Saturday, January 29, 2011
January is our anniversary month, and for the past few years, we’ve been taking romantic getaways to historic inns to celebrate. This year, we targeted the Lafayette Inn in beautiful downtown Stanardsville, Virginia. We’d seen it on a brief stop in the town not that long ago, and when friends stayed there overnight and gave it pretty good reviews, we thought we’d give it a try. We went with realistic expectations, and had a lovely visit.
We’ve been to a lot of Virginia inns, many of them quite upscale. Oh, not of the Inn at Little Washington caliber, since that’s way out of our budget. But many places with the pricey antiques and the trillion thread count linens and the spa bathrooms and the his-and-her robes. The Lafayette Inn isn’t quite like that. It’s an old building, owned by a lovely couple trying to provide a quality experience without breaking the bank. So it’s a bit quirky. Some of the antiques are pricey, and some look like Sears circa 1963. No robes, nothing-too-special linens, the room was chilly, the fan in the small bathroom squealed, and the hot water ran out mid-shower. But the hosts were friendly and enthusiastic, they brought us a split of champagne and some gourmet chocolates as a welcome gift, and the gas fireplace worked like a charm. My husband and I have been married for 33 years. We enjoy spending these little getaways together. We’re not overly sensitive to things like noisy plumbing or rumbling street traffic or creaky floorboards. Just give me a room with charm and a working fireplace and a bottle of wine and a good book, and I’ll be happy all day.
There’s nothing much in the town of Stanardsville. We visited a couple of nearby wineries (more about that later), meandered through the Noon Whistle Pottery, and took the 5-minute walking tour of the town. But that’s all we really needed. We enjoyed dinner in the restaurant of the inn, where the innkeepers do most of the cooking, serving up mostly Southern comfort foods with a slightly gourmet touch. We ate till our buttons popped (enormous portions of tender pot roast and braised pork shank), and then were able to just hoist ourselves upstairs to bed.
Our room, the "Jefferson":
The lovely dining room:
Full breakfast in the morning. More diner than gourmet, but filling:
Here's an example of one of the more quirky pieces:
View of not much from the 2nd floor balcony:
The Noon Whistle Pottery:
Another local business: