Not too far down the road from the hustle and bustle of Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham, NC sits a one-of-a-kind retreat that is the epitome of Southern charm and hospitality. Fearrington Village brings together world-class accommodations with luxurious amenities, award-winning food and superb customer service — all on a picturesque farm. It’s rare to find all of that in one place, but Fearrington proves it’s possible and exceeds any expectations.
Things seem to slow down as soon as you turn onto the tree-lined drive that welcomes you into Fearrington Village. As you drive through you’re greeted by Belted Galloway cows (aka “Belties”) grazing behind a white picket fence and playful goats roaming the grassy fields of the former dairy farm. It’s quite a beautiful sight to see — and that’s just the beginning.
The entire property is peaceful and idyllic, from the farm’s green pastures, to the whimsical gardens and quaint buildings — all anchored by a gorgeous homestead. It’s truly picture perfect. Everyone you meet is friendly and inviting — by the time I left, I felt like family, and I can’t wait to go back. Here’s why …
Prepare to be spoiled if you’re staying at Fearrington House Inn. They have thought of absolutely everything you could want or need to feel like you’re at a home away from home. From heated towel racks and floors to fresh flowers and umbrellas in case it rains — you will not want for anything. They even have soothing classical music piped into your room! The Inn boasts 32 guest rooms that are all uniquely decorated and furnished with the most heavenly beds and fine linens. Turndown service includes chocolate truffles hand-crafted by Fearrington’s pastry team, a generous amount of port to sip on and a cozy pair of slippers to lounge in. It’s the ultimate place to decompress and unwind. Fair warning — you may not want to leave once you’ve settled in. I know I didn’t.
A full gourmet breakfast is included in your stay at Fearrington Inn, and you’ll definitely want to wake up for it. The menu consists of scrumptious dishes like a crab and goat cheese frittata, eggs Benedict and blueberry pancakes with candied pecans, lemon curd and honey cream cheese frosting. Be sure to order a glass of the fresh-squeezed orange juice for a really refreshing treat.
Another exceptional perk you’ll experience as a guest is a lovely complimentary English Afternoon Tea, which is served from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Fearrington House Restaurant — I opted to have tea on the front porch, and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon in a rocking chair overlooking the farm, sipping tea and snacking on decadent sweets, freshly made scones with strawberry jam, lemon curd and clotted cream (all made right on the property) and delicious Southern staples like pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches. While there are several flavorful teas to choose from, my favorite was the Fearrington Afternoon Tea, a signature blend created especially for Fearrington Village.
The Inn also has beach cruisers available for guests looking for a little physical activity — plus, a bike is a great way to explore and roam around the estate.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
Let me preface this by saying that no matter where you decide to eat at Fearrington Village, you cannot go wrong — everything I tried during my visit was delectable.
To energize your morning, grab a cup of coffee at breakfast (if you’re staying at the Fearrington House Inn) or at The Goat. Fearrington roasts its own signature blend on-site and it’s incredible.
For lunch you have a few options to choose from, and both are equally delicious, so it’s all about what you’re in the mood for.
The Granary is open for both lunch and dinner, has outdoor seating to enjoy on a nice day and a menu that offers soups, small plates and several specialty salads, including a fried oyster or salmon niçoise salad. I thoroughly enjoyed the twice-baked cheese soufflé. Save room for dessert — The Granary’s dessert menu is to die for, with caramelized banana crème brûlée, coconut cake and strawberry cheesecake!
The Goat Coffee & Wine Shop has a small but mighty menu full of yummy sandwiches like a tuna salad tartine or pulled pork cubano on ciabatta. I opted for the triple grilled cheese on fresh sourdough bread with tomato bisque and couldn’t have been happier. You can also purchase grab-and-go items to take back to your room or for a picnic on the grounds. I also enjoyed stopping into The Goat for a scoop of refreshing gelato and a few of their pastries.
Check out Roost Beer Garden for a laid-back evening with live music, craft beer and wood-fire pizza for dinner. For an added touch, Fearrington teams up with Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery to create seasonal craft brews — the duo’s Spring Rye Saison was on tap during my visit, and I was a big fan of how crisp and refreshing it is. The Roost’s patio is expansive and a great option for people visiting the village as well as people who live in surrounding areas looking for a place to have a fun night out with friends, great beer and tasty food.
For a truly upscale five-star dining experience, make reservations at The Fearrington House Restaurant, where you can choose between a three- or four-course meal that features dishes like beef ribeye with red currant and black garlic and foie gras with rhubarb and thyme. The menu changes seasonally if you want an excuse to keep going back! The restaurant also features an extensive wine list and hand-crafted cocktails from the bar. If you’re a bourbon drinker like me, you’ll also be impressed by the bourbon selection, which includes highly sought-after Pappy Van Winkle.
Visit Dovecote to find the loveliest selection of high-end clothing, shoes and accessories as well as stationery, gift items and Fearrington’s delicious strawberry jam and other seasonal preserves. Dovecote’s charming staff will also help you create and style a new outfit or an entire wardrobe.
As a bookworm I was thrilled to see that there was an actual brick-and-mortar bookstore on the property — and even more excited once I explored McIntyre’s Books. I was extremely impressed with the wide variety of selections they carry, as well as how above and beyond the staff goes to ensure readers know what they are buying by leaving handwritten recommendation notes on each book that they’ve read.
Scheduling an appointment at the award-winning Spa at Fearrington is a must during your visit. Take your pick from one of their specialty massages, seaweed wraps or a revitalizing facial for ultimate relaxation. If you can’t make it to the spa, make sure you stop into the spa’s shop, Haven, to pick up a few items to take back home and enjoy. The apothecary carries several lines of luxurious bath soaps, lotions, candles and more.
Fearrington is perfect for a quick weekend trip or an overnight stay, but truth be told, I did not want to leave after only one night, so I suggest staying for a minimum of two nights to really enjoy all the village has to offer and also have some time to relax in the comfort of your luxurious suite. It’s not often you find a place like this, so you’ll want to savor the experience.
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