Enjoy a taste of European charm & elegance with a side of country hospitality at the Hillbrook Inn & Spa, a bed & breakfast tucked into the hills of eastern West Virginia...
The Hillbrook Inn & Spa graciously provided the accommodations for our blogger retreat. All opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I attended & hosted my first ever blogger retreat earlier this month. Yes, folks- I planned and hosted a local blogger retreat! :) The idea had been nagging at me for well over a year, and when an idea nags at me that long I know it is the universe trying to tell me something. So I listened, and in February I got in touch with my fellow food blogger friend, Karyn from Pint Sized Baker and brought her on board with the retreat planning. After a few months of legwork and networking and emails, Sip, Dine, & Shine 2016 had become a reality. We chose the Harpers Ferry area of West Virginia as it was an easy drive for all those invited. That was one thing I really wanted in a blogger retreat- no plane tickets, no travel hassles, no added expenses, no fuss. Just a little getaway with a few like-minded (& very talented) food bloggers in a laid back, country setting where we could sip on wine, chat all things blogging (and all things not blogging as well), and return home & to our blogs rejuvenated, inspired, and ready to shine.
Photo credit: Pint Sized Baker
Sip, Dine, & Shine 2016 was graciously hosted by the charming and luxurious Hillbrook Inn & Spa, a bed & breakfast situated on more than 30 acres of sprawling countryside in Charles Town, West Virginia. For the retreat, the four of us stayed at the Farmhouse...
The Farmhouse at Hillbrook Inn & Spa is located just a short 2 mile drive from the Main House & is situated alongside an apple orchard. With 3 spacious suites that can sleep up to 5, the Farmhouse made for the perfect escape for our bloggers' getaway. We had the entire house to ourselves which was absolutely amazing for our retreat! :) (Note: The Farmhouse can be reserved by the suite or you can reserve the entire house for larger parties.)
Karyn & I roomed up in the Sunrise Suite on the second floor of the Farmhouse. The spacious suite has a queen bed at one end and a king bed at the other with a small sitting area with a flat screen television between the two sleeping spaces. The bathroom is appointed with a large soaking tub, a walk-in tiled shower, and a double vanity. The perfect accommodations for a grown-up girls' sleepover! ;)
The Farmhouse has a few common areas inside the house to gather in, but the outdoor common areas were really the star of our stay and where we spent most of our time during the retreat. The large front porch is equipped with wooden rocking chairs perfect for relaxing in and taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding farms and the apple orchard.
The spacious back deck was the perfect setting for an al fresco dinner on the first evening of our girls' getaway. We shared a couple of West Virginia inspired charcuterie boards & a few bottles of wine graciously provided by one of our retreat sponsors, Kroger grocery stores.
Let's just say that the views from the Farmhouse did not disappoint as the sun set on our first evening of Sip, Dine, & Shine 2016. ;)
The Main House.
The Main House at Hillbrook Inn & Spa was once a private home built by General Frank E. Bamford and was fashioned after an inn that he stayed at in Normandy during World War I. The Main House of the inn not only houses 6 suites decorated in timeless European style, but also a tavern, small library, living room, and the elegant Redbook Restaurant.
The grounds of the Main House are open to all guests of the inn, including those staying at the Farmhouse and Hawthorn House. We took a leisurely stroll behind the Main House after breakfast one morning of our stay to go see the spring house (picture above in the foreground). The original spring house actually supplied water to the inn up until 2005 when the building was switched over to well water.
The Redbook Restaurant.
As a guest of the Hillbrook Inn, you are treated to a two-course gourmet breakfast each morning of your stay at the Redbook Restaurant in the Main House. The traditional sit-down breakfast is seated at two times each morning- 8:30 or 9:45 (for those who like to sleep in a little ;) ). Just let the inn know at the time of your reservation which seating that you would prefer.
The breakfast menu at the Redbook changes daily depending on what is seasonally available. The chef takes great care to locally source as many of the menu's ingredients as possible, and his daily menu selections reflect that.
During the first morning of our stay, we were served a delicious eggs benedict with perfectly poached eggs and micro greens for the main breakfast course. For the second morning of our stay, we were wowed with a decadent peanut butter stuffed croissant french toast topped with caramelized bananas.
The Redbook Restaurant also offers a four course candlelit dinner by reservation only Friday-Sunday evenings of each week. Each pre-selected course features the chef's culinary creativity & vision as well as fresh, quality ingredients sourced from local farms. Our candlelit dinner started with an earthy Roasted Beet Carpaccio, followed by a bowl of creamy & velvety Roasted Red Pepper Soup. The main course was a tender Slow Cooked Coffee Rubbed Ribeye Loin (pictured top right), and our amazing dinner was finished off with a slice of the house made Lemon Tart garnished with a pistachio crumble and a fresh fig (pictured bottom right). If you are staying at the Hillbrook on a weekend, the four course candlelit dinner is definitely a must-do.
What You Need to Know Before You Go.
- The Hillbrook Inn & Spa automatically adds a 20% gratuity to all reservations, dinner bills, and spa services, so there is no need to make sure you have cash on hand before your arrival to cover gratuities. (Convenient, right?)
- Children are welcome to stay at the Hillbrook, but please check their policies page for specifics on which age groups are welcome in which accommodations at the inn.
- If you will be bringing children to the inn, please note that they do offer babysitting services in case mom & dad would like to sneak off for one of their candlelit dinners or perhaps on a wine tasting tour. Childcare services are $15 per hour, and it is recommended you reserve this service at least 48 hours in advance of your stay.
- If you plan to reserve a room at the Farmhouse or the Hawthorn House, please note that breakfast is served at the Main House each morning which is a short 2 mile drive away. Also due to insurance & safety purposes, the stove and oven may not be used by guests in either house.
- The Hillbrook also offers its guests a full service spa, including facials, massages, body treatments, and more. It is best to try and book your spa appointment before your arrival at the inn.
Click here to book your stay at Hillbrook Inn & Spa today! :)
Be sure to also check out Pint Sized Baker's & Cupcakes & Kale Chips' posts about Sip, Dine, & Shine 2016...
Looking for things to do in the area while enjoying your stay at the Hillbrook? Then be sure to check out the posts below...