Virginia Travel Blog

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

Virginia Garden Club :: Visit L’Auberge Provencale During Historic Garden Week

Tulips at Northern Virginia B&B

Double Tulips Blooming In The Garden

Spring is here and it is the best time to visit L’Auberge Provencale!

This week is the Virginia Garden Club Historic Garden Week. This will be the 80th annual event and will feature many homes and gardens in and around the Winchester area just minutes away. It will take place on April 27th, From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Make our Northern Virginia B&B a destination during or after the tour by stopping by for a cocktail on our front porch or patio and enjoy this beautiful weather, or finish your tour by treating yourself dinner at our restaurant La Table Provencale. Dinner starts at 6:00.

More information on the homes and gardens of the garden tour in the Winchester area can be found at www.vagardenweek.org.

Shenandoah Valley garden tour

Apple Blossom Time In The Shenandoah Valley

 

French Christmas Traditions & Desserts at L’Auberge Provencale

French Christmas traditions are celebrated and honored at our Virginia Bed and Breakfast. These holiday desserts are a custom that has its origins in the farming region of France, dating back centuries, families served a different dessert on each of the twelve nights of Christmas. The 13 desserts hark back to market days when farmers would buy and sell produce that always included a baker’s dozen of 13 instead of 12.

French Christmas traditions

During the holidays, this tradition is part of the custom of our Northern Virginia Bed and Breakfast. We offer these desserts in our sitting room to all of our guests, whether in the afternoon or after a sumptuous holiday feast. The desserts include fresh and dried fruits, nuts, cakes and confections. In Provence, most of the ingredients were locally grown and plentiful. These included raisins, dry figs, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pears, apples, plums, Orliettes (lemon and orange blossom water fried pastry), Fougasse (poppy seed and lemon Brioche), Nougat Blanc et Noir, Calissons D’Aix (Almond Paste with Pistachios), and 12th night cake.

All should be served with the Buche de Noel. Although the rich and extravagant Buche de Noel was not probably added to the custom until late in the 19th century.

We would like you to enjoy some of this at home, so we are sharing our recipe for Orliettes, best served hot out of the fryer, sprinkled with a little powdered sugar. They are easy to make and the fragrance fills the Christmas Air.

 

ORLIETTES RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 lb. flour
¼ c. sugar
3 eggs – beaten
1 lemon peel
1 orange peel
¼ c. orange flower water
2 Tbsp butter – softened
1 pinch salt
1 c. lite oil for frying
confectioners sugar

Instructions:

Shred lemon and orange peel with grater
Mix with flour, softened butter, sugar, orange water, eggs, salt
Knead the dough adding a little water if necessary
Cover and let stand for 2 hours
Roll out dough onto floured surface ¼” thick
Cut dough into 4” squares
Heat oil in frying pan until very hot
Fry oreilletes
When they are golden, remove and drain
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar

Virginia Wine Country: The 7th Largest Wine Growing Region

It may be winter, but the award winning Virginia wineries in the Shenandoah Valley are keeping some limited hours. It is a great time to visit the Virginia Wine Country…no crowds, cozy tasting rooms, cheese and wine and the solitude of the winter vines. We recommend some of our favorites Vineyards that are open: Delaplane Manor, Linden Vineyard, Barrel Oak, Fox Meadow, Rappahannock Cellars, Boxwood, and Veramar. We can still pack you a great picnic to enjoy while you enjoy a nice respite from the crowds of the crush.

Check out a little history of the Virginia Wine story. There are 210 wineries in Virginia and so little time. Come and cozy up to a fire in one of our cozy rooms or suites and enjoy a repast dinner delivered to your room at our French Country Inn & Restaurant, a Northern Virginia Bed and Breakfast, at the end of your day, complete with a bottle of local Virginia wine.

 

Visit our award winning wineries

 

Holiday Special from our Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast

Holiday Special from our Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast

It seems all the companies this year have extended their Cyber Monday deals for the entire month of December! So keeping in that spirit our Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast and Restaurant is offering our guests a holiday special of a gift for every purchase!

