Wandering Through Williamsburg

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday! This week, while we are wandering off to our next (and final!) wedding of 2012, I am sending you back in time to the 1700’s to Williamsburg, Virginia!

This past summer Coach and I went to the revolutionary epicenter of America, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, one of our favorite touristy-type spots. Anything you want to learn about colonial life in Revolutionary times, you will find it here in intricate detail,

where actors and performers portray colonial men and women working and living as they did in the 1700’s, in startlingly realistic fashion.

Stroll down the Duke of Gloucester Street, which appears as it did in the 1700’s, and you will find most shops and taverns lovingly restored and maintained through the efforts of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

This is one of our favorite shops, owned by Mr. Prentis,

a purveyor of authentically fine colonial goods.

Since there is so much rustic architecture and beautiful hand-wrought brick and iron works, I decided to attempt to photograph the alphabet letters that spell Williamsburg. Not as easy as one might think! So use your imagination as I take you on the tour…

ig Makers Shop. These two lovely ladies patiently answered questions about where and when wigs were made and worn…by the colonial men!

ron Works were being created in the Blacksmith’s Shop, where despite the blazing heat and the roaring fires, the workers answered questions from the crowd.

Throughout Williamsburg you can see their handiwork, like this beautiful garden gate at the Governer’s Palace.

ivestock abound throughout Williamsburg, and can be found pulling carts and supplies.

When they weren’t working, they were resting behind post and rail fences, munching on lush green pastures.

ittle Lambs having their lunch-baaah!

nspired signs decorate the buildings, telling the story of the offerings inside. This mug of ale beckons the thirsty traveler into Chownings Tavern.

rchaeological dig sites spotted behind the buildings. Since Williamsburg has so much history buried beneath it’s pathways, dig sites are set up to unearth treasures from the 1700’s.

Many of the items for sale in the local shops, like this blue Delft jug

these salt and pepper vessels

and this politically-inspired teapot, are replicas of period pieces discovered under the ground. (you’ll have to ask Coach about the Stamp Act)

illinery Shop. These ladies spend their days stitching and creating hand-sewn dresses, skirts and accessories.

tomping the clay to created the thousands of bricks used annually to build and maintain the streets and pathways. Many of the characters that perform in the town are actually students at the College of William and Mary, whose campus sits adjacent to Williamsburg Proper.

irds for pie-baking. Four and twenty at least!!

nder the hot summer sun, women wore these colorful straw bonnets to keep cool and protected.

einactments are performed throughout the day, as soldiers and town folk tell the story of the days leading up to the American Revolution.

loves from the Milliner’s Shop, worn by the town’s gentrified elite.

So that was my walking tour, sharing some of my fav pics from Williamsburg. If you have an interest in American History, and you have the opportunity, Williamsburg Virginia is a must-see! Have a revolutionary day! Susan

A Revolutionary Dinner for Two

This past week, Coach and I took a road trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. If you have never been, it is well worth the trip, as you step back in time to explore the history of our Founding Fathers and the American Revolution as it unfolds. It was a long drive (well, a lot shorter and less harrowing than I imagine it was on horseback in the 1700’s!) with only one pit stop, but the anniversary dinner gifted from our children was worth the 600 mile drive alone!

At A Chef’s Kitchen on Prince George Street, Chef John Gonzalez treats his guests to a memorable evening of great food paired with great “find” wines. His “revolutionary” concept: one meal, one seating each night, menus varied with the seasons. Brilliant! That whole “teach a man to fish” concept makes for dinner classes that are fun, entertaining and absolutely delicious. In his adjacent shop, he sells wines, along with many of his favorite ingredients, so you can re-create his fabulous recipes at home.

The five course meal, paired with some of his favorite wines, is prepared in front of a “studio audience”-lucky us!- while Chef Gonzalez and his sous chef provide full instructions, valuable cooking tips and the recipes as well. 

As we entered the kitchen/studio, we were greeted with starters of Goat Cheese rolled in Macadamia Nuts and Figs and Prosciutto

paired with a glass of Charles de Fere Blanc de Blanc from France.  

Below are the five amazing courses, each one yummier than the previous (it may be the wine talking, but I have to say this was one of the best restaurant meals we have had for quite some time). For this blog, I am providing photos and descriptions, but no recipes (I don’t have enough room!) However, if you wish to email me @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com for a specific recipe, I will be happy to send it to you.

First Course: Roasted Sweet Corn and Vidalia Onion Soup with Chive Oil and Rosemary Sour Dough Croutons.

Paired with Josef Bauer Gruner Veltliner 2011.

Second Course: Summer Squash Salad with Grilled Romaine, Lavender Infused Honey and Mustard Dressing  with A Chef’s Kitchen Skillet Baked Corn Bread (Well, apparently I was so excited about WHAT I was eating that I neglected to take a photo!) This is the sous chef explaining how to grill Romaine Lettuce without burning it.

Third Course: Shrimp Wrapped Cheaspeake Jumbo Lump Crab with Toasted Macadamias and Vodka-Spiked Watermelon with Red Onions.

Paired with Chateau de Valcombe Syrah-Grenache Rose 2011

Fourth Course: Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Kurabuta Pork Tenderloin with Pepper-Cured Bacon, Braised Leeks, Whole Grain Mustard Sauce and Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes.

Paired with Campos de Luz Old Vine Grenache 2010.

Final Course: Raspberry Key Lime Pie with Chocolate Crumble Crust and Lewes Dairy Soft-Whipped Cream.  The Chef created these beautiful plates for us and several other diners who were celebrating anniversaries and birthdays!! Took a few moments, but well worth the wait.

So, if you ever find yourself in Williamsburg, Virginia, and looking for a way to spend an entertaining and delicious evening, make sure to stop by A Chef’s Kitchen for a fantastic dining experience! Now it’s on to the Duke of Gloucester Street! Susan

%d bloggers like this: