Thank you!

16/06/12 12:30 AM

Brett and I are so overwhelmed with the interest in Belle Grove Plantation! The warm comments and words of encouragement have meant a lot to us as we work towards opening this beautiful and historically important home. We appreciate each of you and appreciate you joining us on this journey!

Thank you just doesn’t seem enough at times.

There were several questions that we received through your comments so we thought we would answer some of them here so everyone would know.

Question One:

Is the plantation open now?

Driveway from the entry gate to main road


No, it is not open to the public yet. In fact we don’t even live there yet. We travel up on the weekends when we need to do anything or just to visit it. There is a caretaker there, but they do not allow the public to come and see. So we ask that you please wait before you try to come and find it. As soon as we are able, we will allow our friends to come and see it. Please stay tuned…

Question Two:

When are you going to open?

Plantation Side Portico


We are hoping to open in September, 2012. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. So that is a soft date at best right now. We will know more once we are able to get started on site and see what needs to be done and how long it will take. We are working on what we can now so hopefully it will cut the time down. Believe us, we can’t wait to open!

Question Three:

Are you planning on doing weddings?

View from the Riverside Portico out to the river. The old fountain will be removed. This will be where a bride steps out to walk down the aisle to her future husband.


Yes! We have already started working on collecting vendors to assist us in becoming the venue of choice for weddings! And what a great place to start your life together!

Question Four:

What is there to do in this area?

Grapes on the Vine at Ingleside Winery 2011


Where do we begin? We have many attractions in the area from

  • Wine Tasting
  • River Tours of the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers
  • Great Places to eat
  • Historic Sites within minutes in King George and Westmoreland Counties, plus Historic Fredericksburg is just 20 minutes away! Washington D.C. and Baltimore are both about 75 to 90 minutes away!
  • Country Club Golf Course within 5 minutes of the Plantation
  • River Tubing and Kayaking in Fredericksburg
  • Fishing Tours
  • And much more!

Question Five:

Are you going to have any public festivals?

Chesapeake Bay Wine Festival at Stratford Hall
September 22nd and September 23rd


Yes! We are looking to have several throughout the year. We are planning the following in the coming year:

  • Wine and Arts Weekend
  • Wine and Antiques Weekend
  • Happy Birthday Dinner with James and Dolley Madison
  • Founders Day Weekend
  • Titanic Tea
  • Paranormal Weekends
  • Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Christmas Time at Belle Grove Plantation
  • Christmas Tea
  • Wine and Hot Air Balloon Festival
  • Civil War Weekend

Question Six:

How many rooms are available?

The Turner Master Suite


There are four rooms in the main house, two Master Suites upstairs and two Junior Suites downstairs. Each of the rooms is named for the families that came before as a way to honor them and their contributions to the rich history of Belle Grove Plantation. Each of the rooms will be furnished with antiques and reproductions that fit the time period when each family lived at Belle Grove Plantation. These are the names of the rooms and the period that they will be furnished in:

  • The Madison Master Suite – 1751 to 1836 – Upstairs
  • The Turner Master Suite – 1839 to 1893 – Upstairs
  • The Conway Suite – 1670 to 1790 – Downstairs
  • The Hipkins-Bernard Suite – 1790 to 1839 – Downstairs

We have plans in the future to add cottages in the style of a plantation cabin. These too will be named after families with period pieces too!

Question Seven:

Are you pet friendly?



This one was a hard one for us. As you know we love our dog, Hurley. Unfortunately, we will not be able to open the house to pets. However, once we get our cottages built, we will have pet friendly cottages available. We love animals and we look forward to meeting more furry friends in the future.

Question Eight:

Will you allow children?

Our Children, Tyler and Alexa. 2010


In the Main House, we will allow children ten and older that are adult supervised and well mannered. Once we open the cottages, we will allow children under ten in the cottages.

Question Nine:

Will there be historic tours?

Iron Rods that still hang in the Summer Kitchen Fireplace


Yes, we are planning public tours of Belle Grove Plantation once we open.

Question Ten:

Will you have a restaurant there at Belle Grove Plantation?

Formal Dining Room with archway to Second Dining Room.
The Second Dining Room will be used as a Tea Room and Sunday Brunch Room


No, we will offer a full gourmet breakfast each morning to overnight guests. We will also have Wine and Cheese, with Mint Juleps every evening at 5 sharp for overnight guests. On Sunday, we will open Belle Grove up to the public for Sunday Brunch by reservation only. Overnight guests will have the option to skip breakfast on Sunday and eat Sunday Brunch instead.

For meals outside of these, we can recommend several wonderful places to go both close to us and in outlying areas.

These are just a few questions and I am sure there are going to be even more as time goes by. Please feel free to ask them! We welcome them. You can also email us at  if you would like to ask them privately.

Please keep a close eye on future posts! We have a very special surprise that will be posted soon! If you are thinking about coming to see us, this post will help you get here!

