My husband and I just returned from our first visit to the historic Willows Inn. We participated in one of the inn's wine dinners, which offer a fantastic value for a very superior experience. Riley and Judy, the owners, offer a monthly wine dinner for most of the year. These dinners pair wineries and chefs from throughout the Pacific Northwest in wonderful gustatory celebrations with an emphasis on "slow food". The chefs also offer a chance for guests to work and learn with them in the Willows Inn kitchen. Chef Holly Smith from Cafe Juanita, one of our favorite Seattle-area restaurants, and the Lange family from Lange Family winery in Dundee, Oregon, provided us with a lovely dining experience on February 25th. Included in the wine dinners are lodging and breakfast, in addition to the five-course dinner with wine. It's a real bargain for what you get, let me tell you!
My husband and I stayed at the cabin at Judy and Riley's Nettles Farm. Much of the produce, herbs, eggs, pigs, and chickens grown and raised here provide ingredients for the Willows Inn dining room. It was very quiet at the cabin, except for the rooster who decided that dawn was approaching at 4 am :-) The setting on Lummi Island is magical, and the inn has a stupendous view. The inn's accommodations are quite comfortable, but the star here is the cuisine and the warm hospitality of Riley Starks and Judy Olsen and their staff. I felt that I had a glimpse into a way of life that has passed away. I recommend a visit to the Willows Inn website, which provides a lot of comprehensive information about the inn, Lummi Island, and all the activities available for a relaxing vacation in the beautiful San Juan Islands.
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