Craftsman Happenings

October 1, 2014

Happy October! Best month of the year – for obvious reasons : )

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We finished up September with a bang, and I have lots to share that’s been going on around Charlottesville. Just a few of the reasons why I love calling this place home!

Brookville + The Craftsman

Last week Matt and I were invited to attend an event celebrating the Craftsman. At first I thought this might be an amazing chance to learn about the history of beautiful Craftsman bungalows, but alas, it was a celebration of those who have honed a craft.

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The event was put on by Worth Higgins & Associates, a company out of Richmond specializing in all things printed, from letterpress to books. They printed the latest edition of Our Local Commons the book, which details a gorgeous journey through the Charlottesville food scene.

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But before the event began, Matt and I took advantage of our date night and went to Brookville for a cocktail!

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I had a Peach Julep – delicious!! (Brookville is working on a pumpkin spice cocktail so I must go back soon!)

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Brookville is one of our favorite date night spots, and Chef Harrison is always so welcoming. He sent out these bites on the house for us to taste!

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Mini corn dogs made with local pork and a house-made mustard sauce

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And the best biscuit EVER!!! Seriously. Biscuits are all over the Brookville menu right now! Served with cream cheese and house-made pepper jelly.

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At the Craftsman event we nibbled on some more bites – like these little tomato soups with grilled cheese. A Pimento Catering outdid themselves again!

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Mingle, mingle

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The heart of the night was a panel by some of the Cville Craftsmen and Craftswomen – Our Local Commons, Potter’s Craft Cider, Free Union Grass Farm and Lumi Juice. It was great to hear how each of these entrepreneurs got started as well as the challenges and light bulb moments they had along the way.

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We sadly had to leave before dessert was served because Matt had an early wake-up, but I hear it was good!

The Oakhurst Inn + Rocksalt

The Oakhurst Inn is a new boutique hotel adjacent to the University of Virginia. The inn asked if I’d like to spend the night in exchange for a blog post sharing the my experience. How often do you get to be a guest in your own hometown? I couldn’t think of a better staycation!

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The inn is three – get this – Craftsman-era – buildings that have been renovated to include 17 guest rooms and 10 suites. They were charming on the outside and in.

Here is a bit about the history of the properties:

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“Dr. Paul Barringer and his family built the boarding houses at 100 & 102 Oakhurst Circle at a time when there were few dormitories for the growing student body. Barringer was founder of UVA Hospital and Chairman of the Faculty before serving as President of Virginia Tech. Upon retiring in 1913 he returned to Charlottesville and lived at 100 Oakhurst while letting extra rooms to medical students. The buildings continued to serve as student housing until the renovation began in 2012.”

We were treated to a Queen Suite for the night.

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The décor is a cross between vintage old house and modern European – really cool!

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The beds are all custom built and have pull-down night stands (with outlets!)

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The décor details were unique, and were a blend of classic and new. We really liked having a ceiling fan and TV in the room and that old phone was a nice touch.

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The bathroom was especially European with an open glass shower and pedestal sink

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And the Malin + Goetz Bergamot Body Wash was my favorite!

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The inn is perfect for anyone visiting the University – prospective students, speakers, visitors of the hospital, etc. The location is steps away from Grounds so you can walk everywhere. While you do have to valet your car for a fee (though parking is free on weekends), there is plenty of parking available in the garage next door. We loved the personal attention (like the turn-down service) and charm of the whole experience and thought it beat out a standard chain hotel in all the details.

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Matt and I took advantage of our toddler-less time and went up to Stonefield for dinner to try out the brand new restaurant Rocksalt! I am in love with its open-air bar! {FYI, there is one opening in Charlotte too!}

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Inside is modern and open with lots of cool details – I loved the string lights overhead.

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I had a hard time choosing between vino and a cocktail, but ultimately wine won,.

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Rocksalt is owned by one of the co owners of the Rappahannock Oyster Co., so there are lots of oysters on the menu (including a separate raw bar menu!) As a seafood lover, I couldn’t have been more excited.

Matt and I shared the Barcat Oyster Chowder to start – it was the perfect example of creamy-but-not-too-rich.

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And we shared the Lamb and Clams, which lived up to its reputation. The BROTH!

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For our entrees I had the Grilled Virginia Sea Scallops served with a vegetable hash and country ham dressing. I loved the salty ham with the scallops.

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And Matt had the Braised Border Springs Lamb topped with Green Harissa that was out of this world.

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The seafood was awesome, but this flourless chocolate cake topped with a toasted MARSHMALLOW was my favorite part. We weren’t planning to get dessert and then I saw one of these walk by and had to see what it was all about. The “cake” was almost like a ganache, and I’m pretty sure the marshmallow, which was torched to a golden brown, was homemade.

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When we returned to the Oakhurst Inn, our room was cozy from turn-down service with cookies on the pillow! I wasn’t too full to take a nibble of one – soft and chewy gingersnap awesomeness!

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We also had a carafe of chilled water that was much appreciated : )

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After a good night’s rest we relaxed in bed sipping espresso for a while. More than anything else staying in bed is something I miss from my pre-baby days. A little Good Morning America and caffeine hit the spot!

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There are libraries throughout the inn that are filled with books and stocked with drinks.

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And that’s where we found the Nespresso machine! Loved the foam!

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A short walk down a pebble path and you’ll find the coffeehouse and café owned by the inn. It’s open to the public for breakfast, lunch and coffee drinks.

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We started with a few more frothy drinks (decaf this time or I would have shaken myself out of my clothes!)

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The menu was full of gourmet dishes – it was hard to decide!! They even had a savory oatmeal, which I almost got.

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But I just had to go with the Buckwheat Shortcakes!! These were absolutely divine. We think there were flecks of rosemary in the batter which made for a hint of savory rising out of all the sweet. I forgot to ask for the syrup on the side – I’d recommend that next time because it was pretty decadent!

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My side of breakfast asparagus helped healthen things up : )

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Matt had the Eggs Meurette – wine-poached eggs with shitake mushrooms, bacon and asparagus. Delicious!! We traded several bites of each other’s to balance the flavors.

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We’ll definitely consider coming back for breakfast sometime. Go and get those shortcakes!!

Disclosure: Our stay and breakfast were courtesy of the Oakhurst Inn

{ 26 comments }

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