Marriott Ranch & Inn at Fairfield Farm
Treat your Valentine to a Romantic Weekend 6 Feb 2015, 1:00 pm
Your romantic Virginia getway awaits at Marriott Ranch. Enjoy Champagne and Chocolates delivered to your room upon arrival Friday evening. Sip on a glass of wine by a roaring fire, the perfect way to unwind and rekindle the flame with your loved one. Enjoy a hearty country breakfast on Saturday before heading out for a day of wine tasting at near by Desert Rose, Rappahannock Cellars, Phillip Carter and Linden Vineyards. A gourmet picnic basket is included to take with you or enjoy before a guided horseback ride at our trail barn.Watch the sun set from our front porch as you and your guest get ready enjoy a gourmet four course dinner paired with local Virginia Wines in The James Marshall Manor House. Enjoy a two night stay in a beautiful, Virginia Blue Ridge Mountain setting in the heart of Virginia Wine and Horse Country at Marriott Ranch.
Hearty Winter Soup Recipe 14 Nov 2014, 2:32 pm
Thought you might enjoy this hearty winter soup recipe that we will be serving this weekend.
Beef Bourguignon Soup
A delicious and hearty soup with the same ingredients as the classic French Beef Bourguignon.
Serves: Serves 12
· 3-4 thick cut slices Applewood Smoked Bacon, approximately 4 ounces
· 2 tablespoons flour
· 1 ½ teaspoons salt
· ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 2 pounds stew beef meat, cut in ½-inch dice
· 1 medium onion, chopped in ¼-inch dice
· 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
· 6 tablespoons Tomato Paste
· 2 cups good quality dry red wine, a little more than ½ of a 750ml bottle
· 6 cups beef stock
· 4 medium fresh Thyme Sprigs
· 1 large Bay Leaf
· 4 tablespoons pesto, prepared or homemade
· 2 teaspoons brown sugar
· 2 stalks celery, diced into ½-inch pieces
· 8 medium carrots, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
· 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 8 ounces Cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
1. Cook bacon over medium low heat until golden brown and crisp, but not hard. Do not overcook. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove half of the bacon drippings and set aside.
2. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add beef and toss with your hands to coat.
3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy duty pot, heat bacon fat over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add ½ of the beef and spread out to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook, undisturbed until the beef is golden brown on the underside, about 5-7 minutes. With a large metal spatula, flip beef to uncooked side and cook until second side is golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a clean plate. Add the rest of the bacon fat to pot. Heat until hot, add remaining beef and repeat cooking process as directed above.
4. Once second batch of beef is browned, return first half of beef to pan. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and 1 of cup wine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to maintain a low simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally to loosen brown bits from bottom of pan. (I like to use a thin bladed metal spatula for this.) Simmer until most of the wine is absorbed, about 20 minutes then add the remainder of the wine and simmer until almost completely absorbed .
Enjoy at stay warm!
Loss of a Hume Legend 17 Sep 2014, 9:06 am
Today we celebrate the life of a friend, neighbor, legendary huntsman and life long Hume, Virginia resident, Melvin Poe. He has been a strong figure in our horse and fox hunting community since the 1940's.
I had spoken with Mr. Poe a few times over the years and there was always something to learn with each conversation. You were quick to learn about Hume in the old days and if you weren't a fox hunter you would soon want to be. He never met a stranger and enjoyed telling fox hunting stories when not hunting himself.
Our thoughs are with his family and community at this difficult time.
Virginia Gold Cup Catering 29 Apr 2014, 4:03 pm
This week the Marriott Ranch Staff is preparing to cater at one of oldest traditions in Virginia Horse Country. The Virginia Gold Cup Races at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia is the site host for the series of Steeplechase Races this Saturday, May 3rd. An estimated guest attendance of 50,000 line the Member's Hill, North and South Rail areas as they cheer on their favorite horse and rider while enjoying food and beverages prepared by our team at various tent locations.
Some guests arrive early at their tent locations for a continental breakfast that includes, Assorted Scones, Fresh Baked Muffins Mini Quiches and Fresh Fruit. Cheese Boards, Spinach Dip,Hummus, Vegetable Displays, Country Ham Biscuits, Picnic Sandwiches and Chilled Shrimp are later morning Horsd"oeuvres. As the races get under way, Fennel Rubbed Beef, Roasted Kabobs, Fried Chicken , Deli Platters and side salads arrive. Cookies, Brownies, Dessert Bars and Assorted Mini Pastries fill the sweet tooth requirements wrapping up the food service.
Marriott Ranch also provides full bar service equipped with bartenders. Our team will serve just under 6,000 guests at various locations around the race course. Our sales team spends months working with clients to ensure every catering detail is covered. The operations team spends equal time arranging labor, ordering food and beverage and preparing catering orders.
We are looking forward to catering 50+ tents this Saturday for the annual running of The Virginia Gold Cup Races. This is an event not to miss. Contact The Virginia Gold Cup Ofiice in Warrenton, Virginia to buy your car passes and enjoy a southern tradition! See you at the races!
Red Barns of Marriott Ranch 6 Mar 2014, 12:25 pm
I've always been fascinated with old barns, especially red ones. My childhood days were spent on my grandfather's farm making hay and doing all the chores that came with farm living. There was a huge red barn that served as a riding stable located on highly traveled country road. Neighbors and traveling visitiors always stopped in to chat and tell stories. My parents had to call and make me come home. I often hear the saying, "Born in a Barn" and that has an entirely different meaning. In my lifetime, more time has been spent in a barn than in a house.
Many years later found me working at Marriott Ranch and still spending time in the barn. I wanted to share one of my favorite views that includes both red barns at the ranch. Driving past these barns always reminds me of the times I shared with my grandfather on the farm. If these barns could talk they would have quite a story to tell.
Photo by Stephanie Thimons
What Do You Think? 24 Feb 2014, 10:11 am
Rustic Wedding Tips 30 Jan 2014, 3:38 pm
Marriott Ranch's Country-Elegant Weddings 101:
by: Stephanie Thimons
Many brides come to Marriott Ranch with an idea of a rustic country Virginia Wedding. I thought this guide might be benefical for those looking to celebrate their special day in the country. This quick how-to guide will give you helpful tips on how to achieve the perfect rustic wedding.
Whether it is a refurbished barn, farmhouse or even a cleared spot in a corn field, the setting is the canvas that sets the mood for your whole country theme.
Go for cozy, intimate elements such as long farm tables with benches, mix-matched country chairs, or hay bales to serve as seating.
If the setting is the canvas, the décor is the actual painting that brings the country feel together. Use natural items such as wood, stone, glass, and metal (especially tin). Here is a list of examples of décor items that can really set the tone:
Chunks of wood (cheap and easy, just get dad out in the woods with his chain saw to cut various diameters and thicknesses of stumps. You would be amazed what these can do for centerpieces and buffets).
Mason jars (wrapped in twine filled with candles or wild flowers or used for signature drinks with fun, colorful straws)
Windows – use them for writing your seating chart on or for buffet accents
Burlap – yes it is scratchy but it looks amazing as a runner or just as an underlay at your place card, gift, cake, and buffet tables
Props – any old time looking items picked up at garage sales or antique stores can be grouped together for a cool tableau (ie- old suitcases, typewriter, cans, food scales, watering cans, wine barrels, wooden fruit crates, etc.). One great item is an old fashioned car which can later serve as the bride and groom’s getaway vehicle.
Signage – rough wooden signs with directional arrows to the wedding ceremony, reception, gifts, placecards, etc. are an adorable touch.
Again, stick with natural. Simple white stringed lights with large bulbs give the look of country family get together. Also, the large round Chinese lanterns and even tin or wooden lanterns with candles work well.
With everything else being very neutral tones, the flowers are where you get your pops of color. Sunflowers, colorful gerbera daisies and just run of the mill wildflowers go great in a country setting. Mason jars, various apothecary jars or tin containers or buckets make great containers. Fill tin buckets with sod and a few gerbera daisies and you have an instant, inexpensive, colorful centerpiece.
This is where you let your creativity shine. Handcrafts make fantastic favors especially when they are personal. Have a favorite jelly? Make small mason jars of handmade blackberry jam with a label reading “Jam packed with our love”. Other handmade items can include salsas, fudge, candy, dips, cookie mixes or spices.
