On the Road to Fearrington House Inn and Restaurant – Pittsboro, North Carolina
As you may know, we have been On the Road and traveling quite a bit over the past two years. There are beautiful places to stay and visit all over the country, but none are as special as the ones that are practically in your own backyard. Often overlooked due to proximity, many of these smaller properties are true gems.
One such place is in Pittsboro, North Carolina. The Fearrington House Inn and Restaurant is an elegant and tranquil Relais & Châteaux property situated in the countryside and is just 10 minutes from Chapel Hill. (* We had so many photos we wanted to share from our visit to this beautiful property that we created a video which is at the bottom of this post. Please be sure to watch it before you go.)
What most attracted us to the property were the Culinary Classes and Retreats they offer four times a year with their Executive Chef, Colin Bedford. We were excited to attend one of these culinary retreats in August. I was particularly interested in this class since the focus was on seafood. Mr. B is a big fan of fresh fish and I…not so much, so I was hoping to learn some cooking techniques that might change my mind (more on that later).
When we arrived, we were taken aback with the quaint little village surrounding Fearrington Inn and the farmland around the village (including the original dairy barn and silo dating back to the late 1700‘s). It is truly a little slice of Heaven. We were also intrigued by the über cool Belted Cows and Tennessee Fainting Goats. I am such a sucker for cute animals. 🙂
The inn has just 32 rooms, so it is very intimate and reminds me of some of the lovely Relais & Châteaux properties I have seen in Europe. This Inn has received many awards, but one that really gets our attention is the listing in the Top Ten hotels for food in North America by Condé Naste Traveler: Gold List 2011. In addition, Fearrington Inn has received other prestigious awards such as the The #2 Small Hotel in the U.S. by Condé Naste Traveler: 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards, the 2011 Forbes Five Star Award for the 12th consecutive year and the 2011 AAA Five Diamond Award for the 17th year.
We really enjoy smaller hotels and inns because it feels more like home and you receive extra special attention. This was evident when we checked in to our room and where given a personal tour of the grounds. When we were escorted to our room we found our cookbooks with recipes, aprons and other essentials for our cooking class the next day. These items were left by our pillows. Our chefs jackets were hanging in our closet. These were thoughtful touches to add to the whole experience.
Of course, after check-in, we were immediately off to see the little village, grab a quick lunch at The Belted Goat and then we headed over to see the real goats, the famous Belted Tennessee Fainting Goats. And yes, these goats really do “faint”, so to speak. They have a “myotonic” condition that causes their bodies stiffen when startled. When this happens, they will literally fall over. I guess we didn’t scare or startle them because we sure didn’t see any of them faint.
I have been to Fearrington Inn a couple of times and I’m excited to get to share the little piece of Heaven with my husband in the coming year. My mom was kind enough to give us a gift certificate for the Inn. I cannot wait and seeing your pictures just reminds me of the tranquility of the place. I’m going to have to look into the cooking retreats. It’d be great if we could plan our trip around one of those! Thanks for your great post and I look forward to part 2.
I hope you have a wonderful time at Fearrington House Inn. It is a very peaceful place and a wonderful spot to take a breather and just relax. Hopefully, you can attend one of the culinary classes while you are there. There is one more this year.
What a fun getaway! I think North Carolina is the prettiest part of the country. I’m adding this to my foodie travel to-do list!
Very very cool! The place is gorgeous – love the inn (especially that bathroom) and the chef jackets are so great! The trip sounded like it was not only a great success but wonderful fun as well. Lucky attendees! So thrilled for you that it went so well! And are those goats or large Boston Terriers?
I want to attend one of your cooking adventures!!
Hahaha…they are Belted Tennessee Fainting Goats. Very cute. Yes, we did have a great time in NC. What a beautiful area. 🙂
I wish I had known you were visiting! I live just down the road from Fearrington, and have been enjoying reading your blog for the past year. Hope you visit again!
Thank you for reading Bunkycooks. 🙂 I am sure we will return at some point. We had such a wonderful time. I will be sure to send you an email next time we head your way.
We drive past Belted Galloways on our way into Franklin. Oreo cows! Love seeing them: Double Stuff indeed!
I feel like I was right there with you; love how you spool out the story with words and images. Next time you are up in North Carolina, I will look forward to a visit. I’ve been to Fearrington House for events, and wondered what an insider’s view would be. I can’t WAIT to get into the kitchen, peeking over y’all’s shoulders that is.
Thank you for your comment. 🙂 We will definitely head your way at some point! As you know, we are in NC quite a bit. Fearrington is a lovely property and it was so much fun to work with Chef Bedford in their kitchen.
Such a great post. North carolina seems like a great place to go for a retreat from the noisy city. I bet you enjoyed yourself. Great photos.
Yes, NC is definitely a great place to escape to. Atlanta can be a bit overwhelming some days. It’s nice to sit back and enjoy the quiet while visiting places like Fearrington House Inn.
Hello Gwen, Beautifully written and lovely photos too. It truly is a wonderful jewel in North Carolina. Thanks for sharing this and look forward to more adventures! Happy fall, Nancy
Sounds like fun, but WAY too expensive for me. Would be nice if they offered the classes without needing to make reservations at the Inn. We are traveling down that way next year and staying at a local Pittsboro, NC B&B while my husband attends a Roy Underhill Woodworking class.
The price of the cooking class may seem a bit high, but it includes your overnight stay, tea in the afternoon, a cocktail party with Chef Bedford and dinner the evening before the class (with wine). The rate also includes breakfast, the full-day class, and the lunch with wine that is prepared during the class. You could certainly contact Fearrington and see if they could price the class out separately. I do think you might miss out on the full experience doing it that way, but maybe it is a possibility. Working with a professionally trained chef (and one that is now a Grand Chef) is an incredible opportunity, if you ever have the chance to do it.