Monday, December 5, 2011

Wonderful Williamsburg

I recently met with our local realtor and it went better than expected. Despite home values being down, like many areas of the country, I was surprised to hear that people are still out buying homes and they are selling faster than I would have thought.  This gives me hope that it won't be too long before we are back in Wonderful Williamsburg.  Which totally makes me want to relive our amazing trip...

We arrived late on a Wednesday evening after a long drive.  After a good night's sleep we hit Merchant's Square for breakfast before our meeting with the realtor.  We stopped in this hip little place called Aromas that serves food and coffee all day.  I had a delicious veggie quiche that had a crust that was so buttery and yummy.  I had a Honey Do latte and Rob had a very interesting white mint mocha to go along with his full breakfast.

Needless to say we are as delighted with our first taste of Williamsburg as we look!  We then took an early morning stroll around Merchant's Square which sits right between Colonial Williamsburg and the campus of the College of William and Mary.  This is the exterior of The Trellis Restaurant, home of the world famous Death by Chocolate dessert.  More on that later.

We popped over to the visitor's center at Colonial Williamsburg to pick up some info and then we went to meet Deelyn, the realtor.  She took us on a great tour of all the residential areas and we found a few neighborhoods that we will definitely give a second look to.  We toured a few homes, but it was mostly a fact finding mission.  We were out and about all day.  We finally called it a day at Second St Bistro.  What a great place!  The service and food were top notch.  I had a Grey Goose dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives that hit the spot.  I also ordered this amazing grilled salad that I'm still thinking about.

I didn't spend too much time taking pictures, the atmosphere was so nice and we just wanted to chat about our day. We both had beef dishes but I can't remember exactly what. 

Friday was sunny, chilly and windy.  We headed back to Merchant's Square for breakfast but this time at the Blue Talon Bistro.  I fell in love with this little place, I can't wait to have dinner here.  It's adorable, all French country and the food and coffee...mmmm, so good!  

I ordered the European breakfast plate but substituted the baguette for a croissant, which I used as a vehicle to get the soft butter and homemade blackberry jam into my mouth.  Rob had creamed chipped beef with poached eggs.  The cream sauce was heavenly. 

Look at that fantastic tin ceiling!

I had a hard time not stealing that bottle.  If only my purse were a bit bigger. ;)

After breakfast we took a stroll around the square and then hopped in the truck to take a leisurely drive along the scenic Colonial Parkway which connects historic Yorktown to historic Jamestown. 

One of the many scenic stops along the parkway

We arrived in Yorktown and had a stroll along the river and in the Riverwalk area, which had lots of little shops and restaurants. 

The next photo is dedicated to my Nana.  She had many sayings that have long remained in the family.  One of our favorites is "Hooray for George Washington."  So of course I had to stop by and salute General Washington.

It was so chilly,we stopped in the local Ben and Jerry's shop for hot chocolate to drink on on our ride on the parkway to Jamestown.  It was Rob's inspired idea, I didn't even notice the Ben and Jerry's shop.  I better get my eyes checked!

The Jamestown Settlement is where the first British settlers landed in 1607.  It's a museum, an active archeology site, a history buff's dream and the river views are amazing.

The Pocahontas Monument

We headed to the touristy part of town and tried to visit the huge Yankee Candle shop but it was very crowded.  We had an early supper at a cute place called Food for Thought.  It wasn't anything special, but certainly better than the alternatives like Applebee's and Chili's.  We headed back to the hotel, had  drink at the bar and had an early night. 

Saturday was the day I was most looking forward to, our tour of Colonial Williamsburg!  We hit Starbucks for lattes then parked at the visitor's center.  Although you can enter the entire area of Colonial Williamsburg without tickets (it's not a theme park like Walt Disney World) we wanted access to all the tours and buildings so we bought tickets.  It was a mild, sunny day and we were just enchanted by every bit of it.

First we wandered through the formal garden of the Governor's Palace then to the kitchen garden just outside the detached kitchen.

The "cook" is there to talk about his job and what it was like to feed the Governor and his family and all the visitors to the palace.  Lots of interaction, I asked lots of questions.

We then just walked around exploring the whole area.  Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum and it is just fascinating.

The Fife and Drum Corps, the highlight of the day!

We took the guided tour of the Governor's Palace, this is the ballroom.  They set the scene for the tour that we are guests arriving for the Governor's Ball celebrating the birth of the Governor's youngest daughter.  It was so much fun!

We walked for hours and miles and by now we were hungry.  We visited the Cheese Shop

 One of America's oldest colleges, second only to Harvard

Lord Botetourt Sculpture reproduction

Williams-Sonoma in Merchant's Square, the mother ship

After a long day of walking and touring we headed back to the car.  We originally had plans to eat at one of the Colonial taverns, the reservation was late so we parked over at Merchant's Square and bellied up to the bar at The Trellis.  We had a cocktail and chatted with the bartenders and other patrons.  The atmosphere at the bar was so lively, coupled with the thoughts of Death by Chocolate, we decided to stay and eat at the bar.  This is when my camera battery died.  D'OH!  Suffice it to say, the food was just wonderful.  I ate very light, ordering small plates as my appetizer and main course because chocolate was incoming.

This photo is courtesy of the Optima Insurance website.  But it is exactly right.  All seven layers, the malted chocolate ice cream, the handmade white chocolate truffle.  I first learned of this cake many years ago on the cooking show Death by Chocolate starring the original chef-owner of the Trellis, Marcel Desaulniers who created it.  It definitely lived up to the expectation, it was ridiculous especially the later of cocoa air!  We couldn't finish it but I would love to go back and give it another try.

Sunday was a slower day, we went to a fantastic Sunday brunch at Opus 9.  They had a chocolate fountain with strawberries to dip.  I had such a hard time not pulling a Vicar of Dibley and stick my face right in it.  Then we went back to Riverwalk at Yorktown and took a long walk along the river.  Rob was starting his new job on Monday and had to be at the office in Newport News and I had to drive home so we had an early night.  If it wasn't for Tally waiting for me I would have stayed the week with Rob.  Williamsburg is hard to leave.

For those of you who are bored at work and want to view the entire set of 201 photos, click here.

And be sure to check out the little video clip I took of the Fife and Drum Corps, I'm no Spielberg but it's pretty cool.



  1. Norman Rockwell! I used to watch Marcel all the time on public tv including his Burgermeister series...that was awesome. I'm so excited for your new adventure.

  2. What a wonderful trip - and the weather? How lucky were you??

  3. Oh thank you so much for sharing your trip! I also LOVE the food porn :D