Wednesday, May 20, 2015



Left: The Inn at Little Washington’s chef-proprietor Patrick O’Connell signs a copy of his new book for us; Right: Karen Page stands behind Patrick and his Magnificent Obsession!

During his journey to culinary stardom, Patrick O’Connell has honed his other skills — a perfectionist’s approach to hospitality; an idealist’s desire to provide the perfect lodging for guests; a genius’s insistence on putting together myriad elements of design into a cohesive, beautiful, comfortable ‘whole’; and a nature lover’s talent for incorporating landscape and garden design into a holistic environment with extraordinary architecture and folly.”
Martha Stewart, in the Foreword to The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession

“Is The Inn at Little Washington the world’s greatest restaurant? It is — without a doubt — the most extraordinary, magical place either of us has ever experienced this side of Heaven!”
Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, in our March/April 2005 eNewsletter

Our decades-long love affair with The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia, is hardly a well-kept secret.  We’ve sung its dining room’s praises in virtually all of our books as the site of the best dinner of our lives, and celebrated the Inn itself as Our Favorite Place On Earth.

This might be taken for hyperbole by all but those who have been fortunate enough to pass through its doors and experience its extraordinary charms — or by those who haven’t yet picked up a copy of The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession (Rizzoli; Spring 2015), which shares the improbable storybook transformation of a dilapidated garage into one of the world’s most luxurious lodging locations.

With sumptuous photographs by noted architecture and interior design photographer Gordon Beall, this book captures and celebrates this stunning property in all its glory.

When we heard that the Inn’s legendary interior designer Joyce Conwy Evans was making a rare trip from London to the United States for this book’s debut, we didn’t waste a moment in making our reservation to be there, diverting our flight home from Chicago through Washington, DC, so we could rent a car and make the 75-minute drive to the Virginia countryside for the lunch celebrating its launch.

This will be a three-part blog post, with the next part chronicling that memorable lunch, and the last recapping the extraordinary book party the following night in Washington, DC.

In the meantime, suffice it to say that we’re far from alone in our admiration of The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession, which just hit #8 on this May 24th New York Times’ bestseller list.  The book’s subtitle refers not only to O’Connell’s laser-focused drive to create heaven on earth, but also the Inn’s ardent admirers’ adoration bordering on addiction.

What can we say?  We’re hooked.

The Inn at Little Washington is located at Middle & Main Streets in Washington, Virginia.

You can click here to order your copy of The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession (Rizzoli; Spring 2015).

Categorized: USA