I can't stop thinking about the most wonderful week I had at Goodstone last month. Middleburg, VA is one of the most special places on this side of the continent, and there is no where I'd rather be, any time of the year to see the seasons change, than at Goodstone.
It's best to arrive during the daytime to appreciate the drive through the charming town center of Middleburg (established in 1787) and then journey on through the rolling hills that gracefully wind through horse farms lined with historic low stone walls. There is something about arriving at Goodstone; the lay of the land, the welcoming staff, the splendid rooms w/ luxurious baths, the meals and the genuine care and attention devoted to the guests that re-sets my own clock and makes me feel so grateful to be alive. While the check-in process is every bit as efficient as one expects at a first rate hotel, I felt walking into the Carriage House sitting room, I was being warmly invited by Goodstone staff members, Austin and Emily, into small private club.
The respectful nature of the guests (from all over the world) Goodstone attracts, with the passing interactions, whether along the hiking trails or coming in for a cocktail before dinner, is really part of the whole wonderful Goodstone experience.
There were couple of things I'd like to highlight from my recent trip. First--the incredible breakfasts prepared by Chef Maxine were exceptional! The intense orange color of the yolk in my Eggs Benedict made me think these must be duck eggs. They were in fact farm eggs that were brought up to the kitchen that morning. That first breakfast was so perfect that I don't think I'll ever forget it. Not to be outdone by the eggs with glorious hollandaise, Chef Maxine made me what she called, "a rainbow omelet" for my next breakfast. Made with those incredible farm eggs, Chef Maxine stuffed the omelet with velvety smoked salmon & capers, and topped it with creme fresh and a heaping spoonful of Osetra caviar. All of the food was delicious and presented lovingly; plated with tender mashe or edible flowers from the garden.
Speaking of the garden...the Goodstone farm tours recommended are fabulous for anyone who loves to garden or for someone who has never seen a spring lamb being born. That was an incredible site that I shared with my sister and her 3 year son. My little nephew could not get enough of the cows, chickens and Oliver, the 750lb pig. He loved the lambs the most, and I can't thank the farm manager Chris Hines enough, and his lovely assistant Seanne, who led our tour and patiently introduced all of the Goodstone animals to us before she had to leave to attend to their new beehive.
I, too had to return to my urban hive after 5 delightful days, and imagine I will be dreaming of Goodstone again as I fall asleep tonight. I did not not want to leave that last morning of my visit, and tried to make each minute last. When I finally had checked out and was slowly walking to my car, Mr. Hines, the farm manager, came up behind me and gave me a carton of a dozen farm eggs he'd just gathered for me to take home. Nothing could have been more perfect. I just can't wait to return.