As a joint birthday gift, Jason's parents gave us a gift certificate to The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, in beautiful Louden County, Virginia. We decided to make a weekend of it by exploring the surrounding area in all its autumn glory.
Louden County is home to some of Virginia's best wineries, so our first stop was the highly recommended Sunset Hills Vineyard in Purcellville.
(I didn't get a great shot of the vineyard, so the photo above is from the Sunset Hills website.)
We enjoyed a little wine tasting, and picked up a few bottles to give away as holiday gifts.
The winery was housed in a 130-year-old restored barn.
(You can see some of the barn's interior in this shot of Jason.)
After some vino and a delicious lunch at Magnolia's at the Mill, we hit up The Old Lucketts Store, a sprawling antiques emporium in Leesburg. I'd heard great things about this place, and I was not disappointed.
Their selection of antique and vintage wares was incredible. Each room was so artfully arranged...it felt like a museum!
(Image above via the store's website.)
I loved these Parisian-themed tea towels. Aren't they perfect?
We also stumbled upon a really beautiful rustic-style sunburst mirror.
I snapped a few photos of the grounds surrounding the store, including this one of a wilting rose (I think it's a rose...someone correct me if I'm wrong.)
There was something about the way the flower was beginning to decay but hanging onto its original beauty that took my breath away.
After checking into our bed and breakfast (more on that in a minute), we enjoyed an incredible meal at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, a restaurant that uses fresh (and obviously local) ingredients from the organic farm on which its located.
The restaurant was happy to accommodate my request for a vegetarian tasting menu. The meal began with a sampling of autumn radishes, and progressed to an ethereal butternut squash "cappucino", a vegetable medley composed of Matsutake mushrooms, parsnip mash, handmade butternut squash tortellini, and swiss chard gelée, and finally, for dessert, a "jelly donut" - a handmade cinnamon donut filled with fresh blackberry preserves and accompanied by dulce de leche ice cream and chestnut sauce.
(I didn't take photos of the food because I tend to feel a little awkward whipping out my big camera in restaurants, especially nice ones.)
Everything was incredible, made even more so by the freshness of the ingredients and the knowledge that it came from the very land on which we were dining! It was truly farm-to-table cuisine at its best.
Back to the bed and breakfast....
After reading reviews online, we decided to stay at the Stone Manor Bed and Breakfast, a beautifully restored Civil War-era manor home in Lovetsville. Upon our arrival, the owners Beth and Spencer greeted us with warm smiles and glasses of wine. It was just the most wonderful, hospitable experience. (I prefer staying in bed and breakfasts because they just feels so much more personal than hotels.)
Here's a little video of the charming Blue Delft Suite, where we stayed.
(Video via Stone Manor's website.)
The best part of the bed and breakfast? The breakfast, of course! On Sunday morning, we dined on German apple pancakes, white chocolate cherry scones, turnovers featuring veggies from the garden, and the most amazing pineapple-cheddar grits.
Obviously it was a rather decadent weekend, food-wise, but I didn't mind indulging a bit, knowing the dishes were made of high-quality organic and local ingredients.
Should you ever have the opportunity, beautiful Louden County is definitely worth a visit!