I would be remiss if I didn’t tell the rest of the world about this fantastic gem in the middle of the Shenandoah’s, but I’m torn, I want to keep this one a secret. On the other hand, USA Today beat me to it by writing a small piece, “Seven Irresistible Country Retreats,” noting seven wonderful inns and bed and breakfasts in Europe and the United States. In no particular order, L’Auberge Provencale made the list, as well as it should. The bride and I have visited and stayed at many B&B’s and this gem topped our list this past weekend. You see, the bride has this thing called a “birthday,” and I thought it would be a nice surprise for her to have a massage upon our arrival, a beautiful dinner, a wonderful room, and an outstanding breakfast before our departure the following day. L’Auberge Provencale met all our needs and then some!
The main house dates back to 1753, and as most significant and historic places in Virginia, you’ll find that George Washington has some ties to this inn. The manor home houses three rooms and another eight rooms that have been added over the years by owners Alain and Celeste Borel as quaint romantic attached cottages, each having its own bath. Amenities in each individual room should be reviewed if you are seeking a romantic getaway, leisurely weekend excursion, or solitude (TV’s are not in each room). Upon your arrival, you are escorted into the main parlor, where you are welcomed with a seasonal beverage and pastries/cookies. I have to apologize to the guests that arrived after us for they most likely did not get any of the peanut butter cookies! As you can see in the photo, there are three cookies hiding just beyond the post on the lower tray, but they somehow went MIA after this photo was taken. The bride learned one new thing on this trip... I'm a sucker for Peanut Butter cookies!
You’ll note that as you arrive at L’Auberge’s main parlor, accolades and articles posted on the walls that inform travelers that the inn is worthy of a visit. Also worthy of noting, is L’Auberge is designated as a “Green” Inn by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, supporting local farmers, utilizing organics and interestingly enough, supporting themselves by growing most of the ingredients on site up to and including peaches, cherries, herbs, vegetables, and the like. This freshness is immediately gathered as you delicately bite into their wonderful dishes. L’Auberge not only provides wonderful accommodations, they provide five-star dining in any of their 3 indoor or outdoor patio dining areas. You will find yourself examining the flavors of every single, mouth watering bite. Pair your dinner menu up with one of the 100’s of wines offered as—you won’t be disappointed. If you're a scotch or bourbon person, this whiskey list is nothing to put a blind eye to.
Not to sound pretentious, but if you are looking for a fairly inexpensive weekend, this is not your destination. The owners at L’Auberge go over and beyond most B&B’s that only provide the outstanding service, accommodations and breakfast—L’Auberge takes it a step further by providing a now world-renowned restaurant, offering 3-5 course meals mistaken for New York or Washington DC fine French restaurants. This “over and beyond” not only shows in presentation and taste, but shows in the pricing and in my opinion, is worth every penny. Sure, there are plenty of other B&B’s or restaurants that you could visit, but if you ask me, you’re paying for the experience and more importantly finely prepared and exquisite dishes! Zagat gives a well than decent score and there are plenty of "likes" and some "dislikes," and you get that no matter the place--I always say that "you'll never know until you give 'em a shot."
I was excited to take my bride there as she was able to celebrate her 38th birthday at L’Auberge Provencale this past weekend and am happy to say that this was one of her “best birthday gifts!” I guess that means a day on the golf course is in my near future! By the way, if you decide to spend some time at L’Auberge Provencale, and you are active duty military, there’s a nice discount for you! Lastly, don’t tell anyone I told you about this place, I’m trying to keep it a secret.
Here are some tools that we use when finding a Bed and Breakfast for our needs:
Trip Advisor (Bed and Breakfast, Virginia)
Bed and Breakfast Online (BandBonline)
Photos taken by "Moi," the extent of my French.