SSince the beginning of the pandemic, one thing has remained consistent – the desire of many city dwellers to get out of the city. It’s a phenomenon that has transformed many small towns and led to skyrocketing property prices. I’ve never found a weekend spot that appeals to me myself – I can’t turn back over and over again.
But if there’s one place I’ve been where I can capture that urge, it’s Shenandoah. Whenever I visit the larger area of this multistory valley in Virginia, I understand why thousands of people seek it out year after year. It doesn’t have the drama of the Grand Canyon, the grandeur of the Rockies, or the other world of Arches. But there’s something so perfect about its undulating hills, which give way to the Blue Ridge Mountains and its small historic towns with the main thoroughfares of Norman Rockwell.
One area in particular has established itself as a lover of Washingtonians bougies – Rappahannock County, especially its towns of Sperryville and Washington. And recently, dozens of great dishes and hospitality have had some new competition, Blue Rock Inn, which is also the latest pick to Beast Travel’s series of exciting new hotels, New Room with View.
The motel is located just off 211th Street, halfway between Sperryville and Washington (town, not city) and near the entrance to Shenandoah National Park. It is set on a mid-19th-century farmhouse that has seen many lives – from the horse farm where horse races are held to a family weekend cottage to an inn.
The 80-acre property overlooks the misty Blue Ridge Mountains with a five-room inn, pond, tasting room, restaurant, and farm for groups. It’s the brainchild of Nick Dowling, who also has experience chartering yachts in DC.
The original farmhouse has been completely converted, lots of fireplaces, beautiful wallpaper and very comfortable beds with Umbrella linens making it a very cozy country retreat. Every window in our room (Prices start at $249) offers views of the gentle slopes of the Shenandoah Mountains or the nearby hotel’s working Horse Ranch.
In addition to the inn, the hotel has also converted another farmhouse into a five-bedroom group getaway that can be rented in its entirety and comes with a hot tub.
I am quite familiar with the area, as my partner and I often go to the Shenandoah National Park area for hiking. After our first night at the Blue Rock Inn, we decided to extend our stay and invited a couple we are friends to for another night, with a plan to hit the famous Old Rag hiking trail – a 9.5-mile loop with messy rocks and breathtaking views.
The Inn turned out to be the perfect meeting point after this challenging hike, as I’m a big proponent of balancing adventure with comfort. There is little like coming home from hiking, showering, and then being greeted with onsite drinks (Cosmo for me) and snacks by the fire pit on the pond.
But the biggest bonus is what comes next, as perhaps the inn’s biggest draw is its restaurant run by former head chef at DC’s award-winning Pineapple and Pearl, Chef Bin Lu. He came up with a great tasting menu that feels as far away from a fake tasting menu as one might get while still making it a dining experience. (Plus, the $99 price tag is very affordable compared to other upscale restaurants in the area).
The best part of Chef Bin Lu is how accommodating he is. A friend of mine happens to be a vegetarian, and on the spot he gave her a completely vegetarian menu and also made sure to come and explain every dish to us at the end of the session. – truly a wonderful experience.
Just an hour and a half outside DC, Blue Rock Inn Made for a perfect outdoor country escape indoors for a few flickering cities.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-new-virginia-getaway-is-all-about-the-food?source=articles&via=rss The New Virginia Getaway Is All About Food