The sound of the water cascading over the stone wall next the Mill House is just part of the pervasive peace and proximity to nature, that Vaucluse offers. When we drive through its gates, my husband always says, “We’re almost home honey, home to Brigadoon.”
We curl around the gravel path, past five homes, each with its own character, layout and approach to charm, something that imbues every aspect of Vaucluse. When you reach the graceful brick Manor House, you are welcomed by Barry or Neil, the inn’s owners, into a sanctum of warmth, golden light, floor to ceiling windows, and stately rooms that invite you to read, enjoy Neil’s homemade cookies, (served at “tea” from 3-5p.m.), enjoy the fires when it is crisp outside and to wonder at the richness of the colors that surround you.
When we return to the Millhouse, Bob naps and I walk the path parallel to the fence. The cows roam, looking for tall grass and then fall into painterly poses against the bounder strewn slopes. I startle a baby fox, crouched practicing its hunting manoeuvers, who races across the street.
My walk ends in circle eights around the pond and clearing, seeing the minnows leap skyward from the water’s edge and the hill bordering the pond, imbedded with trees and boulders, leading up to the Chumley house, typically filled with families, groups of friends or wedding parties seeking to share time and fun events together.
Dinner and breakfast at Vaucluse are wonderful experiences. Even without the pleasures of exploring the surrounding towns, (Winchester, Shepardstown, Middleburg and Sperryville), the immersion in nature and the delight of savoring exquisite food served in the subtle, calm, beauty of the Manor House, would be more than enough to warrant a stay.
Adam, the chef, brings excitement to carrot soup and makes a mushroom cannolini that almost brought me to public moaning. A pork medallion, suffused with oils, was the best I’d ever had. Every dish was a delectable gift. Neil is in charge of breakfasts, each one beginning with a delicious muffin, scone or cake, followed by a jewel of a fruit presentation, and closing with an egg offering which make me begin to think that a person could create a constantly changing, sumptuous diet based on eggs alone.
The last day always comes too soon. We pull out onto the super highways and gladiator driving, missing Vaucluse already, but knowing that during each visit we are enriched by its beauty, peace and delightful experiences for the senses and the soul.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A charming and secluded B&B in the Virginia countryside. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Inn At Vaucluse Spring Hotel Stephens City