Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Where to Eat: Mitchie Tavern, Charlottesville, Va.

In Charlottesville, we grabbed a bite to eat at historic Mitchie Tavern, located below the hill from Monticello. It serves an all-you-can-eat buffet of an 18th century fare.
Dressed in period clothing, waitresses brought out more food as you requested it. Though a bit pricey at $16, I think it’s worth it. The food was spectacular! We ate chicken, black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes, green beans and roast potatoes.

While there, we also checked out the shops on the property. Here’s the metal smith shop where you can buy many different things:

This woman told us about the courting candle. When a young man comes to call on a young lady, the father would set out the courting candle. The father could make the candle longer or short depending on which way he turned the candle’s knob.
If he liked the young man, he turned the candle up; if he didn’t, there wasn’t much candle to burn before the young man would have to leave. 
Once the candle burned down to the first coil, it was time for a young man to leave.


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Church Hill, Richmond, Va.

Probably my most favorite neighborhood in Richmond was Church Hill. We spent a lot of time walking around Libby Hill Park and the streets, checking out the historic homes.

This neighborhood is one of the earliest incorporated areas of the city. It’s on a hill that overlooks the James River, downtown and other neighborhoods.
I would love to live in this neighborhood! It’s just so quaint, especially with the Italianate houses, which you know I love. 🙂
Check out this streetscape. So wonderful! I love it.
Check out this sunset.

The statue was erected in 1894 for Confederate soldiers and sailors. It’s at Libby Hill Park, where we saw several kids biking and dogs fetching early in the evening.
We also saw a Segway Tour pass through. The people stopped to check out the view below. The Segway Tours take people to various historic and interesting sites throughout the city. We thought about taking the tour, but opted to explore areas on our own.
Here’s a link to the site for the Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods and one to Church Hill’s own news website. These are good sites to learn more about the history of the neighborhood and what’s currently happening in the area.
Below the hill, is Shockoe Bottom. We parked at Libby Hill Park one morning and walked down the hill to eat breakfast/brunch at Poe’s Pub. Chris and I both ordered frittatas, which may sound like a light breakfast, but it wasn’t! Both plates were loaded with eggs, cheese, sauce and veggies. We could have easily shared one between the both of us. 
This pub would be a great place to grab a bite to eat or a drink with some friends. The pub hosts several bands throughout the month, from rock and blues to R&B and country.
If we lived in Church Hill, I could imagine us walking down to the pub often during the week.


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Where to Eat: Sette, Richmond, Va.

Our first night in Richmond, Chris and I grabbed a bite to eat at Sette, a pizza joint on N. 23rd Street.

The restaurant is a small, intimate place with colorful, abstract artwork on the walls. Staff was prompt and cordial.
The table for two we sat at was sort of small, but big enough to hold one pie.
We ordered the Church Hill, which has pepperoni, roasted red peppers and mushrooms on a tomato sauce. It was so tasty! Take a look:
We had three pieces each and finished if up so we didn’t have to worry taking it back to the hotel. Not that we could stop eating it anyway! It was that good. 🙂
I sprinkled black pepper on my slices and Chris used parm cheese. There was plenty of sauce and cheese and all the flavors melded together beautifully. Nothing was burnt. Nothing overpowered everything else. Everything was in harmony and so was our tummies!
For dessert we shared tiramisu. Not really anything to write home about, but I find it hard to screw up tiramisu. It was a generous helping and one was enough for both of us. A nice ending to a wonderful meal.
We were tempted to go back another night, but we were only in Richmond for a short weekend and wanted to sample other local fare.
If we visit Richmond again, Sette will have to be the first food stop! Other pizzas I want to try are:
* Arugula: white sauce, arugula, roasted red peppers, goat cheese and basil
* The Greek: balsamic glaze, kalamata olives, merquez sausage, artichokes, grape tomatoes and feta
* The Florentine: white sauce, baby spinach and goat cheese
* Herbivore: white sauce, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, artichokes, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized fennel and onions with mozzarella
* Wild Mushroom: tomato sauce with a blend of wild mushrooms
I count at least 5 more visits and I didn’t even glance at the appetizer or salad menus!


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Where to shop: Main Street, Abindon, Va.

We went to Abingon, Va., last Saturday to walk the Virginia Creeper Trail. While we were there, we also checked out Main Street and some local businesses.

First off, we ate a quick lunch at the famous Martha Washington Hotel and Spa’s Market Deli (there’s two links: hotel and the deli). This hotel is gorgeously decorated and would be a very pleasant place to stay. I’d love to check out a cabaret and get a massage at the spa.

Chris had a reuben with chips and I had 1/2 a turkey sandwich with Italian Wedding soup and chips. Very delicious.

After the walk, we stopped by A Likely Yarn, a local yarn shop on Pecan Street just below the Creeper’s trail head.

The business is one of the largest, locally-owned stores I’d been in. A knitting class was taking place in a small room to the left as we walked in and several ladies were browsing books and yarn in the large shop area to the right.

There was a large collection of books, a lot separated by category, such as socks, crochet or knitting. There was also a rack that had “Handknit Heros,” a comic book of needle welding crime fighters.

I was very impressed with the large selection of crochet and knitting books at A Likely Yarn.
The yarn selection was pretty nice too. Prices were comparable to other shops I’d been in and there was a wide variety of brands.
I think I just about picked up every skein of yarn along this wall.