Just purchase a gift certificate and mention the code name “Noel” and for every $100.00 purchased, we will send you a 10.00 gift voucher to be used at our French Restaurant in Northern Virginia, newly renamed “La Table Provencale” or for overnight accommodations in one of cozy, elegant suites. We do cap the voucher at $100.00, but you can give it away or use it yourself next year for an Ideal Romantic Virginia Getaway in Virginia here at L’Auberge Provencale.

It is our way of extending a warm thank you to those who have supported our Shenandoah bed and breakfast inn over the years. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and we continue to be so grateful for each of you that have found a home at our table and a getaway in our luxurious suites!

A Shenandoah Valley Thanksgiving

The Shenandoah Valley local farming community has been busy this year preparing for an authentic Shenandoah Valley Thanksgiving. We can procure so much of our harvest dinner from Farm to Table. Fields of Athenry is supplying us with some super White Turkey (the breed) this year which we will be brine and roast with our special blend of herbs and seasonings from the fields and garden. In a playful way we are de-constructing the usual sides and finding fun and whimsical ways to showcase some traditional dishes.

Shenandoah Valley Thanksgiving

Smoked Hickory Syrup Foie Gras

Hickory Syrup, harvested from local hickory trees will be featured on this year menu. We have been loving it for its nutty smokey flavors. The process unlike maple syrup which is tapped, is made by smoking hickory bark and harvesting the syrup. It is just fabulous! Wild boar, sweet potato confit, Pumpkin butter, with fresh foraged Juniper Jus, mushroom bread pudding and funyun powder and smoked hickory syrup foie gras make this a truly mouth watering feast. Arrive early to the Shenandoah Valley and take a crisp walk at the Virginia State Arboretum before or after dinner, just minutes from our Northern Virginia Bed & Breakfast.

Call early for reservations: 1-540-837-1375. We will be serving from 12:00-7:00 pm.

We all should take a few minutes to be thankful for all the blessings of the year. Here at L’Auberge Provencale we also will be sending our prayers to our fellowman in New York and New Jersey who are still facing so many challenges.

 

Pinot Camp & Wine Dinner in Dec. at our VA Wine Country Inn

Pinot Camp and Wine Dinner at our Virginia Wine Country Inn

Pinot Noir Grapes Ready for Harvest

I know you are all used to hearing about the “Pinot Camp” in Willamette Valley and know it is impossible for the general public to attend; so we are bringing “Pinot Camp” and Wine Dinner to you here at L’Auberge Provencale, our Virginia Wine Country Inn. This dinner will be Pinot 101, with stories about the wine makers, the tradition of Oregon Pinots, the structure and elegance of a grape that has found it’s home here in America. You can take notes or just come and enjoy!

On Sunday, December 9th, Tom the “Pinot Guy” from Roanoke Valley Wines will be introducing you to some of the best Pinot wines from their extensive portfolio. Our dinner starts around 12:45pm for a meet and greet and sign in with a glass of Pinot Noir bubbly, followed by a seven course dinner featuring local and seasonal offerings to marry with the wines.

Our last couple dinners have been sold out, so book early to make sure you have your reservations. This is a great way to start the holidays with just a day away from the stress of shopping and decorating. Reward yourself and come and enjoy the camaraderie with our friendly group of foodies.

As an added bonus we are throwing in a maverick during one of the courses. If you can guess what it is and where it is from you have a chance to win a L’Auberge Provencale goody basket of our house made jams, jellies, oils, vinegar, and coffees we have been producing this year.

Call early for reservations: 1-540-837-1375.  If you want to stay the night at our Northern Virginia Bed and Breakfast we are offering a 15% discount on any room available. Just mention “Camping” when making your room reservation.

 

Clarke County Fair

Another great night here in Clarke County, Virginia at our annual Fair.  Not just farm animals, carnival rides, but America’s Number one sport  the tractor pull!  Check out our video from last night’s winner.  The smoke will probably send you screaming for a gas mask and the CO2 police.  It is all country fun and we wouldn’t want it any other way in the Shenandoah Valley.

