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Weddings at the Dinsmore House Inn

Over the last decade the Dinsmore House has hosted over 100 wedding weekends. Sometimes just the bride’s family or the groom’s family, usually it’s a combination of both. Such was the case last fall when Andrew and Lindsley made the Dinsmore House Inn home base for their beautiful wedding weekend. We are very happy they shared their wedding video with us, as it will give prospective guests a feel for what it’s like to have a wedding weekend hosted at the inn.

Special thanks to Shaina Koren Cinematography for letting us share their video. Have a look!

Lindsley and Andrew’s Wedding

Sharing our Secrets - Part 1

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To: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Subject: a wonderful stay

Hello,

My husband and I visited your bed and breakfast last week, Friday December 30th and we had such a pleasant stay! The room was cozy and inviting and the breakfast was delicious. What we both loved the most though were those chocolate chip cookies that were served as an afternoon snack!! In fact, that is the reason I am writing. If permissible, would you mind sharing the recipe?? They were the best chocolate chip cookies we have ever tasted! Of course I understand if it’s a “secret”, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask!

Thanks again and we look forward to future visits!

Laney

From: Dinsmore House Inn [mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ]
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2013 10:22 PM
To: ‘Laney’
Subject: RE: a wonderful stay

Hi Laney,
Thanks for the kind words about the inn.

Here you go…

Grandma Hattie Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c Butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 tbs milk
1 c oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 c flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 12-oz package chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars. Add milk, oil, egg, and vanilla and mix well. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by the teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

Guest Contribution - “Simplistic Southern Elegance and Charm”

CHARMING, QUAINT SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

-called The Dinsmore House, Bed & Breakfast

During a recent Christmas visit to Virginia, my wife and I had the occasion to stay at The Dinsmore House Bed and Breakfast. Conveniently situated in the heart of the downtown Charlottesville Virginia’s historical district (and almost across Main Street) from the ever sprawling University of Virginia Hospital complex. This bastion of simplistic southern hospitality and charm is certainly a welcome change of pace for both travelers and locals alike.

We stayed in the “Veranda Room” which is a simplistic, yet elegant accommodation offering a modern Bathroom, painstakingly tucked into a days-gone-by period shell complete with large wooden doors with period wide wooden moldings and tastefully appointed colors and decor.

From the brick-faced fireplace, to the comfortable hand carved mahogany Victorian style bed (complete with step stool) takes you back into yesteryear, and allows you to at least garner an appreciation for how life was back in the 1800’s. The only difference now, is that the rooms come retrofitted with Central Heat, Air Conditioning, Electricity (of course), Flat Screen Television w/remote, and other modern conveniences, such as Hair Dryers, Cable Programming, and Internet Service. There were other free services/amenities which made for a nicer stay including the Garage (Reserved Spaces) Parking, a well stocked DVD library, complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, and snacks along with daily guest gatherings complete with wine and cheese, certainly made for a very welcoming touch!

Upon our arrival we were greeted by “Ryan” (our Innkeeper) who was not only a wealth of local information, but a virtual historian with respect to the actual house’s history and past. Also assisting him was “Hannah” , a very sweetly mild-mannered “collie mix” and yet most entertaining. We found her to be a most delightful, and certainly added to the homey touch to the surroundings. She was a true hostess in her own right.

Our stay was both comfortable and restful. The next morning we awoke and after readying ourselves made our way to the Dining Room (or we could have opted for breakfast on the elegant enclosed porch), where we met “Kim” (our server) who took care of our breakfast fare which was prepared by “Gail” (Cook and Innkeeper herself) . OMG! Finally we are in a place where people really know how bacon was meant to be prepared!!! The Eggs Benedict (or scrambled as I had) were delish, and the home-made “pear-fig” preserves, were absolutely to die for.

[Innkeeper Note: Special thanks to Michael Berryhill for allowing us to post his contribution on our blog! The original post can be found here along with many other excellent pieces.]

Central Virginia Wineries and Microbrews

In the past decade wineries have flourished in the Charlottesville area, and an increasing number of Dinsmore House guests are partaking in local wines. In addition, the last few years has seen an increasing number of microbreweries pop up.

The Dinsmore House offers several packages for wine enthusiasts including our Wine Lover’s Package, Romance Package and “Bubbles and Berries” package. We also offer free tasting coupons at selected vineyards exclusively to our guests.

We are often asked for our recommended wineries, and we have several favorites. Here’s an itinerary we’d recommend for guests seeking a local wine and microbrew sampling:
First stop, King Family vineyards. Located outside the town of Crozet, the Kings have an idyllic setting with mountain views and even host polo matches on some Sundays.
Then onto Blue Mountain Brewery, located a few miles away. Blue Mountain has beers that are big on flavor, and is a great spot to grab a casual lunch.
The final stop of the countryside jaunt, we love Veritas Vineyards. Boasting perhaps the nicest tasting room in the area, they also have friendly staff and delicious wine flights.

Of course if you want to extend your wine tour to several days, there are more than a dozen other great local vineyards and three other microbreweries to choose from. A few of our favorites are Barboursville Vineyard and Starr Hill Brewery. Check out http://www.monticellowinetrail.com/ for the local vineyard map.

