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Benny Scarpetta’s-Home of the Virginia Slice

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Benny Scarpetta's

Mural inside the restaurant.

Benny Scarpetta’s, it’s finally here!  Downtown Lynchburg,

Located at 1019 Main Street, in what was the former The Famous men’s clothing and shoe store for decades, Scarpetta’s is Italian for “little shoe.”  The 13 other Benny’s have different names and character to differentiate themselves from the other locations.  Usually found in the downtown area of other cities, large and small, each Benny’s fits its location.

Benny Scarpetta's

Take out box for their 28″ pizza

The menu is simple and concise.  Known for their 28-inch pizza, which feeds eight, the pizza is sold by the individual slice or the whole pie.  All of the pizzas have a signature five-cheese blend.  All of the ingredients are sourced from local famers.  Offering three types of pizza cheese, pepperoni and sausage pizzas plus a monthly meat and veggie special you can eat in or take away.  The interior is eclectic with murals on the walls and wild colors throughout.  Open 7 days each week, Sunday thru Wednesday, 11 am until 12 am and Thursday thru Saturday, 11 am until 2am.  Now you know where to go any hour of the day or night for your pizza fix.

We tried the cheese and sausage slice recently and it was good.  The crust is thin and crispy, the sauce is slightly sweet and Mike even enjoyed the cheese topping–just enough for him and he likes lots of cheese.  We will try a specialty slice next.  With pizza this good, you should expect a wait unless you are there at an off time.

For more information visit www.bennysva.com or call them at 434.528.5111.  Follow them on Facebook.  Benny Scarpetta’s will soon be a Lynchburg favorite.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Michael and Kathy from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.

The Festy Experience 2016

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Experience live music at Festi

Experience live music at Festy!

The 7th Annual Festy experience will take place in Nelson County, VA October 7 thru 9, 2016, Columbus Day Weekend.

This year’s unique, family friendly, fun festival will be set up at the Nelson County Preserve.  Located on 350+ acres there will be plenty of space for the stages, music, outdoor activities, camping (in various formats), food and drink vendors and much more.

Festy

Music has always been the mainstay of the Festy Experience, but the Experience is much more.  Talented well-known musicians along with obscure newcomers will be featured throughout the 3 days.  Included this year are the Infamous Stringdusters, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lee Ann Womack, Sam Bush Band, Steep Canyon Rangers and many, many more.

In addition to the music you will find plenty of outdoor activities to participate in: Disc Golf, ultimate frisbee, kickball, soccer, volleyball, a rock climbing wall, guided nature tours, trail runs, hosted bike rides, yoga and the 21st Annual Blue Ridge Burn–5K/10K run.

If you are visiting for the day or the weekend there will be a variety of food and drink vendors, including an on-site café near the camping area.  For those staying at the Preserve there will be unlimited showers available this year.

Tickets range in price and accessibility:

  • Day-Tripper Weekend Festival Pass: $100 per person–access to festival only
  • Day-Tripper Single Day Pass: $40 per person, per day–access to festival only
  • Camping Weekend Festival Pass: $150 per person–access to festival, campground and showers

The Nelson County Preserve is located about 37 miles from Lynchburg, just north of Colleen.  Those attendees not wanting to “rough it” may choose to stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.

For more detailed information visit www.thefesty.com or call 434.220.4000.  It’s been a fun event in the past and we can assume it will be a fun event again this year.

Classic Buttermilk Waffles

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Buttermilk waffle

Buttermilk waffle with fresh berries

Light, crispy waffles topped with a variety of fruits are a popular breakfast entree served at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  We top these yummy waffles with fresh fruit during the summer months and with dried or canned fruit during the winter months.  Oftentimes we include nuts, whipped cream or even granola with the fruit topping.  Use your creativity!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat your waffle iron.  (We use a large Belgium waffle iron).  In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and slat.  In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft, glossy peaks form.  In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk and butter.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, then fold in the egg whites.

Spoon or pour about 1 cup of the batter onto the hot waffle iron.  Close the lid.  Bake until the waffle is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove with a fork to a warm plate.  Serve at once, or keep warm on a baking rack in a 200° oven.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

Top with a topping of your choice. The above picture is with fresh strawberries, but you can use whatever fruit you have on hand or skip the fruit and enjoy.

