BBOnline Member SINCE 2001
 

The Iris Inn

191 Chinquapin Dr, Waynesboro, Virginia 22980
Innkeeper(s): Dave & Heidi Lanford

Relish a Ride with Rebel’s Run, Afton, Virginia 18 Aug 2016, 1:00 am

Picture yourself riding on horseback through the Virginia countryside, rolling blue mountains in the distance and lush trees on either side of you. You breathe in the scents of nature and breathe out the worries of everyday life, relishing the steady pace of the horse that carries you. Finally, your party halts and you dismount, ready to indulge in a glass of Virginia wine. It almost sounds too perfect to be real, doesn’t it? Luckily for you, this little scenario is very real, and you can experience it for yourself at Rebel’s Run in Afton, VA.

Rebel’s Run’s winery trail rides are around 45 minutes long and include forests, creeks, vineyard, and a 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We recently went on a wine tour trail ride tour with Rebel’s Run, and it was an incredibly fun experience. At one point on the ride, we emerged from the woods and looked out at a field of hay. Just beyond the field is the red tin roof of Afton Mountain Vineyard’s tasting room, a glistening lake, and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, creating the most idyllic country scene. It’s an absolutely stunning part of the winery that you don’t get to see if you drive by car.

Besides the scenery, we also greatly enjoyed getting to know the horses. These beautiful animals, owned and loved by Mimi Paixao, are so gentle and well-trained that even beginners can enjoy a winery trail ride.

Furthermore, Rebel’s Run is part of our Sip & Saddle Up wine package. Stay two nights at the Iris Inn, and you can enjoy a trail ride to Afton Mountain Vineyard, a bottle of wine in your room on arrival, a picnic lunch, and of course, breakfast at the Inn. All you have to do is book your room, then add the Sip & Saddle Up package to you online booking reservation. Click here to check out more of our wine packages.

Ready for a ride of your own? Reserve your room at the Iris Inn, bring some sturdy riding shoes, and be prepared for an equine adventure.

 

5 Fun End of Summer Activities Near the Iris Inn 9 Aug 2016, 12:15 pm

Back-to-School season has hit, which means that soon enough, the days will grow shorter, the summer heat will lessen, and the leaves will start changes, shifting from the carefree dog days of summer to the cozy chill of autumn. But this doesn’t mean that you have to give up your summer fun just yet!

Here are 5 local activities that are the perfect way to end the season with some memory-making merriment:

1. Cool off at Sherando Lake. Whether you’re preference is swimming, hiking, fishing, canoeing, or just lounging on a lakeside beach, Sherando Lake is the perfect place to do all of these things.

2. Explore the “after hours” beauty of Monticello. Your Monticello Sunset Pass will grant you access to Thomas Jefferson’s vistas, gardens, rooms, and more, giving you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of places you won’t normally see during regular tours.

3. Sip your way through the Brew Ridge Trail or the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. You can’t really go wrong with either of these trails! With award-winning brews, beautiful scenery, and mouthwatering food, these beer-based trails are perfect for brewery-lovers and foodies alike.

4. Take in a Summer Concert Series at the Frontier Culture Museum. Our local living history museum hosts some fun events, and this summer, many people have enjoyed their outdoor concert series. American Roots Music still has three concert dates left, August 14, August 21, and August 28, so take advantage of this event, complete with wine tasting and food vendors!

5. Explore the Virginia scenery with Rebel’s Run at Afton Mountain. Have you ever taken a horseback ride to a winery? Now’s your chance! Rebel’s Run offers a number of trail ride tours, our favorite of which is the vineyard tour, where you can experience wine tasting, wonderful woods and creeks, and an amazing panorama view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We can’t wait to finish out summer and usher in in autumn with you! Click here to book your room, cottage, or cabin here at the Iris Inn!

4 Reasons to Visit the Shenandoah Valley in the Fall 3 Aug 2016, 1:55 am

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus

  1. The Scenery. Of course the number 1 reason for visiting the Valley in the fall has to be the foliage. The rich green of summer slowly shifts into a brilliant display of red, orange, and yellow, and what better place is there to see it happen than from the top of a Virginia mountain? Whether you’re hiking a local trail, taking a scenic drive, or enjoying the view from one of our porch chairs, the emergence of autumn is a splendid sight to behold. (The Virginia Department of Forestry will continually update their Fall Foliage Report as the changes happen, so stay up-to-date with their website.)
  2. The 45th Annual Fall Foliage Festival Art Show. Fall is a work of art in and of itself, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate other artistic displays. For one whole weekend, “the streets of downtown Waynesboro are turned into an outdoor art gallery,” hosting the talents of a myriad of local artisans. You’ll find everything from traditional paintings to woodworking to jewelry, so if you’re looking for a souvenir of your Valley getaway, or you’re in need of a gift, this is a great opportunity to pick one up. This year’s festival will take place on October 8-9, 2016.
  3. The Apples. From apple pie to apple cider to apple butter, this fruit bursts onto the scene in autumn. Enjoy the apple-themed merriment at Chiles Peach Orchard’s “Fall Into Fun” Festival, or pick your own ripe, juicy apples at Seamans’ Orchard.
  4. The 10th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. On September 10, 2016, “taste a bounty of heirloom fruits and vegetables and learn about organic gardening and seed-saving during this fun, affordable, family-friendly festival — unlike any other — held on the breathtaking West Lawn of Jefferson’s Monticello.”

