A Village Unto Itself
Just minutes from Wilmington, Delaware, and about an hour and a half from Baltimore/Washington International Airport lies a rural retreat named The Inn at Montchanin Village. Once a working community for 19th-century laborers, Montchanin has been restored and transformed into a world-class resort.
A trip to this pastoral hamlet will reveal winding pathways that curl between 11 quaint buildings constructed in the mid-1800s, 9 of which now house guestrooms. Lush gardens surround the property, where visitors can relax amid the blooms. The atmosphere is elegant but informal, as evidenced by the owner's favorite quotes, sprinkled about the property, our favorite of which is "Dance like no one is watching."
Room rates begin at $150 for a cozy retreat decorated in period furniture and top out at $375 for either a two-bedroom suite or superior room. The latter may be one of the most gorgeous rentals in the South--an enormous fireplace and a marble bathtub complement a huge bed and stone walls. Of the 28 rooms on the property, none share the same floor plan or furniture.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Montchanin take place in the old blacksmith's shop, now dubbed Krazy Kats. The hilarious portraits
of dogs and cats that grace the main dining room are outdone only by the superior food, wine list, and service. Kats is pricey
for dinner--a three-course meal costs about $50 per person. But the superb menu features such delights as pan-seared foie
gras in a port wine reduction ($14) and a bread pudding dessert topped with ice cream that, in the words of one waiter, "will
make you want to jump up and slap somebody!" One last tip: Absolutely don't miss the French toast on the weekends--it's a
treat that will make you want to stay another week.
The Inn at Montchanin Village: State 100 and Kirk Road, Montchanin, Delaware; (302) 888-2133, 1-800-269-2473, or www.montchanin.com.
For a fun activity for the whole family, read "Chill Out at Seaworld" on page 24 of the August 2003 issue of Southern Living.