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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Things to do in Charlottesville, VA - August 2014

In Charlottesville, August may bring on the heat of the dog days of summer, but the entertainment is just as hot. We're squeezing in as many concerts, festivals, and wine tastings as we can before the college students once again take over the town at the end of the month!

Events at Monticello
You can visit Thomas Jefferson's celebrated home any time of year, but here are some additional workshops
offered in August to enhance your visit. Be sure to benefit from the knowledgeable staff and unique learning resources.
8/9 Heirloom Tomato Tasting
8/16 Sequential Vegetable Planting, Pt 3
8/23 Summer Fruit Tasting
8/26 Fellows Forum: An Enslaved Family's Blood Ties to Thomas Jefferson
8/30 Tufton Fern Walk

Fiddler on the Roof at the Paramount Theater
Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3 (2pm)
Ash Lawn Opera's summer season continues with performances of this musical classic. Purchase tickets online in advance here.

Starry Nights at Veritas Vineyard & Winery
Saturday, August 9 (7-11pm)
Take a Foxfield Inn picnic or reserve a space at a table for the buffet. Sip their award-winning wines and dance the night away under a blanket of stars. Purchase tickets online in advance here.

Summer Concert Series at the Paramount Theater
Tuesday, August 12 (8-9:30pm)
The Charlottesville Municipal Band plays the best of the "big bands" in this free concert.

Tins for Tunes at Cardinal Point Winery
Saturday, August 16 (5-9pm)
Bring a non-perishable food donation for the local food pantry to receive half-off admission. Enjoy good wine, good music, and good food.

Blue Ridge Mountain Music Festival at Wintergreen Resort
Saturday, August 16 (12-7)
Celebrate the best of our region's musical heritage. The sounds of bluegrass, old time, and Americana will be strummed, plucked, and sung by some of our region's most talented ensembles. A mountain retreat is the perfect setting for mountain music.

Mosaic Lessons at FIREFISH Gallery
Thursday, August 21 (5:30-8pm)
A fun idea for a date night or girls' night out. Learn how to create a mosaic mirror, flower pot, or tray and take your creation home. Early reservations recommended.

Night at the Museum at Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum
Thursday, August 21 (5-9pm)
The Aboriginal Art Museum always has an interesting exhibition on display, but on this evening they are pulling out all the stops in an after-hours celebration complete with live music, beer from local Devil's Backbone Brewing, food trucks, and more.

Virginia Craft Brewers Fest at Devil's Backbone Brewery
Saturday, August 23 (2-7pm)
Craft beer enthusiasts, unite! August is Craft Brewers month in Virginia. Raise a glass and partake in the celebratory festivities at popular Devil's Backbone Brewery. Come early and camp out or just come for the day, but don't miss the judging of the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. Click here for ticket information.

Paint the Town Orange
Friday, August 29 (7:30-9:30pm)
Beginning on the Downtown Mall, UVA's Cavalier Marching Band will get Charlottesville ready for the start of football season. Put on your orange shirts and learn the words to the Good Ole Song to get in the spirit.

On-going Events
Some of the Charlottesville goings-on that we described in previous posts are still going on through the month of August, including: the Hatton FerrySunset Series at Carter MountainTailgate Thursdays at Stinson VineyardsFridays After FiveCity Market, and Roseland Polo at King Family Vineyards.

What are you looking forward to doing in Charlottesville this August? Let us know how else we at Foxfield Inn can make your stay special.

Your Innkeepers,
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed and Breakfast

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Our Picks: Charlottesville VA Restaurant Week, July 19-26, 2014

It's no secret that Foxfield Inn guests enjoy great food. Fortunately, Charlottesville has many fantastic dining establishments to choose from. In fact, Charlottesville was recently named one of America's five new foodie cities by Wine Enthusiast! Perfect timing, because one of our most popular bi-annual traditions, Charlottesville Restaurant Week is upon us once again - July 19-26.

Here's how it works: Dozens of local restaurants create a three-course, fixed price menu at $16, $26, or $36 per person (tip and beverages not included). Preview the menus online here, then make a reservation at the restaurant(s) that meet your tastes and price point. $1 of each meal is donated to a local charity or organization; this July it's the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

We like to peruse the menus for ideas in our own kitchen. But if we were dining out, here are our top picks for Restaurant Week 2014.