We look forward to seeing you in the fall! (You may want to book your room now, as we fill up fast in autumn.)

Photo by Glenn Martin

Wine 301 Menu 27 Jul 2016, 2:31 pm

Wine 301: February 24 – 26, 2017 (including an offsite winery tour at Pollak Vineyards!)

  • Mushroom cigars with pomegranate glaze
  • Seared scallops with ratatouille
  • Butternut squash and bacon salad with maple-rosemary vinaigrette
  • Homemade pappardelle pasta with lamb ragout
  • Caramelized onion, Gorgonzola, and mushroom stuffed flank steak with truffled fingerling potatoes and broccoli
  • Chocolate bourbon bread pudding with smoked honey ice cream

 

Wine 201 Menu 27 Jul 2016, 2:28 pm

Wine 201: January 27 – 29, 2017

Friday

5:30: Virginia Wine and Cheese Pairing– We will be pairing Virginia Viognier with cheese from Caramount Farms, and Virginia Cabernet Franc with Gouda from Our Lady of the Angels.

8:30: Port and Chocolate Pairing– What day is complete without a rich dessert? This pairing will feature treats from a local chocolatier, truffles dusted with cocoa powder, and chocolates with orange, perfect paired with sweet, young, ruby Port.

Saturday

8:00-9:30: Breakfast and Sparkling Wine– Your day will start with a Spanish Cava paired with a savory egg dish. What a way to wake up in the morning!

1:30: Sensory Exploration– For 50 minutes to an hour, Marc will introduce you to an aroma/flavor kit to train your palate, and as you learn, you will have the opportunity to win some prizes. (Your Sensory Exploration includes lunch.)

Dinner– Menu (prepared by Chef Caitie Maharg):

– Spring greens with English cucumbers, radishes, strawberries, ricotta solata and a honey balsamic dressing

– Shrimp & Grits

– Apple crisp with maple, bacon & bourbon ice cream

Wine 101 Menu 27 Jul 2016, 2:25 pm

Wine 101: January 6 – 8, 2017

Friday

5:30: Virginia Wine and Cheese Pairing– We will be pairing Virginia Viognier with cheese from Caramount Farms, and Virginia Cabernet Franc with Gouda from Our Lady of the Angels.

8:30: Port and Chocolate Pairing– What day is complete without a rich dessert? This pairing will feature treats from a local chocolatier, truffles dusted with cocoa powder, and chocolates with orange, perfect paired with sweet, young, ruby Port.

Saturday

8:00-9:30: Breakfast and Sparkling Wine– Your day will start with a Spanish Cava paired with a savory egg dish. What a way to wake up in the morning!

1:30: Sensory Exploration– For 50 minutes to an hour, Marc will introduce you to an aroma/flavor kit to train your palate, and as you learn, you will have the opportunity to win some prizes. (Your Sensory Exploration includes lunch.)

Dinner– Indulge in a mixed or Caesar salad paired with New Zealand (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc, stuffed chicken with tomatoes and spinach paired with a Meritage from Karamoor Estate in PA, and bread pudding paired with a Malmsey (Sweet) Madeira. If you think your mouths are watering now, just wait until it’s all sitting right in front of you!

Grab a Growler Along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail 18 Jul 2016, 8:19 am

Why try out one brewery when you can travel an entire trail of them? With twelve breweries from Lexington to Nellysford, the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail offers a wide array of some of the finest craft beverages in Virginia. Furthermore, many of these breweries host food trucks, live music, and growler fills as an added bonus to your visit. Let’s take a closer look at Waynesboro’s two new libation locations, which also happen to be stops along the Beerwerks Trail:

Stable Craft Brewing Co.: This beautiful horse farm offers everything from stable tours to visits in the hop fields, all of which are accompanied by the resident horses, who will watch curiously as you make your way around the farm. As you arrive at Stable Craft, you’ll be greeted by Morocco the Cyldesdale, a personable, nine-year old stallion who loves attention. Make your way into the Draft Room for a taste of beer from Head Brewer, Christopher Fann. The sixteen beers on tap include an Oatmeal Stout, Wet Hop American Pale Ale, Smoked Soral Ale, American Blonde, Saison, and more. Amp up your brew with a taste of Stable Craft’s Savory Fare from a Southern-inspired menu—French toast sliders, turkey biscuits, haystack potatoes, grilled seasonal veggies, and a whole lot more.

