Virginia Travel Blog

Christmas in the Shenandoah Valley

VA bed and breakfasts

Pastry and Hot Mulled Cider in our cozy sitting room by the fire

The season of Christmas and Hanukkah is approaching fast.  What a great time to visit L’Auberge Provencale, a romantic b&b in the Shenandoah Valley.  Tired of mall shopping? Looking at the same old ties and socks?  If you want something unique, hand crafted and simply one of a kind, the Shenandoah Valley has an abundance of stores and boutiques where you can truly find a great treasure.

Stop by Middleburg, on December 7th, and you will enjoy the Middleburg Christmas Parade from 10:00 am to 2:00 am.  This annual celebration of the season features over 100 riders and hounds, followed by the parade and an appearance by Santa.  Shop the stores that line the main street to find unique gifts for your special someones.  The Fun Shop is a favorite of ours with their eclectic range of goods, stop by Lou Lou’s for some divine accessories, Duchessa for great women’s apparel, and the antique stores and galleries offer high end selections to fill any wall in the house!

Old Town Winchester is also a favorite of our guests that are visiting our inn in Shenandoah Valley.  The walking center of town has been newly restored, and great shops, galleries, craft stores and more are great to visit and shop to you drop.  Don’t forget to wind around the corner to Kimberly’s and see what she has done again this year with Christmas decorations.  It is an experience in itself and you will come away with some unique gifts.

The  Virginia Wine Country is finished the harvest and putting the vines to bed, but the cozy tasting rooms offer a chance to relax from the hectic pace of the holidays.  And of course, our Shenandoah bed and breakfast is decked in all the halls and the elves are busy in the kitchen creating a new menu concept by Chef Joseph Watters. Sit by the fire in the cozy sitting room and enjoy some afternoon hot mulled cider, retire to your room for a nap; and then return to our dining room to sample our new menu, garden to guest and farm to table.

VA Holiday Lodging

Traditional Buche de Noel served during the Holiday Season

Christmas in Provence Wine Dinner with Chateau Grand Veneur

 

Christmas in Virginia

All the halls will be decked and the Christmas spirit will be here at the inn

Exciting news!  For our annual  holiday wine dinner, Christmas in Provence, at La Table Provencale we are pleased to announce that  Helene Jaume,  from Chateau Grand Veneur, a world class Chateauneuf-du Pape producer, will be at L’Auberge Provencale to share her wines, estate history, and philosophy and a few laughs with our guests.  What a chance to meet a world class wine producing family.

Coming direct from France for this event, Helene’s fabulous wines will be paired with the traditional flavors of Provence and the Rhone Region of France.  Of course, our team of chefs will put a modern twist to each dish, but they will definitely be rooted in the regional flavors, to bring out the best of the terroir nuances of these fantastic wines.

The dinner will be held on Sunday, December 8, 2013 from 1:00-5:00.  What better way to start the holiday season with friends and family!  Our Shenandoah Valley inn will be filled with holiday cheer and decorations for this great afternoon.

To join the festivities, please make reservations early to ensure attendance.

Give us a call at: 1-540-837-1375

Virgninia B&B Christmas in Provence

The solitude of winter celebrated with Christmas in Provence

V.I.P. Wine & Dine Packages

Romantic Getaway SpecialsThis promotion has ended. Please visit our Specials Page for current offers.

Before the chaos of the holiday season, why not take your sweetheart on a romantic getaway? Or, in the spirit of giving, give a getaway as a gift? Our beautiful bed and breakfast in Virginia wine country is the perfect place to spend some special couple’s time and connect before the business of the upcoming season. And right now, our current specials are making it easier than ever to sweep that special someone off their feet!

The Ultimate Wine and Dine – Save 20% Now

Wine and Dinner Specials

Receive 20% off our most popular date night escape package which includes one night in a king suite with a fireplace and a 5-course meal at our world famous French restaurant La Table Provencale.

Right now for only $425!

Book Now

Dinner is from our 5-course menu. Tasting menu additional. Beverages, wine, tax and gratuities are additional. Offer valid Sunday – Thursday only until March 20, 2014. Not valid on holidays, Friday or Saturday stays, and certain blackout dates. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. No third party gift certificates.

Thanksgiving Squash Soup from La Table Provencale

Warm Autumn Squash Soup for the Holidays

Warm Autumn Squash Bisque for the Holidays

If you are anything like me, here at L’Auberge Provencale in Shenandoah Valley, I am startled that the summer has ended and the holidays are fast approaching.  The brilliance of fall is slowly fading and the gardens are being put to bed for the winter. We do have some great squash right now and Chef Brian is happy to share a wonderful Hubbard Squash soup recipe with our own orchard pears. This is the perfect soup for the Thanksgiving family and easy to prepare!  You can use Hubbard or Butternut Squash and the results will be just as yummy.

