Virginian Wines, Southern Flavors, and Regional Seafood at 19th-Century Mansion
The culinary-travel specialists at Epitourean create food-focused itineraries for adventurous eaters, highlighting authentic regional cuisine in its own setting through tours, cooking classes, and gourmet meals. This deal takes you on a culinary adventure through central Virginia, an area known for its rolling wineries, southern seasonings, and seafood fresh out of Chesapeake Bay.
Chef’s tasting menu at Civil War–era mansion: The retreat takes place at The Lafayette Inn, an 1840s-era Federalist mansion that has served as both a saloon and a Civil War hospital. Its guest rooms feature four-poster beds, crocheted quilts, and locally produced bath products, and some feature fireplaces.
The culinary adventure begins with a chef's tasting menu of five or more courses, each paired with a vintage from the wine list. Although dishes frequently vary to showcase seasonal ingredients, chefs often draw from the main menu, which includes lump crab in garlic cream, fried green tomatoes, and Southern Comfort shrimp and grits. Each morning at the inn, you’ll enjoy a cooked-to-order breakfast that includes omelets and french toast.
Cooking class and sous-chef apprenticeship with the inn’s executive chef: Alan—who doubles as the inn's executive chef—will lead you in an intimate, hands-on cooking class at the onsite restaurant. Later on, you’ll join the chef to prep ingredients and meals for the restaurant as he teaches culinary tricks of the trade, showing you the best ways to use certain kitchen gadgets and recipes.
Wine tasting: You’ll join a private wine tasting at Stone Mountain Vineyards, where you can take a self-guided tour of its gorgeous countryside.