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Guest Contribution - “Simplistic Southern Elegance and Charm”


-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.

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