The Inn At Little Washington

Two weeks ago Tobyjoe and I visited the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia. Our vacation was to last through the week (we were going to stay in Washington, DC for the rest of the week and visit friends) but we had to cut it short and take care of our very sick cat.

Here are some pictures from our trip (with blurbs above each shot).

We drove up, they opened our car doors, carried in our luggage, and held an umbrella above my head. The umbrella thing was a little weird because I am so not a gal used to that sort of thing. I kept telling them, “You really don’t have to hold it above my head. I could use a little rain.” But they persisted. Who am I to stop a man from doing his job?

This is the front porch.

Below is a picture of our room. We stopped in and prepared for a walk, which pretty much meant grabbing our cameras.

The window seat.

Tobyjoe goofs off. I goof off with him.

Main Street. Super quaint. The rain was perfect. The lighting was perfect. Washington, Virginia reminded me of a tiny, Irish town. So plush and green and eerily quiet for this city gal.

I thought this house only existed in my dreams. And so close to DC! If only. Seriously, someday I want to live in a place like this with my several kids (don’t tell Toby) and my uncountable number of rescued cats.

A barn. The storm came over this mountain. Keep in mind, we were there the night the Nor’easter came through.

A resident had about 8 Volvos (that I could see. I am certain there were more down the hill). It was like a Volvo graveyard. I, of course, had to take a picture of this baby. Maybe my house filled with kids and rescued cats will also include rescued Volvos.

A picture of the Inn from across the street. The window closest the tree was our window. That tree swooned us to sleep when the wind set in and then something not so great happened, which I talk about later on in this post.

Tobyjoe, the dapper fella, waits to be escorted to our table. (I love this man.)

The menu featured both our names. We kept it. A nice touch, I might add.

The pre-appetizer. (Not ordered by us.) The only one we didn’t consume was the foie gras (second in from the right.) I just can’t eat something knowing it was force fed. I avoid that stuff. Our leaving it on the plate was a silent protest of sorts. ;]

The first glass of wine. I did not partake, but I watched Tobyjoe get pampered. He told the sommelier, “Just pick whatever you think pairs well with my food.” He made a great decision in doing so; the sommelier’s choices were spot on. The one thing that I like the best about the Inn at Little Washington is that the service is impeccable. They have truly wonderful people working for them. At no point does a person feel out of place or (for lack of a better word) stupid. They are not at all snobby, just a big group of down-to-earth people. The sommelier we had was specifically kind and helpful.

My first appetizer. Mussels with bread crumbs. I loved it. But I’m easy being pregnant and all. :] Tobyjoe said there were a little too many crumbs for his liking. But I’ll leave his review to him.

Second pairing of wine. I know nothing about wines, so I shot the bottles. (You will noticed that I stopped shooting wines eventually because I found out that our sommelier was writing them down for us and was planning to leave the list with our menus at the front desk. Awesome.)

Below is a shot of my second course and my most favorite. This one was outstanding. I had the squab. You were to take the filling and place it in the leaves on the left. Oh dear, was it ever awesome. It came in a dark sauce with peanuts and other awesome stuff. It was awesome. Did I mention that? Awesome. I am so going to get a job at Food and Wine after this post.

This was Toby’s second course. He had the Inn’s signature dish, the morel crusted scallop. It sat on a bed of pureed cauliflower. So good.

My main course: Maine lobster. Yeah, this was killer, too. I could have eaten several of these.

Toby’s main course. He had the beef. (First time in 15 years he ate beef.) I’ll let him write about this if/when he gets time. I tried the piece on the far left (the middle bit was too raw for my pregnant self) and the scalloped potatoes. Both were incredible. In fact, his dish was better than mine and mine was amazing.

The dessert course. Tobyjoe had the cheese. I, of course, ordered the most caloric and largest dish they offered. This is Faira the cow. She is the Inn’s cheese tray.

And this is my dish of dessert. I figured it this way: no booze for me? Then I’d stuff myself silly on dessert. And that I did.

The both of us ready to dig in.

The carnage.

A picture of the dining room.

Tobyjoe took this of me. This was before the incredibly painful bout of heartburn set in. Hey, I asked for it.

The two of us.

Faira again in the parlor. We are waiting to take a tour of the kitchen.

The amazing kitchen. Who knows, maybe next time we visit them we’ll ask for the kitchen table. I have always wanted to do that. (There are two tables in the kitchen.)

The Viking stove, custom made for the Inn. A wonderful piece of art. We’re planning on buying one when we own a house. Yep. With our extra 100 thousand some odd dollars.

When we got back to our room the owner’s dog left us a treat and a note. (Like we could eat another bite.) It was a bottle of port and two edible dog biscuits.

Our turned down bed.

My big fat belly. Tobyjoe took this without my knowing. I’m putting it out there, dammit.

My breakfast the next morning. Lobster omelet (yes, again!), homemade sausage, bacon, and some potatoes. Holy moly, so good.

The garden.

A penny for your thoughts? Comment card.

Which we filled out.

Here’s the deal, on Sundays, they apparently shut off the water from 2 AM until 4 AM to add softener. During that time, the pipes began clanking something awful. We don’t believe anyone else could hear it; that it was just taking place in our room, but we were unable to sleep because of it. I was up for over two hours as was Tobyjoe. I called downstairs twice and the woman was super apologetic. But still…. for 500 bucks a night, we expected to sleep in silence.