For $16: The Southern
As the name suggests, The Southern offers simple, Southern food with a fun, nostalgic twist. Great place to catch a bite to eat before a show in their music hall or before wandering the Downtown Mall. We feel cooled off just thinking about their watermelon-cucumber salad with mint and feta! For a main course, this summer they're offering a variety of sandwiches and paninis, and we'd pick The Walter: turkey, bacon, apple, and onion jam on wheat bread. The Fancy Grahams dessert would be a fun way to end the meal: baked dark chocolate and marshmallow with graham crackers for dipping.

For $26: Threepenny Cafe
We always try to support new restaurants in Charlottesville, and Threepenny Cafe is one of our newest, so we're glad to see them as a Restaurant Week participant this summer. For an appetizer, we're torn between the Yucca Fries and the Tempura Asparagus, both lightly fried and served with garlic fritessaus. Several seafood options are on tap for the main course, and we're intrigued by the tuna, served with a sesame seed crust, spicy cabbage slaw, cucumber, guacamole, and blood orange cream. For dessert, we'd bet on the seasonal sorbet, a light, refreshing way to cleanse your palate with a little something sweet.

For $36: Fleurie
Preparing beautiful dishes in the classic-modern French style, dining at Fleurie during Restaurant Week is a steal. We sincerely want to try everything on the menu! But if we had to narrow it down, we'd opt for an appetizer of Gnocchi with bleu d'auvergne fondue, sweet pecans, and cherry tomatoes. Next, Le Surf and Turf for the best of both worlds: roasted lobster with sweet garlic and potato puree and beef with red wine sauce. And we simply must save room for a dessert of Fleurie's apple tart with vanilla ice cream. This might be a good spot to dine with friends, assuming everyone's willing to share!

So there you have it. Whose menus have your mouths watering? We'd love to know. Will we see you for Charlottesville Restaurant Week this summer? Book your stay at Foxfield Inn now to take advantage of this great dining deal and enjoy all that our fair foodie city has to offer.

Your Innkeepers,
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Caverns Near Charlottesville, VA

Recently we had a day off from innkeeping here at Foxfield Inn and decided to explore one of the caverns near us.  Within a 30 minute drive we were at the Grand Caverns in the Town of Grottoes.  Driving into the park we were anxious about this adventure as I am slightly claustrophobic. Underground caverns are not high on my list of things to do but for some reason visiting the Grand Caverns was on my bucket list.

In 1804 Barnette Weyer discovered Grand Caverns while retrieving one of his traps.  He opened the caves in 1806 for tours - it is oldest continually operating show cave in the U.S.  In 1973 Grand Caverns received   National Natural Landmark status.

We got there just in time for the tour.  So off we went up the hill to the educational building which is entrance to the caves.  Our guide was very knowledgeable about them and could answer all of the questions from our fellow tourers. There are several large rooms in these caves, it is well lit and the paths are easy to follow.  Not once did I get the feeling that I shouldn't be there.

There are so many different types of formations that you never get bored during the 60 minute tour.  There are cave coral, stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, dog tooth spar, flowstone and shields.  I am sure there were more types but that was all I could remember when we left the caves.  .  The colors on the formations were gorgeous.  My favorite was the draperies which many do look like large strips of cooked bacon as suggested by our guide.

It's amazing to think they used to have parties and dances in these caves.  And that during the Civil War there were places that they used for target practice because the open space was so large.

It's well worth the drive to visit these caves but take a picnic lunch with you as there isn't much in the Town of grottoes if you want something to eat.  The grounds at the caves include a beautiful park where you can sit &  relax after your tour and trails for you to hike.

Other caves in the area you might want to explore are:

You are sure to enjoy which ever caves you visit!
Dan & Kathryn Bundy, your Innkeepers
Foxfield Inn, a Charlottesville, VA bed and breakfast

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Things to do in Charlottesville VA - July 2014

If June in Charlottesville was about relaxing and unwinding, July is a celebration of the arts. Festivals, performances, and more will keep you entertained and in awe. Whether you fancy the theater, the symphony, photography, and more, Charlottesville in July is heating up with fabulous entertainment.

Events at Monticello
You can visit Thomas Jefferson's celebrated home any time of year, but here are some additional workshops being offered in July to enhance your visit. Be sure to benefit from the knowledgeable staff and unique learning resources.
Beginning 7/1 Archaeology Findings Update
7/4 July 4th Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony
7/12 Canning with a Jefferson Spin
7/19 Landscaping with Native Virginia Flora
7/26 Mary Randolph Culinary Workshop

Summer Concert Series
Tuesdays, July 1, 15, 29 (8pm)
The Charlottesville Municipal Band performs at the Paramount Theater downtown in their 92nd summer in a series of free concerts. Check the calendar here for program info.

Heritage Theater Festival
Bringing together actors, directors, designers, and technicians from all over the country, the Heritage Theater Festival produces some of the most captivating summer entertainment. This summer's shows include: Thoroughly Modern Millie; Shear Madness; Avenue Q; and One Man, Two Guvnors. Check the website for performance dates and to reserve tickets.

Independence Day in Charlottesville
Fireworks are essential, but here are some ways you can celebrate Independence Day in Charlottesville.
Fourth Celebration at Devil's Backbone Brewery
July 4 Jubilee at Wintergreen Resort
Red Wine and Blue at Trump Winery
July 4th at Monticello
Patriotism in the Park

Live Music at Humpback Rocks Visitor Center
Sunday, July 6 (2-4pm)
Humpback Rocks is one of the most popular hiking spots around. Finish your morning by enjoying free music in the mountains.

Wintergreen Summer Music Festival
Beginning July 7
Dozens of performances throughout the month of July in the picturesque mountain air of Wintergreen Resort. Check the website for schedule and tickets.

Ash Lawn Opera
The Ash Lawn Opera Festival brings together talented singers from all over the country to perform at the Paramount Theater downtown. Check their website to purchase tickets for this summer's productions of Susannah or Fiddler on the Roof.
Susannah July 11, 16 (7:30pm), July 13 (2pm)
Fiddler on the Roof July 31 (7:30pm)

Starry Nights at Veritas Vineyard & Winery
Saturday, July 12 (7-11pm)
Take a Foxfield Inn picnic or reserve space at a table for the buffet. Sip their award-winning wines and dance the night away under a blanket of stars. Purchase tickets in advance online here.

On-Going Events
Some of the Charlottesville goings-on that we described in previous posts are still going on through the month of July, including: the Hatton Ferry, Sunset Series at Carter Mountain, Tailgate Thursdays at Stinson Vineyards, Fridays After Five, City Market, and Roseland Polo at King Family Vineyards.

We're sure you'll find something interesting to add to your July excursion to Charlottesville, VA. Let us know how else we at Foxfield Inn can make your summer visit a special one.

Your Innkeepers,
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Date Night: The Lost Art of Picnicking

Great planning is the key to any great picnic, and we at Foxfield Inn have you covered when it comes to planning your perfect Charlottesville VA picnic. Whether you want to savor your food, your wine, or your company, make your next date night fun and memorable with these tips.

The Food
Finger foods that keep well are crucial to a successful picnic. Think cheese plates with hard or semi-hard cheeses, assorted meats, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh berries. Maybe some fresh veggies cut to size. Crackers or tear-able bread such as a baguette. And perhaps some homemade cookies for dessert.

A sampling of our favorite picnic foods.
Where to find it in Charlottesville:
- Greenwood Gourmet Grocery: Located off 250 past Crozet and on the way to several wineries. Fabulous sandwiches, wines, craft beer and soda, local cheeses and cured sausages, fresh bread, and other snacks.
- Feast!: Located near Downtown, on Main Street and featuring a wide selection of cheeses and deli meats, pre-packaged nuts and candies, dips and spreads, ready-made sandwiches, and wines.
- Foxfield Inn: Did you know we can pack your picnic lunch? Featuring wraps, unique gourmet finger foods, cookies and more, check our special packages page for more info.

The Drink
Whether your drink of choice is a local wine, craft beer or cider, mead, kombucha, or gourmet soda, bear in mind (especially if your picnic involves a hike) that this will be the heaviest part of your picnic pack. If you're going to be picnicking at a winery (see below), stop by their tasting room and purchase a bottle of your favorite vintage.

Some of Starr Hill's popular beers.
Where to find it in Charlottesville:
Text Box: Jessalyn Fink
Piano Educator

Vineyards: Our top picks for vineyards within a short driving distance are King Family, Veritas, and Stinson. All have excellent wines that can also be found in several local retail shops.
- Market Street Wine Shop: Tell these folks what you're eating and your budget and they will recommend one of the best bottles of wine you've ever had. Located across from the Downtown Mall.
- Blue Mountain Brewery: Fill up a growler to go with any of their popular brews. One of the most popular local breweries around. Try their Full Nelson.
- Starr Hill Brewery: Stop by their new tasting room and grab a growler of your favorite beer to-go. Some beers are limited edition, so get 'em while they last.
- Want a drink that's gluten-free? How about a hard cider made from local Virginia apples? Bold Rock Cider's 6-packs offer one perspective; Albemarle Ciderworks's ciders come bottled like champagne; both are available at several gourmet grocery stores.

