Genevelyn Steele

Correspondent

  • Richmond, Virginia, USA

Genevelyn Steele is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent who lives in Richmond, Virginia. She loves the foods her state is known for — Smithfield ham, Hanover tomatoes and Virginia peanuts — but considers the island of Santorini a gustatory nirvana. She is a certified specialist of wine with the Society of Wine Educators and has studied the culinary arts in the United States and abroad. Steele reviews restaurants and writes a monthly libation column for Richmond Magazine.

  • On June 9
    Jake Fram is now following Genevelyn Steele
  • On January 15, 2014
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    Where is Craddock Terry Hotel located?

    Twenty minutes past the waving tree limbs and emerald carpeted hills of Appomattox, Virginia, where generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant ended the Civil War, lies the river town of Lynchburg, once a southern center of trade and tobacco production. The Craddock Terry Hotel, at 1312 Commerce Street, spans an entire block of the historic district in downtown Lynchburg, and occupies prime riverfront real estate with views of the Appalachian Mountains, whose trails are a mere 19 miles away.

    As the only major city not burned during the Civil War, Lynchburg offers up set pieces of the early south in the town’s architecture. Should you want to explore the cradle of the War between the States, there’s plenty of action in nearby Appomattox, with perfectly preserved battlefields and museums dedicated to its history. Located in Central Virginia, most major cities in the state are a day trip away from the Craddock Terry Hotel. Charlottesville and Richmond are both popular destinations.
  • On January 15, 2014
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    Where is Craddock Terry Hotel located?

    Twenty minutes past the waving tree limbs and emerald carpeted hills of Appomattox, Virginia, where generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant ended the Civil War, lies the river town of Lynchburg, once a southern center of trade and tobacco production. The Craddock Terry Hotel, at 1312 Commerce Street, spans an entire block of the historic district in downtown Lynchburg, and occupies prime riverfront real estate with views of the Appalachian Mountains, whose trails are a mere 19 miles away.

    As the only major city not burned during the Civil War, Lynchburg offers up set pieces of the early south in the town’s architecture. Should you want to explore the cradle of the War between the States, there’s plenty of action in nearby Appomattox, with perfectly preserved battlefields and museums dedicated to its history. Located in Central Virginia, most major cities in the state are a day trip away from the Craddock Terry Hotel. Charlottesville and Richmond are both popular destinations.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    How do I get a reservation at Vintage Restaurant?

    Though Wi-Fi is available at Vintage Restaurant at The Inn at Willow Grove, it does not accept reservations online. You’ll definitely want to call 540-317-1206 ahead of time to book your table if you plan on sampling its locally roasted coffee, housemade desserts and tender filet mignon adorned with garlic scapes from the chef’s herb garden. The hotel concierge can secure your table for lunch, brunch or dinner. The Charlottesville restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so plan accordingly.

    If you want a quick bite, opt to dine at the more casual pub. You don’t need a reservation there.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    What is the dress code at Vintage Restaurant?

    Let Southern comfort be your dress code and you’ll fit right into the décor at the upscale, but unpretentious Vintage Restaurant. Since Vintage resides in The Inn at Willow Grove, you’ll see the full spectrum of resort wear, from crisp linen shorts and espadrille sandals to starched pocket squares tucked inside club jackets. Most any attire goes at the Charlottesville restaurant, as long as it’s tasteful. While noshing on fried green tomatoes, dressing for your pleasure is the way to go. Diners typically wear smart attire at dinner and loosen their ties (or go without them) in the more casual pub.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    When is Vintage Restaurant open?

    Vintage Restaurant and its pub are open from 3 until 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Lunch is offered on Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the pub, while dinner is served from 5:30 to 10 p.m. in the inner dining rooms. You’ll want to reserve your table at Vintage, especially for its indulgent Sunday brunch, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you just fancy a drink, the pub stays open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    The Charlottesville restaurant also has some special weekly offerings. Sample smaller helpings of Vintage’s dishes, like peppered bacon-wrapped citrus-barbecue shrimp with cornbread and collard greens or black pepper tagliatelle with zucchini purée, preserved lemons and toasted pine nuts for only $5 a plate during Gourmet Tapas Wednesdays. The always-changing Three on Thursday tasting menu lets the chef get creative with that week’s produce.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    What is the scene like at The Dining Room at Clifton Inn?

    The Dining Room at Clifton Inn caters to the hip and well-traveled, but prides itself on unobtrusive service in a family atmosphere. Children are welcomed guests in the dining room and encouraged to stay at Clifton Inn. Aside from kids, don’t be surprised if you see a celebrity in the restaurant. Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson live nearby, so you may bump into them noshing on crisp salads in the light and airy dining room.

    There’s an incentive for repeat visits: The Charlottesville restaurant’s dynamic menu changes often and according to the seasons. The daily bill of fare is easily tweaked to suit dietary requests, such as vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options. Its signature drink, a lavender martini, is created from leaves plucked from the organic lavender path leading to the pergola-lined pool area. If you ask nicely, the chef will stoke the outdoor grill and fire up lamb chops to enjoy poolside.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    What is the dress code at The Dining Room at Clifton Inn?

