All Quiet on the Plantation
WE COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT THE . . . lesson on horse insemination. We dropped by the stables to watch the two-month-old foals nuzzle with their moms and encountered Terry Corbin, a friend of the Robinsons who keeps some horses on the property. Corbin had just returned from taking one of the mares to be impregnated -- told us all about that.
THE EXPERIENCE: Fauquier County is known for horseback riding and winery-hopping, but having done that before, we sought something different.
Our first stop was Warrenton's Lake Brittle (4354 Lake Brittle Dr., 540-347-6888), a pretty 77-acre lake about 25 miles from the inn. The lake was lightly populated by slow-moving canoeists and dads taking their sons fishing. We rented a canoe for a half-day ($12.50) and spent a pleasant, non-strenuous few hours gliding lazily across the lake.
The weekend we visited, Warrenton -- 18 miles from the farm -- was having its spring festival, with more than five blocks of the town's historic Main Street closed to traffic. We browsed among the face-painting booths, a petting zoo, vendors and musicians, including an organist with a lederhosen-clad monkey puppet.
Sweaty from the lake and weary from the sun, we retreated to the B&B to clean up, relax in the air-conditioned solarium and sip lemonade. We strolled around the property -- Bailey the dog accompanying us -- and along the Rappahannock River, my finger poised on the trigger of an insect-repellent bottle the whole time.
The next day, we attended the hokey but fun Flying Circus (off Route 17 in Bealeton, 540-439-8661; $10), an acrobatic air show of "Golden Age" biplanes. With a picnic lunch and blanket in tow, we squinted and craned our necks to watch the brightly painted planes swoop, circle and soar. The show was geared toward kids, who probably didn't cringe as much as I did listening to the "Red Baron" character that was part of the shtick -- a perfect time for rain clouds to roll in and for us to head back to the big city.
WHERE TO EAT: You'd think that in tiny Remington you'd have to drive 20 minutes to Warrenton to find a decent meal. For the most part that's true, with one exception: the Inn at Kelly's Ford (16589 Edwards Shop Rd., dinner entrees $10.50-$21.75). The cuisine is French, the view stunning and the service inviting. For a less fancy meal, go downstairs to Pelham's Pub for an Angus burger and $2 draft beer. Pick up true Philly hoagies and other picnic fare at the Corner Deli (100 N. James Madison Hwy.).
INFO: Highland Farm and Inn, 10981 Lees Mill Rd., Remington, Va., 540-439-0088, www.highlandfarminn.com. $125 and $150 for rooms in the house, $200 for the cottage.
-- Elissa Leibowitz
© 2004 The Washington Post Company