Tracy and I have made a point to only work on accounts we truly believe in, so hearing us tout our clients’ products or services is not unusual, but this particular client’s product I just have to tell you about.
This place is called The Cotton Gin Village and Cabernet Grill. It’s located in Fredericksburg, Texas and is one of the most unique places in this quaint town that is the jewel of the Hill Country. By pure definition, the Cotton Gin Village and Cabernet Grill is a complex of 7 rustic but elegant log framed cabins that sit around a circular courtyard with an equally atmospheric and delicious restaurant nestled right in there with it.
The property is surrounded by walls made of stone and and those cool vertical cedar branches. Covered in ivy, the walls practically melt into the lush surroundings of tall trees and beautiful flowers. In the middle of the courtyard is a large rock formation with several waterfalls spilling into a moat-like koi pond complete with picturesque lily pads and cattails.
As most of you know, I live in Fredericksburg, so I have passed by this place many times, but since I live here, I’ve never had the need to be a GUEST at a B&B. But this past week, as I spent most of my days shooting some fresh photography for our Cotton Gin marketing projects, I found myself so enamored with the charm of the place, I had myself convinced that it made financial sense to pay a babysitter to spend the night with our kids only to be a couple miles from home. (Look at the money we’d save on gas not driving somewhere else!) Anyway, I digress.
Monday’s shoot started with of a portrait of the owner and Executive Chef, Ross Burtwell. A humble and gentle man himself, he certainly sets the tone for the personality of the establishment. I can tell he and his wife work very hard and want to make every customer experience a memorable one.
Then we moved on to shooting some of the food. Let’s see, there was Sesame Fried Jumbo Shrimp, Texas Mixed Grill with Bandera Quail, Angus Beef Cap Steak and Smoked Pork Tenderloin. Then “Texas Tarragon” Shrimp Scampi Sauté. And a ribeye steak. All this followed by Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake, Grande “Cabernet Grill” Cheescake, “Chicken Fried” Pecan Pie and Warm German’s Chocolate Bread Pudding. Although I did wear my “stretchy pants” that day, we couldn’t eat it all. But what we did sample was simply amazing!
The next day we spent shooting interiors of the cabins — each one with its own wood burning fireplace I might add. Huge rustic log beds with hand-stitched quilts. Leather sofas, jacuzzi tubs, front porches with rockers. And CLEAN! Adorned throughout the cabins were empty wine bottles signed and dated by guests as permanent testimonies. And then, of course, we just HAD to photograph the breakfast goodies that get delivered to each B&B guest. Homemade granola, chocolate chip muffins, cinnamon scones, cinnamon rolls. As luck would have it, Ross told us to take all that home with us. After a polite (but totally insincere) refusal, I wrapped them in a towel and dashed them to the van quickly before my guilty conscience got the better of me. It seemed a shame to let something that good go to waste.
The next day we shot in the restaurant. The Cabernet Grill matches the cabins in its rustic charm and relaxing aura. It’s comfortable, yet elegant. There is an upstairs room that is divided into two parts. One area is quiet and romantic with a fireplace and low ceilings. Perfect for that romantic evening out or private party. The other area is more open; tall ceilings with a ginormous longhorn head made out of metal and overlooks the lower level. If you’re into wine, The Cabernet Grill boasts the largest Texas Wine list and they pair it with their dishes—perfectly! The wait staff is educated on the numerous Texas wines and they even take “field trips” to the wineries to become more educated for the customers. (I wonder if they’re hiring.)
Our last shot was at the “1 Big House.” There is a big main house that they also rent out to large parties or groups. It’s perfect for girls weekends or family reunions. It’s got a massive wrap around porch, two story fireplace, large kitchen and dining room table, loft area, fire pit, horseshoes…and so much. I’m wondering if I could just move in.
So if you’re headed to Fredericksburg anytime soon, check out www.cottonginlodging.com (We have NOT redone his website yet, but we’ll repost when we have it done.) And tell them that Creative Noggin sent you. You won’t be disappointed.
By Trish McCabe Rawls