 

Bawdy Ladies of Lynchburg, Virginia

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Bawdy Ladies

Graves at Old City Cemetery–Bawdy Ladies Tour

On Sunday, September 25th, between 3:00-4:00 pm the Old City Cemetery will host it’s Bawdy Ladies of Lynchburg tour.

Lynchburg’s Bawdy ladies have been part of Lynchburg’s history since the very beginning of Lynchburg.  Between 1805 until 1910 census and court records state there were at least 535 ladies of ill repute living and working in Lynchburg, VA.

In early Lynchburg the houses of ill repute were primarily located on Jefferson Street, Commerce Street (then known as Lynch Street), Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Streets.  This area was known as Buzzard’ s Roost.  Along with the bordellos there were plenty of bars and gambling houses found in this area of the city.

During the Civil War many of these “ladies” worked in the Confederate hospitals as nurses, cooks and laundresses.  Many of these same “ladies” contributed monetarily to the cause.  Some acted as spies and were said to pass along secrets learned from soldiers they were tending to in the hospitals.

Do you know how the term hooker came to be attributed to ladies of ill repute?  During the Civil War (1861-1865) many women became camp followers in Joseph Hooker’s Union Army brigade.  These women, primarily from Washington, D.C. brothels, became known as “Hooker’s Division” or “Hooker’s Brigade”.

After the war, in the early 1900’s, the “sporting houses” (as the houses of ill repute were called in Lynchburg) moved to Monroe, Jackson and Fourth Streets.  This area was now known as “The Hill”.  Between 1907 until 1910 there were at least 31 sporting houses in this area.  The Hill was active until the mid-60’s.  The last Madam of Fourth Street, Tootsie Clay, was arrested in 1964.  She was sent out of town instead of to jail due to her declining health.  Interestingly enough we have had a guest at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, from the Tidewater area, who’s father used to travel to Lynchburg, by train, in the late 50′ and early 60’s to visit the sporting houses.  Not sure why the father shared this information with his son, but it does substantiate the fact that Lynchburg was well-known for it’s sporting ladies.

This years’ walking tour will again by led by Nancy Weiland.  Her interest and research into the Bawdy Ladies of Lynchburg began in 1982.  She will be guiding the tour group throughout the cemetery, over uneven ground and up and down hills on Sunday the 25th.  Meet at the Old City Cemetery Gate by 3:00 pm, located at 401 Taylor Street.  This tour is free, advance reservations are not required.  Questions should be directed to the cemetery office, 434.847.1465.

Even if you have attended a Bawdy Ladies tour in the past it is worth your time to attend again this year.  Each year different ladies are discussed and their lives explained.  Mike and I always find it interesting how many of the ladies became prominent citizens of Lynchburg once they retired from the sporting life.  They married former mayors, police chiefs and local politicians.  If you stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we will be touring along with you.

Altus Chocolate

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Altus Chocolate

Altus Chocolate…Which one do I choose?

Altus Chocolate, located on Main Street in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia there is a hidden gem…..Altus,  Latin, meaning high or lofty, creates phenomenal artisan chocolate.  Choose from delectable hand-made, in house, truffles, bars, bark, pastries, cakes or slices of cake, brownies or macaroons, even fondue.  In addition to their chocolate creations they serve a variety of hot and cold drinks (both made from chocolate and not), gelato and wine.  How about a wine and chocolate pairing?

store, Altus Chocolate

Interior of Altus Chocolate

What is “bean-to-bar,” single origin artisan chocolate?

Organic Cocoa Beans

Cocoa Beans at Altus Chocolate

“Bean-to-Bar” signifies a chocolate maker who selects cocoa beans and then handcrafts these beans into their own chocolate.  Made in small batches the cocoa beans at Altus Chocolate are sourced from responsible, organic growers, then roasted, winnowed, ground and molded at Altus Chocolate into the appropriate candy or delicious chocolate treat.

“Single Origin” refers to one source.  One variety of cacao beans, grown

on one farm or in one region, unblended with any other beans.  Using single origin cacao beans create chocolate with a unique flavor profile.  No preservatives, chemicals or fillers are used in any of the products made at Altus Chocolate.  Much like a fine wine or coffee you will be able to taste the difference when eating these chocolates.

