For our anniversary, my husband and I decided a night away from it all would be just the ticket. He made reservations at Henderson Village, with dinner and then breakfast the next morning at The Langston House. It was our first visit to either place.
We were impressed upon check-in. The room was perfect in its rustic charm — exactly what I'm sure the owners had planned. The high tester bed was impressively soft, and the bathtub was big enough to swim in.
We headed out to dinner at our appointed time, dressed to impress each other. We were ushered to the front porch dining area and a table next to the glassed-in edge.
A word about our surroundings: While the gardens are beautiful and we were able to watch dusk fall while we ate, the chairs dug into the back of our legs and the porch isn't conducive to a private conversation. The hardwood floor, bare wood and glass walls cause every word to echo, even in a full dining room. So if you go, save the view for an after-dinner stroll and ask for an indoor table.
The appetizers were tasty and prompt. I enjoyed a peppery mushroom bisque, and my husband had a wrapped tomato. It was more than that, though. The tomato had been sliced and layered with cheese and pesto, then wrapped in ham and placed on a bed of greens with a balsamic drizzle. Like buschetta for Atkins dieters.
Or entrees were much less impressive. I ordered the salmon, which was described as being served over a bed of spinach and fava beans with a mushroom sauce. I received a bowl of lima beans with a wilt of spinach and one sad mushroom. My husband likes limas, and he swapped with me.
He had ordered the strip steak, medium, over chick peas, adouille sausage and a red pepper sauce. To my delight, I also found tomatoes, squash and zuchinni in the spicy sauce. My husband said the sausage was perfect — just the right blend of creole seasonings and red pepper. I took his word for it. The only flaw — the steak was very well cooked. I'd have sent it back with our waiter when she came to check on us, but she didn't come until we'd long finished eating. Perhaps the restaurant was short-staffed on a Saturday night (I later saw her tending bar.) So we ate some of the steak, some of the salmon, and between the generous portions of the two entrees, neither of us left the table hungry.
We did ask our busy waitress for a dessert menu, but we were uninspired by the choices when she finally returned. Chocolate ganache cake, caramel pudding, creme brulee or ice cream.
On Saturday nights, dinner at The Langston House can be followed by a complimentary carriage ride. If you're there for a special occasion, gentlemen, spring for the flower service. A bouquet can be waiting in the buggy for your sweetie. A tour of the grounds is a nice way to end the evening, whether by carriage or by foot.
Breakfast is served in the dining room or can be brought to overnight guests' cottages. The scrambled eggs were fluffy, the bacon crisp, the toast crunchy. Advertised pastries were AWOL. Maybe they are for in-restaurant diners only.
Overall, I'd recommend a night at Henderson Village, but consider having dinner before you arrive.
The Langston House Henderson Village, U.S. 41 & Ga. 26 Two stars Phone: (478) 988-8696 Hours: Breakfast daily: 7-10:30 a.m., lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner: 6-10 p.m. Payment: Cash, credit card Price: Breakfast: $12, lunch: $7-$12; dinner: $21-$29.50 Reservations: Yes Dress: Business casual Children's menu: No Vegetarian selections: No Wheelchair accessible: Yes Noise level: Moderate Smoking policy: No Latest health code rating: 96 Alcohol: Yes