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Summer Solstice Festival

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Come join the party at the Summer Solstice Wine Festival at Lazy Days Winery.

Lazy Days Winery, located at 1351 Amherst Highway, Amherst, VA, is celebrating the kick off of summer with their 10th annual Summer Solstice Festival.  Taking place on Saturday, June 23, 2018 between 11 until 6 it’s an easy way to relax, enjoy and celebrate summer in Central Virginia.  Lazy Days Winery is located in what was once the Central Virginia Stockyard.

This popular event is suited to the whole family.  At least 8 wineries will be offering tastings and sales, festival food will be available throughout the day (including Virginia peanuts, jerky plus local growers offering fruits and veggies), 30 artisans and crafts vendors will be selling their wares, live music will be presented throughout the day on 2 stages (in the dell and in the pavilion), 2 performances by a Belly Dancing troupe and for the little ones a petting zoo.

Tickets are available as general admission, $10 and as wine tasting tickets, $20 in advance and $25 at the gate.  Each wine tasting ticket comes with a Lazy Days Winery glass.  Children are free.

For more information call 434.381.6088 or visit http://www.summersolsticefestival.com.

 

 

Lynchburg Restaurant Week 2018

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Bootleggers on Bluffwalk in Lynchburg is participating in Restaurant Week.

It’s that time again!  Restaurant Week 2018 is back for its 7th year.  June 23 -30, 2018.  More restaurants are participating this year than ever before.  And for the first time, the restaurants have set their own prices on their discounted menus, which will allow for much more creativity and menu choices for you.  The charity benefiting from this years proceeds is Meals on Wheels of Central Virginia.  25 percent of the business sponsorship will be received by this incredible organization that helps many in the Lynchburg area.

Many of the 2018 restaurants have been generously participating from the beginning.  “Old” favorites include Crown Sterling, the Depot Grille, Farm Basket, Isabella’s, Jimmy’s on the James, Neighbor’s Place and Shoemakers.  New participants include Bootleggers, Choice Hibachi Buffet, El Jefe, Fire & Hops Taphouse, Iron & Ale, My Dog Duke’s Diner and Trio.  As in years past the restaurants are spread throughout Lynchburg.  Many are downtown and will showcase all that downtown is becoming–a vibrant dining scene.  Others are a bit further from the core of Lynchburg in Wyndhurst, Cornerstone and Forest.  All have pulled together delicious menu options, some starting at a low of 3 courses for $15.  A few restaurants are offering a lunch and dinner menu with different choices for each meal.  What a perfect way to explore one of Lynchburg’s new restaurants or to try an old favorite you have been ignoring.

A few of the menu choices include:

  • Starters: crab and brie soup, pretzel bites with beer cheese, frickle chips, Cajun krab dip, Thai chili calamari, queso fundido, jalapeno poppers or fried green tomatoes and mozzarella stack.
  • Main course options include:  kickin’ Cajun chicken, sundried tomato pesto chicken with cavatappi noodles, porky fig pizza, herb crusted cod nicoise, salmon imperial, chicken and waffles, Tuscan skewers and a cheezy western.
  • Don’t forget dessert: fried Oreos, tres leche, cannoli, toasted coconut ice cream sundae, Key lime pie, chocolate blackout cake or a blondie brownie.

For a complete listing of participating restaurants, hours, sample menus, and ore details visit www.LynchburgRestaurantWeek.com.  Start planning your week of dining out now, you’ll be glad you did!

As always, if you are staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast you are within walking distance to all of downtown’s great dining options.  And don’t forget the Hopper runs each evening if you’d like to visit several participating restaurants without walking from one to the other.

 

Taco Shark

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Taco Shark Food Truck

Taco Shark was one of Lynchburg, Virginia’s first food trucks, opening in 2013, in downtown Lynchburg.  They can still be found on Main Street or in Miller Park at Food Truck Thursdays.

Taco Shark carries traditional tacos with chicken, steak and even tofu.  But it’s their untraditional ingredients that keep their customers coming back for more or to try a new taco sensation.  Have you had barbeque pulled pork, chorizo sausage and sweet potatoes in a corn or flour tortilla?  Top your taco with roasted corn, black bean salsa, fresh-made pico de gallo and chipotle crema.  They almost always offer a vegetarian option or two.

The menu is constantly changing so that customers can try something new or stick with their old favorite.  But one thing is for sure, you want to visit this food truck often, coming back for more.

If you are interested in booking a food truck for a private event Taco Shark would like to be considered.  You can reach them at www.tacoshark.com

Good Karma Tea Company

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Good Karma Tea photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Good Karma Tea Company

Founded in 2012 by sisters, Cameo and Lyndsey Hoyle, Good Karma Tea Company has found its niche in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Good Karma Tea Company is a tea wholesaler and retailer that promotes and supports well-being.  They are dedicated to holistic healing through teas, herbs and wellness practices.

Good Karma blends organic loose leaf artisan teas and tisanes by hand.  The blends taste good and are good for you.  The fine organic ingredients create unique flavor profiles and enhance the natural healing properties of the body.  Herbal teas focus on common ailments such as sleep, allergies and pain relief.  The teas and tisanes strengthen the immune system and promote cognitive preservation.

