Irvington: Romantic Getaway

© by Mary Burnham

Say yes to something you usually say no to

Hope and Glory lobby with fire going

Sleep naked

Small and simple, the black signs with sharp white lettering carried a power of suggestion too strong to deny. It pushes us through the front door of our cozy two-story cottage and up a short flight of stairs at the Hope & Glory Inn.

Very nice. The king sized bed is piled with seven (I counted them) plush pillows and a down comforter.

Bill pops open a bottle of Meteor Bright Red (great with chocolate), purchased at the White Fences Vineyard that afternoon. He pours two glasses and draws the curtain across the bedroom's French doors.

Hope & Glory bath

We'd hoped for a sexy getaway, something to spice up the winter routine, and found it at the Hope & Glory Inn, a converted 1890 schoolhouse in Irvington on Virginia's Northern Neck.

Guests will find magical bubble baths in the outdoor bath tub, bicycles to borrow for a ride through the vineyard, and sunset cruises on Carter's Creek. They'll also find lots of privacy and discretion.

There are seven delightfully romantic rooms upstairs, and seven cottages in the English gardens, abloom in season with heirloom roses, old-fashioned hollyhocks and walls of lavender wisteria. For real privacy, there are seven more cottages at the White Fences Vineyard, all with gas fireplaces and full kitchens.

The Hope & Glory Inn

The whimsical cottage style décor of chintz cushions and folk art throughout is comfortable and unpretentious, despite the glowing accolades from top travel mags.

The innkeepers, Dudley and Peggy Patteson, have a lot to do with that. Welcoming, warm and genuine, they've set the stage for romance. And they always have something very special planned for Valentine's Day.

But we all know intimacy is really about being truly present with each other. That said, our sexy getaway really began when we left the cell phones and laptops in the car.