The Company
Whether you're picnicking with your loved one or with a group of friends, the venue can be the dealbreaker. Charlottesville has dozens of spots with gorgeous views for quiet time, and plenty of outdoor concerts this summer for a more social scene.

Mint Springs is lovely any time of year.
Where to find it in Charlottesville:
- Jefferson Vineyards: "Sunsets Become Eclectic" Summer Concert Series. Enjoy live music at this Charlottesville winery near Monticello, 6-8pm. Select Saturdays through September.
- Jammin' on the James: Dorrier Park, Scottsville, 5-8pm. Set up by the river and enjoy live music the first Sundays of the month through September. Free admission.
- Trump Winery: Third Thursdays, 6-8pm. Enjoy live music and fresh pours from their award-winning wines.
- Stinson Vineyards: Tailgate Thursdays, 6-9pm. Call ahead to reserve local meats to grill or bring your own picnic and enjoy live music. Through Labor Day.
- Veritas Starry Nights: Set up under the stars to enjoy live music, dancing, and Veritas wines. A very popular summer event and perfect for a social picnic. Tickets available online.
- Roseland Polo: At King Family Vineyards. Sundays through mid-October. Check the website for match start times and weather updates.
- Mint Springs Valley Park: Open dawn to dusk. Take a swim in the mountain-view lake to cool off. Several picnic shelters with grills, or set up in a grassy spot for more privacy.
- UVA Lawn: Soak in Thomas Jefferson's "academical village." Set up on the main Lawn to enjoy the University's architecture (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or invite yourself in to one of the public gardens behind a pavilion for a more secluded experience. Make it a true UVA experience by picking up sandwiches from the students' favorites Take-It-Away or Bodo's Bagels, just a short walk away on the Corner.

Other picnic necessities to pack: Blanket for sitting upon, bottle opener or corkscrew, cooler for your food, drinking glasses, silverware and a small knife for cutting/spreading, games or books for conversational downtime, sunscreen, bug spray, trash bags and moist towlettes for cleaning up.

What else do you think makes for a perfect picnic? Though we can't control the weather, leave a comment or let us know how else we can help your next Charlottesville date night go off without a hitch.

Your Innkeepers,
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our Favorite Charlottesville VA Farmer's Market Vendors

We love to spend Saturday mornings browsing the stalls at the Charlottesville VA City Market. Bright, colorful produce, unique artisan crafts, samples of meats and cheeses and coffee and jam and bread... We always discover something new that makes us smile or inspires us in the kitchen, but we also have our favorites. Here are some of Foxfield Inn's top Farmer's Market vendors in Charlottesville.

Everona Dairy
Producing unique farmstead aged sheep's milk cheeses, Everona Dairy's Piedmont often makes an appearance on our weekend cheese plates. Be sure to ask for a sample!

Free Union Grass Farm
Specializing in grass-fed livestock, Free Union Grass Farm was among the first local farms to produce duck on a larger scale. We stock up on duck fat, and pate, but they also carry beef and chicken.

If you are a fan of goat cheese, you must try the chevre which put Caromont's artisanal goat's milk cheeses on the map. They also specialize in unique cow's milk cheeses. Caromont's cheese-makers are creative and often collaborate with other local businesses to create unique flavors so be sure to stop by and ask what's new.

Our top picks for fresh produce are Bellair Farm and Radical Roots. Offering a
wide selection of organically-grown veggies grown with care on their own farms, this is as fresh as you can get. Kathryn always delays writing the next day's breakfast menu until she sees what looks delicious at these two booths.

Hungry Hill Farm
Yes, even our honey is local. We use it for baking, in dessert sauces, and to pour in teas. Pick up a jar to take home with you (it comes in many sizes) or a honey stick to savor while you wander the market.

Planet Earth Diversified
Planet Earth Diversified offers a unique range of microgreens, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and select other produce grown in their ecological greenhouses. Their products make for fabulous garnishes and tasty flavors on our breakfast plates, but if you're in the mood for a treat, don't pass up one of their raspberry cream pops.

Rain or shine, we can always count on our favorite farmers to bring us the best ingredients Charlottesville has to offer. Won't you come stay at Foxfield Inn and see how we're showcasing our farmer's market bounty? Let us know how else we can make your visit to Charlottesville special or tell us where you like to shop at our Charlottesville City Market!

Your Innkeepers,
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville VA Bed and Breakfast