Where to Stay in Little Washington: Bed and Breakfast at Elmwood 1820
Discover adventure, explore, and seek respite in the most unique and curious of places in Washington, NC
This sponsored post is written in collaboration with Washington NC Tourism. All opinions of the stay and my experience in the inn are my own.
I have been craving quiet spaces for some time, as an escape from the hustle and traffic in Charlotte. Having distanced myself from the chaos, in the form of quitting my day job to focus on writing, I needed to regroup far from home. Having been introduced to the charming Washington NC during the holiday break, the early spring and warming weather was the perfect time to make my escape to the inner banks. Desperate for some downtime to reconnect, J and I loaded our bags in the car and drove a few hours to the Pamlico River in Eastern North Carolina and landed in the North Carolina’s first city on record, amidst historic homes and a serene waterfront.
My home for the weekend in the small waterfront town of Washington, North Carolina was the 5-star TripAdvisor rated luxury bed and breakfast Elmwood 1820. Elmwood is considered the crown jewel of Washington, known for its sleek and modern interior, housed inside a gorgeous 1820 Victorian plantation home. Relaxation was the name of the game and with downtown a mere minutes away from finding things to do was really easy.
At First Glance
Elmwood 1820 is exactly what you picture when someone says they are off to stay for a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast. The house is on the west end of Downtown Washington, along the Pamlico River. Surrounded many of the beautiful homes that make up the Historic Washington walking tour, Elmwood 1820 is close enough to walk to the many offers the town has in store, but far enough away to maintain a peaceful and upscale allure. We arrived in the early evening as the sun began to set, so the sky acted as a golden backdrop illuminating the blue and white plantation home. A light breeze blew the swinging sign under the amber lantern, as the double fountains filled the quiet street with a spa-like ambiance.
Inside we found a very Pinterest-worthy decor. African and Asian art and sculptures punctuated the modern furnishings. It was clear that this wasn’t your grandmothers B&B. Instead of clutter and old school knickknacks, we found a fresh and contemporary abode with bright, colorful embellishments. The living room was bright and airy as huge floor length windows filled the space natural light. The neutral cream sofa and black chairs provide balance in the room as the colorful art take center stage.
Right through the main area, is a bar that is, in fact, a wine bar and a coffee bar. Here you can grab a glass of red and view the more traditional landscape and portrait styles art as you mill about. Through the sliding door, you’ll find the dining room. Set for a bridal shower the following day, the dining space was filled with white and taupe linen-covered tables and gold chairs under a stunning chandelier. The walls decorated with an eye-catching Asian nature printed wallpaper and along the perimeter of the room, large chests topped with authentic Chinese vases and sculptures.
The Guest Writer
Elmwood has 5 guest rooms representing inspirational characters: The Writer, The Romantic, The Painter, The Explorer and The Gardener. I stayed in the aptly named Writer, which was filled with some of the greatest books from literary past. The walls were covered with a deep orange wallpaper with white and blue flowers that felt like a step back into a time where writers rented rooms in local homes to quietly work on their manuscripts. Or when women sat in the dim candlelight writing love letters to those away at war. I felt like I could get quite a bit accomplished, but alas I wasn’t there to crank out articles. The words did spill forth, however, as I tried to woo J with my 18th-century prose. I'd like to think I would have been a great writer at that time, albeit anonymously, as women and people of color weren’t credited for their works in those days.
The queen sized pillared oak bed was a plush dream with white hypoallergenic down pillows and duvet. The bed was minimally decorated with a few burnt orange throw pillow and a faux fur throw across the end of the bed. I made great use of that throw in the cold night as J pointed a fan at the bed, keeping with his nightly ritual to sleep in freezing temperatures. Opposite the bed, a sitting area with a comfy dark blue sofa and floral chair with matching ottoman. In the corner, a bookshelf filled with classics and topped with a basket of healthy protein filled snack and bottled water. The room also contains a fireplace for those long winter nights, but for this stay were content to use the fan hidden in the armoire.
As listed right there in the title, the room came with a daily breakfast. Instead of setting out a communal buffet of breakfast type food, we were giving the full treatment complete with a sit-down meal served in multiple courses. You haven’t had a luxury breakfast until you’ve seen what Richard can whip up in the kitchen. We visited during the low season so we had the entire place to ourselves eating at a small table for two in the bar.
For breakfast on Saturday, we were greeted downstairs with a vanilla and lemon zest yogurt, a small glass of orange juice and fresh-baked mini biscuits with 4 types of jam and jelly. This delicious light meal would have sufficed, but it was just a starter. The main attraction was a sophisticated take on a classics Eggs Benedict. In this version, slow poached eggs topped a gently folded crepe, substituting the ham for a thinly sliced prosciutto and topped with fresh hollandaise.
On Sunday, we were lured downstairs by the intoxicating scent of maple and bacon. After a berry-topped light yogurt, we were bestowed with Amsterdam-inspired Dutch Babies. This dish is a puff pastry around the outside and flat in the center offering the perfect nest for sliced fresh fruit. It's airy, light and makes a beautiful presentation. Richard added his own spin to this old classic by adding a layer of crust on top to back in the flavor. Something like the southern stapled cobblers we’ve grown to love, with a sophistication that could give any Michelin starred establishment a run for its money. Served with lightly scrambled eggs and a thick, Maple-glazed and brown sugar baked heavy-duty bacon.
The overall trip was pleasant and relaxing. The B&B was lovely and quiet with no televisions to distract. For entertainment we toured the town and nearby historical sites, returning often to Elmwood to decompress and talk about what we saw and taking the occasional nap before dinner.
The front doors close at 9 pm, but your room key comes with a key to the front doors so you can come and go as you like.
The downstairs bar is always open and you are free to make a drink or have a glass of wine when you please.
The innkeepers keep a pot of coffee brewed all day long and can make an espresso upon request.
There were no children during the weekend we stayed. So triple points for that.