Colonial Williamsburg: 5 Best Things I Ate

August 13, 2013

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This post is brought to you by Colonial Williamsburg. Book your stay at

This post has been waiting in the wings – hope you are still hungry for the food details of our Colonial Williamsburg trip! Instead of going through every meal in detail, here are the five best things I ate:


1) A house-made root beer float at Chowning’s

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It has been years since I’d had an ice cream float and when I found out they make the root beer themselves, I had to try one. Talk about a refreshing dessert on a hot day!! Loved all of that creamy foam.


Also at Chowning’s we loved the ale sampler we tried – the Tavern Ale by Alewerks was my favorite!


Completing the meal: Brunswick stew, a delicious strawberry pecan salad and Rarebit (cheese over bread with ham!)

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Everything at high tea at the Williamsburg Inn!!


High tea was the highlight of my trip.


I absolutely loved the pot of Earl Grey I sipped. It made me realize how much more effort I need to put into my tea making.


{I think the real sugar helped ; ) }


My stack of tea sandwiches and pastries were delicious. I loved the cucumber (so high tea)


My favorite of them all was the scone with Devonshire cream and raspberry jam. It took me right back to my summer in Cambridge.


{The lemon curd was pretty awesome as well}


Puff pastry swan!




The risotto Chef Travis Brust made for us in a tasting.


He brought over all of the ingredients and assembled the most delicious risotto featuring peach and Nasturtium flowers


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A Peach and Nasturtium Risotto, crispy Edwards Farm Surry-ano Ham, Pretzel bread croutons (my favorite part!), garnished with a cayenne essence, fresh picked nasturtium pedals and a beautiful pickled petit green tomato (pickled from Chef Brust’s own garden that very morning). The flavors all worked together beautifully.



I gotta give more props to Chef Brust and his sous chef for the appetizer they brought us at The Terrace. It was a trio of a cucumber-melon and tarragon shooter (a chilled soup), a seared scallop finished with American Heritage Chocolate over a cardamom French Toast and a Chef Scott Watson’s delicious hand-crafted Bourbon truffle with a candied pecan center sitting on a fresh raspberry puree.

All three were delectable, but I especially loved the sweet-savory mix of the scallop over the French toast!

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Mazen loved his meal at the Terrace too!


Matt and I raved over the salmon and crab entrée we had for dinner. This was a half portion perfectly split for us –



Our final night we dined at Traditions, the restaurant at the Williamsburg Lodge. This was not your typical hotel restaurant, rather, it focused on farm-to-table and creative dishes.

We enjoyed pesto with our bread


A lovely salad that used fried okra as “croutons” and anchovies


A wonderfully rich and flavorful shrimp and scallops entrée over pappardelle pasta


But what stole the crown for me one of our appetizers – the Twin Oaks Crispy Tofu and served with a trio of dips – Scotty Scott’s Lima Bean “Aioli”, Chili Relish, Soft Pimento Cheese Fondue. Loved this, and such a creative twist on tofu.


Special final shout outs to 1. brunch at The Trellis Restaurant 2. fudge at Whythe candy shop 3. the pumpernickel and hot smoked salmon sandwich at The Cheese Shop and 4. the Belgian waffle at Aroma’s


The Taste Tradition, Colonial Williamsburg’s Inaugural Food and Sprits Weekend, is coming up August 30-September 1.  Looks like a delicious weekend packed with flavor to me!

Taste Tradition

This post was brought to you by Colonial Williamsburg. Book your stay at

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chelsea @BigBitesLittleBudget August 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

High tea is always so much fun! I love the beautiful pastries and finger sandwiches that are served. I feel so regal. Ha! Looks like Maze enjoyed his eats too.


2 Brie @ Baked Brie August 13, 2013 at 9:20 am

I live in Cambridge!!! Best cream teas, ever. English scones are wondrous.


3 Becca August 13, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi kath! Yes this does make me hungry! Do you get paid to write this post…is that why you say “brought to you by”? Just curious :) thanks again!


