I do not think anything I could possibly say in this review could do this place justice! The only thing I would advise is, the experience we had from accommodations to Chef Blaine Wetzel's tasting dinner blew our socks off and is 10000% worth it if you are considering it. I would also say that we did this adventure as a group which was perfect but a romantic getaway for two might be another special reason to come here. The island of Lummi is quaint, delightful, small and just what you would expect from a charming San Juan island.
Let me give a few highlights...
Accommodations: With our group of 7, we booked the Beach House through Willows Inn. Um, yeah.. totally gorgeous. It was the perfect beach-side house overlooking the water, fit with spacious rooms, a cozy living room, a large dining area and kitchen and even a BBQ outside. I could have stayed here all summer! Regret: why the heck did we only book one night here? This would have made the perfect 2 night accommodation with some in beach house cooking our second night. Lesson learned.
Willows Inn Dinner: After friends informed us about Chef Blaine Wetzel, one of Food & Wine's Best New Chef's for 2012, we were very curious in trying the tasting dinner here. With 1 pescatarian (no dairy), 2 vegetarians and the rest who will eat anything exotic or not, Willows Inn kindly agreed to accommodate our dietary restrictions and so dinner was highly anticipated since booking. Now, without the menu in hand I really can't tell you what we actually ate between the 20 snacks and 5 mains but what I will say is that it was culinary creativity at its finest. Our food was adorned at times with edible flowers, each thing we ate well explained where your mouth was watering by the end of the lengthy descriptions, which always included the focus of harvesting all ingredients just that day.
Over the course of 5 hours we were served wonderful items in a private room and everyone (excluding myself) also opted for the selected wine pairings as well. It was the most amazing meal I had ever had. As great as it was, however, the only small complaint I had was at times the vegetarians were a little bit shafted. We had to laugh as during one serving, others had salmon, we had one piece of broccoli. It was damn good single piece of broccoli but maybe a few more pieces would have made us feel even a little bit better. Advice: Pace yourself with the wine, too. Due to the wonderful length of this entire experience you'll need your stamina to stick with it through the night.
Complimentary Breakfast: We got up early (for us) to indulge in the Willows Inn breakfast, a pre-selected plate full of yumminess. It was delicious alright - a herb and pepper frittata, cream potato square, delicious cranberry scone and yogurt topped with berries. It hit the spot from the food hangover (and for others, other hangover) we had from the night before.
So in a nutshell this was our amazing experience. Truly Amazing and such a wonderful little getaway!
This experience was by no means cheap by any stretch of the imagination, however, we were all extremely happy we did this. It was so well worth it and my expectations were very much exceeded! Definitely a culinary and beach adventure like I've never experienced and am so glad we got to do it!
I highly recommend!