SQUASH BISQUE FROM LA TABLE PROVENCALE

Ingredients:  Serves 4

  • 1 Butternut squash- or equivalent small Hubbard squash
  • 1 Pear
  • 4 Stalks of Celery
  • 1 Turnip
  • 1 Onion
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 cups of Heavy Cream
  • 4 cups of Chicken Stock (or Vegetable Stock)
  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Roast the Butternut Squash or Hubbard Squash: cut in half, take seeds out, drizzle Table spoons, Olive Oil over squash. Cover the pan with foil and roast at 400 Degrees for 45 minutes or until tender.

In soup pot, saute roughly chopped onion, turnip, minced garlic and seeded peeled pear-until golden brown.  Pour in stock.  Remove the meat from the squash, discarding skin, add to pot and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add heavy cream and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour.

Let soup cool to room temperature and blend on high until smooth.

You can garnish your plate with minced pear, nut powders, nutmeg or roasted nuts or chrysanthemum petals and pour the soup table side if you wish.

Enjoy!

Celebrate Harvest in Virginia Wine Country With L’Auberge Provencale

Virginia wine tours

How do we love Virginia wine crush season? Let us count the ways…

1.       There’s nothing more romantic than traveling to Virginia wine country with your sweetheart while the grapevines are turning colors and the foliage is putting on a spectacular show.

2.      There’s nothing more relaxing than guided, chauffeured tours that let you learn and experience all that Virginia wine country has to offer. Added bonus: truly relaxing while a chauffeur takes care of the driving.

3.      As easy as it is to love the big city life, it’s just as easy to say that there’s nothing more rejuvenating than escaping from it. And what’s better than escaping to a Virginia bed and breakfast that encapsulates the sights, smells, and tastes of Provence? You’ll be a world away without ever having to dig out your passport.

Our romantic B&B in the Sheandoah Valley provides the perfect place to discover why Virginia’s wine country has wine experts buzzing with excitement. Come to our French B&B in Virginia and put your nez du vin to work with one of these special offers:

Romantic Wine Tour & Dining Packages

If touring Virginia’s best boutique wineries while being guided by our expert staff through the back roads that boast amazing scenery

during the foliage season sounds like something you’d enjoy, this is a package that you surely won’t want to miss. Add a gourmet picnic as a perfect accompaniment to this amazing tour.

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Wine Lovers One Night Fall Special

This is the perfect quick Autumn getaway. Grab your sweetheart and whisk them away to one of our elegant suites and enjoy a Sommelier-chauffered guided tour of the best boutique wineries in the area. With a bottle of local Virginia wine in your room upon arrival, you know that your visit with us will be fantastic from start to finish.

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Exclusive Offers For Email Subscribers

Join our email list to receive exclusive offers and the latest news about our Virginia bed & breakfast. Don’t miss out! Sign up now to receive our current offer, only for our email subscribers.

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The Red Chair is Coming to L’Auberge

Traveling Red Chair - Bed and Breakfast Near Washington DC

The Red Chair Journey Begins

I know you are wondering, just what is the Red Chair?  It all started out in the winter of 2012, when fellow innkeeper Beth Colt posted a picture on Facebook of her simple Red Chair.  Everyone thought the chair had been purchased at a local antique store, but no, the humble chair arrived from a land fill.  This piece of Americana, this lowly Red Chair, has been elevated to celebrity status among innkeepers across the nation.  It is a consciousness raising experiment among innkeepers and on September the 23-25th the Red Chair will be arriving in Boyce, Virginia at L’Auberge Provencale.

We plan on photographing the Red Chair here at the inn, in the gardens, in the orchard, on our spacious front porch and then I will be traveling around the local countryside photographing the Red Chair in inspirational settings of the Shenandoah Valley.  I will be sharing our photos of the chair on our facebook page as well as here on our blog.  Join us for this inspirational travel journal with the Red Chair which has taken on a personality all of it’s own.

This is a barn raising of sorts from New England all the way to California, with stops at wonderful inns along the way.  We hope you join us for this fun project chronicling the adventures of the Red Chair.

Plan your escape to our bed and breakfast near Washington DC – maybe you will get a photo in the red chair!

Traveling Red Chair Coming to L'Auberge Provencale Inn

 

Shenandoah Valley : Beer, Bourbon & BBQ

Shenandoah Valley dining

Savor the fall with the aroma of smokey barbecue

Beer, Bourbon & Barbecue Event

Book Quickly, just a few seats left!

Sunday September 15th – “From Maine to the Carolinas”- Seafood & Barbecue 1-5 pm

 

When our chef’s think of summer, they think of beaches, beer and barbecue.  This afternoon event will feature the best from the sea, roasted whole pig, grilled barbecue and fresh from the garden vegetables and herbs.  

We will feature craft beers & bourbon From Virginia and beyond, and of course wine for our tasting event.  

This will be an alfresco event, casual in style, and country in spirit.  Chefs Scott and Garrett will be on hand at the grills and our Sommelier Christian will lead you through the tastings of beer and bourbon.  Another fun, frolic of an afternoon. Ladies this is a great afternoon to bring that special man in your life! Meet and Greet at 12:30, picnic style dinner to follow.

Here is a sneak peek at the menu to get your taste buds excited!!