Just wanted to allow our patrons to get a feel for our style of entertainment.  Tonight is the lawn mower races.  Stay tuned.

VIDEO0013

Wine Dinner From the Land Down Under in Sept. 2012!

Land Down Under Wine Tasting Dinner

Shrimp on the Barbie

Our September 2012 wine dinner should prove as great a time for our guests at our past wine dinners were sold out events in both July and August. You may not want to miss this one.

We are traveling to Australia and New Zealand for a tasting of some world class wines and interesting finds. Did you know there are now some really great Pinot Noir wines from boutique wineries in New Zealand that are sure to become the rage? We will be tasting a few, along with some bright Sauvignon Blanc, luscious Shiraz, Pinot Gris, and Cabernets from the lands of OZ and NZ. Jason Bise from the Country Vintner will be on hand to give his usual brilliant talks about the wines and the wine makers. You will be delighted with his presentation.

The wine dinner starts at 1:00 on Sunday, September 9th. Usually we wrap up around 5:00 with 7 fabulous courses. Also, we are featuring food products from the regions such as New Zealand Mussels, Fried Alligator, Lemon Myrtle, Bush tomato, Aspen Honey Soy Sauce, all exotic ingredients of the Pacific rim. This wine dinner should prove exciting both for the food and the wine. Lots of our guests have made wine friends and are returning for every dinner. So book early and reserve your spot in our Shenandoah Valley Inn.

Here is a peak at the menu:

Land Down Under Wine Tasting

Sunday, September 9, 2012   Time: 1 – 5PM

 

On The Table:

Chico Rolls

Fried Alligator/ Fried Crocodile Fritters

New Zealand Mussel, Garlic, Butter Garden Herbs

Pikes Riesling 2010, Mt. Eden Valley, OZ

Coriole Sangiovese/Shiraz 2010, Hunter Valley, OZ

First Course:

Grilled Shrimp On The Barbie in a Mango Gazpacho

Plantagenet “Hazard Hill” Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Mr. Barker, OZ

Hope Estate Verdehlo 2010, Hunter Valley, OZ

Second Course:

Australian Thai Corn and Lime Soup, Shitake Mushrooms, Lemon

Sashimi of Ocean Trout, Cucumber, Pomelo, Verjus Jelly

Hayshed Hill Chardonnay 2010, Margaret River, OZ

Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough, NZ

Third Course:

Pickled Beet Salad, Zucchini, Lemon, Chervil, Shaved Fennel, Mozzarella

Pan-Seared Barramundi, Leeks, Lemon Myrtle, Munthari Berry Butter Sauce

Maude Pinot Gris 2011, Central Otago, NZ

Lawsons Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2009, Marlborough, NZ

Fourth Course:

Juniper Crusted New Zealand Venison Loin, Boundin Noir, Baby Beetroot, Pear and Parsnip Mousse

Grilled Quail, Foie Gras Tortellini, Sweet Potato Brioche, Rose Geranium Sauce

Neudorf Pinot Noir ‘moutere Road’ 2009, Nelson, NZ

Maude Pinot Noir ‘Mt Maude’ 2009, Central Otago, NZ

Fifth Course:

Akudjura Crusted Blackened Salmon Cutlets, Pepperberry Potato Cake/Lemon Myrtle, Fettuccine, Lemon, Aspen Honey Soy Sauce

Grilled Australian Lamb Lollipop, Caramelized Onion, Shaved Cucumber, Lettuce Puree

Gibson Barossa Old Vine Shiraz 2003, Barossa, OZ

West Cape Howe Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Bookends’ 2009, Great Southern, OZ

Dessert:

Pavlova, Berries, Lemon Cream

Coconut Pudding, Yuzu Jelly, Lychee Sorbet, Oatmeal Tuille

Talijancich Solera White, Swan Valley, OZ

$125 Per Person

RESERVATIONS