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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Charlottesville City Market Finds

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!

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

Monday, July 22, 2013

What to do in Charlottesville, Summer 2013

Since we're right in the middle of a heat wave, we at the Foxfield Inn wanted to share with you some cool things to do in Charlottesville, Virginia this summer. Sure, Monticello, the Downtown Mall, and the grounds at the University of Virginia are here for you all year round. But in case you're looking for something unique to add to your visit this summer, we've got you covered! Here are our top 5 picks for fun things to do this summer in Charlottesville, Virginia:

For the romantics...
Carter Mountain is home to one of Charlottesville's most popular apple orchards, but until the apples are ready, why not enjoy a crisp glass of wine with a breathtaking view overlooking the city? Every Thursday through October 3 from 5-9 P.M., live music, local gifts, wine, and other goodies are yours to enjoy. A perfect place to stop after your Monticello visit.

For those who always pack their dancing shoes...
If you're coming to Charlottesville this summer to escape the busy city life, you should definitely head out to Veritas Vinyeards for one of their popular "Starry Nights" events (July 13, August 10, September 14). Live music, picnics, dancing, and wine, all beneath the evening sky where a pretty sunset fades into darkness where we're sure you'll agree there really are more stars out here in the "country." Pack a picnic dinner and a blanket, or make reservations online for the buffet dinner and a table on the patio.

For those looking for a good time...
Don your surf shirts and flip-flops and head Downtown to hear this legendary group sing all the greats (August 28). How about an early dinner on the Downtown Mall before pre-show, or drinks and dessert after the show to round out the evening? Surely you'll think you're in Kokomo with all the good vibrations coming from the nTelos Wireless Pavilion. Tickets are available online.

For the music lover...
This unique collaboration brings together singers and musicians from all over the country to practice and perform some of the greatest musical productions of all time. Performances are held at the historic Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall. Catch Carousel in early August - tickets available online.

For the outdoor enthusiast...
Couldn't make it to the beach this year? Charlottesville has several lake beaches where you can catch some rays and take a dip, surrounded by beautiful forest and mountain views. Each park has extensive walking/biking trails and plenty of room for a picnic. Bring a little bit of cash for park admission during regular hours.

Whether you want to hit all the tourist spots or are looking for something more off-the-beaten-path, Charlottesville, Virginia has so much to offer. Let us know how we can make your stay at the Foxfield Inn cool and relaxing this summer.

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

Friday, July 5, 2013

Charlottesville Restaurant Week, Summer 2013

One of our favorite things to do when welcoming guests to  Foxfield Inn is to help them select the perfect restaurant for their special occasion, celebration, or casual night on the town. Charlottesville, Virginia is bursting at the seams with talented chefs and tasty menus, and we are confident there is a venue sure to please every palate.

During the week of July 8 - July 14, Charlottesville Restaurant Week is a fabulous time to try one (or more!) of the most popular restaurants without breaking the bank. Each participating restaurant offers a prix fixe menu for $16, $26, or $36 per person. No matter which price point the restaurant has selected, $1 of each meal supports a local charity; this summer, it's the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia.


Click here to view the Restaurant Week menus for each participating restaurant. We reviewed each menu, and here are a few dishes that have our mouths watering this year:

- Goat Cheese & Lump Crab Hushpuppies with Pimento Cheese from Blue Light Grill
- Limoncello Shrimp with Brown Butter and Caramelized Lemon from Caffe Bocce
- Squid Ink Linguine with White Wine, Butter, Parmesan, Sofrito and Spinach from Positively 4th Street

- Five-Spiced Pork Loin with Spicy Kale and Fried Rice from bang!
- Tuna Burger with Napa Slaw from Burtons Grill
- Salmon baked in Puff Pastry with Lemon Zest, Cabbage, and Sauce Americaine from Fleurie
- Crispy Duck Leg with Field Peas and Roasted Leeks from Glass Haus Kitchen
- Petite Beef Medallions with local sauteed Mitake Mushrooms and Jack Daniels Bourbon Demi-Glace from Downtown Grille

- Warm Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Crumble and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream from C&O
- Dark Ale Marshmallow Dream with brownie, peanut butter, caramel, peanuts, and ganache from Horse & Hound Gastropub
- Nutella Tiramisu from Tempo

Spaces are limited, and they fill up quickly, so make your reservation soon! At which restaurants would you love to dine? Tell us by leaving a comment below, and let us know how we at Foxfield Inn can help you make the most of your stay with us as you taste the best that Charlottesville has to offer for Restaurant Week this summer!

P.S. Can't make it for Restaurant Week? Click here to see a list of other restaurants we recommend, or contact us for more assistance.

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