Teas offered include white, green, black, herbal, oolong, yerba mate, pur-erh, rooibos and single origin.  The teas are sold in 1 ounce or 4 ounce packages.  A “tea love club” was formed for those who like to purchase a selection of teas for either 4 month, 8 months or 12 months at a time.  In addition to teas and tisanes the store also sells tea accessories.  The most important accessory may be the steeping kit that contains 3 small hour glasses each filled with 3 different colors of sand.  Depending on the type of tea you will be steeping you select the appropriate hour glass, for a perfect cup of tea every time.

The shop and tea room periodically offer a variety of events, demonstrations and tastings.  The calendar of events can be found on their web site www.sipgoodkarma.com

Located at 174 Norfolk Avenue, just around the corner from the Corner at Rivermont, the store is open Tuesday through Saturday between 10 until 6.  Sunday they are open between 11 until 4.  For more information you can call 434.515.2058.  It’s a perfect spot to visit this Memorial Day weekend after you have done some hiking or biking on the Blackwater Creek Trails.  Take a break and enjoy their porch or patio.

Although most of our guests, at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, drink coffee in the morning at breakfast we are now offering Good Karma Tea blends as our featured “tea of the day.”  Come stay with us and we will prepare you your own pot of tea!

Searching for the Overseer’s House

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As our blog followers know we find Poplar Forest an interesting, thought provoking and unique treasure in the Lynchburg, VA area.  This month we are highlighting some current archaeological work being pursued at Poplar Forest.

During the summer of 2017 the first archaeological steps to locate the overseer’s house were begun. Located on a lot adjacent to Poplar Forest students from the annual Field School in Historic Archaeology and Landscapes conducted a six-week study of a plot of land.  Excavating a total of 26 shovel test pits and 7 five-foot excavation units many “treasures” dating to the late 18th-early 19th century were found.

Artifacts included handwrought and machine cut nails, window glass, melted glass, fragments of ceramic vessels, an iron buckle and a coat sleeve button.  A large quantity of slag, the waste product from blacksmithing, was also found.  It is now assumed that the area studied is only the edge of the site and that it probably extends onto other properties located just outside of the land currently owned by Poplar Forest.

Why is the location of this house important?  The structure was likely one of the earliest to be built on the plantation, possibly as early as the 1760’s.  This structure would have been a center of activity until Jefferson built the octagonal retreat house in 1806.  Determining the whereabouts of the overseer’s house will assist in determining how the plantation was originally laid out in the years prior to the construction of Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s retreat house.

It is thought that Thomas Jefferson wrote the majority of his book, Notes on the State of Virginia, in the overseer’s house while he was convalescing after a fall from his horse.  The book is a statement of Jefferson’s principles and is a reflection of his wide-ranging tasks and talents.  It deals with culture, comments about social phenomena and his political and social philosophies.

As always, a trip to Polar Forest will teach you something new or expose you to a new idea or thought presented by Thomas Jefferson.

 

 

What’s Behind the Name Poplar Forest?

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Rear view of Poplar Forest showing the poplar trees of Thomas Jefferson’s time.

Whether you live in the Lynchburg, VA area or not we know many of our readers and guests at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast have taken the time to visit historic Poplar Forest.  While touring this magnificent house and the grounds did you ever wonder why Poplar Forest is called Poplar Forest?

Thomas Jefferson built his retreat adjacent to a poplar forest, in Bedford County, in part to honor the majestic tree that grew prolifically in the woods surrounding his property.

Thomas Jefferson was an experienced builder.  While building his retreat he specified certain woods for specific uses and functions.  The heartwood from old-growth poplar trees was prized for exterior as well as interior features.  Poplar wood was used for structural members of the house such as joists and  rafters.  It was used for the Doric balusters of the classical roof balustrade.  The trim found both outside and inside the house were hand-molded from poplar wood.

Poplar wood is scarce today due to the fact that a living tree must be felled in its prime.  If left to become a full, mature tree–in 200-300 years–the heartwood will rot and disappear.  The poplar wood used by Jefferson was sawed by hand with pit saws operated by enslaved labor.

Surrounding Poplar Forest, the mansion, you will see five Jefferson-era poplar trees on the north side of the house.  Today these trees are more valuable as historical landscape features rather than sources of lumber.  In 2000 one large poplar tree was taken down.  It did have some usable heartwood that has been used for moldings in the house: bases, chair rails, architraves and entablatures.  This interior trim is also being made by hand, as in Jefferson’s day.

The next time you visit Poplar Forest, as there is always something new to see or experience, take a few moments to walk the perimeter of the house.  Look up at the magnificent poplar trees.  Imagine Thomas Jefferson and his grand daughters staring at these same trees, many, many years ago.

As extra incentive to visit and tour Poplar Forest if you visit on Saturday, May 12th an architectural restoration talk and tour will be offered.  During this special talk and tour you will learn how the restoration architects, architectural historians and craftsmen are meticulously restoring Jefferson’s vision for this stately mansion.  These tours are at 11 and 2 on the 12th.  Reservations are suggested.  Regular tour admission prices apply.