Obviously as besties dating all the way back to high school, Kristin and I love to get together just the two of us to really hang out. Unfortunately, we don’t get the chance that often these days. Between our families, jobs and just life in general, friend time often doesn’t happen. So, when we had the opportunity to stay at the Clifton Inn for a girls weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia we did a happy dance at the chance.
Living just a few hours away, exploring Charlottesville had always been on my bucket list. The area is known for so many great reasons. It’s the home of UVA, as well as Monticello, and so many great wineries. We headed straight for Jefferson Vineyards.
This winery is so sweet and dates all the way back to 1733! We tasted so many delicious wines and both fell in love with their Cabernet Franc. It was definitely time to buy a few bottles for later, as well as enjoy a glass on their cute deck.
Oh and the weather gods knew we needed this girls weekend bad! It was 65 and sunny! In February!!! I just loved the serene setting and laid back vibe. There were families with kids kicking a ball in the fields, dogs enjoying a lazy day and smiles everywhere. We could have enjoyed catching up, sipping wine in those adirondack chairs for days.
Next up we were excited to get to the Clifton Inn. It’s just a very short jaunt from Jefferson Vineyards and we knew we wanted to relax before our dinner reservations at said Inn. Well, boy were we just blown away when we drove up. It’s simply gorgeous!
How pretty is this old home all lit up!? The inn sits on a 100 acre retreat that was originally built in 1799 by Thomas Jefferson’s son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph. How amazing is that history?! Clifton began as a small office for Randolph and then eventually developed into a private residence and in 1985 was meticulously restored and converted to an inn by its current owners, Mitch & Emily Willey.
After doing a little exploring we went to our room to relax and get ready for dinner. It was such a pretty room and the decor was the perfect combination of historical and contemporary. There was also a plate of fresh fruit waiting for us, along with water and a bottle of port wine. No detail was left unturned!
There is an adorable bar so, of course, you know we had to stop and have a little bubbly before we headed to dinner. The Clifton Inn restaurant was an amazing dining experience. It’s a pretty and intimate and the food was just delectable. We did a 4 course tasting menu and I am still thinking about that amazing meal!
It was great to toast to my birthday with Kristin and simply relax. We have such full lives and even when we talk on the phone our kids (especially mine) are just wild in the background. This dinner let us just kick back and really catch up!
The next morning, a long walk and hearty breakfast was a superb way to wake up!
In addition to the rooms in the main inn, there are some adorable cottages sprinkled throughout the property. It also has a heated pool, tennis courts and culinary garden. At this point I was just asking when I could move right in?! Ha!
We had such a wonderful time at the Clifton Inn and the staff were all so friendly. They were even good sports when I pumped them for ghost stories. I mean it’s a historic property after all!
It was hard to leave but we had more to check out! Next up was Salt. This little artisan market makes sandwiches and picnic fare made to order. It’s the perfect stop to either pack up a picnic basket to take to the wineries or stop in and relax for a break. I mean wine tasting is hard work, ha!
We loved the food and had such a hard time deciding we decided to share. We’re good like that! Of course we had to take some treats home with us too! Once again, we were greeted with such friendliness and it made us sad to leave.
Eventually our weekend had to come to a close, but I am already planning my next visit to Charlottesville and the Clifton Inn. Hint…it’s going to be this fall for a kid-free anniversary weekend. Now all I need is a babysitting grandparent!
Disclosure: We received travel accommodations for the purpose of this review.