La Bella Terra - A Madison County Country Garden B and B

La Bella Terra has exciting news ! First, we are going SOLAR ! By the time you visit next, 80% of the electricity for the farmhouse will be provided by a solar ground mount. Also, 2017 is the 101st anniversary of our National Parks, in honor of which I will discount ALL YEAR all room reservations by 10%!!! Meanwhile, if you'd like to visit for the remainder of 2017, I have to tell you I will be on a writer's retreat for much of July.  

However, do think about spending time with us in 2017. And make your reservations well in advance, please, for La Bella is becoming popular as an affordable B&B conveniently located to the Shenandoah National Park's most popular hikes, Madison township, Culpepper township, Rappahannock County, and Charlottesville. To make reservations in advance, please e-mail me at or call 540 547 2317/703 975 2687.  

Now, here's the skinny in terms of the seasons: First, January and February: With snow, our peaceful, deeply rural yet convenient location tends to become a winter wonderland. Bring your X country skiis, a sled, your hiking boots. Some of the best hikes in the SNP quite nearby are stunning in winter, especially the lower White Oak Canyon Falls, which turn into the most amazing frozen escalade. And then there is spring, when our gardens show themselves. And then summer, when all settles into a deep, cool, peaceful place of birds singing and the smell of fresh mown hay pervades. Fall? Well, yes, some say this is the best time. For you cannot imagine the cobalt mountains turning gold and maroon against azure skies and perfect temps for doing just about everything--hiking, biking, paddling local streams, just sitting on the porch.  

Always, you can look forward to coming home to La Bella Terra at your own pace, for you will have your own key. And you will be free to tell me what you need and want. Perhaps, in the summer but mostly the fall and winter, for example, you will want a warming fire ready for you in the main living room and to repair to the in-season pool or all-seasons hot tub on the pool deck in cozy robes for awesome night time viewing of the stars and even the Milky Way. All very sweet and cozy, especially if you are on a romantic getaway with your honey. 

For that special time, no matter the time of year, La Bella Terra now offers a NEW double bed room next to the fireplace room, the Double Room, which is actually a suite, for from the Double Room, you have direct access to the fireplace room with its extensive library and many board games. Upstairs are two other guest rooms many, including friend parties and families, have enjoyed: The King Bedroom, with a king bed and two single beds, and the across the hall, the Princess Bedroom, with two single beds. 

All La Bella Terra bedrooms look out over the eastern side of the Blue Ridge. A full breakfast is always on the offer, per your specifications, every morning you are here, always based on fresh, local produce and herbs, including, in season, from my own garden.  Great coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice or other juices, a variety of teas, and on and on. If you want the full MAN breakfast, no problem. I, your hostess, proprietor Kit Johnston, am your personal chef every morning you are here, and I will get up quite early to make breakfast sandwiches for you if you have an early hike in mind. (The breakfast sandwiches are a HUGE hit.) 

More about Spring/Summer: Spring tends to come early here. And it is glorious. March/April and moderating temperatures call forth many of the early blooming bulbs on the property and the early blooming wildflowers in the Park. At this time, many birds that do not over-winter here return in flocks to the feeders on the South Porch. If you are not a winter hiker, April is a good time, a very good time, to think about beating the crowds to hike Old Rag in the SNP. If you are a biker, the moderate but still cool temperatures invite you to explore our many back roads, including the very nearby Hebron Valley Road, one of the most beautiful stretches in the world, and, well, I've traveled all over the world, so I can fairly say that. At this time, the local rivers are usually running high, if you are an adventuresome boater, but the water and air temps will be better in May. I can lend out my own one-person kayak with paddle, wet bag, and life preserver. I also have two floating tubes. Happy to lend out all if you are an experienced boater.    

And Spring/Summer is when you might want to think about visiting our many local vineyards, which are generally closed in Jan./Feb., including DuCard and Sharp Rock, and eating outdoors at one of our many very good restaurants nearby, including but not limited to the Madison Inn, the Thornton River Grille, and Tula's. 

And then there is Fall, our high season, which usually ends the last week of October. I want to give you a tip here: This year (2016), everyone said the peak leaf-peeping season both here and in the SNP was mid-October. Wrong. The colors as I write this last week of October are more vibrant than they've ever been. My recommendation if you love autumn is to make reservations here in the last two weeks of October. 

