Lovely Weekend in the Blue Ridge: Farmhouse at Veritas Review

Before I get into my Farmhouse at Veritas review, a note: you’ll probably notice that these vistas look familiar. That’s because we had our wedding here back in December 2018.

It’s no surprise that the Farmhouse at Veritas is a special place for me and Adam. Returning here after our wedding weekend has been on our to-do list for a year and a half…and it took a bad mood and a particularly gloomy February day for me to finally book it. But, now that we’ve been back, I imagine it’s going to become a much more regular occurrence. 

A Weekend at the Farmhouse at Veritas Review

I don’t even know where to begin in this review because all I can say is that the Farmhouse is, hands down, the loveliest, most relaxing, pastoral place I’ve ever stayed. Yes, we’d stayed here before for our wedding weekend, so I knew how beautiful it is and how top-notch the guest experience is, but staying here on a regular weekend has a completely different vibe — and I can’t wait to do it again.

We stayed Memorial Day weekend, arriving Saturday afternoon and leaving Monday morning. That gave us just under 48 hours at the Farmhouse — and two bucolic mornings to take in the morning fog rolling off the mountains while plotting our dream move to Nelson County

And, let me say, that whether or not you trust online reviews, I do always read them and I’m thoroughly impressed that the Farmhouse has an average of 5 stars across the board on Trip Advisor.

 

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First, A Note on Social Distancing

So, his getaway was originally booked back in February for my birthday weekend in April but, as the pandemic reached the U.S., it became clear that we were going to have to push it. I booked Memorial Day hoping that it was far enough out to avoid the stay-at-home orders — and it was.

However, this was definitely the first time we’d left DC during social distancing and we were a little bit nervous. The Farmhouse eased our fears as soon as we arrived. First of all, you’re in the country so, by virtue of location, you’re not going to be crowded in with other people. Second, all the staff was wearing masks — and we did too whenever we were around other people. Third, there’s enough room on the property that you can find a spot to read, enjoy a glass of wine, and take in the scenery while allowing for plenty of distance from others. Lastly, dining is outside in the garden house with its open walls and tables are distanced.

At no point, did feel we were putting ourselves or others at risk. Definitely a great spot to social distance, which I wrote about specifically in this post: Two Bed and Breakfasts Near DC Where You Can Socially Distance.

 

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Where is the Farmhouse at Veritas?

The Farmhouse is located outside Charlottesville, Virginia in Afton. If you’re headed there from DC, except about a two and a half hour drive. It lies in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You may have guessed by the name, but the Farmhouse at Veritas is hidden in plain sight on the grounds of Veritas Vineyards and Winery. I’d driven by it dozens of times on my way to the winery and never once realized the charming white farmhouse was actually somewhere I could stay.

Veritas has been one of my favorite vineyards along the Monticello Wine Trail ever since I first started going to wineries — you can’t beat their big porch in the spring and summer or the cozy leather chairs and massive fireplace in the winter. So, it’s no surprise that staying just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the tasting room is a dream.

What Else is There to Do in Afton, Virginia?

For being out in rural Virginia, there’s actually a fair amount to do! You’ll find breweries, vineyards, and lots of hiking in the area. Here’s what we did off-property:

  • We picked up sandwiches on our way into town at Bellair Market (I branched out and got the Crozet — a winner!), then stopped by Brewing Tree Beer Company to grab beers (hey, we’re on vacation!). We brought the food and drink with us to check in at the Farmhouse, then found a table out back to have a picnic.
  • While we ate dinner at The Farmhouse’s delicious restaurant on Sunday, we decided to grab pizza on Saturday at area-favorite, Crozet Pizza. We also stopped by Starr Hill to grab a few more beers for the weekend. We ate on the front porch, which was absolutely lovely.
  • Sunday morning, we decided to get our steps in with a hike on the Humpback Rocks Trail. Because we’d heard it was crowded on the short hike to the rock (we never actually made it to Humpback Rock), we decided to do the long loop…y’all, I’m not a hiker. This was a muddy, long walk, but we did it.

A few other favorites in the area include Blue Mountain Brewery and Afton Mountain Vineyards, thought there are many I haven’t been to yet.

