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Our Perfect Family Weekend in Virginia Wine Country:

Charm & Sophistication Just Outside Washington, DC

So if you know me and my husband Dave, you know that we typically gravitate towards modern, sleek resorts and hotels – but a recent wedding in the wine country of Virginia led us to try something new

Rather than staying in DC and driving out, we chose a unique rental home close to the venue: The English Cottage in Purcellville, Virginia. Thoughtful hosts, a cozy country setting, beautifully crafted accommodations, surprisingly delicious local wine, and a quaint nearby town made the whole weekend truly exceptional.

Ready to plan a relaxing adventure that will surprise and delight your whole family? Reach out here and we’ll share our favorite places with you. 

We were so surprised by this wonderful trip that I can’t wait to tell you all about it:

The English Cottage Experience

The English Cottage was larger than we expected and fit perfectly into the vibe we were looking for: a family trip with our adult daughters to celebrate a young couple’s special day. Now, normally, I don’t recommend Airbnbs to clients due to potential issues like last-minute cancellations and inconsistent quality. However, this was a delightful exception. As advisors, we like to experience these stays before we can confidently recommend the best to our clients, and the English Cottage is a solid YES.

photo of The English Cottage in Purcellville, VA
photo of the grounds of The English Cottage in Purcellville, VA, including beautiful landscaping, flowers, and a bench for sitting.

After driving a little over an hour from Reagan International Airport through gorgeous green hills, we turned into a charming gravel drive that led us to a beautifully designed home that exuded English countryside charm. From gorgeous wildflowers to the well-maintained grounds featuring a gazebo and multiple sitting areas, everything was intentional and inviting. Bird feeders attracted plenty of visitors, so we could hear them singing the entire time, adding to the serene atmosphere. 

The craftsmanship on the front door and throughout the home was impeccable, with woodwork that my husband noted was very well done, and authentic to the English countryside theme. The cottage had two large sitting areas, two fireplaces, a full kitchen, a laundry room, and a main downstairs bedroom with an en suite bathroom. Upstairs, the bunk areas provided ample space for a group, comfortably sleeping five to six people – an ideal spot for family or friend gatherings, with nearby hiking, wineries, and breweries.

photo of the interior of the English Cottage in Purcellville, VA with exposed beams and a spacious living area
photo of a Thank You card and an apple pie box, reading "Butter Crust Apple Pie" from "Mom's Apple Pie Bakery"

Sharon, our host, added personal touches that made our stay feel very special; she left us a freshly baked apple pie from a local bakery (which we happily indulged in). With grocery stores about 15 minutes away, it was a nice treat, as well as the high-quality coffee and creamers she had stocked in the kitchen. Little details were perfectly placed: bathrooms featured lavender soaps, and there were whimsical fairy-themed touches that my daughters, now in their twenties, appreciated as nostalgic nods to their childhood.

Exploring Ashburn and Surroundings

Sharon’s hospitality extended to great communication and a detailed digital guidebook provided at booking. It covered the surrounding towns, shops, dining options, hiking trails, and the local wineries and breweries. Her recommendations were spot-on, making our exploration truly easy, relaxing and enjoyable.

Friday Evening: Dinner at Magnolia’s in Purcellville

Following Sharon’s guidebook, we headed into Purcellville for dinner at Magnolia’s at the Mill. Set in a renovated mill, we enjoyed true farm-to-table cuisine made with fresh local ingredients, dining by the fireside…it felt like a scene from a Hallmark Christmas movie, in the best way possible. We ended this relaxing evening back at the English Cottage with a bottle of wine and a cozy movie.

Saturday: Discovering Leesburg

On Saturday, we ventured to Leesburg, a great little town full of coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants. One of our favorite finds was Goose Cup, a coffee shop with fantastic breakfast sandwiches – it’s easily one of the best ones I’ve ever been to.

photo of a cafe latte with a beautiful leaf pattern in the foam, from the Goose Cup in Leesburg VA

After fueling up, we explored the local shops and stumbled upon the hidden gem of the weekend: Birch Tree Bookstore, which houses the Foliage Plant Shop. I’m obsessed with this place! Located on the first floor of an old house, it was packed. Everyone was walking around with books in their hands, buying books and plants and chatting with each other. A gathering place with a book club and events, I was so pleased to see it busy. The shop attendants were avid readers and very knowledgeable about books, so of course, we all left with something to read. My daughter even found a mystery book wrapped in brown paper, which turned out to be an unedited version of an upcoming publication, adding to the magic of the whole weekend.

Saturday Afternoon: Winery Visit

Before returning to the cottage to get ready for the wedding, we stopped by a wine and chocolate shop to grab a bottle of bubbly for the afternoon, where the staff recommended Breaux Vineyards. Knowing that we liked big, bold Italian wines, we had very low expectations of Virginia wineries but they insisted that Breaux was the place (we’ve not had much luck in the North Carolina wine scene, so we were skeptical). They also recommended 868 Estate and Harvest Gap, but we only had time for one, so we opted for Breaux.

Only two minutes from our cottage, Breaux completely surprised us with an excellent Nebbiolo – AND it was Dog Day! The spacious vineyard, reminiscent of Tuscany with its rows of vines and Mediterranean style, offered a picturesque setting with food trucks, live music, and ample space for relaxation. We grabbed a delicious lunch, enjoyed live acoustic guitar music and of course, the visitors for Dog Day.

All of this set the stage for a super special weekend, and we had a blast at the wedding; it was such a treat to have the cottage to come back to. The whole weekend was a perfect blend of relaxation, celebration and exploration. If you’re in the DC area or visiting, I highly recommend a weekend escape to Loudoun County’s wine country. 

Want to experience a magical wine weekend just outside of DC? Reach out today and we’ll book the perfect wine weekend just for you. 

Relax, we’ll take care of everything,

Amy Westerman
The Curated Travel Collection

P.S. For more of our travel stories, tips and trends visit our blog.