The French Room in the William Miler House opens into the garden.
I've long been enamored of Virginia, which, for me, is Middleburg horse country, those sprawling horse farms nestled in the state's rambling northern hills. So when a friend suggested a rendezvous in Richmond, Virginia, my first reaction was: Where's Richmond? Geographic impairment, not withstanding, snow was in the forecast for the evening of our dinner date and what I had in mind was a cozy, elegant accommodation in the historic district (nearly every town has one) with a roaring fire and a big old brass bed.
I figured a B&B would most likely measure up. A quick look at Trip Advisor (my personal travel Bible) turned up the "best B&B in Richmond:" the William Miller House. Location: in the heart of the historic Fan District where the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University have campuses. Fan District is home to Monument Avenue, considered "one of the most beautiful streets in America," and the only avenue in the United States named a National Historic Landmark. Style: Revival,1869 on land purchased during the Civil War in 1862; Decor: Period window glass, original marble mantles (yes, the hearth on the website photo was ablaze), Persian rugs on hard pine floor. There were only two guest rooms, so I quickly called and booked the Regency Room which had brass bed.
Hosts Pat Daniels and Mike Rohde welcome guests as they enter.
The William Miller House was as described on its website, an immaculate marriage of history and elegance, with fun finds from local flea markets. What made it especially welcoming were Pat Daniels and Mike Rohde who rightly enthused about their creation. They are a well-traveled couple living their post corporate life as B&B owners. Mike dabbled in the gourmet; breakfast, he promised, would be delicious. Pat lead me on a tour-the couple lived in the back of the large home, which gave guests a unusual privacy.
I immediately ID'ed my favorite spot: The Garden Room. A lovely pale green with four gorgeous armchairs done in fabric the couple purchased in Paris, its French doors opened to a winterscape of violas and pansies in big earthen pots. There would be springtime azaleas and camellias and in summer roses and hydrangeas. The Regency Room, at the top of the stairs, was well appointed in the English style, the huge brass bed made up with good linens, and the gleaming bathroom featured a whirlpool sunken tub. Next door, the Touch of France room reminded me of my home in Provence.
By the time I returned later that evening, snow coated the cobblestoned streets. My friend and I sat in the Garden Room, sipped wine and watched fat flakes coat the foliage. Breakfast at the long table in the red dining room was deliciously multi-course. So maybe Middleburg is not the only charmed spot in Virginia after all.
The lovely Touch of France Room offers comfort and style.
The William Miller House B&B, 1129 Floyd Ave, Richmond, VA 23220. www.williammillerhouse.com
. Phone: 804-254-2928 | firstname.lastname@example.org
THINGS TO DO IN RICHMOND
Some of the Museums:
Children's Museum of Richmond
Virginia Historical Society
Science Museum of Virginia
White House and Museum of the Confederacy
Virginia Museum Fine Art
Some of the many area Theaters:
Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts
The Landmark Theater
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
James River Plantations
Ethyl IMAX Dome & Planetarium
Richmond National Battlefield Park
Six Burner: Pat and Mike's favorite upscale American cuisine
Buz and Ned's BBQ
Can Can Brasserie
You can also walk and eat your way through historic Richmond on Real Richmond Food Tours: www.realrichmondva.com