    Like many fine-dining establishments nowadays, the official dress code at The Dining Room at Clifton Inn is business casual with the emphasis on feeling at ease. That said, at dinner, ladies almost invariably wear soft dresses that accentuate the romantic tone of Southern gentility radiated by the restaurant at Clifton Inn. Gentlemen usually begin the evening in tailored jackets sans tie but lose the extra outerwear quickly in the summer. Guests of the inn can be seen hiking the grounds in shorts, but they are a bit too casual for dinner at the Charlottesville restaurant. If you choose to wear shorts during the day, plan for a quick dress change before dining at the elegant eatery.
  • On September 23, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    Where is The Dining Room at Clifton Inn located?

    The Dining Room at Clifton Inn is located on the first floor of the original 1799 Clifton Inn building, built by Thomas Jefferson’s son-in-law, and sits at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 20 minutes from downtown Charlottesville. The main dining room is divided into two compartments: The first one is decorated with a whimsical seashell chandelier that softens the room’s austerity before blending into a homier space with a fireplace. The sheltered veranda is outfitted with wicker tables and chairs, filled with sunlight and mostly used for hotel guests’ breakfast. The most intimate spot for smaller groups is found at the bottom of a spiral staircase that winds into the wine cellar, and accommodates a dozen diners.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    What are the rooms like at The Inn at Willow Grove?

    The Inn at Willow Grove feels more like a village than a single property. The original 1778 Manor House, designed by Dolley Madison’s land surveyor, holds four guest rooms and two suites comfortably appointed with a mixture of antique and current décor. Recline on an organic Natura mattress, topped with Anichini linens and goose-down bedding, while your butler fills the soaking tub and adjusts the temperature of the heated natural stone floors in the bathroom. Or stay in one of six cottages on the grounds, most complete with wet bar, private sitting room, gas fireplace and balcony or patio for taking in the country air. The Overlook cottage is dog friendly, with one of the prettiest vistas around. All rooms come with turndown service that includes housemade sweets in the evening and French press coffee and beignets delivered fresh each morning. Look for the whimsical cow art scattered throughout the Charlottesville hotel.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    What restaurants does The Inn at Willow Grove have?

    The Inn at Willow Grove offers one eatery, Vintage Restaurant. Wander into the salon of the Manor House at 5 p.m. and try mahi mahi crudo or another signature amuse-bouche from chef Jason Daniels. Inspired by his New Orleans mentor, Susan Spicer of Bayona, Daniels serves up new American cuisine with a twist at Vintage Restaurant, located on the garden level of the historic manor house. Vintage serves farm-to-fork fare in two settings: The casual pub buttresses an elegant bar with the best local and imported wines, beers and spirits, while the restaurant itself is a den of cozy and semi-formal dining rooms built for intimacy.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    What is the design style of Clifton Inn?

    The manor house at Clifton Inn is an example of Federal and colonial-revival-style architecture and a hat tip to the history of the area. Originally, Clifton Inn was a trading post, not a private residence, so it’s been updated and added onto over the years since it was built in the beginning of the 1800s. The remains of an icehouse are visible from trickles of a dried-up spring that was once used to keep perishables cold. The liveries and carriage house both have been converted into guest rooms and suites and are stocked with Gilchrist & Soames bath products. Many of the rooms have claw-foot tubs, in addition to multi-headed, high-pressure showers.

    What guests like most about the design of the Charlottesville hotel is that it conveys a sense of history without feeling stuffy. The lived-in library and breezy porches feel more like the living spaces of a relative’s home than those found in a hotel. For some guests, sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to raid the kitchen cookie jar is a Clifton tradition.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    What’s the best time to visit Clifton Inn?

    The best time to visit Clifton Inn is May through October, when eye-popping blooms, rich foliage and melodious birdsong fill the 100-acre grounds. Lake Leanna, a freshwater swimming hole at the bottom of a hill, is the Charlottesville hotel’s best-kept secret. Guests in the know enjoy refreshments on one of the benches overlooking the lake or walking the quarter-mile path along its rim.

    Another time to book your stay is to coincide with one of Clifton Inn’s winemaker dinners or celebrity chef events. Summer is the most enjoyable season for dining, but leaf changing in the fall is also quite stunning. Clifton Inn is densely forested with well-maintained grounds that include a meticulously watered clay tennis court. Those seeking a quieter stay will appreciate the mid-week deals available in January and February at the luxury hotel with dinner or tea fireside.
  • On September 9, 2013
    Genevelyn Steele answered the question: Genevelyn Steele

    Where is Clifton Inn located?

    Clifton Inn is located 15 minutes from the University of Virginia and Charlottesville’s cosmopolitan arts and restaurant walk — the downtown mall. The former 19th-century-trading-post-cum-hotel is lodged on a hill with views of Carter Mountain and lush, green hillsides. You’ll find the hotel at 1296 Clifton Drive, just off of Route 250 East, and an hour and 15 minutes from Richmond, Virginia. Its location is rich with history: The former homes of two presidents, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Monroe’s Ashlawn-Highland, are both a 10-minute drive away.

    One of the best things about the luxury hotel is that it sits in the middle of wine country. The Monticello American Viticultural Area is just outside the inn’s door and is considered the birthplace of American wine. Should you want to try an award-winning Virginia wine, the concierge can arrange a day trip or pour from Clifton Inn’s hand-selected flight of local bottles.
  • On August 5, 2013
    Kim Atkinson is now following Genevelyn Steele