A Weekend at the Salamander Resort and Spa
Nestled in Middleburg, VA just an hour outside of DC, Salamander Resort and Spa is a relaxing oasis, perfect for weekend visits and staycations. The property itself is gorgeous, evoking luxe and comfort all at the same time - it’s the ideal spot for recharging from the draining work days and weeks of city life. I was lucky enough to be invited in this past July to experience the resort firsthand, and was not disappointed.
The property, rooms and amenities exceeded expectations. Upon walking into my room I was greeted with sweet treats on arrival - food...they were speaking my love language. The immaculate room was decorated with photos and paintings created by Sheila Jackson herself - the businesswoman and CEO behind Salamander Resorts. The weekend started off on a healthy note with a yoga class at the resort’s fitness room, followed by a refreshing smoothie made fresh. Afterward, we reconvened at the resort’s one-acre Culinary Garden with Executive Chef Ryan Arensdorf where we learned about all of the initiatives and projects the culinary team has in the pipeline - including upcoming barbecues using the new Big Green Egg Smoker on the patio adjacent to the gardens. Left to our own devices after the garden tour, we traipsed through the rows of squash blossoms, blackberries, tomatoes and more.
The day continued with a bike ride from the resort to downtown Middleburg for lunch at Market Salamander - the newly reopened cafe featuring seasonal items and locally sourced ingredients. After filling up on delicious sandwiches and salads, we hopped back on our bikes and pedaled to Boxwood Winery for a lovely tasting of roses and wines. We biked back to the resort where we were treated to “Bubbles and Caviar” - a decadent Cooking Studio class led by the resort’s Beverage Director featuring caviar paired with champagne with complementing flavors….this was definitely a highlight of the weekend! Champagne and caviar? Yes. Please.
Our day continued with a fun cocktail hour at Gold Cup Wine Bar, where we got to taste the new Cupcake Cocktail - a concoction made with vanilla vodka, dark and light Godiva, house made whipped cream and sprinkles. The perfect drink to take to the Living Room to meet Cupcake the mini horse! The evening ended with a delicious dinner featuring bold flavors and savory cuts of meat from Harrimans, highlighting Virginia Piedmont cuisine. The dinner started off with appetizers including Rustic Cornbread, Pear Carpaccio, and the Salamander Crab Cakes. Entrees featured protein-forward choices like the Not Your Mother’s Pork Chop, Braised Short Rib and Kansas City Strip. Needless to say, I had to be rolled out from the dining room.
The next morning, before parting ways, we all met at Harrimans again for their Sunday brunch. A truly magnificent buffet spread featuring an omelet station; seasonal seafood display with raw oysters, shrimp cocktail, poached mussels and crab claws; prime rib carving station; and a slew of other brunch items including pancakes, french toast, mini quiche, sausage gravy and biscuits and more. It was nothing short of amazing.
The entire Salamander experience was unforgettable - from the service to the quality of detail and attention that was evident in every facet of the resort’s offerings, I could not recommend the Salamander enough.