White Post, Virginia
Two counties over from the Inn at Little Washington is L'Auberge Provençale, where chef/owner Alain Borel whips up his own innovative dishes.
The inn's 14 rooms–under the management of Alain's wife, Celeste–are larger than at that other Virginia hideaway. There's also a lovely swimming pool.
Alain is from Avignon, and the Borels have created a country inn with the flavor of Provence. A typical $82-a-person, five-course dinner might start with an appetizer of smoked rabbit with saffron pasta and prosciutto. For the soup course, look for corn chowder with wild mushrooms and chestnuts. After an entr'acte of citrus lavender compote, you might try roast pheasant with duck and foie gras stuffing, served with spicy lentil sauce.
After dessert, return to your room, furnished with French antiques, and dream about a breakfast of orange-blossom waffles.
Bottom line: A cheery gourmet getaway with prices that don't stun.
L'Auberge Provençale, 800-638-1702; laubergeprovencale.com. A room for two is $155 to $325 a night with breakfast.