FAQs - Answers to some of the most common B&B questions

Innkeeper FAQs

Q: Where do we park at the Dinsmore House?

A: Garage parking is provided in the garage directly behind the inn, free of charge.

Q: Where’s a good place to eat?

A: We have a menu book at the inn, as well a recommendation sheet. There are 96 restaurants within a mile of the inn. A few of our favorites are ZoCaLo, LeToile, Maya and Zinc.

Q: How do we get to Monticello?

A: Directions are provided in your welcome letter. It’s five miles away from the Inn.

Q: How close are we to UVA?

A: The Dinsmore House is located at the University Corner, a five minute walk from the Rotunda, where the free tour is excellent.

Q: What wineries do you recommend?

A: There are a lot of great wineries to choose from. Our personal favorites are King Family, Veritas and Barboursville.

Q: How did you become involved innkeeping?

A: Primarily it was a lifestyle change from the corporate rat race of Washington, DC. We also wanted to live in Charlottesville, and we love meeting people. Seemed like a natural fit!

Q: What’s the history of the building?

A: The Dinsmore House Inn takes its name from the home’s architect and builder, James Dinsmore. He was the master builder for Thomas Jefferson, and constructed the house that the B&B now occupies in 1817.

Hannah the Hostess

It’s a common refrain when repeat guests enter the Dinsmore House. “Where’s Hannah?” About that time we’ll hear her before we see her. The jingle of her collar signals her arrival as she saunters into the room. She’s a little bit of an old girl now, but she still loves to greet the guests and ask for a shoulder scratch. When we opened the bed and breakfast she was a puppy, and every guest was a new adventure. She’d follow guests everywhere, her natural herding instincts kicking inn, subtly nudging them with her snout. She doesn’t do much herding these days, but the guests still flock to her. I have no doubt if I polled our guests over the years and ask them what they remember most about the Dinsmore House…it would be Hannah. She is the quintessential B&B dog.

Ten Reasons to Love Charlottesville in the Winter

1.) The off-season pricing at the Dinsmore House is 20-30% less than in-season pricing.
2.) No lines at Monticello, Montpelier and Ash Lawn
3.) The Dinsmore House winter breakfast menus feature hearty savory dishes and warm muffins
4.) No traffic or road construction
5.) Reservations at restaurants are easily acquired
6.) Mountain hikes are cool and bug free
7.) UVA basketball has a new coach, a new arena and a fresh approach
8.) Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or baby-moons with a package at the Dinsmore House - $50 off
9.) The concert schedule at the John Paul Jones Arena and the Paramount Theater is packed with great shows
10.) Skiing and tubing at Wintergreen, only 40 miles away

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October Activities in Charlottesville

If you’re thinking of visiting Charlottesville in October, don’t hesitate!

There are some wonderful activities that we at the Dinsmore House enjoy during October.

Unique Shopping:

Martha’s Market is a fundraising event for the Martha Jefferson Hospital that is sure to help you with your holiday shopping. Over 60 vendors with handmade crafts, jewelry and food abound. If you are looking for unique gifts for someone you know (or for yourself as well), this is the place to find them!

http://www.mjhfoundation.org/site/c.fjJVJgMQIqE/b.1851675/k.8BD4/Marthas_Market.htm

Apple Tasting:

On October 17th, take part in Monticello’s apple tasting. This is an annual event where participants get to taste and vote on a variety of local apples.

http://www.monticello.org/calendar/saturdays.html#locations

Halloween Spirits:

The Albemarle Historical Society offers spirit walks the last weekend of October. It’s a great way to learn about our 250 year history and local folklore.

http://albemarlehistory.org/index.php/Historical_Society/events/spirit_walk/

Cooking Classes:

The Seasonal Cook, located .5 mile from the inn, offers tasty cooking classes. Some of our favorites are the “Market Basket”, where participants may join the chef at our Farmers Market to pick out local fresh ingredients. They then meet at the store to prepare and indulge in a wonderful meal later in the day. Check out their class schedule at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=133046085266&index=1

Their website is: http://www.seasonalcook.com/index.html

Autumn in Charlottesville

Autumn is one of the best times to experience all Charlottesville has to offer. It’s apple season, and many area orchards are open for apple picking! During this season, breakfast at the Dinsmore House features our signature baked apples, courtesy of the nearby orchards.

Carter’s Mountain, on the way to Monticello, is just 3 miles from the inn. You can pick your own apples, buy some already picked, or just go there for the view – it is stunning! They also have the best apple doughnuts you can imagine! There is an apple festival in October, visit their website to learn more.

Chiles Orchard, located west of the inn, is also a great place to pick apples. They are located at the foot of the Blue Ridge, a fantastic sight to see in the fall! Check out their website for more details.

Hiking the Blue Ridge is one of my favorite activities in the fall. Let the Dinsmore House bed and breakfast serve you a hearty breakfast before exploring nearby trails. We’ve got trail maps and resources available for you to use for any level hike.

November marks the Virginia Film Festival, always a hit! Come view films and participate in forums with directors and actors. This year’s theme is “Funny Business”.

The Virginia Film Festival

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