A Weekend In Virginia: From Capital to Countryside

Jefferson-exterior

From Richmond to the Virginia Foothills, discover a blend of comfortable old Southern hospitality with a spark of innovation, particularly when it comes to Richmond's food and craft beer scene.

First-time visitors will enjoy the majestic historic brick homes flanked by Roman columns on either side of Monument Avenue and the surrounding Fan District is the largest contiguous Victorian neighborhood in the country, a history that's well represented in Richmond's various museums. Gourmands can visit for Fire, Flour & Fork (https://fireflourandfork.com) from October 31–November 3 for 30 food events with an emphasis on regional foodways, history, culture and fun that's unlike any other food festival in the country.

For grandeur and elegance, The Jefferson (https://www.jeffersonhotel.com) is the only lodging option to consider. The staircase here inspired the sweeping staircase at Scarlett O'Hara's mansion in 'Gone With The Wind' and pet alligators were formerly found in the hotel's Palm Court fountains. Original mirrors and the stained glass rotunda ceiling from 1895 are matched by modern amenities like newly renovated marbled bathrooms. The Jefferson's fine dining restaurant, Lemaire, is Richmond's premier spot for white tablecloth dining paired with Virginia wines. For a more feminine, artsy vibe, stay at Quirk Hotel (https://www.destinationhotels.com/quirk-hotel) just a couple blocks away.A millennial pink theme reverberates throughout the property, and the hotel has its own art gallery and acontemplative courtyard. On the first Friday of the month, most of the galleries along Broad Street celebrate First Fridays with live music and performance art.

Mama J's Kitchen (http://mamajskitchen.com) is within easy walking distance of both hotels, serving soulful Southern comfort food in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. Generous helpings of fried chicken, beef tips, pork chops and catfish are accompanied by corn muffins, coleslaw and mashed potatoes, just like Sunday supper at grandmother's home. The family-owned restaurant was named a James Beard semifinalist in the Outstanding Service category this year for their warmth, representing Southern hospitality at its finest.

Another first-time James Beard semifinalist nod went to Lehja (http://www.lehja.com), an Indian restaurant in a mall just outside Richmond at Short Pump Town Center. Chef Sandeep “Sunny” Baweja's authentic and richly flavored Indian cuisine thrills your tastebuds and his meticulous attention to detail and careful sourcing of proteins set Lehja apart. Start with Baweja's chaat du jour before digging into vin d'alho, tandoori lamb tikka and buttery Bengali five spice cod.

Longoven, Alewife and Brenner Pass are three of Richmond's hottest new restaurants, each stretching the city's culinary landscape in its own way. If you aren't as concerned with chasing the newest foodie hotspot, but simply want the best, Heritage (http://www.heritagerva.com) should be your first stop. Chef Joe Sparatta has created the kind of cozy neighborhood restaurant that every city deserves, where friendly, down-to-earth service meets thoughtful, hearty food. From pimento croquettes and jerk-marinated tofu to a fluke fillet dressed with brown butter-miso chili, the menu is full of winners.

A local friend describes Scott's Addition as Neverland, where adults never grow up, but instead play shuffleboard at Tang and Biscuit (https://www.tangandbiscuit.com) and challenge friends to Pac-Man and Donkey Kong duels while guzzling craft beer on tap at The Circuit Arcade Bar (https://www.thecircuitarcadebar.com). The now trendy old warehouse district is also home to some excellent Virginia cider by Courthouse Creek (https://courthousecreek.com/our-ciders/) and Blue Bee (https://www.bluebeecider.com) and experimental craft beer at Strangeworks (https://strangewaysbrewing.com/beer-series/nucleus/) and Ardent Craft Ales (http://ardentcraftales.com/).

Take a walk in between all the feasting and imbibing across the pedestrian footbridge to Belle Isle (https://www.visitrichmondva.com/listings/belle-isle/1255/). The 54-acre park is Richmond's miniature island version of Central Park, a great place to soak up the sun, jog and mountain bike. The Potterfield Memorial Bridge is a shorter alternative stroll across the James River beside the American Civil War Museum (https://acwm.org). The new museum just opened in May, aiming to defy expectations by telling the story of a fractured nation from more diverse, relatable perspectives.

VIRGINIA FOOTHILLS

From downtown Richmond, it's just 90 minutes to the Virginia Foothills (https://vafoothills.com), in the heart of Central Virginia's wine country (https://www.virginiawine.org/regions/central-virginia/). Stop in Gordonsville on the way to Orange for a little shopping. This small town has less than 2,000 people but an impressive number of high-end, artisan boutiques along Main Street. ...

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Attached Files

A-Weekend-In-Virginia-From-Capital-to-Countryside.rtf
A-Weekend-In-Virginia-From-Capital-to-Countryside.rtf
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Inn at Willow Grove Overlook East Porch.jpg
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Inn at Willow Grove Mill House Spa.jpg
Inn at Willow Grove Exterior.jpg
Inn at Willow Grove Exterior.jpg
Heritage Richmond credit Kate Thompson.jpg
Heritage Richmond credit Kate Thompson.jpg
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Heritage credit Kate Thompson.jpg
Barboursville Vineyard.jpg
Barboursville Vineyard.jpg
Annie Gould Gallery.jpg
Annie Gould Gallery.jpg