Monday, October 21, 2013

On the Road Again: Charlottesville, VA

By Claire Goldman and Photos by Lauren DeSantis

Plush accommodations, wineries, fine dining, boozy brunch, hiking, leaf peaking and the list goes on... The combination for a perfect weekend city-escape awaits just a short road trip away in Charlottesville.  Home to the historically prestigious University of Virginia (UVA), Charlottesville has so much to offer beyond touring the beautiful campus.

We started our weekend with a hike to the "Blue Hole" along the Sugar Hollow trail in the nearby Virginia state park, one of many scenic hiking routes in the area.  
After a few hours of exercise, we were ready for some pampering so we went straight to the historic Boars Head Inn, located just two miles from downtown Charlottesville.  We were beyond delighted to find we had arrived just in time for the daily coffee and tea service which included delicious assorted pastries.  
The grounds of the Boars Head Inn are impressive, boasting a golf course, squash courts, Olympic sized pool,   spa, tennis courts, three restaurants and its very own lake perfect for sitting near and taking in the sunset or sunrise.  
After a dip in the outdoor pool and stints in the steam room and sauna, our group retreated to our rooms in the main building.
We had been working up an appetite all day for our dinner at the Old Mill Room.  
The rich decor is accented with some touches of UVA pride.  
We kicked things off with Martinis, classic for the men and the ladies enjoyed specialty flavors like Hibiscus. 

We collectively decided our favorite starters are the Pan Seared Fois Gras and the Five Spiced Roasted Duck Breast.  
Moving on to the Entrees, the Rosemary, Garlic Infused Veal Chop, Grilled Tenderloin and Pan Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Lamb Loin are all just as delicious as they sound.  You can absolutely not skip dessert at the Old Mill Room.  
The featured Local Pear and Walnut Crisp with Goat Cheese Ice Cream is a dream come true.
The next morning was another beautiful autumn day in Charlottesville, VA.  We headed to the campus of UVA to take pictures in front of the Rotunda and look around the grounds.  There are a lot of restaurants and bars located near campus for brunch. 
We stopped at The Virginian and loved the egg sandwich and breakfast burrito   Just a couple miles up the road, is the Downtown area with an open air mall featuring lots of shops and restaurants with outdoor seating.  A block or so from the mall is the charming South Street Brewery, try their Liberation Lager and popular Porter's Craft Cider.
Before leaving town, we hit the back roads past Monticello towards Trump Winery.  Purchased by the Donald and his son Eric in 2006 (f/k/a Kluge Vineyards), the winery sits on an incredible piece of land with not only delicious grapes but the most spectacular view I've seen at any Virginia winery.  
Trump is known for its sparkling wines most unique of which is the Blanc de Noir, a sparkling white wine made from Pinot Noir grapes.  
We all especially liked the Sparkling Rose and happily split a bottle on the back terrace while taking in the breathtaking view during the golden hour.

For more information and to book your fall getaway at the Boars Head Inn go their website.

Boars Head Inn and Old Mill Room
200 Ednam Drive
Charlottesville, VA
(434) 296-2181

Trump Winery
3550 Blenheim Road
Charlottesville, VA
(434) 984-4855

For more Charlottesville Tourism information go to
Old Mill Room on Urbanspoon
South Street Brewery on Urbanspoon
Virginian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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