Fearrington Escape Package
Stay 2 nights at The Fearrington House Inn near Chapel Hill, NC and enjoy a 3rd night free. Truly escape from the stresses of everyday life where you don't have to lift a finger during your stay.
- A Chef's Tasting menu dinner for two at The Fearrington House with wines expertly paired by our sommelier
- $50/person to enjoy dinner at The Fearrington Granary
- A picnic basket to enjoy as one of the meals during the stay
- Lunch at The Fearrington Granary
- $100/person for services at The Spa at Fearrington
- Afternoon tea and full breakfast
- A $25 gift card for shopping
Please call for more details. (Posted 7/1/15)
The Fearrington House
(October 2011) It’s less than 10 miles away from the noisy nightlife of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, but the pastoral setting seems like a world away.
When you make the turn off Highway 15-501 into Fearrington Village, the first thing you spot is a silo and grazing the green pasture around it, the Belted Galloways – squatty, sturdy black cows with wide white middles - that have become the Fearrington House Inn’s mascot. This is no ordinary hotel.
We parked and walked across a brick courtyard to the two-story white frame house that serves as inn headquarters. One step up onto a covered porch, and we walked through the door to the compact lobby, a space that exudes quaint charm. After retrieving our room key – and yes, it’s a real key, not a plastic card - we strolled across a stone courtyard to our room.
The hour was late and our drive had been long, so we welcomed the little touches for which the Fearrington is justly famous –strains of Strauss playing softly on a CD player as we opened the door, a generous serving of Tawny Port and tiny cordial glasses on a small silver tray, a house-crafted truffle in a white gift box, alstromerium spilling from silver vases in every room, lamps casting warm and welcoming light throughout the suite.
Each of the inn’s 32 rooms is different. Four types of accommodations are available – standard and deluxe rooms, superior and grand suites. All are furnished and decorated uniquely, in the same English country style, but with different fabrics and paints.
It’s easy to feel at home at the Fearrington; in fact, our Superior Suite had the cozy feel of a tiny cottage. The sitting room’s pine flooring has a history of its own – Fearrington owner R.B. Fitch brought them over from England where he retrieved them from a workhouse on the River Thames. The furnishings are antiques, eclectic pieces lovingly collected by Fitch and his late wife, Jenny.
In our sitting room, two comfortable wingback chairs surrounded a glass-topped mahogany table with a lamp, whiteware bowl of Granny Smiths and a stack of novels, a mix of classics and current fiction, including Chapel Hill author Lee Smith’s latest, on top.
The ambiance is decidedly English country, but the comforts of modern American life haven’t been forgotten. The sitting room and bedroom both feature 42-inch flat-screen TVs and DVD players, and there’s high-speed Internet access in each of the inn’s rooms.
The Superior Suite’s roomy tile-floored bath includes an oversize Jacuzzi tub with handheld and mounted shower heads, heated towel rack and fragrant Molton Brown soaps, shampoos and shower gels on a beaded ceramic tray atop the spacious marble vanity. An adjustable, lighted magnified mirror makes for nick-free shaving. Slipping on a Fearrington logo-monogrammed micro-fiber-lined robe after a warm, bubbly bath may be the perfect way to end a long day. (If you fall in love with these pampering products, you will find them for sale at Haven gift shop in the village.) Across from the bath, in the hallway that links the sitting area with the bedroom, is a generous closet with plenty of hanger room and shelves. Also in the closet: two robes, two sets of slippers and a golf umbrella, just in case.
Our suite’s walls were painted a cheery apple green, a bold choice alongside a palette of berry, cream, blue and green striped, checked and floral bed linens, pillows, draperies and chair fabrics. A large mahogany antique dresser provides more than ample drawer space and is topped by the flat-screen TV and DVD player. (A wide variety of current movies are listed in a leather notebook packed with information – just pick up a phone and call the desk.)
The partially canopied king-sized bed, topped with a plush down featherbed, dominates the spacious bedroom, but it’s the bay window overlooking the exquisite gardens that’s the focal point. Two comfy chairs sit in the curve of the bay, providing a perfect place to curl up with some good reading. Six current-month magazines on the bedside table provide before-bed reading if you need it, but be warned: the bed is so comfortable that sleep comes easily.
If late-night hunger pangs strike, it’s no problem –24-hour room service is available with a menu that includes soup, a variety of sandwiches, salads and pasta. But since breakfast is included with a night’s stay at the Fearrington, you might want to save your calories. It’s a treat worth setting the alarm for, even on vacation.
