The Inn at Willow Grove received a lot of acclaim in the media this week, the week of October 7. Our twenty-five room boutique hotel and spa, nestled in the Virginia Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was featured online in Forbes as well as Indagare. In addition, the readers of Conde Nast Traveler voted the Inn at Willow Grove #4 in the Top Ten Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic.
Amber Gibson is a lifestyle contributor for Forbes magazine. She visited our property and the surrounding areas in September. Her summarizing article is exceptionally well-written. We are so fortunate to have her include images of our culinary team’s food, captured by David Mudre. If you keep up with our blog, you know our Chef recently updated his menu for autumn. We were thrilled to have Amber feature images from the fall menu! It is a very timely piece and a must-read if you’re planning to visit us this season.
Indagare is a membership-based luxury travel company. In addition to handling all aspects of your travel, Indagare supplies their members with rich editorial content to assist them with site selection. We are honored that they chose to profile our property for their membership. Nicki Erlick’s review is an informative must-read!
Each year for the past 31 years, Conde Nast has surveyed their readers and compiled their annual Readers’ Choice Awards. 2019 marks the 32nd year and a record 600,000 voters weighed in. Of the nearly 10,000 hotels rated, barely 15% made the cut. We are honored to be voted #4 in the Top 10 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic. View the results here.
We invite you, our valued guests, to read these articles and share them. We not only proud of our property and our surrounding areas, but also the skilled journalists and publications who choose to spend their time with us. As stewards of the hospitality industry, we consider it our honor and privilege to serve you all.
Our culinary team presented their new seasonal menu the first week of October 2019. The autumn menu features locally and internationally sourced ingredients which combine to give our guests a sense of place while dining in Vintage restaurant, our four-star restaurant located in the garden level of the Inn at Willow Grove.
Our staff was given the opportunity to taste items from the menu the week prior to the launch. We agree that the Grilled Autumn Vegetable Circus, Spice Crusted Seared Jumbo Scallops, and Hoss Style Stuffed Pork Chop are among our favorites. The “vegetable circus” presents as its name implies: It is a plate of vegetables, artfully arranged to showcase the circus of colors and textures. The resulting flavor is amazing. This can be eaten as a salad or an entree. The spice crusted seared jumbo scallops are buttery and velvety yet crunchy, given the perfect sear that our culinary team accomplishes in the Vintage kitchen. This dish is best enjoyed as an entree: the scallops are much larger than you might imagine. The “hoss style” stuffed pork chop is another dish that is offered in a larger portion, exactly as the name implies. You will not be hungry after eating that dish, so come prepared! Saving room for dessert may be difficult, but if you did, we recommend the early autumn brown butter seared pear.
On Tuesday, October 2, Chef’s work was on display for food photographer, David Mudre, who captured images of several of our favorite dishes in our favorite spaces. Vintage restaurant is one of my favorite spaces on our property. The pub, in particular, has a really great “man cave” vibe with its cathedral windows, leather and wood accents, and chunky mantel. Around the corner from the pub, you’ll find what we refer to as the “chef’s table,” a semi-private room that can be used for both general seating and private parties of up to 18. You will see the prominent clock from the chef’s table in some of our food photography. Those images can be accessed in our online gallery. The plates that were photographed include: the Vintage Pan Sauteed Lump Crab Cake, Prince Edward Island Mussels, Grilled Autumn Vegetable Circus, Spice Crusted Seared Jumbo Scallops, Roasted & Grilled Rack of Lamb, Grilled Filet Mignon of Beef, Dark Brown Sugar Creme Brulee, Dark Belgian Chocolate Torte, and Early Autumn Brown Butter Seared Pear.
To visit Vintage and experience these flavors for yourself, call us at 540.317.1206. Reservations are recommended.
On Tuesday, September 24, our teams from the Inn at Willow Grove, Vintage restaurant, Mill House Spa and Forked on Main took a hike… literally.
