We’re just back from a grand celebration for Relais & Chateaux’s 60th birthday—a dinner at Michelin three-star Georges Blanc in the French countryside near Lyon—where some 60 Relais Grand Chefs feted the occasion in style. While in Vonnas, we spoke with Chef Patrick O’Connell from The Inn at Little Washington, which has been a culinary destination in the Virginia countryside outside Washington D.C. for 36 years. The Inn itself has had the longest AAA five star rating of any restaurant in America, and in addition to the food, the 26-acre campus has elegant overnight accommodations.
The big news is the recent unveiling of the Parsonage, a Victorian house on Main Street that O’Connell purchased and restored, which is now home to six additional guest rooms with fireplaces. Decorated by London designer Joyce Conwy Evans, the rooms are a more contemporary take on the Inn’s English Country House style. The Junior Suite has a soaking tub with views over the garden. Interesting features include the Moorish-themed glass conservatory in the former side porch, and a tented foyer.
Notably, the Inn is dedicated to preserving the historic village of Washington and enhancing its character with beautification projects. Case in point: The Inn invested $150,000 to convert an old cark park in the village into a landscape town square with period copper lanterns. In recognition of this, the town gifted a street to Patrick O'Connell.
Rates for the Parsonage at The Inn at Little Washington start at $575 per night and include afternoon tea service and House Continental breakfast for two. For more information, visit www.theinnatlittlewashington.com