Basic City Beer Co.: This brother-owned business is located in what many residents will recognize as the old (but renovated) Virginia Metalcrafters building. Basic City will quench your thirst with a sip or two of their Grand Coutre Tripel (a winter seasonal inspired by Belgian golden ale), the Frying Pan Imperial Stout (crafted with Belgian malt and boasting a rich chocolate flavor), a Foggy Lager (light, refreshing, and unfiltered), Ray’s Pale Ale, and their own take on the classic IPA. As with any new brewery, their tastes will shift with small improvements over time, so even if you enjoy a tasting in their opening months, you’ll have to return later to see how the beverages have reached their full potential.

Click here to see all of the breweries along this Shenandoah Valley excursion. We’re only a quick drive away from the breweries along this trail, so all you have to do is grab your cabin, cottage, or room at the Iris Inn, and you’re ready for the perfect Beerwerks Trail getaway! We look forward to seeing you soon.

3 Fun Upcoming Events at James Monroe’s Highland 4 Jul 2016, 12:41 pm

We’re lucky to be located near the homes and birthplaces of four former U.S. presidents, including Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum in Staunton, James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, and James Monroe’s Highland in Charlottesville. Let’s take a closer look at this last presidential location, Highland, and a few fun upcoming events that you can experience and enjoy on your next trip to the area.

Highland (formerly called Ash-Lawn Highland), is the home of America’s fifth President, James Monroe, and is now owned and run by Monroe’s alma mater, The College of William and Mary. With an array of events hosted on the historic grounds and the warm green of the scenery, summer is a particularly pleasant time for a Highland visit. (And no visit is complete without a stay at the Iris Inn, so click here to book your room, cottage, or cabin now!)

1. July 12, 2016: Tuesday Tunes July Concert, Featuring Southwater: All music lovers will delight in the instrumentation of this bluegrass group that hails from Charlottesville. “Their combination of strong vocal harmonies along with technical musicianship makes for an exciting performance of unlimited possibilities.” Along with Southwater, this Highland event also promises local food and alcohol vendors available, so grab a blanket, chair, and a picnic from the Iris Inn, and enjoy a fun, relaxing evening, starting at 6:00 pm.

2. August 4, 2016: Albemarle County Fair: Save the date for this local event that promises a some good, old-fashioned fun. “This festive “Old-Time Country Fair” offers traditional family fun in a historic setting. A three-day agricultural celebration includes farm animals, exhibits, food, crafts, baked goods, live music, children’s games, and activities, contests, and programs for the entire family.”

3. August 16, 2016: Tuesday Tunes August Concert, featuring Small Town Rodeo. This final performance of Highland’s summer concert series will feature Small Town Rodeo with a fantastic blend of bluegrass, classic rock, Americana, and outlaw country. Not only that, but you’ll have bonus performances by opening acts, Tara Mills and Jimmy Stelling.

We can’t wait to see you for your Highland getaway. Book your room, cottage, or cabin now, and don’t forget to give us a follow on Facebook!

 

Celebrate Summer at Waynesboro’s Extravaganza 1 Jul 2016, 1:00 am

One of Waynesboro, Virginia’s most anticipated annual events is soon to occur on July 9, 2016—the Summer Extravaganza at Ridgeview Park. It is a day full of “good music, great food, an arts & craft show, family entertainment and a fantastic fireworks display to close out the evening.”

The Waynesboro Extravaganza began solely as an arts and crafts fair with a few vendors offering refreshments. In the 1980s, organizers partnered with the Kiwanis Club to create a larger event. “The event grew to attract even more visitors in the 1990’s, when they added children’s carnival rides. Today, it has become one of the Shenandoah Valley’s biggest summer events” (Cabin Creek Wood).

Current Extravaganza activities commence at 8 a.m. with a 10k race and a 5k race/walk, and if you’re interested in participating, registration is still open.

At 10 a.m., the Arts & Crafts Show begins, and you will find everything from handmade jewelry to clothing to wood crafts to toys for the kids. Other activities throughout the day include a variety of live bands at the amphitheater, dancers at the Woodland Shelter, a children’s art table, and face painting.

The day concludes with everyone’s favorite activity, a lively show of fireworks that flash and echo across the entire city. The fireworks begin approximately 9:45 p.m., and they’re visible from most areas of Ridgeview Park, so you should have a good view no matter where you choose to camp out.

Note: Because of the Extravaganza’s family-friendly atmosphere, alcoholic beverages aren’t permitted in the park. You’ll just have to return to the Iris Inn to partake in your libations.

Photo by Jeremy Nicholson

 

Our Secret Summer Salad: Watermelon with Feta and Mint 15 Jun 2016, 1:00 am

During these stiflingly hot, pre-summer days, we all crave refreshment, whether it be by means of swimming, sipping iced tea, or holing up indoors with the air conditioning on at full blast. One of our favorite ways to beat the heat is with our cuisine, and a particularly refreshing dish that we enjoy here is our unique, Iris Inn watermelon salad:

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon Tabasco

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

One 8-pound seedless watermelon, scooped into balls with a melon baller or cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks (10 cups), chilled

½ pound feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)

1 ¼ cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)

1 small sweet onion, cut into ½-inch dice

1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt, Tabasco and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the mint and serve.

Try out more Iris Inn cuisine at our bed & breakfast! Click here to check availability.