They know what they say about oysters – that’s right, they are delicious. OK, and let’s face it, they’re sexy too. What could be nicer for a honeymoon than the search for a zinc-rich, sex drive-promoting, two-shell sky? We don’t know if it’s the fact that many have champagne with them, or if it’s the noises we make when we sip them, or if we’re there and what we’re doing and who we’re with when we chew them, but oysters have a reputation for love. Casanova reportedly ate 50 for breakfast a day. We love them fried, grilled, raw and baked – and so do countless people.
Embark on your honeymoon of oyster delights at the Tides Inn, a quintessential hideaway in the south of Virginia’s historic Northern Neck, a peninsula on the north shore of Chesapeake Bay known for blue crabs, oysters and stonefish. Luxuriously housed at this resort, which has been pampering guests since 1947, you can become a student for the day at the Tides Inn’s prestigious Virginia Oyster Academy. There you will be tutored by an authentic Aquarius (a specific, ancient term only for those who harvest seafood from Chesapeake Bay – or, wait for it – the Thames in England) who will teach you all about his famous profession during your stay in ride his boat. You will use ropes, pulls, and tongs to get your oysters, and eventually a knife, as you learn how to peel from an oyster virtuoso. Later on you will eat what you ate from the sea, probably with small cuts on your hands because, let’s face it, peeling is an art that takes years to master. You don’t mind, however, as the oysters are worth the effort and the wine you drink with them will ease some of the pain. Oh, didn’t we tell you? In addition to being on the Virginia Oyster Trail, the Tides Inn is adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail. That makes the whole experience a tremendous one for food lovers.
But that’s not all. Perched on the cliff above Carter’s Creek (a tributary of the Rappahannock River that flows into Chesapeake Bay), the Tides Inn has celebratory activities galore for lovers. Sign up for sunset cruises complemented by a bay picnic to the basket packed by the renowned chef, play croquet on the lawn, or attend the world-class sailing school that will turn you into a seafarer. Stroll through the azalea, dogwood, and crepe myrtle gardens, do s’mores on the beach at night, or go paddling in the pool. With the chef’s guidance, you can learn how to make cocktails, taste whiskey, get wine recommendations, or take a cooking class. Ride the free bikes around the 450 acre property to burn calories – or forget about that plan and point your two-wheelers towards The Dog and Oyster Vineyard, a nearby winery, to sample their productions. You can play tennis, go to the spa, steer an electric boat, canoe or paddle boat, fish, or explore the charming town of Irvington, Chockablock with shops and galleries. Just talking to the incredibly sociable and pampering staff is a heartwarming experience in itself. They just want to pamper you – and they will succeed. When you’re tired, relax in your room, one of four recently renovated Ashburn Suites, spacious sanctuaries with moaning water views and soaking tubs that are separate from the main building.
And for room service while you watch the sunset? Oysters, of course. Because you know what they’re saying about oysters.