4 KathEats August 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Yup. It’s part ii from my trip which was sponsored by Colonial Williamsburg. all the food choices and post topics were my own.


5 Ali @ Peaches and Football August 13, 2013 at 10:08 am

I can’t get over how beautiful and fancy all those dishes look – so elegant!

We used to have a local place that made wonderful homemade root beer – they left all the coloring out so it was perfectly clear. Very, very weird to drink clear root beer but it was absolutely delicious!

I could definitely go for that plate of pastries and I’ve never had Earl Grey tea before. :)


6 Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food August 13, 2013 at 10:13 am

Love hearing about your visit to my town! I haven’t eaten at the lodge in forever, now I’m thinking I need to make a trip back there! Glad you also enjoyed the Cheese Shop, it’s definitely a favorite with tourists AND locals!


7 Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon August 13, 2013 at 10:20 am

Everything looks so delicious- especially that high tea! What an experience. I would love to recreate that crispy tofu dish, that’s a fun idea to have dipping sauces.. yum!


8 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) August 13, 2013 at 10:54 am

This post made me very hungry. Everything looks so beautiful and equally delicious!


9 Madison August 13, 2013 at 11:12 am

OH my goodness! That high tea steals the show. Looks so amazing and love to be able to taste all of it!


10 Katie Foster August 13, 2013 at 11:13 am

All of those foods look delicious! I remember going to Williamsburg when I was little, we loved it. Great post!


11 Christine@ Apple of My Eye August 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

Mhmm I had a homemade root beer float a little while ago and it was DELICIOUS! Ohh please take me with you to tea! I love pastries and a hot beverage. So refined 😉


12 Annemarie August 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Thanks for the report! I’m pinning this to my Real Food Travel board on Pinterest ( This is another place I’ll add to my wish list.


13 M August 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm


I just wondered what your view is on gluten – you obviously enjoy the scones, sandwiches, pastries, pasta etc… but it must be a little concerning as bakery owners that more and more people seem to be cutting wheat from their diets?
Perhaps it is just a phase, but it’s hard to ignore all the news about it and it does seem to make sense that something that’s become quite far removed from it’s original state may pose problems, particularly when consumed as regularly as in our western diets..?


14 KathEats August 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I think gluten-free is a food trend based on a lot of misinformation that will pass just like the low carb movement did. We believe that whole grains and especially our freshly milled whole wheat flour are not only very nutritious they can help prevent disease.


15 KathEats August 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Ps. This article is researched based and provides a good review of Wheat Belly and its claims:


16 Grace August 14, 2013 at 7:35 am

Kath, I want to thank you for this. I enjoy your blog, and although I don’t always agree with you on everything (how can you hate onions? caramelized onions are one of the most delicious things on earth, ha ha! :) ) I think you are the most balanced, healthiest “healthy living” blogger on the Internet. You don’t buy into passing fads (like Paleo and gluten-free diets) that aren’t based on any real science and are used by lots of bloggers to restrict their diets and fuel their orthorexic tendencies (not that all other healthy living bloggers do this, but a lot of them do, or at least portray themselves online this way). I love that although you do focus on real, local food, you are never afraid to eat treats and a wide variety of food- you have a truly balanced, healthy approach. And that is why I keep reading your blog every day. You really model a sustainable, obtainable, real approach to healthy eating and healthy living.


17 KathEats August 14, 2013 at 7:52 am

Thank you Grace


18 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! August 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

COMPLETELY agree with this perspective!


19 Anna K. November 4, 2013 at 1:58 am

Yes, agree as well! Just googled “katheats gluten free” to see if you had posted anything on this topic. Glad to hear the perspective of a R.D. I work at a boarding school and my peer group, I guess you could say, is constantly talking about gluten. It has gotten to the point where I avoid eating around them. I polled my best friends from home – one of whom has two sisters with Celiac – and they all agree that cutting out gluten without having an allergy is not only unnecessary but also a little concerning. Friend with Celiac sisters says her sisters would definitely eat gluten if they could, but they were incredibly malnourished as infants. She also thinks they might not eat as well because of their allergy.