A rustic wedding has the feel of relaxed charm combined with a certain elegance that makes it more than a picnic but when all is said and done, it is the people present and the memories made that make the day special. Have fun with it!
Fairfield Farm (Marriott Ranch) Thanksgiving from Bill Marriott 26 Nov 2013, 9:13 am
We are proud to maintain Mr. Marriott's legacy and Thanksgiving tradition at Marriott Ranch formerly Fairfield Farm.
Click on Bill Marriott's blog below to see why Thanksgving at the farm is so special to their family!
A Special Marriott Ranch Wedding Story 22 Nov 2013, 9:11 am
My love for horses started at a very young age. I always knew I wanted to be a Cowgirl. My grandfather always provided me with a four leggged friend and introduced me to the sport of barrel racing. At a very young age, I was asked to demonstrate my cowgirl skills at Marriott Ranch for a group of guests enjoying a Western Themed evening.
I fell in love with this majestic, Virignia, Ranch filled with horses, cattle and well maincured rolling pastures. I never dreamed I would one day work here. The beauty of this breathtaking place entered my mind over the years.
My mind always traveled to the West and the ranching lifestyle. After college, I headed out on an adventure to Oklahoma . My friends invited me to stay at their horse farm. Here, I tried to learn all I could about horses, barrel racing and roping. During this time, my dear friend to this day, Lorena introduced me to this larger than life, cowboy named, Bill that was attending the team roping. I was intriguied with his story telling abilities and his natural ability to make people laugh and listen! He was also amazed by my passion for horses and independence. Bill was persistent in landing a date. After many calls, I finally said yes! We have been on a fast moving train with many travels ever since our first encounter.
We spent a few years in Oklahoma until my dad asked if we would consider helping him with his riding stable business in Cacapon State Park. We decided to move back east to assist. The winter months often found us closed due to the northeast weather conditions.The former Marriott Ranch Barn Manager had met my husband on occasion at local horse events. He realized he was an accomplished ranch hand and roper. The Marriott Ranch then had a stocker cattle operation. There were escaped strays on neighboring properties. The Barn Manager asked my husband if might be able to assist. Bill agreed to look things over and decided he could master the task at hand. It was just a few days until all the stray steers were captured.
The Ranch General Manager , Jerry Cooper was impressed and intriguied by this real life cowboy and offered Bill full time work eighteen years ago. We moved into ranch housing and it wasn't unitl a few years later that I was hired as the first ranch administrative assistant. Jerry and Kim Cooper also lived on the ranch at this time with their four young children: Skyler, Michael, Dannielle and Samantha. We all became family very quickly as we lived through the joys and struggles of ranch life. The Cooper children grew up quickly and have now started their own lives and successful careers.
The oldest Cooper daughter, Dani also shares my love for horses and is an accomplished rider. She became engaged and held the rustic, ranch style, wedding this past June at Marriott Ranch. Her one wedding request was that a horse be present. Kim and Jerry asked if I could assist in answering this request and of course I said yes! It really hit me on her wedding day, how special this day was for Dani, The Cooper Family and The Moss family.
Angels are brought into our lives for various reasons. The Cooper Family recognized our love of horses and the Western Lifestyle that provided us with unbelieveable opportunity.It was an honor to provide their oldest daughter, Dani with a horse on her wedding day and support her passion for horses.
2014 Virginia Winemaker Dinner Schedule at Marriott Ranch 1 Nov 2013, 2:59 pm
Join Marriott Ranch has we host our 10th annual Virginia Wine Maker Dinner Series starting in January. These events are a true dining experience like no other. Chefs JC and Chaz prepare five amazing courses that are paired with select wines from neighboring wineries. The wine maker speaks about the wine making process and explains how each wine pairs with the meal course.
These events are the perfect cure for the winter blues as new and old friends gather at The James Marshall Manor House for an evening fine dining. We will kick off the series with Rappahannock Cellars on Saturday, January 18th. Then, Linden Vineyards will follow on March 1st and Gray Ghost on March 22nd. Desert Rose will wrap up the season on April 5th.
Reservations are now be accepted Monday thru Friday by calling 540-364-2627. We suggest booking rooms early as they go quickly for these events.