I signed up for the shop’s e-newsletters and the lady tending the shop told me about an upcoming retreat in February.

Next we walked around Main Street and stopped in several antique shops, including Abingdon Mercantile and Frames. We were on the hunt for Rookwood Pottery (Chris’ parents collect it) and a dress form (I want one so much!).

We also stopped at The Arts Depot to check out some artists’ studios. I really liked some fabric hats and paintings, such as those by Jackie Dolpp and Joyce Samuel. The artists’ collaborative is a one block off Main Street on Depot Square.

Before heading home, we grabbed coffee at Zazzy’z Coffee House.

While in Abingdon, you should also check out  Barter Theater, A House on Main, The Tavern, and other antique, clothing and gift shops along Main Street.


Evansville, Indiana

As you read this, we’re probably settled in for Christmas with Chris’ family in Evansville, In. We usually head to Cincinnati for a while too, but not this year. Since we visited family in Ohio in August, we’re not going to stop by this year.

Here’s some photos from November 2007 that I snapped on my first trip to Evansville and my first trip, ever, to a state that wasn’t on the East Coast! Make sure to read the cutlines, I’ll explain the photo and posts links.

The city’s greenway, which runs along the Ohio River.

The Four Freedoms, a monument along the greenway, facing the Ohio.

University of Southern Indiana. My father-in-law tutors there.

The old courthouse, built in the late 1800s.

The old jail, located across the street from the old courthouse. It was also built in the late 1800s.

An old art deco Greyhound bus station 
The Gerst Bavarian Haus, a German restaurant, is my favorite place to eat in Evansville, with Emge’s Deli a close second! (Ignore the crazy man running at the camera.) There’s also Turoni’s Pizza, which is a favorite for the locals.

We also visited the Evansville African American Museum. It was fabulous! I was very impressed and loved all the detailed and interactive exhibits.

I have yet to visit the Angel Mounds — another Native American burial ground. I’ve been told that the mound is usually operating on off-season hours when we’re there, so we haven’t been.

In a later post, I’ll share photos from the Mesker Park Zoo, a small zoo in Chris’ hometown. We’ve already visited it a couple of times together. It recently added a rain forest exhibit and I must go check that out!

Have a very merry Christmas and talk with you soon!


Old Salem Tavern and Edward McKay

Hello! Last weekend was very lovely. Chris, Sidney and I spent time outdoors on some trails and doing some Christmas shopping.

Here’s a quick recap of things we did and places you might enjoy checking out.

Saturday
On Saturday we headed to Winston-Salem, N.C., where we walked around at Historic Bethabara (always a favorite), dined at Old Salem Tavern (loved it!) and bought a mountain of books at Edward McKay (first visit to this Winston store; we usually visit the Greensboro store).

Historic Bethabara
Historic Bethabara is were the Moravians originally settled before moving to Old Salem. We always enjoy walking around the gardens, old buildings and trails.

On this particular day, we finally made it to town while the visitor center/museum was open. We only had 10 mins. to browse around, but at least we got to see it. I really want to go back when we have more time to look at all the exhibits.

Old Salem Tavern
At Old Salem Tavern, which is located in Historic Old Salem, Chris had a steak and I had salmon in a pumpkin and sunflower seed crust.

The waitstaff dresses in period clothes and each table has a candle. I wouldn’t think, looking at the menu and set up, that this would be considered a family-friendly place, but families were there, including a mom with her two grown daughters and a toddler grandson and a family of five with children ages 7 and under who sat in the same room as us.

It’s great the restaurant is so accommodating that families fell free to come. The kids were really well-behaved, so the unique atmosphere and our experience wasn’t ruined by wild kids running around. Definitely grab a bite to eat here when you visit Old Salem!

Edward McKay
Next up — Edward McKay, a used book store with locations in many cities through N.C. I’d already taken Chris to the Greensboro location, where I used to visit when I was a student at UNCG. I had just heard about the Winston location and we went to check it out.

Jackpot! We bought $200+ worth of books for under $70. I so love used book stores! Chris found a lot of books. He said he can never find anything that interests him when we go to big box, new book stores, but this place is a gem.

I left with four text-like books, a knitting book, a color guide used for design and a dog training book. Chris bought a bunch of fiction and some non-fiction.

Sunday
On Sunday we headed up to Christiansburg, Va., to do some Christmas shopping.

There’s not really that many cool places to tell you about, but we stopped at the Bed, Bath and Beyond where we bought some really cool dishes and a Ross Dress for Less (my favorite store!) where to grabbed some bed sheets and shirts. We were able to put a small dent in the gift lift.

On the way to the city, we stopped at Radford to walk on the Riverway Trail, a 3.5 mile, paved trail. It’s a very nice walk through the city’s Bissett and Wildwood parks. We’ve walked it a few times before and some of the trails at Wildwood Park. It’s a pretty neat park system for such a small city.

Bissett Park is a large recreation park with fields and playgrounds. On this day, we walked by several soccer games.

Wildwood Park is a wooded park with dirt paths going up and down the side of hills along a creek. We probably walk the most on this trail. It’s located across the road from Bissett Park, but the Riverway Trail connects both parks by a tunnel under the road.

I wish we had something like that in our town!