The noise settled down after 4 and we were able to sleep soundly until 9 AM. The next day we talked to the front desk and he gave us a pretty hefty discount, which was nice of him.

I don’t want to come off as angry or disgruntled, but I think they would have wanted us to say something given their desire to please their clientèle. Overall, we had an incredible time and I would go again in a heartbeat (after saving up for it, of course). I would recommend the place to friends and family in a second. Even though we didn’t get the sleep we wanted, it was an amazing evening. Plus, I’m sure the knocking was an isolated incident. I don’t want to deter anyone from visiting. If you take one thing away from this post, take that. (Oh, and the bit about how awesome my squab was.)

If you have a thousand bucks or a credit card, you simply must go. You will have a wonderful night. I highly suggest going with a loved one; it’s entirely romantic. And make sure you are hungry. Also, if you’re pregnant or prone to heartburn, bring the Mylanta. Oh, sweet Jesus, I was on fire.

Perhaps we’ll go back for our 50th wedding anniversary. And I have to go again soon because I don’t want our last visit there to be tainted by the death of Schmitty.


  1. Michael Pappas April 30, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    That looks like an absolutely fabulous meal!


  2. Mike, side note: are you not getting my many email?


  3. Michael Pappas April 30, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Ah, no!


  4. Awesome review. Sounds like an idea for another website. Names on the menu? Very cool!

    If you ever get to Baltimore, I recommend the Harbor Court Hotel. It’s 4-star. Get a junior suite. Awesome and awesome service.

    Yes, it is awesome.


  5. Awesome. We could easily get to Baltimore. Tobyjoe can get his Wire on (no, not the kind they put on your person to bust people) and I can eat crab.

    Also: (I’m totatlly turning this comment thread into my own personal reach out and touch someone.) Melissa, (Melhow) the dessert shown above, while good, pales in comparison to your brownies. I am nearly finished with them. Do they have to come only when something bad happens? How about if we work out a trade? So good. So, so good.

    Pales in comparison means yours is better, right?


  6. The Wire! Awesome show! I haven’t seen it since I dropped HBO but it was really good the first couple of seasons.

    Crab… Phillip’s Seafood, Inner Harbor. Need I say more?


  7. Wow. Just wow. The place looks gorgeous, the food and wine service sound absolutely exquisite, and HOW CUTE ARE YOU TWO?

    All that and a dazzling array of cheeses… swoon.


  8. I am so jealous…living in DC for over 10 years and I still have not dragged myself out there yet! Next restaurant you must try is 2941 when you are back in DC…closer in but just amazing.


  9. those desserts! that cheese cart! i’m in total yummy food envy. was the food included in the 500 a night rate? or will i have to get a second job to afford the whole experience? can you just go for dinner?


  10. No, it wasn’t included. The meal was (I think) about 200 each. Toby will have to back me up on this one. It went on his credit card, after all.

    The rooms are cheaper during the week. But they were booked up solid so we took Sunday night, which counts as a weekend and runs about 500 plus.

    You can just go for dinner. A lot of folks do. But if you can swing it, I highly recommend getting a room upstairs. It’s so much easier than having to drive home on a super duper full stomach. Plus, the breakfast is freaking amazing. :]


  11. Oh, wow. I’m drooling looking at those pictures. And your menu had your names on it! Wow.

    How did the wine ordering work? I’m assuming TJ didn’t down entire bottles on his own :)—did he order by the glass and they brought out the bottles for you two to check out?

    Now I need someone special to go there with.


  12. The sommelier brought out a glass (or two) per course. Sometimes, he brought out two glasses for one course because he wanted Toby to experience different flavors. The main course was paired with two reds, for example. The guy was awesome. I do believe TJ was happy with every glass and every pairing.

    I’ll let him elaborate if he has the time today. :]

    Katie, hell, bring anyone. Since you live in the area, you can head out for a night with friends. In fact, that’s probably the best way to do it. Go with a group of people and rent a limo or something. I would love to do that. Invite a bunch of friends for the night. That way you get to try a bunch of dishes at once.

    I’m going to amend my previous comment. If you go for dinner, bring a group with you. If you go to stay the night, go with a loved one. :]

    Just go, for pete’s sake.


  13. I am so jealous! Make your brother take me there. As an aside, did you know that Viking Ranges are made in Greenwood, MS? They even have a cooking school there! They have a gorgeous boutique hotel called the Alluvian there that gets rave reviews. You and Toby could go test drive a Viking range and then come visit us. I promise I will make more brownies:)


  14. I had asked him to go crazy and run the show and mentioned that I didn’t want to think about anything.
    He was wonderful (everyone was) and did toss some variety into the mix.

    When I get home and review the list I’ll write about it. Maybe even on!


  15. Michael Pappas April 30, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    I am marvelling at the opulence. And scratching my head.


  16. Wow, that looks AMAZING. I have always wanted to stay in a place like that! I am feeling you on the heartburn. I took a look at that meal and thought, “How … ?” but then you mentioned the awful burning burning burning and I thought, “Oh. Yep. Too bad.” Small price to pay for such fabulousness, though!


  17. shouldn’t that have been ms. and not mrs.?


  18. are you calling me a knocked up hussy!!!


  19. Where are your stretch marks….or was I the only one who got them at 6 months?

    You look beautiful.


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