 

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

 

Staying at the Farmhouse at Veritas: The Rooms

Okay, let’s get into the first order of booking a stay: the rooms. I’ve now stayed in two different rooms, but I’m familiar with all in the house given that we rented the entire Farmhouse for our wedding. All the rooms are decorated in a style that feels classic and timeless, but fresh. It has a very elegant, but understated, Charlottesville vibe — maybe it’s Southern traditional decor that I’m sensing. I love it.

Bonus: there’s a complimentary bottle of wine in every room!

During our wedding weekend, we stayed in the largest room in the house, Nottingham. It gets amazing light which is why we, obviously, had to stay there to make for wonderful getting ready photos the morning of the wedding. But, beyond light, it’s a gorgeous room with soft, pretty colors, a comfy bed, and a large bathroom. We would 100% have stayed in this room again had it not been booked the weekend we were there.

Instead, we stayed in Surrey, which decor-wise was actually my favorite when we first toured the Farmhouse. It’s a room that envelopes you in its dark wood and woodsy green tones. The bathroom is set down a bit from the room and leads to a little reading/dressing nook. And, you can’t beat waking up to the views over the mountains from this side of the house (not that the vineyard views on the other side are anything to scoff at!). 

All the rooms are wonderful, but I believe we would stay in Cornwall next time just to switch it up. I love its white decor with pops of subtle gold and black. Plus, it’s right off the library (so is Nottingham!) and I’d love to curl up there in the evening with a book and a cup of tea. Not that I couldn’t from Surrey, but I was more apt to head out to the screen porch from Surrey’s location. 

And, for those of you who aren’t sure about bed and breakfasts (I know you’re out there!), these feel like luxury hotel rooms. The Farmhouse may date back to 1839, but the renovations over the years are impeccable, maintaining character and also feeling totally pristine.

 

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

 

Side Note: An Ode to the Pastoral Landscape

Before we get into the food and wine, let’s just take a moment to sing an ode to the pastoral landscape. Seriously, coming from the city, there is nothing more relaxing than strolling across the grounds of the vineyard and gazing at the sheep and horses. My friend Betsy wasn’t wrong when she posted a video of the sheep she took during her stay captioned as a “daily meditation.” Those sheep literally might be the reason Adam wanted to book our wedding here. 

I would highly suggest grabbing your glass of wine from wine hour (more on that in a minute) or making a cup of coffee and simply spending some time taking in the Blue Ridge Mountain views and the incredible flowers surrounding The Farmhouse.

 

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

 

Don’t Miss Daily Wine Hour

If you often stay at bed and breakfasts, you know the evening wine hour drill. You convene in the living room or common area around happy hour time for some cheese, crackers, and wine. The Farmhouse at Veritas takes that up a notch. 

They put together the most thoughtful plate of some pickled vegetables, cheese, meats, and spreads — just enough to tide you over until dinner and put something in your stomach while you sip on a glass of one of Veritas’ wines

All that is to say, don’t miss it at 5 PM. Our first evening, we grabbed our wine and hors d’oeuvres and headed up to the screen porch on the second floor, right outside the Surrey room. I can’t think of a better way to spend an hour (or two) kicking back in the rocking chair, sipping on wine, and taking in the incredible Blue Ridge views. The next evening, we took our wine out back to the garden outside of the garden house for a vineyard view. Can I go back now?!

 

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

 

Breakfast at the Farmhouse at Veritas

It may seem I’m going out of order, but this is chronologically how we experienced it. We arrived, we did wine hour, then, the next morning, was breakfast. The Farmhouse serves breakfast every morning from 9 AM to 11 AM. We were incredibly fortunate that the first morning was a cool spring day and the staff was more than willing to accommodate our request to eat outside-outside, rather than in the garden house.

Breakfast starts with rich french press coffee, orange juice, and champagne, along with a cup of fruit and a bread. Our first morning, it was a croissant with a toasted marshmallow butter — I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m still wondering how the chef created this little dollop of heaven. The next morning, a croissant came served with a sweet apple butter.

You’re given a choice of savory or sweet entree and Adam and I each ordered a different option so we could try the range. Each dish was beautifully prepared with an attention to detail in the flavors that will blow you away. Just an extra crumble here or a drizzle of sauce there elevates this beyond a normal brunch. Not to mention, the service is so consistently gracious, which makes any dining experience that much better.

