A Little R & R at The Inn at Langley

Do you ever feel just stupidly lucky? I do. All. The. Time. I’m not really sure what I’ve done to deserve all the amazing good fortune I’ve had. So, when my friend Nathan called me up a month or so and asked if I’d be interested in doing a bit of photography work in trade for a weekend at The Inn at Langley, I got to experience yet another one of those moments, and sent a big Thank You to the powers of the universe. The Inn at Langley is very high up there on one of my favorite places in the Northwest. The town of Langley, on Whidbey Island, manages to hit all the quaint buttons without actually turning sickeningly sweet. There’s a good coffee shop packed with as many locals as tourists, a natural food store that you can poke around in for hours, two weekly farmers markets within a stones throw, and a thrift store perfect for cheap-os like me who aren’t into paying antique store prices. But when I think of Langley, I think of The Inn.

It was just over two years ago that I first experienced one of Matt Costello’s seasonal dinners. Matt is the General Manager of The Inn, but most people know more about his kitchen prowess. The Inn does 3 (sometimes 4) single seating, prix fixe dinners a week. Everyone sits down and eats the same thing (dietary restrictions of course are respected) at the same time. Matt starts each dinner with a brief introduction about the area, the producers, and which seasonal ingredients went into the nights courses… sometimes including things he’s foraged himself or that are brought in from the herb garden.

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Then, the work begins. The open kitchen gives all the diners a chance to see all the action while dinner is prepared.

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There’s never a pause in the work, but somehow the atmosphere remains calm. And, well, it’s easy to get distracted away from the busyness as the plates arrive at the table. Each dish starts as a visual treat, which quickly turns to so much more. Your spoon brings a translucent corn broth or an icy fresh strawberry sorbet to your mouth, and the flavors unravel. Words simply can’t do it justice… so here are a few more shots to help you see what I mean.

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Could anything be more stunning than that crystal clear corn broth with fresh Dungeness crab and sage blossoms? Well, maybe these:

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The meal is reason enough to visit The Inn, but then, so are the tranquil waterfront and forest views.

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So, a big thank you to Nathan and Matt for such an enjoyable visit, and the universe for bringing such good fortune my way. Hope you all enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed my weekend!

  • http://nami-nami.blogspot.com Pille

    What a retreat! I love the food photos – a lot!!

  • http://www.notderbypie.com rivka

    Lovely photos! thanks so much for sharing — I feel calmer just looking at them :)

  • http://camferroni.typepad.com Cam

    Well, I think I have to take the top spot for lucky on this one – I got to tag along on this incredible weekend – and I got to enjoy all of the food and the environs, with the added benefit of being able to just sit and enjoy said views while you were working!

    lucky me!

  • http://www.mattikaarts.com/blog matt wright

    My favorite of your photos yet! The soup just looks stunning. What brilliant contrast between the dark walls and table, the bright plate, and luscious soup.

    Danika and I went to the Inn about 3 years ago now, and whilst we absolutely loved the place, I wasn’t too enthralled with the dinner. Everything was cooked amazingly well, but the meal unfortunately was rather forgetable – certainly nothing like what I see here. I do love how he sources things locally – a lot is straight from the island.

  • http://jessicaalfieri.com Jessica

    Amazing meals. Amazing colors. Amazing location. Your photos are incredible, and now I have to go see this place. Thanks.

  • http://www.hanle-productions.com/wordpress Brittany Parker

    wow! this place looks amazing!

  • http://foodonthebrain.wordpress.com Jessamyn

    You outdid yourself with those photos – I don’t know which I like better, the food shots or the deck chair. What a wonderful opportunity, even if you did have to work for your weekend :)

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    Beautiful pictures!

  • http://www.quickindiancooking.com Mallika

    They are lucky you accepted… such beautiful photos!

  • http://www.salistudio.com Natasha

    I want to be there now!!! It is just a joy to look at the photos. And ye you deserve it all and more.

  • http://www.hanle-productions.com/wordpress Brittany Parker

    Hi- just wanted to let you know that I featured your blog on blog for “Blog of the Week.” I just love this blog! I had to share it!

    Warmly,

    Brittany Parker

    to see the post- click here…

    http://www.hanle-productions.com/wordpress/

  • http://www.myownsweetthyme.com Lisa

    Wow! I’ve just had a lovely week at some Inns in southern Oregon but now I am eager to travel north and taste those beautiful summery dishes. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • http://michelleamurao.blogspot.com/ Michelle

    Wow… your pics are breath taking. I wish I was there! The food looks simple and refreshing.

  • Louisa

    Your pictures are stunning, as always.

    Did you shoot the soup and other dishes with available light, or did you use any artificial lighting? I’ve been asked to shoot some dishes straight off the chef’s pass, and I’m trying to figure the best way to do this.

  • http://patmybutter.wordpress.com/ kate

    beautiful pictures. especially love the one of the corn broth…amazing colors.

  • http://www.flanboyanteats.com Flanboyant Eats

    oh my goodness. i want to be there right now! lovely pictures. they tell a story in them of themselves. nice work.

  • http://bread-and-honey.blogspot.com alice

    i love all of this!

  • http://www.helengraves.co.uk Helen

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning – I feel relaxed just looking at them!

  • http://www.mackenzieward.ca/property-blog/ Alice

    This place looks lovely. ..how relaxing to have been there even though you had to work.