My wife and I have been here previously, and we enjoyed it enough the first time to come back again with some friends. Everything we liked about it the first time was the same, and there were some very nice additions — like a newly constructed guest house with rooms that had most of the 19th-Century charm of the main house and all of the convenience and modernity of a 21st-Century property. Another great addition is their chef (Tyler Anderson).
We ate at the Inn all three nights that we were there, and each meal was special in it’s own way. Our first night there was Valentine’s Day, and dinner was a prix fixe meal in their brasserie. It was much better than a typical prix fixe dinner.
During dinner, Ian Phillips, one of the owners, stopped by the table to chat with us. (I should point out that no one in our party had ever met Mr. Phillips before, so he was just touring the room and making sure his guests were happy.) When he found out we were going to be eating at the Inn the next night (in the main dining room), he told us that the menu there would be the same as what we were having that night. His solution: he called over his chef, and arranged for us to have a special tasting menu the next night.
The next day’s dinner was one of the finest dining experiences any of us had ever had. Each course was wonderful, and each somehow managed to outdo the ones that had preceded it. If I have any complaint, it was that I didn’t leave enough room to finish my dessert.
Our final dinner was a casual affair at the brasserie. Mr. Phillips had suggested we try the chicken, and we took him up on his suggestion. He was right. It was a simple meal, but each bite was amazing.
The wine list is very good also, but I’ll leave the details of that to someone else. The same goes for breakfast, but enough about the food. It’s time to talk about the staff, which apparently has learned a great deal from Mr. Phillips. We didn’t have to ask for much, because most of what we needed (or even just wanted) was presented to us as a matter of course. And the few things we did have to ask for were delivered promptly and graciously.
Do I have anything negative to say? Not really. Ivoryton in February is not a hotbed of activity, but it’s a nice place to relax, and there’s enough to do in town and nearby if you get tired of sitting in front of the fireplace.