I've traveled to Tuscany for prosciutto and Prosecco, London for fish and chips and a pint, and Paris for cassoulet and Bordeaux. I'll drive 200 miles for the perfect turkey crêpe at the Popcorn Wagon in Aspen or snowshoe miles for seared elk medallions at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse outside of Leadville. I'm an unabashed food lover, and my travels often revolve around dining. But it wasn't food that first drew me to the Savory Inn, although the name should've tipped me off. It was the promise of a weekend away in Vail tucked into the log cabin bed-and-breakfast with Ralph Lauren decor and a creek-side view.
When my husband and I checked in a couple of weeks later we were instantly charmed, as much by the knotted pine beams and roaring fireplace as by the smell of garlic sautéing in a hot skillet. The Savory Inn, we quickly learned, is also a high-end cooking school. Like the aroma of garlic, the cooking theme permeates the inn. All 12 rooms are named after spices—Jasmine, Lavender, Cilantro. As we wandered toward our room (Thyme), we snagged a couple of homemade cookies out of the always-stocked jar and poked our heads into the gleaming demonstration kitchen. It was at that moment I realized we were missing out on the true essence of the Savory Inn. The inn offers a spectacular setting and performs beautifully as a B&B. But you're not really tasting the best it has to offer if you're not playing in the kitchen. I vowed then and there to come back.