Ever since cFl’s younger son decided to attend Woodberry Forest School, she has been touting the delights to be found in and around the fairly rural county of Orange. Turns out that rural does not mean backward as those of us used to more urban living so often assume. Like nearby Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Orange County is sophisticated and full of enough captivating pleasures that you’ll want to share them with your posse or your spouse.
Since January kMg and I have journeyed to Gordonsville
and beyond for a few low key escapes. Each visit encouraged us to plot our next return. Only about 75 minutes away, day trips are no-brainers, though an overnight stay at one of the charming inns and B&Bs dotting the rolling countryside would be lovely, too. Either way, kMg and I recommend
The Market at Grelen.
The top of our Orange County bucket list has been to visit The Market at Grelen.
We finally found the time a few weeks ago and couldn’t have been more satisfied. Hundreds of acres set in bucolic hills
just north of Gordonsville and west of Orange have been supplying Piedmont homes with trees and shrubs since 2003.
More recently, the nursery has expanded to include a considerable gift shop and market cafe offering indoor and outdoor dining.
Grelen also offers covered event space with incredible views and Thursday night concerts during the summer season. Locally sourced products, many of which are grown on Grelen’s own property, highlighted our tasty lunch, which we just had to top off with a sample of two of their homemade ice creams.
If you are in the market for beautiful outdoor furnishings and statuary,
Grelen likely has just what you need. The whole operation, including the friendly staff, provides loads of inspiration for your own gardens.
Make a day of your visit and bring your hiking shoes: Grelen’s trails will provide your 10,000 steps while discovering why people love visiting Virginia’s beautiful Piedmont region.
Open from March – December, Grelen provides specific information on events and what is growing here. We can’t wait to go back and would love to enjoy dinner under the stars
with live music in the background. We would begin the day
The joys of antiquing with your posse is two-fold: the thrill of the hunt and the sharing of reminisces that different objects bring to mind. Start at the Gordonsville Antiques and Flea Market
on your way into that town. Filled to the rafters with tchotkes from days gone by, you’ll find yourself strolling down memory lane for at least an hour. If the antiquing bug really bites, forget the more modern pleasures of Gordonsville, turn left onto Route 33 and wind your way to Ruckersville just outside of Orange County. High and low antique/vintage shops dot the intersection of Route 33 and Route 29 heading south to Charlottesville. If you manage to get them all in, by the time you are done, you will be ready for dinner, whether at Grelen or
Hope you have made your reservation for this small bistro set in the middle of Main Street in Gordonsville.
Pomme packs people in for a taste of France in the Piedmont.
The gorgeous presentations, charming French country decor and delicious bites keep patrons coming back to this culinary outpost.
With wineries like the Zagat-recommended Barboursville and picturesque inns and B&Bs still to discover in Orange County, look for us to continue burning up I-64 to Route 15 North whenever we can get some of the posse together. Want to come along? Let us know when you are free. We are always in the market for a girl’s trip.
July 13, 2016