Fearrington House

The property offers three places for meals and/or food. Breakfast is served in the main restaurant from 7:30am. We enjoyed it on the outside terrace under a trellis covered with wisteria. Fresh OJ, delicious coffee, Applewood bacon and perfectly cooked eggs. The homemade breads and muffins could be a meal themselves. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

Lunch is served in the Old Granery, a few steps away. Inside, the walls are covered in wonderful folk art, but we chose to eat outside in the garden at an umbrella covered table. It was a warm day with a slight breeze and we enjoyed a few glasses of a delicious Sancerre, The Granary Salad – Chicken, Mesclun Greens, Belgian Endive, and Fresh Herbs with a Champagne Vinaigrette and a terrific Quiche of Parmesan, Goat and Feta cheeses, served with a green salad.

The Belted Goat, also in the complex, is the place for a casual or quick breakfast or lunch and has a great selection of sandwiches and salads for a picnic. You can also pick up a bottle of wine for your room and there are some excellent choices at very reasonable prices.

Dinner, however, is the main event and one not to miss. Colin Bedford heads a stellar team and draws on his experience at Michelin restaurants in England and Canada. It’s a dream job where he gets to grow his own herbs and vegetables and has the freedom to realize his vision.

The restaurant, which was the former Fearrington home, is divided into three intimate dining rooms and a bar. Two of the rooms look out large paned windows onto the lush gardens. The lighting is soft, the walls a soothing gold framed by flowered draperies. As with the rooms, the restaurant is decorated with interesting antiques and local art. Tables are classically set with white linens adorned with fresh flowers in small silver vases and candles in cut glass Waterford globes.

There were three of us dining, so we got to try a number of menu items; seared scallop with slow braised pork belly served with a cauliflower puree, peanuts and bacon was an unusual but delicious pairing. A poached lobster with a terrific rosemary butter was another winner and served with fresh asparagus. Philip suggested the bacon wrapped saddle of rabbit with barley risotto, cippolini onion and a prune sauce and the combination of flavors was marvelous. Angus beef tenderloin with smoked bacon, spring garlic and a red wine jus and Alaskan halibut with a red wine braised salsify and a Yuzu butter sauce rounded out our amazing entrees.

We ended a completely satisfying meal with a tasty rhubarb cheesecake with ginger ice cream and enjoyed a selection of European and American artisanal cheeses back in our suite.

The wine list has been recognized for its excellence by the Wine Spectator and is notable for its depth, unusual offerings and very fair pricing. Such a nice departure from many fine restaurants who feel compelled to gouge diners with their wine list.

We had a wonderful waiter, Philip, who was both knowledgeable and fun. The Sommelier was off this night and Philip recommended a bottle of wine to my specifications. Just to be sure, he called the Sommelier on his day off to see if there was a better selection. Turns out there was, it was from Austria and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Other examples of their attention to detail; the temperature in the Wine Room is kept quite cool, so they have Pashminas available for the women in multiple colors. If you forget your glasses, they have plenty, again in numerous colors.

We were dining this evening with my wife’s cousin, so I asked Philip to have a cheese plate sent over to our suite to go with a bottle of wine I purchased that afternoon at the Belted Goat. When we arrived in the room, 3 glasses were set out with napkins and silverware on the coffee table in the living room. The wine was in an ice bucket and a wonderful cheese course was waiting to be enjoyed. As I always say, the difference between good and great is in the details.

3 courses, $69, 4 courses, $79, tasting menu $95. Add $75 for wine pairings.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Small intimate dining rooms, a roaring fire, great views and wonderful food and service make for a very romantic evening.

AAA 5 Diamond
Forbes 4 Star
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence