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Monday, January 20, 2014

Restaurant Week 2014 in Charlottesville

Calling all foodies! It is time, once again, for Charlottesville Restaurant Week--the affordable fine dining experience that showcases Central Virginia restaurants' cream of the crop. From January 26 to February 1, 2014, each participating restaurant has chosen to offer a $16, $26, or $36 prix fixe menu, $1 of each meal benefiting the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

We've devoured the menus and chosen our best bets for Restaurant Week dining below. But you don't have to take our word for it! Browse the choices yourself and make your Restaurant Week reservations today by calling each restaurant directly.

Used with permission by CRW

Best Bet for $16: The Southern
This popular music hall for singer/songwriters is also known for their creative soul food cafe. Choose one dish from each of the aptly named "Opening Acts," "Headliners," and "Encores" to experience their namesake cuisine. We're drooling over the Bacon and Sweet Potato Bisque, the Chicken and Waffle Sandwich (fried chicken with maple-bacon waffles, pepper jelly, and slaw), and the salty, crunchy Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie. Check their list of musical acts here, if you're hoping to catch a show during Restaurant Week.

Best Bet for $26: Orzo
Orzo's Restaurant Week Menu consistently has the largest selection of items to choose from. Their Mediterranean flavors and modest portions make for a consistently tasty meal, and you can enjoy them in the swanky comfort of a modern wine-bar interior decor. How about the bulghur wheat salad with smoked almonds, pomegranate, olives, red onion, and pistachio? Followed by the crispy chicken confit with preserved lemon potatoes and tandoori spices? And topped off with a slice of Italian citrus cake? Goodbye, winter doldrums, and hello, sunny Mediterranean!

Best Bet for $36: Fossett's at Keswick Hall
It was tough to narrow down our best bet for the $36 price point. But the classy service and seasonal menu at Fossett's become an absolute bargain during Restaurant Week. The "Bandera Quail" with foie gras wild rice, pickled carrots, and baby greens sounds like art on a plate. Braised Timbercreek beef (our neighbors!) with butternut squash risotto, shaved radishes, and sunflower shoots is the definition of winter comfort food. And dark chocolate pudding with pumpkin butter, local ale ice cream, and candied pumpkin seeds has totally piqued our interest. Yum!

What restaurants are on your list for Charlottesville Restaurant Week 2014? Leave a comment and tell us what you're most looking forward to tasting, and let us know how we at Foxfield Inn can help you make the most of your next food adventure in Charlottesville!

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, VA Bed & Breakfast

Monday, January 13, 2014

Date Night: Valentine's Day in Charlottesville

It may seem a little early to be thinking about Valentine's Day, but if you are planning a romantic getaway to Charlottesville, Virginia to celebrate, we at Foxfield Inn wanted to help you get a jump on making plans and reservations. Here are some suggestions for unique Valentine's Day activities.

We hand-dip chocolate-covered strawberries. Add them to your room for a special touch.

Couples Yoga
Friday, February 14, 5-7 P.M. at Ashtanga Yoga Charlottesville
If you want to reconnect with your loved one in a calming, tension-relieving, and supportive way, try this couples yoga class at Ashtanga Yoga. All skill levels are welcome - even beginners - so register online to reserve your spot.

Massage for Couples
You can add a massage to your booking with us at any time, but for Valentine's Day, sweethearts often opt for an intimate couples massage. In that case, we recommend making an appointment at City Spa or at the Boar's Head Spa. Prices vary according to package options, so call the spa directly for details and to confirm availability.

Ice Skating and Wine Tasting
Friday, February 14, 2:30-4:15 and 6:15-8:45; Saturday, February 15, 1:15-3; Sunday, February 16, 12-1:45 P.M. at Main Street Arena
For those on a budget, a round of ice skating can be an active and exciting way to spend time together (and a great excuse to hold hands!). For $10 per person per session, Main Street Arena offers four public skating sessions over the Valentine's weekend. As a bonus, if your loved one enjoys wine, head over to the Market Street Wine Shop afterwards for some free wine samples (5-7:30 on Fridays and 2-5 on Saturdays) and ask the staff for recommendations for a bottle that fits your budget.

A Romantic Dinner
If food is the fastest way to your man's (or woman's) heart, you won't want to delay making reservations at our top picks for romantic restaurants around town. Ivy InnL'EtoileClifton Inn, and C&O are our top picks with excellent food and cozy settings. Or, opt for dinner and dancing at Veritas Vineyard & Winery's Valentine's Day Winemaker's Dinner. Register online in advance (required) to enjoy a five-course meal and wine pairings followed by music and dancing.

Valentine's cookies in heart-shaped envelopes for our guests
We hope these ideas will help you plan a special Valentine's weekend in Charlottesville this year. Let us know how else we at Foxfield Inn can make your stay unforgettable.
Your Innkeepers,
Dan and Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed & Breakfast

Friday, January 10, 2014

Citrus Salads, Part 1 - Marmalade Oranges

During the cold winter months I like to have a citrus salad for breakfast. This month I will be telling you about two wonderful fruit salads that we serve at our inn.  Today's recipe is below.  Another one will be coming in a few weeks.

When we purchased Foxfield Inn 5 years ago the previous innkeeper let me use some of her recipes for a few months.  This was a great gift that Mary Pat gave me.  One of the recipes that I still make today is her special orange dish which I call Marmalade Oranges.

2          large   navel oranges (thick skinned are best)
1/3       cup      orange marmalade
4                      raspberries or maraschino cherries for garnish


Peel the oranges and remove as much of the pith as possible.  Carefully separate the oranges into individual segments and slice each into 4 pieces.  Transfer to a medium size bowl.

Warm orange marmalade in microwave for 30 seconds.  This step isn’t really necessary but it does help make the next step easier.

Stir the marmalade into the oranges until the orange pieces are covered. 

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight (which is what I do).

Spoon into 4 serving bowls and top with a raspberry or a maraschino cherry.

I hope you enjoy!

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Top 7 Free Things to do in Charlottesville

The holidays have come and gone, and we at Foxfield Inn recognize that many folks make commitments to cut back in the New Year. If spending less is one of your resolutions, and your travels bring you to Charlottesville, Virginia in the new year, check out some of the top free things to do for entertainment, education, or both. You won't have to spend a penny!

Visit the Downtown Mall and Catch a Ride on the Trolley
The Freedom of Speech Wall on the Downtown Mall
The Downtown pedestrian mall is one of the top attractions in Downtown Charlottesville. Window shopping and people-watching are always free, and you will likely find street musicians filling the air with tunes as you stroll. Check out the Freedom of Speech Wall at the Pavilion end of the Mall for crowd-sourced art and leave your own mark as well. Park in the Water Street Parking Garage, and check this list for shops and restaurants that validate parking. If you tire of walking, you might like to take a little tour of the city and UVA grounds, hop on the Charlottesville Area Transit Free Trolley whose route loops from the Downtown Mall, through UVA grounds and back (you could even hop off on Grounds to take a tour of the UVA Lawn - see below).

Tour the University of Virginia Lawn
Inside the Dome Room of the Rotunda
Historical tours of the UVA Lawn are free, and start at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm daily (when school is in session) in the basement of the Rotunda. (If you're taking the Trolley from Downtown, ask the driver to let you off at the Rotunda stop). Tour the Pantheon-inspired Rotunda that once served as the University's Library, and learn about Thomas Jefferson's vision of the "academical village" through engaging stories and anecdotes. After the tour, if the weather is nice, tour the gardens behind both sides of the Lawn or find Edgar Alan Poe's old room on the West Range.

Explore Art at the Fralin Museum
Just a short walk from the Rotunda is the newly-renovated Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. Exhibits change seasonally, and you can learn about them here. Breeze through the collection, or linger at a favorite piece. A great way to spend a peaceful afternoon.

Gaze at the Stars 
If the first or third Friday of the month is clear, head up to the McCormick Observatory at UVA to gaze at the stars through a telescope and spark your sense of wonder. The telescope, museum, and audio-visual presentations are open to the public from 7-9pm with staff on hand to answer questions. Makes a great date night!

Boost Your Spirits through Laughter
Laughter Yoga is a popular, if surprising, way to lower stress, increase energy and mental clarity, and, as the Charlottesville Laughter Yoga's webpage notes, tone abdominal muscles! Classes are held Saturday mornings (check the website for upcoming classes for a date that corresponds with your visit). Even if you feel shy at first, you might be surprised just how good you feel after giggling, chuckling, or guffawing in unison.

There are plenty of hiking options near Charlottesville,
including the Ivy Creek Natural Area, pictured here.
Go for a Hike
With the Blue Ridge Parkway nearby, Central Virginia offers a wide selection of hiking opportunities for all skill levels. Check out this post in which we detail some of the most popular nearby hikes.

Taste Local Wine or Cider
Ours is a region that lures wine enthusiasts. For a small fee, you can sample some of the region's best varietals. Some of our favorites include King Family Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard & Winery, as well as Bold Rock Cider. And if you don't have the leisure of enjoying an afternoon at a winery, why not stop by the Market Street Wine Shop near the Downtown Mall to sample blends from around the world under the expert guidance of their staff?

No matter your budget, Charlottesville offers plenty of fun activities that will allow you to experience the riches of the area for free. What sounds enticing to you? Let us know how we at Foxfield Inn can make your visit as resolution-friendly as possible.

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