Our small town of Orange, Virginia is ideally situated for outdoor enthusiasts. Thirty minutes from our door, we have outdoor “play spaces” like Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and the Rapidan River. Tourists and leaf peepers can take in all that the Virginia Foothills have to offer through hiking, biking, kayaking, fly fishing, golfing and even skydiving or hot air ballooning. Our general manager happens to be a huge outdoor enthusiast so this year’s team-building activity was to hike Old Rag.
The Old Rag Mountain hike in the Shenandoah National Park is one of the most popular hikes in the mid-Atlantic region. It is 9.1 miles in length and features one of the most challenging rock scrambles in the entire 196,000 acre park. It took our small group about six hours, with a break for lunch, beginning at 9 am and concluding around 3 pm. We started off with a lot of spring in our step as we left the parking lot but came home with sore knees (most of us hover around “middle-age” so going downhill is not quite as easy as it once was!).
The trail starts off as any hike would, with a switchback uphill woods walk. A couple hours into the trek, we met with the rock scrambles. I’ve lived in the mid-Atlantic region most of my life and practically grew up in the woods, but I’ve not encountered rock scrambles as exciting as those on Old Rag. After several creative contortions and a lot of teamwork, we all managed to get up, over, under, in between and through the caves, staircases and scrambles by following the blue blazes that mark the desired path. We stopped to refuel with our packed lunches at the top of Summit Ridge and take in the panoramic views.
After lunch we pushed onward, or rather downward. The Saddle Trail winds past two shelters before widening into the more gradual fire road. We passed two streams, but due to drought the water level is low and we didn’t see many trout. In fact, we didn’t see much wildlife at all, much to my chagrin. Perhaps we were too loud… we enjoyed lots of laughs, music, conversation and had a really great fall day.
If you would like to replicate our experience, we’re happy to share more information about Old Rag Mountain as well as other outdoor activities in our surrounding areas!
Southern Living Magazine's October 2019 issue features a four-page spread on the Virginia Foothills. The "Virginia Foothills" are what we here at the Inn define as “an undiscovered oasis of rural sophistication and gracious living” located between the hubs of Washington, DC, Richmond and Charlottesville, Virginia. The Inn at Willow Grove is a proud founding partner of the Virginia Foothills, in concert with other local businesses including Barboursville Vineyards, BBQ Exchange, James Madison’s Montpelier and the Market at Grelen. You can read more about the Virginia Foothills at vafoothills.com and follow the coalition on social media @vafoothills, #vafoothills.
Southern Living Magazine highlighted the beauty of Virginia’s fall season, which residents and natives herald as Virginia’s finest season given the cooler temperatures and beauty from the changing leaf colors. The article guides readers through our small town of Orange, Virginia, calling it a “little hamlet with all the charm and character you could hope for.” The Inn at Willow Grove is pictured several times and mentioned as “one of this area’s most striking inns.” The author, Julia Rutland, goes on to share the story of our owners, David and Charlene Scibal, who stumbled upon our “fixer-upper estate” in 2008 and reimagined it to the current state after extensive renovations, completed in October 2010. The Inn’s history is briefly detailed with mention of Orange County’s original schoolhouse, which now serves as a cottage on-property that overnight guests can select for their stay. David and Charlene were interviewed for the article and they highlighted our two restaurants, Vintage and Forked on Main. Our culinary team changes the menus at each location seasonally, but Shrimp and Grits and Mac & Scratch fried chicken are staples... as you would imagine here in the Virginia Foothills.
Read the full article for a synopsis of other local attractions. We are honored to be featured.
When you’re traveling to a new destination, you likely research a bit about the area and plan a few excursions. But do you look into what is going on within the property? Do you know what amenities are included in your stay so you can plan accordingly? Here are a few tips that we’d like to share with our guests at the Inn at Willow Grove, in no particular order.
The Willow Tree
Invisible App Zone