Virginia Travel Blog

Bring on Your Electric Cars :: Tesla Charging Station

Here at L’Auberge Provencale we are constantly trying to enhance our guest experience and be conscious of our environment.  By combining leading edge technology and the forward thinking of Tesla with our commitment to provide outstanding service and offerings, we now have the ability to offer our guests a seamless and convenient charging experience during their stay.  As the only bed and breakfast or hotel in the area to have a charging station, we are offering a unique amenity in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains for our discerning and eco-conscious guests.

Eco Friendly Virginia Inn

Tesla Model S owners are increasingly hitting the road.  Owners can drive all day, charging for 30-40 minutes at Superchargers and then stay the night at L’Auberge Provencale and charge their vehicles.  We have installed a Tesla high power connector charging station as well as a 40A universal station that all Electric Vehicles can use; Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Plug-in Hybrid and soon to be released electric vehicles from Audi, BMW, Volvo and others.

Tesla Charging Station

Our commitment to our country environment and Christian Borel’s love of cars, certainly “sparked” our decision to install the chargers.  So bring on those electric cars and enjoy the winding roads of our country lanes here in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  To see other Select Registry properties that have installed chargers for an electric tour visit www.selectregistry.com.

Renovations Begin at Our French Country Inn :: Virginia B&B

Renovations in Virginia Wine Country

Construction is finally underway for our new kitchen and lounge renovations here at L’Auberge Provencale.  Our extensive project got underway this week for an addition and complete renovation of our kitchen complete with a new pastry department, new walk-ins, all state of the art stoves, refrigeration and passes.  Our team of chefs under Ryan Ratino are anxiously awaiting their new cooking digs.  The new kitchen will enable them to take our cuisine to new heights of local and seasonal menus.

The new lounge, a little delayed due to zoning, will begin sometime in July and we hope to have it completed this coming fall.  The lounge will feature a great menu of small plates, house cured charcuterie, artisanal cheese plates and items from our larder and gardens.  This will become a place for the locals to be and be seen, and for our inn guests to enjoy the creative cocktails made with our house honey, herbs and spirits.

Kitchen Remodel

Phase One of New Kitchen

Not only will we have a new kitchen and lounge, but we are also embarking on a make-over of our dining rooms as well.  Keeping with the French influence we will be making a more modern statement in our decor.  In the backyard will be a new patio open this summer with beautiful vistas overlooking farms and fields of the Shenandoah Valley.

At each stage of the construction we will keep you apprised of our progress.  We hope you come and see our new look and enjoy a great brunch or dinner this spring and summer season here in sunny Virginia at L’Auberge Provencale.

Visit our facebook album and see the progress at the inn!

Country Chic Wedding :: 5 Tips to Enhance Yours

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For some people, it appears that life is a series of magical steps:

Meet the man of your dreams ✓
Say “Yes” when he proposes ✓
Plan a spectacular wedding ✓
Get married and live happily ever after ✓

One small catch – this never actually happens. In reality, even the thought of having a wedding can be overwhelming. The devil’s in the details and when it comes to planning a wedding everything has to be right. Fortunately, we at L’Auberge Provencale, have specialized in Country Chic weddings for over 30 years and have put together some ideas that will remedy your inner Bridezilla. Here are 5 Country Chic Wedding examples that you can incorporate into the wedding of your dreams:

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides in Virginia

  1. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
    Nothing says, “I’m making a grand entrance,” like arriving by a horse-drawn carriage to your own wedding. It’s part of the countryside wedding experience that every girl has dreamed of and we’ve made it happen on several occasions.

Floral Monograms for Weddings

  1. Floral Monograms
    Floral monograms are a fun and simple way to customize your big day. Place them at the beginning of the aisle or throughout your reception to enhance an open outdoor setting. Mix and match flowers to add personality and show off your artsy side.

Floral Arrangements

  1. Cascading Floral Backdrop
    A cascading floral backdrop can help to set the mood on your wedding day. Grab a fresh flower, tie the end to a ribbon, and let hang from an archway or center of focus to make any space instantly chic! Repeat until you have a series of flowers that will impress your guests and make for some dramatic photos to cherish after the wedding.

Wedding Gift Ideas

  1. Bride & Groom Wedding Gifts
    This is a perfect idea for couples having an intimate elopement. This day is about you and your significant other (remember?) so why not keep it personal and exchange some affection before the ceremony? A country-style bouquet topped with a simple message and gift will remind the two of your that you’re in this together.