Also, it was a magical coincidence when we came down for breakfast the second morning and the chef happened to be listening to our first dance song, Like a Might River by St. Paul and the Broken Bones, on his speaker.

 

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

 

Grab a Book and Make Yourself at Home

I can’t emphasize the point enough that a stay here is all about relaxation. It’s a pastoral respite from the busy go-go-go of the city. And, that means you should take advantage of every opportunity to carve out a space to make yourself at home. Maybe that’s in the living room by the fireplace. Perhaps you want to hide away out back in the garden or on the secluded screen porch upstairs. Try starting your day with a cup of coffee on the porch or ending your evening in the library on the second floor.

One of my favorite parts about the Farmhouse is all the wonderful spots to tuck yourself away and forget about all your cares for a bit.

Also, there are these mouth-watering cookies that they serve in the living room. DO NOT MISS THESE. They’re out of this world. During our wedding weekend, our families couldn’t get enough of them.

 

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

 

Dinner at the Farmhouse at Veritas (Open to Non-Guests, too!)

I apologize in advance that I didn’t bring my camera to dinner! I’ll share my non-DSLR photos on Instagram stories, but, even though I was writing this Farmhouse at Veritas review, I didn’t want to distract myself from enjoying my meal.

If you’ve read a few of my travel guides, you know that Adam and I love to eat — and we particularly love inventive fine dining. Which, the Farmhouse at Veritas is. 

The Farmhouse at Veritas Restaurant is open to both guests and non-guests, and I’d recommend making a reservation ahead of time either way. Here are the basics: they serve a set four-course dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Dinner starts with a glass of champagne at 6:30 PM. You’re then ushered to your seats shortly before 7 PM to begin an incredible culinary experience. 

Chef Daniel uses local ingredients to serve two first savory courses, an entree, and a dessert. He creates innovative dishes that use classic flavors so there’s something to satisfy both the daring foodies and the classic eaters (I was concerned my parents may not like our wedding menu because they like things a bit more simple, but they absolutely loved it…even if they weren’t sure what all the ingredients were). Also, it’s worth noting that when we ate dinner during our stay, as not a huge fan of peanuts, I was very unsure about a peanut soup on the menu — it was absolutely creamy and divine.

The manager of the restaurant, Angel, is the most charming, charismatic man and he walks you through each course in perfect rhythm, giving you the details on each dish and anticipating any requests you might have.

And, if you want a taste of what’s coming this week, I’m drooling over this menu. Every week, I read their upcoming menu and wish we could just get to Afton on a whim.

FIRST

Corn Bisque, Saffron, Goat Cheese, Leek Ash, Basil Oil | Paired with Saddleback Chardonnay ‘19

SECOND

Fried Green Tomatoes, Lump Crab Dressed in Crème Fraiche, Red Pepper Gastrique, Olive Tuille, Horseradish, Sundried Tomato Aioli | Paired with Viognier ‘18

THIRD

Seven Hills Filet of Beef, Broccolini, Roasted Baby Carrots, Paris Butter, Black Garlic Onion Soubise | Paired with Veritas Reserve ‘18

FOURTH

Chocolate Torte, Strawberry Granola, Hazelnut Sabayon | Paired with Othello Reserve

 

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farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

 

A Few Last Details in this Farmhouse at Veritas Review

Well, now, in this Farmhouse at Veritas review, I’ve walked you through our stay, the room, what to do in the area, the tranquil setting, wine hour, breakfast, and dinner. So, what else is there to say? Just that I can’t wait to return. I’m already thinking about a December stay for our second anniversary.

And, it’s made me so happy to hear from a few people that already knew about the Farmhouse and had stayed there — it makes me even happier that friends have taken my recommendation (even without a blog review previously!) and stayed. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting so many bed and breakfasts, hotels, and the like, and, while many are wonderful, this is such a special place that goes above and beyond in guest experience and service. I can’t recommend it enough.

 

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

farmhouse at veritas review - farmhouse at veritas - veritas vineyards and winery

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah Linden
    July 16, 2020 / 6:49 pm

    My mom and I have four nights booked at Veritas in October (4th time visiting!). Your post has us counting down the months!

    • July 16, 2020 / 7:07 pm

      Oh my gosh, four nights in October sounds SO amazing!!!

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