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Bourbon Country Mini Vacation

courtview restaurant washington court house ohioMy thirtieth birthday gift from my parents and in-laws was two nights stay at the Rose Hill Inn in Versailles Kentucky and babysitting for Lil.  So it was that last weekend, a warm one for November, Alex and I headed south to explore bourbon country. We started our vacation by choosing the path less traveled, taking route 35 to route 62 south through Washington Court House.  We stopped for lunch at the Courtview Restaurant.  This diner/cafe was of a different time, with regulars receiving their own stock of non-dairy creamer, specials locals clearly follow, and a 'this store is armed' sticker on the front door.  The sign pulled us in and, frankly, was the most memorable part of the place.

We drove from Washington Court House to the Ohio River, crossing into Kentucky at Maysville.  The remainder of the drive was as picturesque as can be with tobacco farms yielding to horse estates.  It was our first time seeing tobacco drying in barns and first realization that even cigarettes were seasonal.

rose hill inn versailles ky Rose Hill Inn provided delightful accommodations.  The bed and breakfast was clean, spacious and historic.  The innkeepers provided personal recommendations when asked for and served a two-course breakfast of fruit salad and an egg entrée.  We have stayed in another B&B in Versailles and a hotel in Louisville on previous visits to bourbon country; the Rose Hill Inn was superior to both and a place we are sure to return.

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On Friday evening we ate our best meal of the weekend at Holly Hill Inn.  They expertly prepared local meats and vegetables in a romantic and charming setting.  When asked, the waitress was able to name the farm the rabbit and chestnuts came from; her familiarity with the ingredient sources led me to believe that she might even be able to give me directions to the farms should I want to visit.  As the menu changes seasonally and the prices are extremely reasonable (I took advantage of a $35 three course prix fix offering) Holly Hill Inn will be on our must-visit list for the next time we visit bourbon country or are anywhere near Kentucky.

Stay tuned for summaries of the Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve distilleries we toured on Saturday and a rant reflection on trying to buy bourbon on Sunday.