Goodstone Inn & Estate
Goodstone Inn & Estate
Address: 26205 Snake Hill Road
Web Address: http://www.goodstone.com
THE INN: The marvelous Goodstone Inn and Estate in Middleburg, Virginia, in the heart of hunt country, is set on 265 exquisite acres of rolling countryside. Originally a private country retreat, it has operated as a luxury inn since 1998. The original carriage house and the stables have been meticulously renovated and serve as the centerpiece of the Estate. It is here that guests are welcomed and where they gather for afternoon tea. It is home to the restaurant and the magnificent wine cellar dining room. The property has nearly 20 exquisite flower, woodland, orchard and kitchen gardens and employs a full time Head gardener to maintain them. This is a fantastic weekend escape offering luxurious accommodations and terrific food in a spectacular country setting.
THE ROOMS: 18 guestrooms and suites are spread over 5 buildings located in various parts of the Estate. They are beautifully decorated with rich fabrics and antiques, luxurious beds and linens, wonderful artwork and some offer two of my favorite amenities; antique claw foot tubs and steam showers. The Carriage House is the main building and home to the restaurant. A few steps away is the Dutch Cottage. Both are a short walk to the pool and hot tub. The other buildings, The Spring House, The Manor House and the French Farm Cottage are located a distance from the main building and require a car, bike or a long walk to get there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that……The lodging concept is unique in my experience. Each building has 2-4 bedrooms and a common living room with fireplace, kitchen, some with dining rooms, parlors and games rooms. The buildings each have at least one patio and there are porches and rocking chairs and hammocks. It’s hard to pick favorites. We loved the Dutch Cottage (Magnolia Room), the Hayloft in the Carriage House has a wonderful rooftop deck, but the truth is you can’t go wrong anywhere here.
The latest addition to the list of accommodations and not yet on their website is the Bull Barn Suite, which was actually the original bull barn. The Bull Barn offers a single bedroom suite, a library sitting area with soaring ceilings featuring natural wood beams, a large fieldstone fireplace, wood bookcases created with vintage wood planks and in which a flat screen TV has been situated. The cottage also features kitchen amenities with a wet bar and magnificent views of the farm-scape from every window.
THE RESTAURANT: While the Inn has been open for 10 years, it is only since the opening of its fantastic restaurant, Hilltoppers, in 2007 that it has begun to claim its place alongside the great country estates of the U.S. Hilltoppers today is under the direction of William Walden, formerly of Fleur De Lis and the renowned L’Auberge Chez Francois.
The dining room with vaulted ceilings, dark vertically paneled walls, local artwork and crisp white French doors and trim is an elegant setting overlooking the Creek and woods. Tables are set with crisp lines and gleaming tableware and adorned with vases of fresh boxwood and frescia. When the weather is nice the doors are thrown open and scents of grass and woodlands mingled with the cooking aromas is intoxicating.
Walden makes great use of fresh produce and herbs grown on the estate and even the meats and poultry are raised here. The menu on our visit was filled with wonderful slow cooked and braised meats; beef loin ribs, lamb and pork. Appetizers included sweetbreads with celery root puree and black truffles and acorn squash soup with maple brown butter. Desserts were a pecan crumble with valrhona chocolate and a tasting of cheeses with pommery mustard and smoked walnuts.
Some other great touches; warm bread is served in a rectangular box with a dish of unsalted pepper butter and a dish of sea salt to sprinkle on the butter to taste. Am Intermezzo of "Strawberries and Champagne" was actually citric acid, dehydrated grapes, fiz powder sugar and baking soda. Very cool.
The wine cellar, totaling 1500 bottles today is a work in progress under the guidance of Justin Hunsaker. The current selections are very good and very reasonably priced and we look forward to the completion of the process. We enjoyed a delicious 1/2 bottle of 2005 Michel Chabis "Montmains" with our appetizers and a 2003 Val Llach "Embruix" from Spain with our entrees.
THE SERVICE: We had not even completed our climb up the winding driveway when someone was already outside waiting for our arrival. We were escorted to our room (no paperwork, how nice), briefed on the amenities and left to settle in. When we arrived at the Carriage House for dinner, we were greeted warmly and offered cocktails. Our server at dinner was charming, fun and very efficient. The Sommelier was knowledgeable, surprised us with a delicious wine we had not had before and seemed to take real delight in our enjoyment of the wine.
THE RATES: Weekend rates vary by season. Rooms from $350 in winter, $425 in Spring, $375 in Summer, $505 in Fall.
WHAT OTHERS SAY…
It’s hard to deny the attraction of this “peaceful” Small Luxury Hotels of the World member, a “quaint”, relatively unknown Middleburg inn resting on a 265-acre estate of rolling hills amid the Blue Ridge Mountains; the fare at the on-site restaurant is “always delicious”, and the luxury accommodations include assorted houses and cottages, plus the “wonderful” staff is happy to arrange biking, canoeing in Goose Creek or teeing off at Stoneleigh Country Club. ZAGAT
Floor-to-ceiling palladian windows frame the airy yet intimate dining room (30 seats) at this posh country inn near Middleburg, where the bucolic hunt-country vistas serve as a fitting backdrop for a pricey New American menu that features produce grown on the 200-acre preserve; its wine cellar, lined with international vintages, offers a romantic setting of a different sort for small private dinners. ZAGAT
WHILE YOU ARE THERE: On the property there is mountain biking, canoeing, hiking a year-round hot tub, a heated outdoor swimming pool, golf at a nearby private club (one round per person. Carts extra) and shuffleboard, all at no extra charge. For an additional charge the staff can arrange; horseback riding, river rafting, spa services and wine tours. There’s polo and steeplechase races in the Spring, festivals throughout the summer and romantic picnics prepared by the staff. If you have your own horse there are boarding facilities. Middleburg is an absolutely charming town with shops and restaurants and if all else fails, DC with all its galleries and museums is just an hour away.
Washington, DC: 1 hour
Philadelphia, PA: 3 hours 26 minutes
New York, NY: 4 hours 52 minutes
Pittsburgh, PA: 4 hours 11 minutes
The Inn is also only 23 miles from Dulles International Airport.