In late October, my sister and I took our mother to The Hope & Glory Inn — to enjoy some hope and glory. Let's face it, when a woman raises four children and is married to the same man for 59 years, turning 80 must be recognized and rewarded in style.
From the time we arrived in Irvington, after a little stop and shop in Urbanna, the gentility of the South reigned supreme. The welcome mat was rolled out by Meseret Crockett, the manager, who escorted us to our cottage and insisted on assisting us with our luggage. The cottage, a bungalow style with a front porch, living room, 2 bedrooms and bath, was perfect for a 2-night pajama party.
After settling in and meeting Dudley Patteson, who shared the history of the property with us, we girls decided we'd been naughty and needed to report to DETENTION, the cute bar off of the living room. A beautiful fruit and cheese plate and bottle of wine was delivered to our table. It turns out our mother's sons-in-law had cooked up that nice surprise for us — and Peggy Patteson and Meseret made sure it was perfect, even including rice crackers, because I have celiac disease.
A delicious birthday dinner followed in the intimate dining room and culminated with the chef, Anne Kirkmyer, coming out to deliver my mother's 80th birthday dessert, accompanied by applause from the gracious guests. A night to remember.
We tooled around the Northern Neck on Saturday after a lovely breakfast. We shopped in Kilmarnock, White Stone and Irvington and collapsed in our cottage until dinner, which we chose to enjoy at the inn. Meseret suggested that we might prefer dessert and coffee in front of the fireplace in the living room...a perfect end to a fun and special day with two very special women. (The only thing that would have made it better: wearing my pajamas in the living room in front of the fire....but I think there would have been some very unsettled guests if I'd done that.)
I'd like to address the dining service at Hope & Glory, since we enjoyed two breakfasts and chose to have both nights' dinners on property. There was complete attention to detail regarding my dietary restriction. Gluten-free bread had been purchased so that I could enjoy the same breakfast my mother and sister were having...French toast. What a treat. You would have to be flour-restricted and travel frequently to appreciate what an incredible pleasure and rarity this level of hospitality represents. Only The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia, has approached this thoughtfulness, in my travel experience.
The grounds of Hope & Glory are unique and charming. I can't imagine how beautiful the gardens must be when fully in bloom; they were lovely in late October. Small towns on the Northern Neck offer a few shops and restaurants ( we liked Urbanna best) and a culture that revolves around the Rappahannock River and delicious oysters. It's a quaint and historic area, decidedly Virginian, and I think The Hope and Glory Inn is the absolutely perfect place from which to enjoy the area. Dudley and Peggy Patteson, the owners, are gracious and have hired staff members who are as attentive to details as they are....and sweet. Meseret Crockett, the manager, is genteel and accommodating. Every employee with whom we interacted sought to please.
Our weekend was a treasure; the gift of time together is the greatest gift. My sister did all of the researching and reserving and made the perfect choice when she chose The Hope & Glory Inn. I have a feeling we'll return for another milestone celebration.