Please make sure you “Like” us on Facebook and “Share” the Belle Grove page!

Thank you for all the fun we have had getting to know you! We can’t wait to meet each of you in person and share this beautiful and historic home with you!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 60 Comments »

60 Comments on “Thank you!”

  1. Ted Says:

    Thanks for the information and photos. GOOD JOB!


  2. Thank you! We are trying 😉

  3. belocchio Says:

    It’s late here – and later where you are. I’ve poured myself a glass of sherry while I wait for the Good Husband to return from a day of climbing. I ‘m hovering over the computer hoping for just one more blog from you and VOILA one appeared. It is all simply wonderful. Virginia

  4. Thank you! It’s now morning here and I am up getting ready to head out on (guess) a antique shopping trip! Brett is traveling this weekend and next week, so I am off to explore the Northern Neck, the area close to the house. I just might have to stop by the house to get a charge for next week. New post tomorrow!

  5. Many congratulations! What a historic gem you have and how lovely the estate is. Yours has been truly a remarkable effort. The view from the Riverside Portico out to the river is so peaceful – reminds me of the movie “Somewhere in Time”. Looking forward to visiting!

  6. Thank you! I love that movie! That is what we hope this place will be, a peaceful place to come and relax! We look forward to seeing you!

  7. What a beautiful place, it looks truly wonderful.

    Must be quite hard to take the decisons regarding animals, children, and what level of food to provide. I guess doing food all day would give you no life at all. I am wondering how long it will be though before you end up offering a simple evening meal …….

  8. Thank you! We started out thinking we might offer an evening meal, but we came to the same thought as you. We would never have a break if we did. We have a real great place to eat just across the river. It has been open since March of this year. It is run my two chefs from Fredericksburg. Their meal is an upscale menu, but at a reasonable cost. We have joked with them that we should install a ferry from our house to theirs just like they had back in the day!

  9. My partner and I are definitely planning on coming. We live in England so I can’t promise it would be any time soon but we’ve been following your blog and think it looks like an amazing place to spend a holiday.

  10. Thank you! Brett has traveled to England before while he was in the Navy. I haven’t had a chance to go yet. I would love to though. England has some of my favorite history! We look forward to meeting both of you!

  11. NinikBecker Says:

    Congratulations! Wow what a lovely place there, great job!

  12. Thank you! And some of your receipes will be served here!

  13. NinikBecker Says:

    Ohh I feel honored that some of my recipes will be serve in a wonderful place. Success!

  14. Lisa at fLVE Says:

    Beautiful photos of the place and such history. Definitely plan to visit your plantation once you open…

  15. Thank you! We look forward to meeting you when you visit!

  16. Dianna Says:

    Can’t wait to visit!

  17. Can’t wait for you to visit!

  18. Pat Says:

    HI,just stopping through,everything sounds so good! When you open I know you’ll stay busy the place is beautiful,I love the hardwood floors and such beautiful detail throughout. 😀 😀 Thanks so much for following and reading the post,I’m glad they’re a blessing to you.
    Love ya and “Happy Saturday”!!

  19. Thank you for stopping by ours! We are so excited to share this beautiful place. I am sure we will be busy, but it will be a good busy instead of busy for someone else! We look forward to reading more of yours! Have a wonderful Saturday!

  20. John Says:

    Having seen first hand the work involved in renovating the historic Church Hill Area of Richmond in the late 60’s and 70’s, I am well aware of the challenges you have faced. The views you have posted are marvelous. Fabulous detail. Wonderful Scenes. Best Wishes.

  21. Thank you! Maybe one day you can come and shoot some of your great pictures here! There is so much to see and do! We look forward to meeting you some day!

  22. SallyK Says:

    Has been really fun following your progress. Hope to visit you someday – my Turner ancestors came into the Colonies thru your area, maybe Cornelius is out on a branch of our family tree! Continued good wishes for an on-time opening.

  23. Thank you! I hope we can do a little research and see! If you have your ancestor’s name I can tell you. We appreciate you following along! It has been great fun so far!

  24. Congratulations! What an exciting adventure. We wish you the best of luck and look forward to visiting in the future.

  25. Thank you! We are very excited and look forward to meeting you someday!

  26. chiclycute Says:

    Sounds amazing and since I am in MD I am not too far from you guys! I have always been a bed and breakfast person and have pushed my hubby to start loving them too…so hopefully we will get to stay there at some point 🙂

  27. Thats great! We can’t wait to meet you someday! We are like you, we love staying in B&Bs!

  28. thebeadden Says:

    Paranormal Weekends? Oh do tell! 😉

  29. This October (if we get open in time) are planning to put together some weekends for people to come and do a little ghost hunting. I am hope to enlist some of the area paranormal groups to come and help us out. Stay tuned for details soon!

