Wednesday, January 14, 2009
On Saturday, after we visited the wineries and made a detour to check out the Plow & Hearth outlet, we headed back into Culpeper to check into our room at the Thyme Inn. This year, in a nod to tighter economic times, we booked the smallest room at the inn. But in a stroke of good luck, the inn had another guest who wanted the small room for a long term stay, so we were given a free upgrade to the largest room, the same we stayed in last year. We made a quick stop at the Frenchman’s Corner for provisions, and then spent the afternoon holed up in our room in front of the fireplace. (The room had a TV, and I did have to tolerate quite a bit of football—it’s playoff season, after all. Call it an anniversary compromise.)
We had a lovely dinner at It’s About Thyme, one of our favorite restaurants, downstairs from the inn rooms. The food is wonderful European country cuisine (big portions, with many people leaving the restaurant with leftovers), and the service is of a style I've never seen anywhere else: a whole team of employees roams the dining room in endless circles, stopping to check on every diner so often that it's almost distracting. Multiple people will try to take your drink order, and will refill your glass whenever you take the tiniest sip. If there's such a thing as too much service, It's About Thyme manages to pull it off.
On Sunday morning, we walked down the block to the Raven’s Nest coffee shop, where the barrista (a recent Fredericksburg transplant) offered friendly conversation and fresh baked goodies. We snagged some almond scones for breakfast, still warm from the oven.
Our afternoon snack, bought at the Frenchman's Corner, which sells cheeses and chocolates. The Dogfish Indian Brown Ale came from Kybecca.
It's About Thyme's "Palazzo Pot Roast," braised in red wine:
The Thyme Market is next door to the restaurant, and sells all kinds of gourmet foods, including upscale sandwiches and deli salads, plus dinner entrees and pizza. The special of the day was suckling pig.
Here's a new boutique hotel called the Suites at 249 that just opened up on the main shopping street in Culpeper:
The Plow and Hearth Outlet, about 20 min. south of Culpeper, has lots of stuff. I'd always wanted to check this place out, since I like their catalog, but nothing called out to me. Take away the fancy photography, and it really is just a lot of stuff I don't need.