Small town charm is one of the Virginia’s most defining characteristics, and those who live here know that these places never lack in natural beauty, history, and in most cases,
amazing dining options. That couldn’t be more true in the northern town of Washington, Virginia. This town is marked by its history as well as the presence of one of the highest-rated restaurants in the entire state, the Inn at Little Washington. Here’s more on why this destination spot is absolutely worth the hype.
The county seat of Rappahannock County, the tiny town of Washington is home to just under 200 residents. Its nickname, Little Washington, serves the purpose of distinguishing it from the nearby Washington, D.C. The history of the town dates back to July of 1749, when George Washington himself surveyed the land which would soon be named after him. In fact, Little Washington became the first town of many in America named after the Nation’s first president.
It’s no surprise that the town has witnessed much of early American history. A former trading post of the Manahoac tribe, the land eventually was overtaken by Lord Fairfax. As a relative of Fairfax, the then 16-year-old George Washington was hired to survey the land just West of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A few short years later, the surveyed land was established as a town by the Virginia General Assembly.
Despite having a small population, the town of Washington is definitely on the map in terms of destination spots. One of its most noteworthy sites is the Inn at Little Washington, a breathtaking accommodation and 5-star restaurant that attracts visitors from all over.
The Inn at Little Washington was founded in 1978 by Reinhardt Lynch and Patrick O’Connell. In a relatively short amount of time, the establishment has gained quite a name for itself, with recognition from the New York Times and Washington Post. It’s even been named by Travel & Leisure as the best hotel-served food in the world. A quick glimpse at the menu, and you'll understand why folks will make the trek to Washington for the meal alone.
The decor of the Inn is simply stunning, rivaled only by the natural beauty of the drive there. Many folks pick the Inn as a destination spot to celebrate an anniversary, but any night or weekend can be turned into a special occasion when you make your visit. As you might imagine, such an exquisite menu is pricey, but most everyone who dines there agrees that for the entire experience, it’s money well spent.
What's remarkable about this establishment is the creativity of the menu paired with the quality of ingredients. Photographed above is the artistically presented carpaccio of herb-crusted lamb with caesar salad ice cream.
Service is exceptional, and the staff creates a personalized experience for each diner. Here we have the house-made Fusilli pasta served with seasonal mushrooms and sweet peas.
If you happen to stay at the Inn, you'll be in for a mouthwatering Virginian breakfast in the morning. Photographed above is the eggs Benedict with lemon hollandaise and Virginia country ham.
Saving room for dessert is not only recommended, it should be a priority. Whether you commit to just one, such as the photographed above apple tart with buttermilk ice cream, or try a sampling of all, you'll be so glad you did.
In addition to the Inn, Little Washington is home to a number of art galleries, wineries, and other accommodations that will make for a memorable visit. Whether or not you have time to dine at the Inn at Little Washington, you won’t forget your trip to this gem in the Shenandoah Valley any time soon.
Have you visited the town of Washington or dined at the Inn? Be sure to share your experience, we’d love to hear from you!