I posted a review for the Inn as a hotel, then I realized that most of my review was actually about the restaurant, so I'm copying much of that same text here:
We just made our third trip to the Inn at Little Washington, to celebrate my 50th birthday. The last time was 10 years ago, for my 40th, and before that, we visited in the early 1990s. I wondered this time if it would live up to my memories and therefore to my heightened expectations. It did. It's amazing just how fabulous this place is, and how it has managed to remain so over a 20 year period (and by all reports, over its entire 35-year lifetime), without slacking off and resting on its laurels. While its steep price really makes it a special-occasion place, it certainly succeeds in providing the epitome of a special-occasion experience, where every single detail has been designed to come as close to perfection as possible.
We did stay overnight in Room 5, overlooking the garden, and both the amenities and the service associated with the lodging are exquisite. But of course the reason for the visit was really the mind-blowing dinner, which for my husband and me was about three and a half hours of bliss. It was especially delightful to find that the whole experience, despite all the elements of elegance, was not in the least intimidating or uptight or haughty. In fact, there were touches of humor and whimsy and joy at every turn, from the adorable little amuse-bouches that arrived first to the extremely entertaining (and equally knowledgeable) gentleman who presented the cheese cart. How wonderful to enjoy serious food without the serious attitude. And the food IS just insanely good -- absolutely delicious, imaginative and beautifully presented without being overly precious. (Don't believe those reviews that say that the courses are so tiny they can't be shared. It's hard to imagine how anyone can say that they felt like there wasn't enough food... )
It must be noted that dining here is very expensive: dinner for 2 starts at $336, and that's before cocktails, wine, tax and gratuity. We ended up at just under $600. However, this is truly a memorable experience for anyone who appreciates food and revels in watching artisans strive for perfection. We're already looking forward to our next visit. I hope we won't wait another 10 years!
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