Re-treating at the Inn at Little Washington

     Ever since our return from my 50th birthday celebration at The Inn at Little Washington, my friend A has been asking to see pictures of this famed retreat.  With a trip there at the top of her bucket list, please indulge us as I post some snapshots from our sumptuous lair.  Maybe they will tempt you to visit The Inn as well.  The Hub and I highly recommend it.

     Washington, Virginia (a/k/a “Little Washington”, as opposed to its bigger but younger brother city to the east) is a remote hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Driving into the town of about 300, I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was also a bit nervous because I had really hyped this place to the Hub, and we had already paid for the room which cost more than our first house payment.

Living Room from the Inn at Little Washington's Postcard

     From the front, The Inn is rather simple but clearly the main event in town.  When the attentive staff escorted us inside, we were transported to a different era:  Victorian England meets Olde Virginia.  Everywhere you turn in The Inn, you will find something on which to feast your eyes, and you can relax here knowing that you have escaped the real world (in fact, Washington is so remote that my cell phone actually said “No Service”).

Detailed drawing of our suite framed and hung in the hall outside

     The Inn was decorated by Joyce Evans, a British tapestry and set designer and devotee of William Morris, though she never travelled to the U.S., not even for this project.  After receiving blueprints of The Inn, she drew up gorgeous plans for each room, and they now hang framed on the upper hallway walls.  She had the furnishings numbered and shipped to Little Washington, and Patrick O’Connell, the owner and chef extraordinaire of The Inn, has enhanced the decor with finds from his own travels.

Our parlor with entrance foyer on the far left

     As I mentioned in my earlier post, we were upgraded to the “Thomas Keller Suite” when we arrived.  Guests learn as they are guided to their rooms how many of these uniquely decorated spaces got their names.  On the second floor landing of The Inn, Mr. O’Connell has hung framed photos of each of about 30 of his top chef heroes.  If one of these chefs visits the Inn, O’Connell will have the chef stay in a room that will then be named after him/her.

Parlor view from other angle (note the Chippendale railing at the loft balcony)

     I must confess that I was not familiar with all 30 of these names, including Mr. Keller’s.  Of course, you more-worldly readers know that Thomas Keller is the renowned chef of the French Laundry and Williams-Sonoma fame.  I have often read about the French Laundry, and now that I have stayed in Keller’s eponymous suite which the Inn had filled with his many books, I think a trip to Napa is in order.  Until then, I will savor the memories of The Inn at Little Washington’s embracing ambience.

View from parlor couch toward the courtyard balcony

View from our balcony to the Inn's courtyard

Wish it had been warm enough to sit outside in this beautiful space.

Bathroom with glimpse of its tented ceiling

Fabulous soaking tub in bath alcove. I had to test it.

Don’t you love the antiqued mirrored walls?

Loft bedroom with door to front balcony

I have never slept on a more comfortable bed.

View from the loft bedroom down to the parlor

I hated to leave our plush suite, but the many culinary treats downstairs were too tantalizing to ignore.

     Is your appetite sufficiently whetted?   Are you ready to make your reservations?

All photos except the second one by Avad Fan.

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5 Comments on “Re-treating at the Inn at Little Washington”

  1. Anne says:

    Wow! That is even more beautiful than I imagined! My 50th is just a few years away… can you put a bug in my husband’s ear?! 🙂 Glad you had a great stay!

  2. anne says:

    Not believing the bathroom…unreal. Such fun! You deserved every minute of it, my friend!

  3. Ellen Buoyer says:

    Wow, a feast for the eyes. I hate to wait for the next milestone birthday to justify going!

  4. Aunt Sue says:

    Hi Alison:

    How wonderful to see these pictures and hear about your fantastic 50th celebration. Savor all of those moments and memories…..and you will for all of your years to come.

    much love and hugs,
    Aunt Sue

    ps…..please read my email to you…….

  5. […] In the heart of the Hunt Country of Virginia, Chef Patrick O’Connell’s inn continues to treat visitors to the finest culinary and hospitable offerings known to the free world, and we can now include ourselves among the legions of its fans. For more beautiful photos of the Inn, visit Alison’s Avad Fan post, Re-treating at the Inn at Little Washington. […]


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