At the end of the month, the Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Inn at Little Washington
will celebrate its 30th anniversary. As I've gushed before
, this place is-- quite possibly-- America's most celebrated restaurant. Last summer, we checked out the Inn's latest addition: Claiborne House
, "a 3,200-square-foot cottage just a stone's throw from the Inn's main building, overlooking a newly-created herb and cutting garden. With two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, living room, dining room, media room, and library, this "cottage" is quite the hideaway. Above the private garden out back, there's a lovely two-story veranda. Patrick O'Connell, the proprietor and chef, has long championed local, organic growing, and The Inn is now working on becoming a self-sufficient farmstead with a cherry orchard (used for jellies and clafouti desserts in the restaurant), bee colony, and vegetable gardens. O'Connell has developed a network of local farmers who custom-grow vegetables for his kitchen.
Intelligent Travel, the blog from National Geographic Traveler about authentic and sustainable travel, features a cool interview with O'Connell. Check it out.