  30. GlobeTramp Says:

    I am so happy for you! Everything looks amazing! Sounds like I’ll have to make a trip out East come September! Keep up the good work, I love seeing the photos! Being from California, your plantation seems like something I’ve never experienced before, I am very intrigued! X

  31. Thank you! We hope you can make a trip to see us! It is a wonderful place to relax and to learn about how our courtry got its start!

  32. Samuel Wood Says:

    Wow! It all looks amazing. Wishing you all the best with the next stages!

  33. Thank you! It has been great fun so far! We hope that everything will just fall where it needs so we can get this place open in September. It is going to be something to see!

  34. Thanks for stopping by my travel blog. Being an inveterate traveler, I have stayed in bed and breakfasts all over England and Europe and invariably have loved the ambiance. Yours sounds intriguing. Good luck!

  35. Thank you! We love seeing where people travel to and what they see on those trips. Brett has had more of a chance to travel than I have, thanks to the US Navy. But this gives me a chance to
    “see” some too. Of course there is nothing like going to see it in person! Bed and Breakfast are great place because they are all different and offer that feel of being home. We hope you will come and experience Belle Grove some day!

  36. Such an exciting time! Thanks for the update and we hope to make it down at some point!

  37. Thank you! We hope to see you some time soon!

  38. I loved catching up on the progress. I feel like we readers are journeying with you on this exciting adventure. My mother-in-law lives in West Virginia, and I’m hoping your B&B isn’t too far (she’s in Berkely Springs) so that next time my husband and I visit her, we can also stop by Bell Grove Plantation. Everything looks gorgeous. I love the antique pieces you have been picking up. This venture is going to be incredible.

  39. Thank you! We have enjoyed having all of you along with us! As far as the distance from your mother-in-law, we are a straight shot down Rt 17 for just under 3 hours. That drive is really a great drive to see! We hope you might venture down to see us!

  40. Congratulations on getting to the point of being able to reveal all! What a long drag it’s been for you – but it won’t be long before your first paying guests arrive. Hope I’ll be there one day soon. x

  41. Thank you! It at times seemed like it would never get here, just at the opening now feels like, but we are excited and know that it will happen soon! We hope you will come and experience this beautiful home!

  42. What a fantastic place and your detailed bio on its history was a fascinating read in and of itself! If we are ever up that way again (we were in DC for a wedding just a couple of weeks ago), we’ll try to book a night or two. Glad you guys are pursuing the dream and watching it come to fruition! Blessings and best wishes for a successful grand opening!

  43. Thank you! Too bad we won’t be up and running in two weeks! But maybe next time!

  44. Haha! To think I was going to comment that it was Belle Grove but didn’t because I came across this site ( and knew you hadn’t opened as yet! WOW! It is beautiful! You will definitely have a waiting list of guest…including myself! Have a great week!

  45. Thank you! The Belle Grove you have come across is the one in Middletown, Virginia and was the home of James Madison’s sister, Nellie Madison Hite. She named her home after our plantaiton. We look forward to meeting everyone!

  46. Reblogged this on EMPOWERED RESULTS ~ Creating A Difference In Our Communities… and commented:
    Hi My Readers! At last, the plantation was revealed to us! Check it out!

  47. Thank you for sharing our journey!

  48. nerdtrips Says:

    The plantation looks great! We visited President Monroe’s library in Fredericksburg last year and discovered some other potential Nerd Trips in the area, so we will need to come visit.

  49. Thank you! James Monroe’s birthplace isn’t much to see at this time. It’s just a monument that marks the place where he was born. From what I hear, they are planning to rebuild the house and currently have it marked in the area. Sad that it was lost.

  50. Sounds lovely, best of luck!

  51. Thank you! We hope that you might come and see this planation in person some day! There are such wonderful thing to photograph there!

  52. […] […]

  53. Thank you for sharing our plantation with your readers! We really appreciate it!

  54. Thank you for sharing this with your readers!

  55. I’m very much in awe of your wonderful project and the many many hours, days, months and possibly years its taken to get this to fruition! The themed events found fantastic and my ears perked up upon hearing Titanic teas. There are many cookbooks which feature meals served on the maiden voyage and also a themed restaurant in Melbourne, Australia entirely dedicated to the Titanic. It might interest you to check it out down the line.

    Congratulations again on this wonderful property and your plans to bring it back to life!

  56. Thank you for bringing this to my attention! I really appreciate it. We will look into those as soon as we start planning the event. I have always loved the Titantic stories. All the personal drama and heartache. When Brett and I went to see the movie years ago, I can remember him looking at me as I was crying during the opening and the views of the real Titantic. He asked me why I was cry already, that the movie had not started yet. I whispered back that I knew the stories and the loss and it was overwhelming to see the ship.

  57. The plantation is gorgeous. I am happy for you. Wishing y’all the very best! xx

  58. Thank you so much! We are very excited and can’t wait to see what will happen next!

  59. So excited for you– what an adventure!! Can’t wait to see how it all develops.

  60. Thank you! We have really enjoyed this adventure and are glad that you have joined us!