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Exploring Rappahannock County’s Hidden Gems

Stay, Drink, Dine

Article by Shayda Windle

Photography by Sally-Anne Andrew, Rappahanock Cellars, Narmada Winery

Originally published in Leesburg Lifestyle

If you’re looking for a weekend trip that’s a short drive from the city, but far enough to unwind from it all, Rappahannock County is the place to be. It’s here, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you’ll find Michelin-star restaurants like The Inn at Little Washington, wineries, cottages, art galleries, and so much more. Less than a 90-minute drive from Leesburg, Rappahannock is perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway. Here you’ll find adventure and unexpected cultural attractions that will bring you back for more. While visiting Rappahannock, be sure to check out these hidden gems.

LeFay Cottage at Little Washington

LeFay Cottage at Little Washington is an ideal rural escape located in the historic village of Washington, Virginia. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom property is located on five acres overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and currently available for rent on Airbnb and other online platforms. In addition to being a rental, the property has become a popular wedding destination, with a magical appeal that owner Sally-Anne Andrews has created from her childhood dreams.

Sally-Anne says she always imagined having “a secret garden cottage exuding magic and mysticism amid the allure of hills as old as time.” Upon entrance, visitors are greeted with an old iron faerie gate surrounded by lush greenery and gardens with blooming, fragrant flowers. Andrew explains there are three outdoor areas for couples to marry, including a lavender field that is in full bloom at the end of June and early July — making a perfect natural setting for a couple that “enjoys the path less traveled.” The cottage is only a short drive from the famous Michelin three-star restaurant, The Inn at Little Washington, as well as other fine dining and casual dining restaurants, award-winning wineries, and distilleries.

Rappahannock Cellars

While you’re in Rappahannock don’t miss visiting the finest wineries the Piedmont region has to offer. Rappahannock Cellars is just one that sits on an 85+ acre farm with its first grapes planted over twenty years ago. Today, owner John Delmare says, “the farm now consists of 30 acres of vineyard, including new varietals such as Merlot, Petit Verdot, Norton, and others.” The winery has won numerous accolades and on weekends hosts events with live music, food trucks, and festivals. They’re also environmentally friendly and have adopted practices including composting and are researching other programs to reduce their environmental footprint.

Narmada Winery

Overlooking the bucolic scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the elegant tasting room at Narmada Winery, founded by Sudha Patil and her late husband Pandit Patil. The winery was a long-standing dream for the couple that finally became a reality in 2009. The couple’s original intention was to grow the fruit to provide to other Virginia winemakers, however as Sudha’s curiosity about the winemaking process grew she ended up studying with Jim Law of Linden Vineyards, one of Virginia’s premier winemakers, and bottling her own. Not only does Narmada boast award-winning wines, they also host interesting events every weekend like paint and sip parties, live music and fall festivals. The winery serves authentic Indian food as well and is family friendly, consistently providing entertainment for children. There is truly something for everyone here.

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