Raw Cocoa Beans

Raw Cocoa Beans

There are three types of cacao beans used in making chocolate.  Altus Chocolate uses Criollo and Trinitario beans, exclusively.  Criollo beans are considered the finest bean variety, while Trinitario beans are considered fine.  These beans make up approximately 5% of the entire world’s cacao production. These beans produce chocolates that lack the bitter properties typically associated with high cacao percentages as found in great chocolates.

The making of hand-crafted, artisan chocolate is a time consuming one.  After securing a sustainable, free-trade source of cacao beans, raw cane sugar, organic, non-GMO soy lecithin and hormone-free nonfat milk powder the ingredients are in place.

Here is the process of creating artisan chocolate:

  1. The beans are roasted to remove their natural fermentation by drying and to release the beans individual flavor profile.
  2. They are then winnowed to remove the husk from the cacao nibs, found inside the bean.
  3. Grinding takes place for a period of between 24-48 hours, per batch.  The grinding process removes excess moisture, helps develop the beans individual flavor profile and reduces the particle size to produce the desired mouth feel.
  4. Next the beans are tempered.  Tempering is the process of precise heating, cooling and agitation to create the sheen and crisp snap of a fine chocolate.
  5. Once tempered the chocolate is ready to be molded or to have a truffle dipped into it.
  6. Lastly it’s time to taste, enjoy and savor this fine creation!

Altus Chocolate offers a bean-to-bar chocolate tour and tasting, coffee pairings, tea pairings and wine and chocolate tastings.  Reservations must be made ahead of time, 434.847.2970.  The tours and tastings start at $7.00 per person.

From their artisan truffles to their single origin dark chocolate tasting squares you will not be disappointed.  Altus Chocolate located at 908 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA.  Open Monday through Thursday 11:00-8:00, Friday 11:00-10:00, Saturday 10:00-10:00 and Sunday 12:30-8:00.

Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast have the option of requesting a box of truffles or tasting bars for their turn down service.  They can be added to our packages, in place of other chocolates, if desired, just let us know when booking your reservation, 434.846.1388.

 

 

Get Downtown 2016!

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Band at previous Get Downtown

Band at previous Get Downtown

Lynchburg, Virginia’s Get Downtown will be celebrating it’s 8th anniversary on Friday, September 9th.

What is Get DowntownLynchburg’s Main Street celebration highlighting it’s restaurants, stores and shops, galleries and so much more.

This street festival is held on and around Main Street, between 6:00 – 9:00 pm.  You will find all types of activities, vendors, artisans and artists, food tastings, theatrical performances, scavenger hunts, a kids’ zone at the Lynchburg Community Market, music on three stages, a dunk tank and in general a fun, family-friendly evening.

Musicians include: Paris Jones, Tony Camm and the MG Allstars, the Cabell Street Collective, Hemingway, The Dundies, DJ Ed and Band and The Beat.  Keys for the Hill City will be played at their three downtown locations by people attending the festival or perhaps by semi-professionals–always fun to hear.  On the Academy of Arts stage the Academy Center of the Arts youth theater group will perform, along with Dance Lynchburg, The Listening, Randolph College and Wolfbane Productions.

Street performance at previous Get Downtown

Street performance at previous Get Downtown

Not ready for the evening to end?  Between the hours of 8:30 – 12:00 you can Stay Downtown.  More fun will be had at The Glasshouse where Jenny and the B-Side Rockers will be performing.  R*A will be hosting a block party.  The Academy Center of the Arts will be showing Saturday Night Fever at 9:00 pm.  Other locations in downtown Lynchburg will be adding to the Stay Downtown activities, so keep you eyes open.

A shuttle will run from the James River Conference Center to downtown, in 20 minute loops.  Between 5:45 – 9:30 pm you can park your car and be delivered to the fun (as parking is extremely limited and scarce in downtown this evening).

So wear your comfortable walking shoes and enjoy a stroll up and down Main Street while observing or participating in all of the activities.  For more information visit www.getdowntownlynchburgva.com.  We’ll see you there!