When I need a total detox—an escape from the city, some peace and quiet—I typically hop in a rental car and dart west to Asheville, North Carolina. My mother has a house in the mountains (that’s a short walk to town or to hiking) where I can hole up with a good book and lots of tea and blankets. It is heavenly.
She’s recently rented out this beloved haven to a family, while she jets about Europe and the U.S. on a tour to sell her gorgeous greeting cards. And this has left me in a bit of a lurch. When the going gets nutty in my life, where do I escape to?
Virginia wine country has become my standby of late. Earlier this year, Cori Sue and I had a Bitch slumber party in horse country at the beautiful Middleburg Country Inn (followed by some brunching and antiquing, of course). Then I had a glorious overnight in a house right on the grounds of Ingleside Vineyards.
I decided the wine countryside of Virginia might just do.
And then the Parma Inn at Little Washington invited me for a stay. Little Washington? As in, the Little Washington Inn? Well, no. But that one—and it’s very pricey-yet-famous dinner menu—is just around the corner.
Parma Inn is a bit smaller (let’s call it more intimate), with only four rooms and a shared living room, big porch, and kitchen. They’ve converted the classic big red barn on the property into the spa, and it’s just a short walk through the garden.
The Inn felt a bit like I was staying at my grandmother’s house. My very classy grandmother, that is. The decor was immaculate—beautiful antiques, ornate mirrors, sofas with feet, and a sense that everything was rather breakable.
But it’s not just for grandma. There was a Baby Grand in the living room, along with an iPad speaker system. You know, in case you’re there with your winery-tour spoilage and want to start a dance party (just don’t bump the antiques).
When I arrived, the innkeeper, a lovely woman named Candice, was at the door to welcome me. First thing she offered? A glass of wine. Her second question: Any food allergies? I’m relaxing already! Then her (also lovely) chef, Janet, whipped up some tasty spring rolls and delivered them to my room.
The bed was piled high with dainty pillows. I sipped my wine, slid into the creaky bed, and curled up with my latest fiction (and my boo). And then I slept. I slept like a baby. For fourteen hours. In fact, I was so exhausted that I failed to even notice that the key (complete with oversized tassle) was hanging on the outside doorknob. Who needs to lock the door anyway, when it’s so like home?
When we woke up, blissfully rested, we sauntered into the kitchen and quietly sat at a table for two. Out the window was the most stunning view of the mountains. We sat in silence, a bit dazed, I think, from our excessive rest.
Candace brought orange juice and freshly brewed coffee, and Janet started serving up the brunch fare. Everything arrived in stunning antique tableware. It took all my energy not to pinch it while they weren’t watching. Just kidding. Sort of. This stuff was gorgeous.
First, a fruit plate that could have been served to a king. Fresh strawberries, grapes, kiwi, sliced bananas, and blueberries. All set in a gorgeous (have I mentioned this stuff was gorgeous?) antique glass martini glass.
Then, a closed dish with a porcelain rose on the top was placed in front of me. I was drooling over the antiques as much as the food. When I opened the lid, the most glorious scrambled eggs were steaming hot on the plate. The eggs were cooked with herbs and vegetables. Perfection.
The piece de resistance was Janet’s waffles. They were perfectly cooked and topped with peaches, powdered sugar, and cream. On the side, crispy bacon just how I like it. I am officially relaxed and happy.
After brunch, completely full but content, we wandered around the gardens for a bit. Families of butterflies have made Parma Inn’s gardens home. The view was stunning; we couldn’t get over it.
This place might be my new escape.
The Bitches say: A. A super intimate and cozy inn right in the heart of gorgeous wine country. Oh, and the brunch is pretty stunning, too.
105 Christmas Tree Lane