Just 90 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC (and less than an hour from Dulles Airport) sits a small town so idyllic, you just may feel that you’ve stepped back in time. Middleburg, Virginia, best known for its equestrian pursuits, including polo and a hunt club, signature Christmas Parade, and several dozen high-end wineries, is a scenic gem offering an easy weekend escape for DC locals and East Coasters alike.
On a recent weekend, we booked a suite at the charmingly historic Goodstone Inn & Restaurant to experience all that this scenic destination has to offer.
A highlight of Goodstone is that each room is truly unique. Closest to the main Inn is the Carriage House, offering two suites, a junior suite, and a guest room. These private rooms offer traditional hunt country decor and intimate spaces overlooking the Inn’s main gardens. We suggest the Stallion Suite, where we stayed, which offers a King-sized bed as well as a private living area, perfect for curling up with a good book. These accommodations are ideal for couples, as you’re just steps from the breakfast and dinner facilities, as well as close to the Inn’s entrance.
The Inn’s most luxurious accommodation is the two-person freestanding Bull Barn, the newest and most recently updated cottage, which features a private living room with wrought iron accents, a king-sized sleigh bed and jetted soaking tub overlooking the resort grounds, and heated ceramic flooring. It would be perfect for honeymooners or a romantic retreat.
Other accommodations are scattered throughout the property in private homes, where each room features an ensuite or private bath, but shares living and kitchen facilities with other rooms within the unit. We love this approach, particularly if you’re planning a group getaway or wish to be social with other visitors. The most luxurious home is the Manor House, the original home of the property’s owners. Today, the four-room home is ideal for private executive retreats, bridal parties, or couple’s getaways, as it boasts a large kitchen, private dining room, and multiple living spaces.
Dining is a standout at Goodstone, and many locals visit the Inn frequently for both casual and special occasion dinners. All meals are served in either the resort’s Conservatory dining room or the second level casual Bistro at Goodstone Inn, a new addition as of this spring.
Executive Chef Jan Van Haute, a native of Bruges and former executive chef to the Ambassador of Belgium to the United States, helms both kitchens, offering a masterful touch to both haute casual fare and prixe-fixe fine dining menus. Both menus showcase farm-t0-table fare with an emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients, with inspiration from both French classics and traditional Belgian fare.
The glass-enclosed conservatory, which look out over the property’s rolling hills, offers a gorgeous backdrop to spectacularly-prepared dishes, like sunchoke veloute
with pistachio, matcha and fermented garlic, or a scallop ceviche with white soy, yuzu, kohlrabi and avocado to start, before the main course of Icelandic cod with leeks, potato mousseline and lemon hollandaise, or a Shenandoah Valley Lamb Loin with parsnip and green cabbage.
Don’t miss wine pairings from the extensive cellar, carefully crafted by Somellier Stephen Elhafdi, who previously worked at legendary DC restaurant Kinkead’s before joining Goodstone in 2013.
The Bistro at Goodstone Inn offers a more casual ambiance and hearty, farm-fresh meals such as a quiche made with seasonal vegetables from the estate garden; and The Goodstone Burger, made with randall line back beef, tomatoes, caramelized onions and fromage blue cheese. The menu features an extensive cocktail list, wines-by-the-glass from neighboring Loudoun County and beyond, beers and exclusive pairings from the award-winning wine cellar. With tableside club service, signature cocktails include the Leith Gimlet and an exclusive seasonal secret martini inspired by Greyson, the farm’s notorious and furry llama.
Breakfast, included in each stay, is also provided daily for guests in the Conservatory. Come hungry and ready to caffeinate. The Inn’s freshly-baked croissants are legendary, and the coffee is roasted specifically for the Inn from the resort’s sister property, Playa Cativo. For those of a particularly food-focused mindset, mark your calendars for regular Farm & Vine dinners, held seasonally and featuring local and national food and drink vendors. You’ll find upcoming events on the property’s Facebook page.
In our opinion, the advantage of a place like Goodstone is the ability to do nothing at all, but the Inn does offer a number of available on-site activities, ranging from hiking to kayaking to birding. The inn also has a lovely yet intimate spa with two treatment rooms. We loved our relaxation massage on a recent visit, and found the spa facilities small, with just a small sink and check-in area, but the treatment was excellent.
Pack sturdy hiking boots to explore the property’s numerous trails as well as a wander through the fields to visit with visit their numerous farm animals, including a resident alpaca.
In summer months, plan some downtime to lounge by the main pool, located near the ruins of the property’s original manor house.
A visit to Downtown Middleburg is a must – from a casual brunch at the Red Fox Inn to shopping along Main Street, where we’d suggest a visit to stores like Loyal Companion (for pets), Richard Allen (high-end men’s clothing) and The Christmas Sleigh, a year-round holiday shop.
It’s also easy to enjoy a day trip to local wineries. Our favorite is Greenhill Vineyards, a gorgeous tasting room about a ten-minute drive from the inn. Pair your tasting flight with chocolates or charcuterie, and enjoy some of the best that Virginia wine has to offer. Wineries abound, but we also love spots like Mt. Defiance, a new-ish local cidery, for a taste of something different.
Know Before You Go
Middleburg is charming year-round, and we love the Inn for a romantic fall escape, a winter rendezvous, or a special occasion. However, the property is about 1.5 miles from town and runs an expansive 265 acres, so you’ll likely want a car, which you’ll use both to get around the property and to pop into downtown.
Well-behaved pets are welcome, too, in certain rooms, but only children over 14 are welcomed.
If you’re able to travel this month, you can take advantage of their amazing Dog Days of Summer Package, where rates are as low as $299 per night for Sunday through Thursday stays using code DOGDAYS.