20 Jessica August 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Although many have expressed discontent about the sponsored posts you now do quite frequently, I have to say that as a new-ish mom (my son is 1) I can’t help but understand how great it must be to be able to make more money for your family through your blog. I do miss the “old days” of blogging when there was far less sponsorship, and I do think that at certain times it does take away a little something. But at the same time, I don’t think anyone should blame you for supporting your family. I think you do quite a bit better than most at making the sponsored posts fit into your life and blog.

I have been a reader since 2008 and it has been interesting to see the changes in your blog and others. Things can’t stay the same forever. <3


21 KathEats August 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thanks for this Jessica. I appreciate it


22 Kristi August 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Yum to all of it! Although isn’t that usually just called Afternoon Tea? Either way, I’ll take that little chocolate cake!


23 Sherri Mc August 14, 2013 at 8:10 am

You are absolutely correct. What Kath enjoyed was an afternoon tea. High tea is supper, and not at all fancy. Americans often make this error.


24 Jackie August 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Was going to say the same thing! Easy to confuse the two


25 Katryn August 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Umm, this whole post made me go “WOW.” Everything looks absolutely delicious, fresh, and well prepared…I want to go! So question: where would you put the cost of food In WIlliamsburg on a priciness scale? I live in DC so I’m pretty used to eating out being expensive but I’m just curious if you thought the food was reasonable cost-wise or if I would get sticker shock…haha,


26 KathEats August 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I thought it was very reasonable. I was expecting “resort style” where you pay an arm and a leg for a tiny salad but prices were reasonable and the portions were generous


27 Katryn August 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

Thanks! I also don’t think I ever left you a comment telling you that my husband and I went to couples swept away in Jamaica last year based on your posts about your experience and we had the BEST time!! It was awesome. SO, I trust your ‘getaway’ recommendations! :-)


28 KathEats August 14, 2013 at 8:38 am

Oh fun! I want to go back! (Not pregnant this time.. :) )


29 Alex @ Kenzie Life August 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

That risotto looks intense, and by intense I mean absolutely delicious and I want some right now. I love high teas :) Sounds (and looks!) like you had a great trip! It looks like a lot more fun than my 5th grade trip to Colonial Williamsburg :)


30 Christine August 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

All that food looks fantastic! So I finally opened my can of sardines from trader joe’s today! I bought it about 4 months ago and was afraid to touch it. I mixed it with some mayo and sriracha and peanuts (I needed some crunch and scooped it up in tortilla chips. Certainly reminds me of tuna…can’t say I’ll be craving it but I could it eat for the nutritional value .


31 KathEats August 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm
32 Esse August 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

It really is afternoon tea, isn’t it? With all the pastries and sweets, formal white tablecloth and sugar cubes. Americans tend to mix up high tea and afternoon tea. It looks like the Williamsburg Inn has a nice one!


33 Spice Chicken August 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Fun post! Shout-out to the Brunswick stew. I had my first taste of it on a trip to Virginia a number of years ago, when I made my own visit to Colonial Williamsburg.


34 Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile August 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I love the looks of all the pastries you had at tea! They look so decadent and delicious. This post makes me want to go to Williamsburg just for the food :)


35 Cassie August 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

These pics look great! I especially love the look of that shrimp and scallop over pappardelle pasta. YUM!


36 Allie August 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm

What a great trip for a young family! Looks like you had a difficult time narrowing it down to five things! Reminds me of the time my family went their…


37 jodea @ August 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Afternoon tea is one of the greatest inventions ever!


38 Erika @ fortheloveofpeanutbutter August 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm

The mug that the rootbeer float was served in is just plain friggin adorable! I don’t like rootbeer but I think I would like that just because of that mug. Presentation is key, right? :) Looks like some darn good eats, I’d be really interested to try the scallop with the French toast!


