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.