Clifton, An Oasis of Calm and Enjoyment

I’m not sure why, but Clifton Inn reminds me of being on safari in South Africa. Maybe it’s the peaceful and scenic veranda, where the staff bring us ice teas and cookies. Or it’s just the pervading sense of comfort, quiet and yes, luxury.

Now, David Brooks would complain that it’s cold and impersonal here, but there’s a lot to be said for getting away from it all – including your fellow travelers. I love that G and I (finally) have time to watch the fading of the day and to enjoy a nice breakfast while mocking how thin the weekday version of the Washington Post has become. It’s a Sunday morning without the pressure of errands or Monday morning looming over us. And neither of us had to make breakfast – or clean up!

Next time we head to Clifton – and there will definitely be a next time – I have to bring my bathing suit. The pools are absolutely beautiful, and the spa pool is heavenly.

In fact, I might have inadvertantly flashed the other guests when I hiked up my skirt to wade into the warm soothing waters of the spa. Then again, everything is so spread out on the grounds that you rarely have to encounter your fellow guests …

And you’re not making an sacrifices when it comes to the food, either. Dinner was excellent, with fresh, local ingredients and twists on classics. My poached ribeye, for example, was delicious, and the idea of poaching steak was in itself an interesting one. Instead of duck confit starter paired with say, a salad, mine was mixed into fresh pasta and tomatoes, also wonderful. My local cheese plate in lieu of dessert was a nice change – and bountiful enough for two.

Sigh, I wish we could stay here longer. But we have more adventures planned for this weekend – so onward!

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