Take a step back in time to a town nestled in the George Washington National Forest’s lush mountains in Bath County, Virginia. Here, you can enjoy the Warm Springs’ cozy and country charm at The Inn at Gristmill Square.
This unique bed and breakfast was built from the five original 19th-century historic buildings on the property. It is home to the famous Waterwheel Restaurant and a member of the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia.
The Glorious Inn
My daughter, Peyton, and I arrived at the Inn at Gristmill Square and checked in with a friendly receptionist. She showed us to our room and pointed out the magazines, games, and puzzles available during our stay.
The welcoming Inn at Gristmill Square’s lobby offered free coffee and reading materials to guests. I liked that the property was easily accessible, including the swimming pool, onsite restaurant, and neighboring spa. Parking was easy and there were plenty of spots.
The rooms were named the Hardware Store (where our Silo room was), Miller’s House, Steele House, and the Blacksmith Shop. Each room was unique in decor and offered free Wi-Fi, local landline telephones, window air conditioning, and complimentary breakfast.
The Delightful Silo Room
Our room was in the Silo, a circularly shaped bedroom with an enormous bathroom, featuring a 2-person Jacuzzi tub. I loved the warmth of the quaint yet spacious room, which featured a desk area, two fireplace-facing Wingback chairs, and plush linens.
The works of art on the walls were most interesting; pieces that had no similarities though complimented each other nicely. Thick super soft handmade rugs were the floor and looked gorgeous against the hardwood floors; I would love to have taken one home with me!
Our king size bed was incredibly comfortable, and the separate bathroom…heavenly.
I so approved of the huge bathtub. Later in the day, I soaked my traveling aches away while reading the handful of Bath County brochures and literature I picked up in the lobby.
The bathroom had a separate modern shower, private toilet, and complimentary toiletries, as well as a mini-fridge stocked with bottled water. I appreciated the brown washcloths for make-up removal.
Yummy Breakfast Baskets
Breakfast was delivered to our room each morning in a cute little basket, a nice touch. The basket had breakfast goodies, including orange juice, water, and coffee. I was highly impressed with the thought and efforts that went into assembling each basket.
One morning we had spinach cheese pastries and fresh fruit, while the next, homemade biscuits with jelly, sliced nut bread, and yogurt with granola served in the cutest little mason jars. What a delight!
The Inn at Gristmill Square offers plenty of outdoor seating to relax, socialize, and breathe the fresh mountain air I was fond of the small wrought iron tables that restaurant guests used as they sipped their evening wine. Beautiful flowers are in nooks and crannies throughout the property and in pristine condition.
Dining at the Waterwheel Restaurant
Peyton and I booked a reservation at the Waterwheel, a converted mill that now houses a gourmet restaurant, also a Simon Kenton Pub. I was bowled over at the white starched tablecloths, upscale menu and wine list, and the wait staff’s professionalism. The tables were adorned with fresh flowers, too; not a stone was left unturned.
We started our meal with French Onion Soup, served in small crocks and topped with creamy Gruyere cheese. We ate this with freshly baked bread spread with real butter. Dinner size salads, wrapped together with a thin slice of cucumber, were too pretty to eat, but that did not stop us. The beautiful presentations were much appreciated.
Amazing Main Dishes
For dinner, Peyton chose the Pappardelle Bolognese, and I, the Faroe Islands Salmon. The crusty herb-topped salmon laid over asparagus spears and basil & citrus risotto. It was spectacular! The slow-cooked risotto was just how I like it and cooked to perfection. Peyton’s pasta was sinfully creamy and delicious; an irresistible Bolognese recipe. Simply put, both meals were up there as two of my favorites of the year.
Finishing a Memorable Meal
Our waiter delivered desserts that were the “icing on the cake” for the evening. Peyton had the Flourless Chocolate Cake, a rich concoction paired with caramel sauce, coffee ice cream, and compressed strawberries. Peyton=1; cake=0.
My Carrot Cake was a deconstructed version. The muffin-sized cake was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, heavily drizzled with cream cheese icing, and a creative bit of peanut brittle stuck in the cake’s top. Picture me with my eyes rolled back in my head.
My palate did a happy dance with every bite of this ingenious and fantastic Carrot Cake. I later learned that the carrot cake recipe belonged to a long-term kitchen employee. How special is that? It was one of the best desserts of my life!
A Memorable (and Delectable) Stay
After dinner, I had a chance to chat with innkeeper John, an incredibly kind and attentive man who paid attention to all of his guests. He seemed to subscribe to the same “Ritz Carlton” method of customer service that both my husband and I do, in which dazzling the guest and making each one feel special is the top priority. I can see why he and his wife, Kate, have been successful in their hospitality careers.
Though I did not meet Kate, I know through emailing her that she is equally as passionate and happy with her life as an innkeeper owner as John. I wish them all the best in the future with this rustic slice of paradise, where relaxation meets elegance.
Thank you for hosting our stay.
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