Custom Wedding Cake

  1. Elegant Wedding Cake Topped With Real Flowers
    Adding real flowers to your wedding cake can take it from blasé to breathtaking. Use flowers of various shapes and colors to bring a little country to the table and dazzle guests. P.S. If done right this can be a big money saver on your wedding day!

 

Did you recently have a Country Chic wedding? Let us know about it!
We want you to share your wedding story with us.

 

Shakespeare in the Burg :: Middleburg Performing Arts

 

Shenandoah Valley activities

Just 20 minutes east of L’Auberge Provencale, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, is the little hamlet of Middleburg.  Known for fox hunting, it has now become a small thriving and growing arts community.  The second annual “Shakespeare in the Burg” will feature performances by the American Shakespeare Center actors.  In addition, the festival will feature workshops and a play writing competition.

Shakespeare's Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Hamlet and his raucous play, Much Ado About Nothing (my personal favorite) will be the featured plays on March 27-29th at the Middleburg Community Center.  These are two of the bards most popular playsIn addition there will be a performance of the winning play from the play writing competition.

Middleburg Community Center

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is playing Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm and Much Ado About Nothing will be performed on Sunday, March 29, at 2:00 pm.  You can got online to www.shakespeareintheburg.com for more information and to purchase tickets.  We will serve dinner that evening for those attending starting at 4;30-pre-dinner and after the show on Sunday, join us for dinner starting at 5:00 pm.

 

Most Romantic Destinations Nearby:: Middleburg, VA

Well, the news is out and we couldn’t agree more. We all know that “Virginia Is For Lovers,” but according to CNN.com we have a neighbor that stands apart from the rest. Located only 20 minutes away is the town of Middleburg and it was just rated as one of the “10 most romantic destinations you should know about.”

CNN Blog Post1

You may be thinking, what makes Middleburg so romantic? In short, Middleburg blends an idyllic sense of America’s yesteryear with modern country opulence. The town breathes an equestrian heritage set against a brilliant countryside that captures your attention and immediately makes you feel at home. Fit in as a local while you travel down its friendly shop-lined streets and get lost with one another in the rolling hills of what we consider a wine lovers haven.  Classic beauty, scenic vistas, and humble adventures make this romantic destination a timeless memory for any couple looking to escape the hustle and bustle of our nation’s capitol.

In essence, if you haven’t caught on yet we’re telling you it’s worth a visit. Fortunately, L’Auberge Provencale is located close enough to Middleburg where an afternoon drive out to the town is enough for you to catch the”love” bug.

Check out what CNN has to say about Middleburg and other romantic destinations by Clicking Here to view the entire article.

Five Ways to Chase Away Winter Blues :: Shenandoah Valley Inn

Chase away winter blues here at L’Auberge Provencale! We are much like you and are waiting anxiously for the first sign of spring in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  But in the meantime we have long understood winter can be celebrated for it’s solitude and simple pleasures. So in that spirit here are 5 things we can recommend to make the best of the season.

Winter in Virginia

1. Slip under the covers into clean and warm sheets.  Snuggle up with your loved one and take the time to have a quiet conversation and just enjoy the moment.  Revel in the warmth of  the fireplace and it’s touch of romance as you drift off into a winter slumber.

Fireplace suites

2. Indulge in a couples massage in your guest room.  Our massage therapist will ease away the stress of the season with quiet and soothing full body massage.

Couples Massage

3. Indulge in a couples massage in your guest room.  Our massage therapist will ease away the stress of the season with quiet and soothing full body massage.

Hiking in Shenandoah Valley

4. There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.  So pull on your winter woollies and take a hike in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  Hiking will reduce stress, and promotes physical and emotional well being and as a bonus works up an appetite for one of our world class dinners prepared by Executive Chef Ryan Ratino and his team.

Blue Ridge Mountains

5. Let us get the fire pit stoked up and enjoy s’mores and a hot beverage out in the backyard of L’Auberge Provencale and watch the sunset over the beautiful the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wine tasting

6. Visit one of our local wineries.  Winter is a great time to see the terroir of the vineyards and enjoy a quiet, more personable experience with the vineyard staff.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Just in case, if the snow is falling, you can always join Bernadette for a romp in the snow!

2nd Annual Australian Vintners Dinner :: White Post B&B

Australian Wine

Once again we are thrilled to have two of our favorite Australian Vintners from the land down under at L’Auberge Provencale, on Sunday March 1, 2015, for a great showing of their wines.  Flying in for a fabulous afternoon wine dinner are Sam Clarke from Thorn Clarke vineyards and Craig Bell from Morambro Creek.  These vineyards are famous for their Barossa Valley reds and Eden Valley Whites.  During the afternoon they will share the vintages, wines and terroir of their world class wines.

Chef Ryan and Sommelier Christian have created a menu worthy of the down under continent.  Arrive at 12:30  for a meet and greet with these two fun and informative chaps from the land of kangaroos, vegemite and wallabies.  We are not seriously putting any of this on the menu, but will feature the best and freshest of the season with an Australian twist.  We recommend early reservations for this afternoon.

For reservations:  Call  1-540-837-1375

Recipe for Romance :: Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Cake

Valentine’s Day is a special time of year for lover’s to make special treats for their loved one.  At L’Auberge Provencale, here in the Shenandoah Valley, we have made many a Valentine’s Day especially with Chocolate!  Looking over the archives of recipes, we thought we would share this easy but delicious recipe that you can easily make at home.

 

RASPBERRY BROWNIE ICE CREAM CAKE

Ingredients for the Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Cake

  1. 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped                                                                                                                                                                                       Ice Cream Cake Recipe
  2. 4 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. flour
  3. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  4. 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter-softened
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  7. 1/2 Cup Sugar
  8. 1 Egg Room Temperature
  9. 1/3 cup Walnuts, chopped
  10. 1 Pint of Raspberry Sorbet- softened
  11. 2 1/2 cup Vanilla Ice Cream-softened

Topping:

  1. 1 Cup Whipped Cream
  2. 2 Tsp. Sugar
  3. 1 Tsp. Vanilla
  4. Fresh Raspberries

Directions for the Fudge Brownies

Line 8″ Square pan with buttered parchment paper or foil.   Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler, (hot, but not boiling water)stirring until smooth.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.  Blend eg and sugar using mixer at medium speed.  Add Vanilla.  Gradually add chocolate mixture.  Stop mixer when combined and mix in dry ingredients using a wooden spoon.  Spread Batter in pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 19 minutes until it is springy to the touch, but not dry.  Cool completely, invert onto rack and remove paper.

Directions for the Topping:

Mix ice cream and sorbet together by folding in together.  Spread over cooled brownies.  Top with Whipped cream and raspberries.  Chill for 10 minutes before serving.  You can add the whipped cream and raspberries if you want to freeze ahead and remove the brownies 15 minutes before serving.  Then top.

This recipe is easy and fun and we hope it helps with your romance this Valentine’s Day!

It’s That Time of Year Again – L’Auberge Provencale Gift Cards

 

 

gift certificate

 

Holidays in Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With holidays fast approaching, why not give a gift that creates happy memories, L’Auberge Provencale gift cards.

We offer gift cards to suit anyone’s budget, no black out dates and can be used any time of the year.

Be it a special occasion,  a weekend away to rekindle ones love for one another. Not forgetting all those family and friends.

Click on the gift certificate above or below, to give the gift of happiness. A gift that you will never gather dust, only special and unique experiences.

 

gift certificate

 

Ten Things We Are Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was growing up my mother told me to think of things I was grateful for during Thanksgiving. So this year I am thankful for many things here at L’Auberge Provencale.

1. Thankful for the wonderful housekeeping staff that has been with us for many years, who love to see things sparkle.

2. This beautiful fall weather we have been experiencing thus far; crisp days and brilliant nights.

3. A well stocked, and eclectic selection of wines in the cellar dating back to a bottle of 1905 Madeira and a cozy salon and restaurant in which to enjoy them in.

4. A talented and hard working restaurant staff that always strives for perfection.

5. Thankful for such loving and caring parents; Celeste and Alain Borel, the backbone of L’Auberge Provencale.

6. For our little corner of Provence in the heart of Virginia, with the Blueridge Mountains as its backdrop.

7. Being surrounded by such a concentration of passionate vintners, in the heart of the Northern Virginia Wine Region.

8. For having the Virginia State Arboretum and all its beautiful grounds just two minutes away.

9. For the health and happiness of our children and families.

10. And for Noel, the office cat.

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