Former 18th-Century Plantation Turned Country Inn
Northern Virginia’s Middleburg hasn’t changed much since its founding in 1787. It’s hung onto much of its rustic charm: it still has only one stoplight, some of the roads out to nearby vineyards are unpaved, and visitors still ride into town on horseback for steeplechases and fox hunts. The 265-acre Goodstone Inn & Restaurant is a part of Middleburg’s heritage, as well. It’s surrounded by wooden fences and rock walls, and its hilly pastures and woodlands used to be part of an 18th-century plantation. Today, the old carriage house and outbuildings have been transformed into luxurious cottages.
Goodstone Inn’s guest rooms spread out across six different residences. Each house has its own sitting room replete with a fireplace, and most have fully equipped kitchens as well as outdoor patios and hammocks. Among the queen rooms, the Stallion suite stands out for its equestrian-themed decor, which includes wall art and horse-shaped lamps. The Hayloft suite, which used to be a storage spot in the 100-year-old carriage house for hay and grain, overlooks the nearby creek with a private redwood roof deck. Alternatively, many of the available rooms have views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
At the classically French Goodstone Restaurant in the carriage house, staff serve a complimentary full country breakfast every morning. For lunch and dinner, the executive chef draws inspiration from the inn’s rural setting to create farm-to-table fare such as wild-mushroom crepes and deep sea diver scallops provençales. Menus can vary based on what the chef plucks from the garden that day; the wine list, on the other hand, is fairly consistent and earned the restaurant a spot on Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2012 list of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants.
Middleburg, VA: Hunting and Horse Country near the Blue Ridge Mountains
Located one hour west of Washington, DC, Middleburg occupies only about six blocks of green countryside in Loudoun County's wine country. Despite its size, the town has become known as the nation's horse and hunting capital due to a long-standing fox hunt and steeplechase tradition. Some of the world’s finest horses—including Triple Crown winner Secretariat—have been raised in Middleburg farm estates, which are famous for their pristine hills. The town has also drawn prestigious horse owners, such as President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who made their summer home here. For an in-depth look at this equestrian culture, head to the National Sporting Library and Museum, where paintings, books, and rocking-horse tour guides chronicle the history of field sports.
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