For some 7 years now my wife and I have been “frequenting” this Country Inn in Ashe County, North Carolina. Reviews of this restored farm have been overwhelming positive. For sure, to spend a night or two in a quiet country setting, far from the maddening crowd, with a staff that goes out of its way to accommodate guests, is, in itself, worth the visit.
But the River House is more that a place to stay, it is an unusual place to dine. Think about eating gourmet food, having a superb, friendly service staff, where the owner frequents the dining room to assure utmost hospitality and where you will meet lots of interesting, friendly people from everywhere. Dining here is not only dinner; it is an event, which, many times, ends with a mini-concert on the dining room piano by a talented diner. Frequently my wife will come home with names and addresses of people she met and hoped to meet again.
But there are also special events worth mentioning, such as the Sunday salons involving a variety of entertainers. Of course, this is mountain-music country, and a number of these musicians are regularly invited, but we have attended performances from classical guitar, to concert pop-pianist, Emile Pandolfi and master guitarist, Wayne Henderson. The entertainment, which many times is held on the front porch, is from 4 to 6 pm with dinner following. Nearly always the entertainment continues after dinner.
Finally, a Saturday wine-tasting event is held in July on the spacious River House lawn along the north fork of the New River. Nine Carolina wineries offer tasting of four or five wines in large reception-size tents. The Inn serves a great buffet luncheon and the all-afternoon affair has continuous entertainment with top mountain-music musicians and groups.
This place is a class act.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A full-service inn on the north fork of the New River, near West Jefferson and not far from Boone in the northwest corner of North Carolina. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we are far from the bustle of everyday life. There's a mile of riverfront for strolling, wading, tubing, canoeing and fishing. Brown trout and rainbows abound. Walking trails wind through 170 acres. Our uniquely decorated guestrooms are converted farm buildings and feature king-size beds, private bathrooms, jacuzzis, art, books and country antiques. ... more less