I invite you to experience my wonderful weekend with me. I just returned home from an incredible trip to The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia hosted by Garden & Gun. I had been to the Homestead many times before with my family growing up. Although I have many fond memories of the resort, this was my first trip there in over 20 years. The Homestead was so much more than I remembered.  Bigger, and so much better.  I encountered many modern updates that have been blended so well with the fabric and history of America’s oldest resort.  The Omni Homestead and Garden & Gun team hosted a dreamy weekend.

The combination of Garden & Gun and the Omni Homestead was perfection. In celebrating 250 years of this iconic American resort, exquisite events were produced, wonderful new friends were made and new experiences were shared. My husband and I were new to the Garden & Gun weekend trip, and immediately met so many new, interesting, and friendly people with common interests.

The events, activities, and parties were exceptional.  I hope the images below can give you an idea just how special this weekend was for us.  The Homestead provided one of the ultimate settings for Garden & Gun entertainment.  The flowers food and fun were incredible. I did not mention the music, music, music. The first night featured the Harley Boone Band from Richmond, VA,  a wonderful classic country band. We danced, sampled many of the foods from the Garden & Gun Southerner’s Cookbook, and enjoyed libations late in the evening.  Our evening continued on with our new friends to the newly updated Jefferson Pub.

img_4380

in between events, we seemed to have a new gift each time we returned to our room. Everyone knows I love a present.

img_4382

A look at the beautiful opening party with exquisite flowers, fantastic food, and lethal libations.

img_4383

img_4384

img_4400

img_4393 img_4392 img_4391 img_4390 

img_4399 

img_4388

img_4397

img_4395

img_4394

 

img_4387  

img_4442

 img_4440

 img_4404 

The next morning featured a hike through the Cascades Gorge with naturalist Brian La Fountain was incredible. It was truly an education in natural history, outdoor safety ideas, and a ton of Joan Rivers inspired humor.  I highly recommend this adventure at The Homestead.  He is even filming own show with National Geographic. He introduced us to this precious butternut Caterpillar. 

img_4454

img_4443

Brian did force us to kiss in front of the waterfall for a picture. It was beyond humiliating.

 img_4448 

Again we return to our room to find another treat. Wonderful Westrock coffee, signature Garden & Gun travel mugs and the Homestead’s world famous donuts. The maple doughnuts will occupy my dreams for many months.

img_4480

We attended a lovely luncheon created and inspired by Julia Reed, famous author and chef. She used her intensive studies of Thomas Jefferson to produce an incredibly original menu for the event. Each guest left with a copy of her new book: Julia Reed’s South, Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long. It is a wonderful and entertaining book full of diverse menus.  Each section is based on one of the many fabulous dinners or parties Julia has created for her ever expanding group of fun friends.  She and David diBenedetto also had a lively conversation about her illustrious career and entertaining.

img_4461

We later explored the hotel and including this old school lobby bar.

img_4482 

img_4483

We wandered through Hot Springs, a quaint little village. 

img_4479 

We popped over to the spa facilities and one of the many pools on-site. There are various temperature natural hot springs all over the properties that you can relax in.

img_4469 

Tea is served each day at 2:50 PM in honor of 250 years of the Homestead.

img_4465   

One of the many highlights of this weekend was the Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon tasting. I’m not particularly a bourbon drinker but I may have been converted. Unfortunately, this brand has a cult (Rock Star?) following and actually acquiring a bottle is a feat in itself.  Preston Van Winkle, who hosted the tasting event, was very clear that production will not increase to meet demand.  I think you need to make friends with as many liquor store owners as possible.

img_4486

img_4487

Of course there were more gorgeous flowers and delicious nibbles.

img_4489 

Immediately following the tasting, we were whisked away to the Omni Homestead Shooting Club.  Another amazing part of the property with yet another a picturesque view of the nearby mountains. Just in time for sunset.

img_4522 

Cigars were being rolled.

img_4500

Gorgeous flowers were abundant.

img_4499

Cocktails were flowing liberally.

img_4494

Of course a vintage Land Rover was packed for the perfect picnic on the side of the skeet range.

img_4495

img_4497

Another memorable meal was served with watermelon cloches, a salad wall, Brunswick stew, quail and so much more. Of course, there was a delicious cornbread and biscuit bar as well. 

 img_4509      

The band for this event was Another Roadside Attraction from Roanoke Virginia. They were a mix between an alternative folk band and Circus carnies. They were soulful energetic and incredibly entertaining.

img_4514

We were treated to a little playing of the saw as well as some juggling.

   img_4517  

When again joined our friends back at the hotel bar as many gathered watching football exuberantly. More treats and cocktails were waiting back in our room.

img_4524

Overall, it was one of the most memorable weekends I have had a very long time. What I have found is that in attending a Garden & Gun weekend or event, the planning is so exquisite and well thought out you feel so well taken care of. I generally plan all are vacations and make all of the plans. It was so nice to have a well-thought-out schedule of the events that were all like attending your close friends most fabulous parties.

Now I just want to go to every single event they offer.

The Homestead certainly exceeded all expectations and we will certainly be coming back to visit again soon. I know the winter has a totally different feel.They offer skiing and ice-skating. I see a winter break in our future at the Homestead.

img_4521

Be sure to subscribe to THE ENGLISH ROOM for extra news, giveaways and discounts.

 Let’s get friendly on Facebook,  Twitter,  Pinterest,  Tumblr,  Instagram 

and Snapchat: theenglishroom.

 Please feel free to contact The English Room if you are interested in our interior design services in Charlotte or beyond. 

2 Responses to Wanderlust Wednesday: The Homestead with Garden & Gun
  1. Lovely! That last photograph is a painting done by Rich order, Lee Baskerville. He’s an accomplished artist as well as historic preservationist. He owns and has restored two of the oldest Federal houses in historic Churchill in Richmond. He is currently living in and restoring a home in Midlothian, Va that was moved from Holyoke Massachusettes. It was originally built by Captain JP Morgan then moved to Virginia in 1970 by a local builder. My family actually moved into that house in 1977 and that’s where I grew up. Lee is now restoring a plantation in Powhatan p, Va. He’s quite an interesting man. He grew up traveling the world on safari hunts with his father. He studied at UVA and now in his mid forties he continues to paint and restore homes and travel. Look him up on FB! I live about 7 houses down from my childhood home in Midlothian where he is living and restoring! I love your blog y the way! Oh, and worth a mention, this home in Midlothian is currently the featured home in Richmond Home magazine!


[top]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Anti-Spam Quiz: