Friday–Food and Shopping

Continuing the story of our extended and activity-packed weekend, we got up early and went out to see the revamped Pottery in Lightfoot. It was a huge disappointment.

I should say that we have been visiting Williamsburg as a couple since we went there on our honeymoon in late 1973. There were barely any restaurants or shops; we spent our time touring Colonial Williamsburg since we are big history fans, and particularly local (Virginia) history. People had told us not to miss the Pottery and so we went. At that time it was a crazy hodgepodge of merchandise at low prices (kinda like Big Lots, if you’re familiar with that emporium of a crazy hodgepodge of merchandise at low prices). Not anymore. They’ve remodeled it and I think seriously misjudged their demographic. The merchandise is predictable, of poor quality, and overpriced. (Other than that, it’s great.) It’s too bad.

One purchase we made while there in 1973 became part of our family lore–it was a Sabatier knife which is a chef’s knife and we use ours daily. We don’t call it “the Sabatier,” although we very well could. We call if “the Williamsburg knife.” and so it is and so it ever shall be. It is one good and sharp knife.

So, after about an hour of being disappointed at the Pottery, we took ourselves to more predictable places. Becky has evolved a shopping ritual to find the best merchandise at the best prices. She is a whiz at this. In the years since 1973, we have visited the town at least once a year, and more often when Amy was a student at William and Mary from 1995 until 1999 (the year of their tri-centennial…not too shabby) and the Chorale has sing a Christmas candlelight concert at Bruton Parish Church in the Colonial area for about ten years. Becky provides Chorale members and friends with her personal guide to shopping and eating in Williamsburg called “Beck’s Best Bets in the ‘Burg. I’ll reproduce it below if you want to check out some of these sites yourself.

We went over to Merchants Square, close to the William and Mary Campus (and the intersection of Richmond Road and Jamestown Road, called aptly by the students “Confusion Corner. They also call Duke of Glouchester Street, the main drag in CW, D.o.G. Street). We ate lunch at a new place, which I think was called the DoG Street Pub. It was very good, if a little pricey. Then Becky was off to hit all her favorite shopping places while I made a circuit of the immediate area to collect some of our favorite local foodstuffs. That included a quart of pork barbeque from Pierce’s Pitt Barbeque and a quart of Brunswick Stew from Old Chickahominy House Restaurant. Becky in the meantime ordered six ham and cheese sandwiches for our girls and ourselves from the Cheese Shop in Merchants Square. I continued my circuit by taking Route 199 ( relatively new sort of “beltway” for the area) back to our motel where I put the food in the refrigerator. Then I completed the circuit where I betook myself to the Barnes and Noble at Merchants Square where I caught up on email, Facebook and a little fiddling with my novel. We met up about three and went back to the motel.

The evening deserves a post of its own as I tell about a good meal and an inspirational speaker, probably next week.

Tomorrow: Top Ten Films of All Time, a list compiled by some Brits, for Technology Wednesday

And here are…

BECK’S BEST BETS IN THE ‘BURG 2012

Merchant’s Square – Duke of Gloucester St.
Bruton Parish Gift Shop – religious jewelry, plaques, gifts, Christmas ornaments
Barnes and Noble(W & M bookstore) – upstairs cafe, good CD selection, gifts, books, cards, everything W & M
Trellis Restaurant– moderate at lunch, expensive at dinner.  Good sandwiches & soups, “Death by  Chocolate” (1 serving serves 2-3 people)
Christmas Shop– ornaments, collectibles
Toymaker – neat toy store, adult collectibles in glass case to left of cash register, nesting dolls
Craft House – Byers Carolers (downstairs), moderate Williamsburgfood & collectibles, expensive jewelry, china, needlepoint, beautiful home furnishings                     
Wythe Candy Shop – for your sweet tooth!  Great homemade fudge and almond clusters
King’s Treasure – souvenirs, good costume jewelry in case at back, linen towels, John Deere, brass
Quilts Unlimited(Henry St.) – beautiful handmade items
The Cheese Shop – WONDERFUL sandwiches (Smithfield Ham, French bread, their sauce), great cheeses (gouda), gourmet salads, wines downstairs, patio dining if it’s warm enough
Williamsburg Stores – connected with the Colonial capitol.  Beautiful home furnishings.
Restored historic area has several stores/shops – baskets, scented soaps, tri-cornered hats, plants
Prince George St. – one block behind Duke of Gloucester St.
Campus Shop – W & M sweats and tees
Aromas – good coffee, snacks, sandwiches
North Henry St. – Everything Williamsburg- true to its name – gifts for kids and adults
Celebrations – near Seasons Restaurant – has great collectibles, W’burg buildings and Byers carolers
Restaurants
Trellis and The Cheese Shop – see above    
Colonial Taverns in Restored area are great! Make reservations! Chownings (Brunswick Stew) in person.
Pierces Pitt Barbeque – don’t miss it!  Take a pint or quart home (A+ onion rings). Go out Route 60 West, turn right on Airport Rd., left on Rochambeau to restaurant.  Near Exit 234 – left out of parking lot if headed to Manassas.  You can also get there by following Rochambeau for several miles from near Exit 238.
La Yaca – French – recommended to BV
Old Chickahominy House– breakfast & lunch/3 floors of gifts – Jamestown Rd.   Smithfield Ham on square biscuits, homemade pies, Brunswick stew.  You can call ahead for reservations.
Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel – good! 
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SHOPPING!
Prime Outlets – Seiko, Royal Doulton, Van Heusen, Nine West, 100+ shops
Outlet Mall – Dress Barn, Leggs/Lingerie, Totes, Vanity Fair, Dress Barn, The Bottom Line, a Shop with Team Sports apparel
New Town – a whole new section of the ‘Burg.  Martin’s (formerly Ukrop’s) Grocery store has a wonderful bakery (chocolate pie!) and great crab cakes.  Make it one of your last stops.  Partlett’s Cards and Gifts is also
in New Town.  Ask a local for directions.

1 Comment

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One response to “Friday–Food and Shopping

  1. Let me second (tentatively, as I haven't been there in a while) Le Yaca. One of our other 'must's is the Edwards ham store–get the boneless country ham and the peppered bacon–and the sausage is pretty darned good, too. And you left Berret's off the list of restaurants! It was always good. I've heard The Fat Canary in Merchants' Square is great as well. Have to admit we gave up finally on Pierce's Pitt–it has ballooned out of control: long lines and bad crowds every time we've tried in recent years. Sad to miss it, but it was just too much. We also do The Old Chickahominy House: ham biscuits to die for.

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