The Epitome of Rustic Elegance
The exquisite Glen Gordon Manor, reminiscent of a French Provincial estate, will transport you to another realm the moment you roll up the gravel drive. Encompassing 45 acres of rolling countryside near Shenandoah National Park in Rappahannock County, this is a place where your spirit can truly soar.
Tracing its roots back to 1833 as a Wells Fargo stagecoach stop, the manor exudes that familiar feeling of nostalgia, which will make you want to linger just a little longer.
Enter the Houndstooth Restaurant and absorb the subtle hues of greens and blues. Regale in a gourmet breakfast of poached pears drizzled with balsamic vinegar, accompanied by Greek yogurt with honey from the inn’s own apiary, garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. Country scones with a powerful crunch factor combine lusciously with flavorful, fruity raspberry preserves.
Time to get outside and breathe some of that fresh mountain air – any time of year. Ask the kitchen for a small bucket of carrots to take out to the family horses in the stables or the fields. The distinct personalities of the horses quickly emerge. La Tache stamps his hoof impatiently in an attempt to expedite the carrot-feeding process by novice city-dwellers, as Exo and Petrus patiently await their turn. Shaggy winter-coated Shetland ponies Penny and Tucker trot up eagerly, bursting with enthusiasm at the prospect.
Fancy-crested chickens cavort in the yard, hence the supply of farm-fresh eggs. A trail will loop you back around to the serene pool, whose graceful mermaid enjoys a backdrop of Virginia’s undulating Blue Ridge. Sit a spell in the gazebo.
While away the afternoon in an overstuffed armchair, sipping Lady Grey tea by the hearth in the oak-panelled, timber-ceilinged Hunt Room to the smooth classics of jazz in anticipation of your delectable 5-course dinner. Murals of lively beagles and the handsome family of the manor on horseback grace the walls. Imagine live music emanating from the minstrel gallery in the alcove above as in bygone days.
Resident celebrity Chef Dayn Smith has been an executive chef at restaurants in the US, Puerto Rico, and Switzerland. Both he and his son Lindell studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Upstate New York. This is where culinary innovation meets classic cuisine — all with the freshest ingredients from local organic farms.
Back in 2006, Chef Dayn and his wife “fell in love with the beauty and serenity” of the place and decided to make it their very own. Lindell adds, “Our home is so magical we just wanted to invite people to share it.”
The spacious professional kitchen and accompanying pantry are simultaneously rustic and state-of-the-art. On a winter morning, while snowflakes swirl in the glacial air, you may encounter Lindell hauling firewood over to the kitchen hearth — the traditional center of the home and of life itself. The place of gathering, the place of revelry.
Vision plus preparation results in a veritable culinary celebration. You can sense the exhilaration of sheer invention. The candle-lit tablecloths of the intimate Houndstooth Restaurant await.
Start with a refreshing baby beet salad Montrachet with microgreens, caramelized pecans, and aged balsamic paired with a Villa Viva Côtes de Thau 2017 from Languedoc-Roussillon, followed by a velvety Carrot Ginger Soup with Crème Fraiche Espuma and toasted coconut. Next up, ahi tuna ceviche adorned with fried plantain and wasabi ice cream, paired with an André Brunel Domaine de la Becassonne 2015 Côtes du Rhône.
As the guest celebrating her birthday wished everyone at dinner, “I hope you all had good days.” A nice sentiment indeed. Places such as these engender such conviviality. Indeed, I hope all of you have good days too.
She raved about the carrot-ginger soup, an opinion which everyone shared. “This is so good, I wish I could bathe in it!” she gushed.
After dinner, follow the bookcase-lined hallway back to that oh-so-inviting great room. Dana, Michelle, and Kenny will keep the fire going. Tales abound fireside. You may hear of Transatlantic voyages, harrowing adventures, and rockstar encounters. And the honor bar is just steps away. Or select a bottle of wine by tablet from the acclaimed wine cellar below.
Elements of stone, wood, and metal set a natural tone throughout. Eclectic art refreshes your gaze at every turn. Intricately designed paper flowers adorn the ceiling of the glass-enclosed Fox Den, which was transformed for Meryl Streep’s brother’s wedding.
The regal and romantic Wallis Suite is aptly named after Wallis Simpson, who visited with King Edward VIII of England when the historic estate served as a hunting retreat for the royal family. The opulent Albert Room overlooks the enchanting pool and scenic vistas. And the elaborately tiled floral shower in the Montejurra Room is a sight to behold.
In addition to the main house, the Glencroft Cottage houses the two-story Wakefield Suite, featuring a vintage clawfoot bathtub. And to gaze upon the mountains from the bath of the Windsor Suite is most restorative. Wrap yourself in the plushest robes. Engulf yourself in the most luxurious scented linens.
Perched atop the hill sits the Mews Cottage, a spacious private retreat with a covered porch overlooking fields and rock walls. Meander along and abandon your every care as you swing on the wooden swing under the stately oak tree on the expansive front lawn.
For even greater indulgence, the Tack Room Spa provides a relaxing massage experience adjacent to the horse stables for a true country getaway.
Guest Sandra Valledon Souza’s eyes brighten as she describes her singular experience. “Everyone you meet here is welcoming, warm, and attentive. It is a sophisticated atmosphere in a nonchalant kind of way. This is a peaceful escape where you can really drift away between dreams and reality.”
In essence, Glen Gordon Manor is a place that makes you want to stop time. And with a little imagination, you might just be able to.
Glen Gordon Manor
1482 Zachary Taylor Hwy
Huntly, VA 22640