This is a very peaceful and quiet location for a getaway, and you will sleep like a baby here, perhaps but for my neighbor's nutty rooster who crows at full moons. La Bella is surrounded by farms, hills, and mountains yet, when you are ready, is remarkably close to all manner of charming "urban" centers, like the tiny, historic township of Madison, and, yes, even trendy Charlottesville. Lots to see and do on and off site. Here, you are also smack dab in the middle of old farms and farming ways of life, six ways to Sunday and Sunday too. Most of my neighbors  have been here for five/six generations. And they are wonderful folks. 

Yoga: Before I forget, when you stay here, I offer free yoga lessons on the pool deck in the mornings, weather permitting. 

We've had some great guests lately, including a couple from Richmond who brought their children so they could teach them how to hike Old Rag. The parents stayed in the King Bedroom and the kids stayed in the Princess Bedroom right across the hall. I made them some yummy breakfast sandwiches so they could get to the trail head early, a must in high season. Other guests were content to sleep late, do some yoga with me on the pool deck, and then take lighter fare, like Triple Oaks Bakery's famous gluten-free granola, local yogurt, and fresh seasonal fruit (we had AMAZING crops of Montmorency cherries and blueberries this past year).  REST ASSURED that I ALWAYS have excellent coffees an teas as well as MAN food on hand: fresh local eggs and cheeses, fresh local  sausage, fresh biscuits, someone's mother's blackberry jam. On and on. 

Would LOVE to see you. E-mail or call for reservations. Ask about the discounts. When you arrive, be sure to ask about my special stash of maps to help you get around. 50% deposit required on all reservations to hold the reservations. Checks or cash only.  

Looking for a memorable all-seasons getaway?
Come to La Bella Terra B&B!
La Bella Terra is a place to rest, relax, and restore. I know this area very well. I'll guide you or just tip you off to the best of what I know. Then you can choose for yourself. I'll feed you well in the morning then the rest of the day, including wine at sunset at one of our many wonderful wineries or dinner at one of our varied and wonderful restaurants, is up to you. Unless you want a professional massage on site. That can be arranged. No problem.

One thing I know for sure, when you climb into bed at the end of a day at La Bella Terra, you will sleep very well. This place is VERY PEACEFUL and QUIET. See you soon. 

Reservations and Room Prices: 
Please do make reservations for 2017 now for yourself, you and a friend, you and a special friend, or a friend gang, in advance (call now--540 547 2317 /703 975 2687
or e-mail me at NEW: La Bella  can accommodate eight guests in THREE guest bedrooms: The King Bedroom bedroom can accommodate four folks total in one king bed and two singles. Price: $155, not including tax. The Princess Bedroom can accommodate two total in two singles. Price: $85, not including tax. And the new Double Room bedroom can accommodate two total in one double bed. Price: $125, not including tax. Note: Two cats and a Border Collie live here. The cats are Bunny and Tyger, and the Border Collie is Namaste, Namie for short. They live outside, for the most part, if you have allergies.
Location and History: 
So where are we located? Between Route 29 and State Scenic Route 231, Slate Mills Road and West Hoover. That's North Madison County and the heart of Piedmont farm country---rolling hills, lots of trees and rivers and fields and cows, and one of the best views if not the best view of the morning side peaks of the Blue Ridge. The address is 22 Parish Rd., Reva (Madison County), VA 22735. La Bella sits just back from the old crossroads of Rts. 606 (Novum Rd.) and 605 (Novum Church Rd.). Don't worry, directions are easy from either Rt. 29 or Rt. 231. 
History? La Bella is an historic (1840) two-over-two farmhouse featuring three guest bedrooms, all with mountain views. Two bathrooms serve guests, one upstairs near the guest bedrooms and one downstairs. The house also features two living rooms, one with a working fireplace, a large dining area, a comfortable and sunny South porch overlooking gardens first planted in 1840, and a large and comfortable West porch, overlooking the Blue Ridge. All around you is open land, much of it owned and farmed by the same families over many generations.     
PLEASE NOTE all you GREEN HEADS OUT THERE: Amtrak now makes it even easier to get here and back home...without a car ! See for schedules (esp. the Northeast Regional) for DAILY trains to and from Washington, D.C. Just let me know your plans, and I'll pick you up and deliver you back to Culpeper for stress-free travel to and from La Bella Terra. Or contact La Bella Terra at 540 547 2317 for more details and assistance. I've taken the NE Regional, and it is lovely. Only 1.5 comfy hrs. each way by train (then 15 quick mins. by my car to and from C'peper and the beautiful land). 
Proprietor Kit Johnston is a chef, wine specialist, and former contributing writer (to The Virginia Wine Gazette, among other publications), caterer, and yoga instructor, so let her know about your special desires, including event planning and hosting and yoga instruction on or off site. 540 547 2317. 
Please e-mail or call for reservations in advance!
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