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.
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.
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!
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.
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!