting menu or non-vegetarian. We opted for the non-vegetarian one and we were blown away!

Pimento cheese in tuile appetizer
Amuse bouche of chanterrelle mushrooms under a sabayon custard sauce – pure heaven
Tuna carpaccio topped with foie gras and served with housemade “saltine” crackers
Lamb Carpaccio with caesar salad ice cream – probably my favorite dish
Blurry but the grilled Kingfish
Pepper crusted venison lin with pickled cranberries
“Apparently a Pear” dessert
Inside of the Pear dessert – Pear cheesecake surrounding a peer compote on top pf pear liquer soaked sponge cake with vanilla cream
Chocolate bark and candied grapefruit rind
About to very happy with a huge meal!

The food was simply incredible. We splurged and did the wine pairings with each dish as well and they were all incredible. We had some wines we had never even heard of before. After all this, we went back to our room and had a lovely fire as it was chilly outside and had a nightcap. Of course, the Inn never stops feeding you so they sent us home with a box of homemade candies and in our room was a tipple of sherry in a cut glass crystal pitcher and some more cookies. The Inn also provides a full breakfast for its overnight guests, which features homemade scones and baked goods, granola, yogurt and various jams and jellies. Everything is made in house (including the yogurt) using local ingredients. Finally, they also do a traditional afternoon tea with their own blend of tea (though you can choose from a huge tea menu) and sweet and savory treats. Really, the food here never stops.

Another guest cottage – note the corn cobs decorating the roofline
Shops at the Inn. I bought lots of baked goods from here to take back with us
One of the llamas – they herd the sheep
Like something out of a movie

We absolutely loved our two day stay at The Inn and would return in a heartbeat. It’s like a magical fairy tale land – like Disney World but extremely refined and for adults only. Everything the Inn does is the best of the best which must explain why it’s the only 5 star hotel with a 3 Michelin star restaurant in the United States. It is pricey and you can come here just for dinner if you don’t want to splurge on the room cost as well but I highly recommend the Inn itself. It’s worth every penny!

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