  • MEET AND GREET:
  • HOUSE CURED COUNTRY HAM AND BISCUITS

 

  • MENU:
  • NORTH CAROLINA PULLED PORK BARBECUE

 

  • COLE SLAW

 

  • SMOKED PORK AND BEANS

 

  • BRAISED COLLARD GREENS WITH BOILED PEANUTS
  • CHOW CHOW

 

  • CORN ON THE COB SWIMMING IN BUTTER

 

  • MAINE SEAFOOD BAKE:
  • STEAMED CLAMS, MUSSELS, CAROLINA SHRIMP, WHITE FISH- COD-MONK
  • WITH ONIONS, CARROTS, POTATOES, CORN, CAULIFLOWER

 

  • DESSERTS:
  • MAPLE PECAN PIE
  • APPLE CRISP
  • CHOCOLATE BANANA PUDDING, VANILLA WAFERS  

 

  • Call 1-540-837-1375 for reservations.  A popular afternoon, so please book early. There are just a few seats left.
  • $89 Per Person ( plus tax and gratuity) 

 

Watermelon Park Fest : Bluegrass Festival September 26 and 27

Watermelon Park Fest

Watermelon Park, just minutes from L’Auberge Provencale is believed to be the home of the very first bluegrass festival in the country. Many famous country and bluegrass artists have played this family friendly venue over the years, including the Carter Family, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and the Osborne Brothers.  The festival started in 1960 and is an annual event.  This three day music festival starts on Thursday the 26th – through- Saturday the 28th, 2013.

Shenandoah Valley park

The headliners for this year’s Watermelon Park Fest are Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks and Jerry McCoury.   Also, featured are Furnace Mountain (one of our local favorites), Natural Bridge, the Quebe Sisters, the Green Boys, and the South Carolina Broadcasters, just to name a few. Bands play throughout the day and evening at the park.  L’Auberge Provencale will be happy to pack you a picnic for the day as the door open at 9:00 am.  You can spend the day tubing or kayaking the Shenandoah River, return to Watermelon Park for a picnic, and enjoy the bands.  Return to our Shenandoah Valley inn and enjoy a beautiful evening dinner on our terrace or in one of our intimate dining rooms at our farm to table restaurant La Table Provencale.

For more information and to obtain tickets for the festival visit http://watermelonparkfest.com/index.html.   This is a great way to enjoy the countryside of Clarke County and the rich heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

kayaking on Shenandoah River

Summer at La Table Provencale

Northern Virginia restaurant

Isn’t this the best time of year?  Fresh garden vegetables are being harvested daily from our bountiful garden.  I love the warm tomatoes, ripened by the hot summer sun, picked at 4:00 and served at 6:00.  The chef’s love this time of year when they have the freshest and best of the season to create tasty, scrumptious dishes, right from our gardens and from local farms in our Virginia farm to table restaurant La Table Provencale here at the inn.

Dining on the terrace has also been a favorite for our guests with the  breeze of the evening gently blowing.  It is a great time of the year to dine Al Fresco or in our Sun Room.

The restaurant La Table Provencale has just won the Best of the Award of Excellence for our extensive wine list for 2013. Peruse our over 1,000 choices on the wine list and find something cool and crisp for  to go with the lighter fare of summer.

The orchard is providing us with lots of fruits, peaches, apricots, cherries, plums and the apples are ripening on the trees. Chef Scott, and Chef Barbara are have a new dessert, The Peach Explosion.  Peach Crisp, Peach Pecan Ice Cream, Vanilla Panna Cotta, Peach Basil Compote, Grilled Peach with Raspberry Cream.   Yummy seasonal tastes and textures.  And Pears are on their way!

 

farm to table restaurant in Virginia

Shenandoah Valley :: Spring Has Arrived in Provence

 

Shenandoah Valley farm to table

Jessica our new gardener, planting our crops here at the inn with the cows watching over

The inn gardens in Shenandoah Valley are in full swing here at L’Auberge Provencale.  We are harvesting all our fresh herbs, lettuce, radishes, sorrel, chives and garlic from the garden already.  I can almost taste the fresh tomatoes that will be here soon.

Some bunnies have taken an interest in the garden as well.  I know they are everyone’s furry friends, but in this case they can be just a little pesky.  It is a good thing they are so very cute.

The orchard has been trimmed this year by a local orchard expert and the trees have not been hit by a frost.  It looks like it will be a good year for peaches, plums, pears, apples, cherries, apricots, nectarines and even paw paws.  The trees are loaded with fruit and are going to produce a mighty harvest this year.  We will keep Barbara busy making her famous jams, jellies, chutneys and infused oils and vinegar.

We are also getting fresh morels, fiddle head ferns and local asparagus.  This time of year is the favorite of our chefs with the freshest and best available.  Chef Scott and Chef Garrett are making tasty morsels for our Spring menu and for our customers this is the best time of year to visit and dine with us at our farm to table restaurant La Table Provencale at our Shenandoah Valley Inn.

Shenandoah Valley farm

Baby sheep grazing in the lush grass of our neighbors farm by the Villa La Campagnette

Apple Blossom Time in the Orchard

Apple Blossom Time in the Orchard

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