We originally came upon the Frederick House when we were looking for a bed & breakfast/wine tour package for Valentine's Day weekend. Right from the moment we emailed the owners, Karen and Denny, to ask about reservations and the wine package, we immediately felt comfortable and knew it would be a great choice. Within one day of making the reservation, we received an email from Don, who would be taking us on our wine tour. He explained about the tour, provided us with some reading material, and asked us questions to tailor our experience.
Upon arriving at Frederick House, we left our bags in the car, as the Web site had instructed, and went to check in. Karen and Denny couldn't have been more welcoming. They asked us if we needed dinner reservations, a corkscrew and ice for the room, or anything else. Denny helped us take the bags up to the room. We were a little hesitant about the room because the Web site didn't offer many photos, but it was perfect. The bed was quaint and comfortable, the TV was new, and we had two separate bathrooms. There was even those little shampoos in the bathroom, which I didn't expect from a B&B, as well as complimentary bottled water in the room.
Staunton itself is a small little historic town, with a surprising number of good restaurants for its size. For dinner on Friday night, we went to the Depot, which was down by the train station. The food was delicious and the staff was very good and very friendly. The waitress even pointed us to the one place that we should go for nightlife in Staunton.
The following day was the day we had our wine tour. We went down for breakfast, which was not family-style as we were expecting. We had our own table. Coffee/tea and orange juice was brought over immediately. The breakfast was delicious. We tried quite a few options over our stay and liked every one, particularly the whole grain waffle. While we were down for breakfast, Karen and Denny made sure we were ready for the tour, and offered to give us a ring when Don arrived.
When our tour guide Don arrived we felt immediately comfortable with him. It turned out we had our own private tour. The first winery was about 20 minutes away, so Don took the time to find out our interests, what we wanted out of the tour, about the wine industry in Virginia, and to start explaining about the different wineries. The first one we went to was one of the oldest wineries in Virginia. The owners and the pourers knew Don well, and Don was the one who actually gave us the tour since they didn't do tours anymore. He definitely knew the wine business. Throughout the rest of the day, we went to two more wineries, one of which was one of the newer ones, so it was interesting to compare. Since Don knew everyone at each of the wineries, we felt like we were VIPs and getting insider information. The day also included lunch (a fantastic sandwich) and all the bottled water we needed. Overall, it was a fantastic way to spend Valentine's Day. We had a lot of fun and we learned a lot about wine.
Dinner that night was at L'Italia, and that was probably the only disappointing part of our trip. We had reservations at 8. We got there a little before, and they said they were running behind. We probably had to wait about 20 minutes. When we were seated, the table was not really conducive to romance. The tables were close together, and we were sitting across from each other, but it felt far apart. The waitress left a lot to be desired. She had no idea which wines she had, and also didn't know what they were serving that night (when we ordered something off of their limited menu, she said I don't think we're serving that tonight - clearly they were). She brought one of our desserts before telling us that she was out of the other one. And she just seemed to have an attitude.
Overall, this was one of the best weekend getaways we have had. We would definitely return to Frederick House and go on another wine tour to get a feel for different wineries. There's nothing like having someone drive you around while you taste wine and also educate you along the way!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.