According to Virginia is for Lovers, “Food is not only essential to life, but is often a reason to travel.” If your taste buds direct your path more often than the appeal of any other attraction, Go Blue Ridge Travel invites you to experience these two Virginia and West Virginia destinations known for their dining experience.
Culinary Excellence in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (PRWEB) August 19, 2014
The Blue Ridge mountains in northern Virginia and West Virginia offer beauty and serenity for a 48 hour getaway. What is surprising to the visitor is the culinary sophistication one can find in the small towns. Go Blue Ridge Travel has selected two country inns offering culinary excellence. The aura of the small towns of Paris, Virginia and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia will complete one’s weekend experience offering unique shopping, beautiful serene landscapes, and history lore as only the states of Virginia and West Virginia can provide.
The Ashby Inn – Paris, Virginia with Chef David Dunlap
The Ashby Inn & Restaurant exists as a tenant to history while offering a place for guests to dine and rest amidst the beauty and tranquility of the Virginia countryside. Situated at the cross-section of Routes 50 and 17 in the charming village of Paris, the circa 1829 inn includes ten guest accommodations on three acres of landscaped grounds that provide a view of Paris Mountain, Ashby Gap and Sky Meadows State Park. The restaurant prepares breakfast daily for all inn guests and is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday and for brunch and dinner on Sunday.
A wonderful one hour road trip west of Washington, DC includes a visit to RdV Vineyard where one can sit inside a stunning translucent fiberglass silo sipping a ruby-colored world class wine at the foot of a steep granite hillside planted with the grapes of Bordeaux. One can begin the day with a light breakfast and then visit the pastoral Tuleyries gardens which open to a meadow of restored native grasses at the State Arboretum of Virginia. Antique stores are around every corner including in the villages of Delaplane and Millwood.
Executive Chef David Dunlap, former Executive Sous Chef of the Inn at Little Washington came to the Ashby Inn in September 2013. Dunlap’s love of food began in Washington State where Dunlap grew up finding food right out his back door in the Puget Sound region.
A graduate of California Culinary Academy, Dunlap has an extensive background working in some of the finest restaurants in the United States including Alain Ducasse’s Adour and Plume Restaurant. At Ashby, one will find David exploring vegetables and fruits from the Inn’s garden and local farms. “I have a keen interest in working with local ingredients such as chickweed, morels, wild sorrel, and wineberries,” said Dunlap. Dunlap is excellent at pairing Virginia wines with food selections for a true Virginia cuisine experience.
Hillbrook Inn and Spa – Charles Town, West Virginia with Chef Justin Meyer
A surprise for many visitors is the history fact that the Washingtonian family settled in Jefferson County, West Virginia and built many beautiful manor houses. Situated on George Washington’s first land purchase in 1750, Hillbrook Inn and Spa offering 19 rooms in five homes evokes a warm, relaxing and inviting atmosphere for guests to enjoy. More than 30 sprawling acres divided among three separate properties provide a quiet retreat just one hour outside of Washington D.C.
Plan a two day visit. Less than 15 minutes from award-winning Virginia wineries, this part of West Virginia is steeped in history requiring a visit to historic Harpers Ferry or Antietam National Park. For outdoor adventure, plan an afternoon at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center where one can explore the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers or use a Segway to explore the Appalachian Trail. There is also Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races offering great horse racing. One can watch Porsches at Summit Point Speedway. The town of Shepherdstown is a favorite spot for eclectic shopping.
Meet Justin Meyer, Executive Chef at Hillbrook. Here at the Inn, one does not have a list of menu choices. Meyers trained at the Pennsylvania School of the Culinary Arts. Having worked at the Final Cut at Hollywood Casino and L’Auberge Provencale before coming to Hillbrook, Meyers like Dunlap loves the lifestyle of the Shenandoah Valley.
Each day Meyers prepare the menu from scratch. The Inn prepares five course candlelight dinners nightly with a three course offered at six pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. “Our guests put their menu in my hands,” said Meyers. The Hillbrook Inn offers a unique dining experience where one has only one chef cooking. Again like Dunlap, Meyers reaches out to the local farmers. “I love to concentrate on the essence of the food product itself rather than changing it with added flavors and sauces.” Carissa and Chris Zanella have worked together with award-winning winemakers at Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars on the Fingers Lakes in New York to now proudly offer Hillbrook’s signature wine series.
As fall approaches, enjoy a drive offering a great dining experience in the Virginia mountains and the Shenandoah Valley!