On Saturday mornings at the Foxfield Inn, after the breakfast dishes have been washed, one of our favorite things to do is visit the City Market in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. I've always believed that one of the best ways to get a sense of a city's local color and flavor is to check out its farmer's market. The Charlottesville City Market is no exception. Now that harvest season is well underway, there is plenty of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and flowers to be found! And if you go and buy some of the great local produce let us know when you return to Foxfield Inn and we will find a spot in our refrigerator for it (if we have room).
But since many of our guests may find it difficult to travel with fresh foodstuffs, we visited the market this weekend to scout out some of the most interesting artisans. Stop by their booths and let them help you take a little piece of Charlottesville home with you.
The Orchid Station has a beautiful collection of orchids of many exotic shapes and colors. Their greenhouse is located in town, and their table always draws oohs and ahhs from market passersby. Orchid blooms last up to several months and are easy to care for, but the owners will gladly give you some extra pointers. Check the side table for discounted plants.
There are several ceramics artisans that rotate through the market. This week we were enamoured with the Celtic designs on these hand-thrown, hand-painted serving platters and jewelry. If you're looking for one-of-a-kind pieces, this is a must-see.
Trends in fashion jewelry may come and go, but shopping from an artisan at the Charlottesville City Market will certainly help you find a special, unique piece for you, your loved one, or a friend. Nan Elizabeth Dix of Artistic Origin had an array of styles from simple to swanky.
You have to stop by this home-grown herbal tea tent to smell the delicious blends that the owner has carefully concocted. With witty names that you'll just have to read for yourself, lemon, mint, chamomile, and other herbs are combined in practical ways and packaged beautifully. Not a tea-drinker? Check out her collection of culinary herbs or greeting cards.
Technology may have made sending a postcard passe, but with beautiful prints like these, you won't be able to resist sending a note to your loved ones back home to show just how beautiful Charlottesville is. Pick up a few prints for yourself as a souvenir of your trip.
Grubby Girl soaps, salts, scrubs, and oils are stylish and clever, but more importantly, they smell great and are infused with local botanicals and herbs. Let Amanda help you select a product that will cure whatever ails you.
If you have a four-legged friend waiting for you at home, be sure to stop by Zeus's Bakery tent where you'll find oodles of all-natural dog treats. Dozens of flavors like cheddar, peanut butter, cacao, and liver come in fun shapes like fish, hearts, and of course, bones. The owner will gladly tell you about the protein percentages in each and can make recommendations if your pup is on a special diet.
If visiting vineyards to taste wine is high on your list of things to see in Charlottesville, you must stop by Virginia Vinegar Works for local takes on white wine, red wine, and even rose vinegars. Sample as much as you want, but this summer the staff will recommend the Sauvignon Blanc vinegar and the Rose, both of which will make a light, crisp vinaigrette for your salads or pasta salads.
Whether you're drawn to the jewel-toned jars of fruit on his table or the cheerful smile on Daniel's face, Jam According to Daniel is your source for locally-produced jams. Using local fruits that he harvests, cooks, and cans himself, Daniel offers unique flavor combinations every year, and will gladly tell you about his inspiration as you sample them. One of his favorites this year? Apricot. We agree - it's like sunshine in a jar!
The Charlottesville City Market is open on Saturdays rain or shine from 7am-12noon, April through October. We can't wait to see what treasures you find so let us know how we at the Foxfield Inn can help you plan your visit to Charlottesville!
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, Virginia Bed & Breakfast