39 Emily @ Life on Food August 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm

The puff pastry swan in so pretty! Love it when my food looks pretty.


40 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! August 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I’ve always wanted to attend a high tea! They look so fun!

PS: Is there a way to subscribe to your blog by email? Since I’m not allowed to follow you on twitter, I never know when you post any more! :)


41 robin August 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm



42 joelle (on a pink typewriter) August 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I went to Colonial Williamsburg around this time last year and also ate at Aromas– loved it! Had a great chai, if I remember correctly. Also loooooooooved the Williamsburg Winery!


43 Laurin August 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I was all set to have a fruit popsicle for dessert but then your cup of tea convinced me otherwise! I always forget about a good cup of tea before bed! Thanks!

Everything looks gorgeous and delicious as always!


44 Lauren @ Peaks and Passports August 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Love this! I grew up in Williamsburg and my parents still live there, yet I’ve never had high tea at the Inn and had no idea that we even had a farm to table restaurant in town. Thanks for educating me on my own stompin grounds :) I am very glad to see that the Cheese Shoppe and Aromas made your honorable mentions – they’re two of my favorite spots in town!


45 Kathy August 13, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Hi Kath,
I’m a long time reader but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. I LOVE your blog so I hope this doesn’t come across as criticism but as someone with Celiac disease, I was surprised that you seemed to dismiss gluten free eating as a “trend that will disappear”. It’s a pretty serious condition and unlike eating low carb or low fat, it’s not just something you can opt in or out of on a whim. I assume you were referring to people who choose to go gluten free mistakenly thinking it is somehow a weight loss tool but I know, as someone who is always thrilled to find gluten free items, I love it when bakeries try to accommodate this health issue. Although, I’m also allergic to eggs so most bakeries are off limits anyway! Anyway, just my long winded 2 cents!


46 KathEats August 14, 2013 at 5:09 am

Of course! I didnt mean to dismiss anyone with a clinical reason, as I took the question to be more about the trend and those who choose to go gluten free verses those who dont have a choice. The Great Harvest gluten free recipe is actually awesome but since we’re open 6 days a week we don’t feel comfortable making it. Because we mill flour daily there is too high a risk of contamination and if we did make it we’d want it to be something you could eat.


47 Janet Sarandon August 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Wow! I love all these recipes. It look so delicious. I would love to try everything especially number 5. :-)


48 Tania August 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I just have to say that it all looks amazing! Oh my goodness, that all is just making my mouth watering! Although I haven’t tasted any of those foods, I can just tell your not lying!


49 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner August 14, 2013 at 4:20 am

Mmm….risotto. But the puff pastry swan steals the show! Adorable.


50 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope August 14, 2013 at 4:29 am

What a great opportunity to take advantage of! I honestly think that traveling as a family is such a always an amazing experience. I love how all the food looks so elegant and matches the “colonial” vibe… very neat!


51 Carrie August 14, 2013 at 7:14 am

Hi Kath, I love your blog and photographs, they are great. The fudge from ‘Whythe’s’ made me smile, as my maiden name is Whythe and there aren’t many of us in the UK. My dad has done family history research and thinks that one of our relatives signed your Declaration of Independence!

Have a great day :)


52 Neil Butterfield August 14, 2013 at 7:16 am

Those pastries and sandwiches looked especially awesome.


53 chris August 14, 2013 at 10:54 am

What a delicious spread and fun trip! We were just at a hospital conference there and loved every minute of it. And thanks for bringing evidence-based science into yet another food trend. And ps…can I have my own risotto chef please


54 Steph August 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm

high tea sounds so relaxing :-]


55 Don Dzejak August 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Did you try the Blue Talon? Great French restaurant on the same street as the cheese shop.


56 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna August 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I have never tried high tea before, but clearly I am missing out! There is a great place in Ottawa, Canada, at the Chateau Laurier downtown. I will have to take my sister out someday soon :)


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