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Chesapeake Treasure


The Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond beholds the height of refinement


amid a laid-back riverfront setting Ken Alan


My first visit to the Inn at Perry Cabin, way back in 1994, is still etched deeply into my mind.


I can vividly recall the red bricked lane leading up to the his- toric property situated serenely along the Miles River, its stately Linden trees were just beginning to bloom in that early-April sunshine. Sprays of colorful flowers and trees were a scenic welcome.


Within, an antiques-filled foyer led to a wealth of elegant sit- ting rooms, which were all decked out in the traditional British country stylings. The design was emblematic of the inn’s owner at the time, Sir Bernard Ashley, who, after purchasing the circa-1816 cabin in 1985, designed the interiors in the memory of his late-wife, Laura Ashley.


I distinctly remember the wallpaper, throw pillows and carpets emitting a riot of patterns - the interior formality of an English country house while the bright white exterior exuded the atmosphere of a private yacht club.


My wife and I had been invited down to Maryland’s Eastern Shore by the inn’s sales manager at the time, a delightful Britisher named Mandy Hawes, who - after gaining several nice pieces of business from me (the young, wet-behind-the- ears rookie planner that I was in those days) - kindly offered me a couple nights of site touring.


I left that visit with two very distinct takeaways -


Lazing in deck chairs with my wife by the river as we read books for several hours, with no kids (yet) in our lives - it was without a doubt, the most relaxing moment together in our lives.


Buttoned-up and formal (men were requested to wear jackets in the dining room/nary a knee was seen, even during the daytime in the sunshine, as shorts were a no-no/Hallways were austere and hushed, as the guest population seemed to be mostly rich, childless seniors), we felt way too young and poor to fit into that otherwise exclusive enclave. More than once I was given disdainful looks by well-heeled guests and noses-in-the-air staffers alike.


The Inn at Perry Cabin had soon vanished from my thoughts ‘til the 2005 motion picture comedy The Wedding Crashers became a smash hit. In the film the property was a prominent setting, and in subsequent years its reputation has risen con- siderably after its acquisition by Belmond Luxury Hotels, which operates 35 deluxe properties worldwide, including three in the U.S.


With Belmond’s arrival, the pomp (pomposity?) and museum- like lavishness was quickly traded-in for a crisp, clean Maritime look to go with its stellar riverside situation. The stir- ring façade with its distinctive dormers, pillared entranceway and hidden cupolas remains intact.


Mid-Atlantic­EvEntS Magazine 87


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