briar patch
A cooking class at Briar Patch

Themed Weekend Cooking Classes Available at Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn


By Katrina Wilson

Sponsored by Briar Patch Bed and Breakfast Inn

Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn may be known as a place for weddings – and now they’re offering weekend cooking classes for three weekends this winter and spring.

Anyone looking for a weekend getaway in Middleburg might enjoy one of these fun cooking class weekends.

The bed and breakfast will host cooking class weekends for guests who need a break. Chef and cookbook author Chef Matt Finarelli will host the cooking sessions. Guests will learn how to develop gourmet four-course meals, which will be served with local wines.

The cooking class weekends are once a month from January to March.

The two-night stay includes wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres with a local wine expert on Friday night. The cooking class is a demonstration on Saturday night and wine is served with each of the four courses. Attendees will receive a full hot breakfast Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Ellen Goldberg, owner of the bed and breakfast, said, “It is an opportunity to learn how to prepare and savor some really great food presented by a professional chef and to enjoy Briar Patch and the Middleburg area in the less hectic slower season.”

Cooking class weekends are:

  • Jan. 27-28, 2023 Theme: Journey to Morocco for Moroccan-based dishes.
  • Feb. 10-11, 2023 Theme: Valentine’s Weekend where the focus is “coupling.” All the dishes have an element of coupling or pairing.
  • March 24-25, 2023 Theme: Napa Valley Cuisine for Napa Valley-inspired meals.

The menus can be found here on Briar Patch’s website.

How it works

Guests arrive on Friday to meet the chef and enjoy appetizers. The wine tasting with a local winery representative will be at the inn and paired with Saturday night’s demonstration meal. The next morning a full hot breakfast will be available.

That Saturday night guests will go to the event building, Briar Patch’s The Fox Den, for the class. Finarelli will demonstrate while guests assist him with preparing their four-course dinner. The class will cover how to prepare, pre-cook, hold and present them. Recipes and wine will be provided.

Finarelli did not start his career as a chef – he was initially a webmaster and online marketing specialist. That fire for cooking was in him and led him to teach a small class on Northern Italian cooking in Fairfax County. He attended culinary school at Stratford University in Falls Church. Since then, Finarelli has taught over 3,000 students in the Northern Virginia area.

Reservations for these cooking class weekends can be made by emailing Briar Patch at or calling them at 703-327-5911.


Katrina Wilson has a passion for writing. She graduated from Francis Marion University with a degree in Mass Communication. You can discover more about her on Twitter: -@KatrinaMWilson_.

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