My book club just returned from celebrating our 20th anniversary at the simple and sophisticated Inn at Little Pond Farm. We celebrated our 10th and 15th anniversaries at Blackberry Farm, so we don't mind dropping some jack for a special occasions. Little Pond was every bit as wonderful as the world-renowned BBF. All 10 of us have plans to return.
The white/gray/beige color scheme throughout the property is soothing and restful. The interior designer member of our group was gobsmacked by the carpentry and finish work. Actually, we all were -- but the designer has exceptionally high standards for this sort of thing. We were even more impressed to discover that Frank, the husband of the husband/wife team that runs the place, did all the finish work and built all the furniture in the inn. It's got a rustic, Swedish vibe to it.
Someone from our group noticed that not one leaf littered the green lawn in front of the inn -- remarkable given that it's autumn in the N.C. mountains, and you'd expect to see fallen leaves everywhere. Such is the attention to detail Gaye and Frank lavish on their home and the guest experience.
After a welcome wine and cheese reception, Gaye and Frank invited us into their big, eat-in demonstration kitchen where the adorable young chef, Hunter Hallmark, schooled us on the art of making homemade pizza. The whole atmosphere was convivial, informal and fun.
And the food! It was simple, fresh and perfect. Goat cheese or blue cheese starred in nearly everything we had -- from an egg dish at breakfast to a grilled chicken salad (with fresh figs) at lunch and the artisan pizza we had at dinner. Oh, the grilled filet mignon we had at our Saturday night cooking class also had a delicate blue cheese sauce with it.
The inn has a full schedule of cooking classes, which you don't have to be an inn guest to take. (But why miss the whole experience?) You can also stay at the inn without signing up for a cooking class, but again I wonder why anyone would.
Beverage stations are close to each of the guest rooms and are filled with water, sodas, gourmet coffees and teas. The only suggestion I'd make to the innkeepers is to have some snacks -- granola bars and nuts, maybe -- at these stations. But that's a small quibble with something that is otherwise perfect.