Welbourne Inn through the lens of Georgina Preston

"The place is warm with life, instantly familiar the moment that a stranger enters it." – Thomas Wolfe

With a storied history dating back to 1775 and guests like Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Welbourne Inn is a carefully preserved step back in time. Pair that with the gritty and nostalgic style of British photographer Georgina Preston for an equestrian lifestyle shoot that perfectly aligns the past and present.

We welcomed Georgina Preston to Middleburg as the guest of honor at our inaugural Industry Insider Event. Amidst her whirlwind trip to Virginia, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to hire her for a shoot of our own. We teamed up with our friends from Hunter Design and Savenac1821 for a lifestyle shoot featuring equestrian art, fashion, jewelry, and decor from each of our product lines.

Welbourne Inn Georgina Preston photoshoot
A behinds the scenes moment captured by Lindsay Hunter.

In the heart of hunt country and brimming with vintage equestrian character, Welbourne Inn was the perfect backdrop to bring our vision to life. Innkeeper Rebecca Schaefer welcomed us with the warmth and southern hospitality you would expect from an inn that has been family-run since the 1930s. The house is a treasure-trove of stories. Listening to tales of Rebecca’s ancestors and eccentric house guests over a home-cooked breakfast served on family china was an absolute treat. Her great-great-great-grandfather, Colonel Richard Henry Dulany, founded the Piedmont Hunt, the nation’s oldest fox hunting group, and the prestigious Upperville Colt and Horse Show, first held in June 1853. Rebecca runs the inn and Welbourne Farm with her brother Josh Morison, humbly referring to their roles as stewards of Welbourne. Their goal is to share their family home with future generations through the preservation and restoration of Welbourne’s rich history.

We spent the day exploring almost every room of the property and soaking in the historic charm of this legendary home.

Welbourne Inn front porch
Welbourne’s stately front porch where guests can enjoy a good book, evening cocktail, and views of horse covered pastures.

Joining Georgina from the UK was her closest friend and our model for the day, Madeleine de St.Pierre Bunbury. Madeleine is a world-renowned artist, painting horses from life under natural light on hand-stretched canvases. A quintessential huntswoman, she arrived at the shoot in true equestrian form, her boots and breeches perfectly dusted with mud from the prior day’s hunt. Having shot together many times before, the rapport between Georgina and Madeleine was a sight to see, a perfectly timed dance between photographer and model.

Madeline Bunbury
Madeleine outfitted in her personal riding breeches – aren’t they incredible? Madeline Bunbury for Hart Equestrian
Madeleine modeling Georgina’s custom Sitwell & Whippet jacket and Savenac1821 jewelry.
This coat traveled all the way from Europe to be worn on Georgina’s hunts in Virginia.
Madeline Bunbury modeling jewelry

Drool-worthy antiques, overflowing bookshelves, and impossible-to-recreate paint colors line every inch of Welbourne. Each room has its own unique character, and we could have spent weeks exploring the home and capturing every nuance. We settled on four locations and finished our day at the stone barn with the retired horses of Welbourne Farm peacefully grazing in the background.

Here are some of our personal favorites from the day.

Post quick links: Georgina Preston Photography, Welbourne Inn, Welbourne Farm, Hunter Design, Savenac1821, Bunbury Equine Art, Hart Equestrian Antiques & Art Prints