Sneaking away for a romantic weekend?
Looking for a new spot for a quiet dinner? Here’s your guide to unique ways to find romance this season of love.
When reality is better than your dreams and you can’t sleep. That’s when, according to Dr. Seuss, you know you’re in love.
The cure? We’re not sure even the good literary doctor had one. And would you really want it anyway?
We do, however, have a few good solutions for celebrating romance this Valentine’s Day, or for that matter, any day of the year.
Relax in Historic Luxury
Located on a waterfront plantation created by George Washington’s great-great grandfather, the Inn at Warner Hall in Gloucester, Va., combines a rare mix of historic luxury and comfort. Innkeepers Troy and Theresa Stavens have not only lovingly restored the mansion’s 11 guestrooms to a state of grandeur, but they’ve also created a welcoming atmosphere that encourages guests to curl up on stuffed couches in the main drawing room, nestle beside a crackling fire beneath chandeliers and all in an area George Washington would have visited as a young boy.
Warner Hall has a unique history. There is no other spot in the world that can tie George Washington, Queen Elizabeth II—the current Queen of England—Robert E. Lee and Meriwether Lewis. They all are direct descendants of the Warner and Lewis clans of Warner Hall.
Innkeeper Troy Stavens tells guests “we know George Washington visited as a young boy, allegedly learning to waltz in the ballroom, which we now call the parlor. He came here as general of the Revolutionary Army and during his first term as president. He spent New Year’s here. He brought his secretary of state with him—they called him TJ, perhaps you know him as the father of the Declaration of Independence.”
- Average Room Rate: $195-250
- Amenities: Explore the historic property or stay in. Request in-room massages, champagne, a room with a tub for two or sweet treats. Be prepared for the best breakfast you’ve ever had, which comes with the room.
- Be Sure to Ask For: Let the Inn put together one of their famed supper baskets. Take it to your room for a truly romantic picnic, down to the boathouse for a waterfront meal or in any of the mansion’s common areas.
- Location: Just 30-minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, the Inn at Warner Hall is in central Gloucester at 4750 Warner Hall Road.
- Website: www.warnerhall.com
Reconnect and Restore at The Founders Inn and Spa
Escape to the Founders Inn and Spa and enjoy all the romance this Virginia Beach, Va., property offers.
The Founders Inn’s traditional English gardens set a natural, romantic stage. The award-winning, full-service Flowering Almond Spa helps couples unwind and connect with each other thanks to various couple options. Dine on site in the Swan Terrace, defined by some as featuring a touch of Southern elegance. Stay on the weekend and stay long enough Sunday morning to enjoy brunch, mimosas and music from their resident pianist.
- Room Rates: $109-279.
- Amenities: There’s a reason spa is in the name. Located on site, Founders Inn features the Flowering Almond Spa, offering massage therapy, facial, body rituals and, perfect for Valentine’s Day, a fireplace couples retreat.
- Be Sure to Ask For: Check out their packages online and the romance specials. “A Night To Remember” and “Reconnect & Restore” bring the romance directly to you with spa sessions and a little chocolate-dipped strawberries, bubbly and quiet morning breakfast.
- Location: Just 20 minutes from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and downtown Norfolk, the Founders Inn is located at 5641 Indian River Road in Virginia Beach.
- Website: www.foundersinn.com
A Weekend of Europe & Wine
Nestled into the woods adjacent to the Williamsburg Winery, Wedmore Place offers an escape to Europe right here near Colonial Williamsburg. Each of the inn’s 28 rooms was designed—from the colors on the walls to the furnishing— in the style of a different European province.The property features wine tours, wine tasting, a fine dining restaurant on-site and breakfast.
- Average Room Rate: $165-235
- Amenities: Planning a romantic weekend? Reserve a reserve (associated with higher quality) wine tasting (pun intended).
- Be Sure to Ask About: Ask about the fountains, stones and unique European furnishings. The owners imported and made many of the beautiful pieces around the inn and winery and each carries its own special story.
- Location: Find Wedmore Place 10 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg at 5810 Wessex Hundred.
- Website: www.wedmoreplace.com
Eat In: Waypoint Seafood & Grill
Don’t want to leave your house for a romantic night out? Bring the romance in and celebrate with fine cuisine that you don’t spend all day putting together.
Visit Waypoint Seafood & Grill online and peruse their menu. Call and order something that strikes you, or ask them to suggest something special. Order it early, pick it up about 20 minutes before you want to light the candles and set the table for two.
The menu was designed to bridge traditional cuisine with creativity. Perfect blend for a romantic night in.
Online Special: Want to try some of Waypoint-style dining on your own? Check out two of Chef Kyle Woodruff’s cooking demos online. Learn to make bacon wrapped venison here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya6_EGodQX8) or this classic rockfish dish here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TXNm27MYmg).
- Contact: (757) 220-2228
- Location: 1480 Quarterpath Road, Williamsburg
- Price Range: Entrees, $19-32
- Website: www.waypointgrill.com
Eat In: Press626
Yes. Grilled cheese sandwiches, small plates and meatballs make for a super romantic night out, especially when it’s at Press626 Café and Wine Bar in Norfolk, Va. This quaint spot, which offers a menu that celebrates local farmers, claims they consistently provide customers with impeccable service by “demonstrating warmth, graciousness, efficiency, knowledge, professionalism and integrity in our work.” And they do. In 2013, they received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their extensive wine selection. The best part of Press626? The offer a Sunday brunch.
Contact: (757) 282-6234
Location: 626 West Olney Road, Norfolk
Price Range: $8.25-18.95