We started our breakfast with just-squeezed orange juice and a pot of Harney & Sons English Breakfast tea and a generous basket of toast; croissants, scones and warm, delicious blueberry muffins served alongside strawberry preserves, orange marmalade and whipped butter.
From there, it’s on to a traditional English breakfast, with scrambled eggs, finely shredded hash browns, link sausages and applewood-smoked bacon with button mushrooms. Other choices are available too – buttermilk pancakes with glazed bananas and candied pecans, French toast, smoked salmon hash browns, eggs Benedict, housemade muesli and fruit salad among them.
STROLL AROUND THE VILLAGE
Now it’s time to walk off that breakfast, and a stroll around the village is the perfect way to burn off a few calories. The grounds boast more than 50 organically maintained garden beds. Boxwoods line the curving paths, but that’s the only constant. No cookie-cutter design here, and that’s the intent, says Fearrington General Manager Theresa Chiettini. Members of Fearrington’s gardening team are given the freedom to create pleasing spaces, Chiettini said, and that freedom unleashes unexpected treasures, such as a lush banana plant in the middle of a square of stately boxwoods and water fountains surrounded by a tangle of blooms.
Guests also can stroll the perimeter of the inn’s bounteous vegetable and herb gardens. Executive Chef Colin Bedford draws inspiration from the gardens daily; his menus change monthly but are tweaked daily according to what’s fresh and available. Flowers grown in the gardens are seen in arrangements all over the village. Savvy photographers find opportunities everywhere; the lush gardens are a lovely backdrop to any picture.
Two comfortable sitting rooms provide a place to rest and socialize. The Garden Room, open 24 hours a day to inn guests, has a fireplace, comfortable, overstuffed couches and chairs and plenty of books to settle in with. Self-service coffee is available there from 7 to 9 a.m., but can be requested at any time. Windows look out onto the courtyard fountain and gardens beyond. Across the way, the Sun Room, also open 24/7, has a selection of board games and books as well as TV, perfect for catching a football game on a fall afternoon while enjoying the seasonal Fearrington gardens.
A short walk from the village center finds the signature of Fearrington, those Belted Galloways. Fitch brought the first of these rare Scottish beef cattle to Fearrington about 25 years ago. The cows, now numbering more than 50, are North Carolina State Fair prizewinners, and have recently been joined by Tennessee Fainting Goats and donkeys. Upon checkout, guests receive a stuffed Beltie of their very own as a remembrance of their Fearrington stay.
Back at the village, there’s much to do: browse in cozy McIntyre’s Books, pick up a memorable gift at Haven or Dovecote or grab a cup of fresh-roasted Fearrington House Blend coffee (you can buy a bag to take home), a glass of wine or a sandwich at the Belted Goat. The Belted Goat also features confections by Fearrington House Chocolatiere Jill Leckey. Her decadent truffles in exotic flavors such as lime and lavender, pineapple and rosemary and mango are a perfect take-home treat.
ELSEWHERE IN THE VILLAGE
If you’ve done enough walking, the Fearrington Granary Restaurant makes an excellent lunch stop. The mood is family-casual. Soups, sandwiches and salads are available. Don’t miss the French fries- they’re dusted with rosemary and marjoram and so addictive you’ll steal them off the plate of your dining companion. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; brunch is available Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m; dinner is Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
When you’re finished walking through the village and grounds, Duke Wellness Center is a golf cart ride away, and its amenities – indoor and outdoor pools, fitness equipment and indoor running track - are free to Fearrington guests. Bicycles are available. For even more relaxation, enjoy a mssage, manicure, pedicure or facial at the tranquil Spa at Fearrington. The 4,000 square-foot day spa looks over the Village Center and treatments use Elemis, an organic, British skincare line.
At 4 p.m., proper English tea is served at Fearrington House for inn guests. Along with steaming pots of tea (cocktails and other drinks are available too), guests enjoy their own silver tiered stand full of treats ranging from brownies, fruitcake, lemon tarts and scones with jam and butter. A ribbon of artfully arranged tea sandwiches includes Vermont cheddar and tomato, egg salad, smoked salmon, cucumber and fresh dill, and roast beef and Dijon mustard.
The rooms are comfortable and luxurious, the service is impeccable, the grounds are stunning and the food is innovative, fresh and delicious, but for many guests, the Fearrington experience is all about escape. Charlotte attorney Chris Shea, celebrating his anniversary with wife Rani, summed it up.
“You’re away from the world,” Shea said. “This is what you wish real life was like.”