From the editor: It’s time for celebration! This issue of The Piedmont Virginian marks our 10th anniversary. Many things have changed since our first issue in the autumn of 2007, but I believe we have remained true to our editorial mission as set forth by our founding publisher, Walter Nicklin: We strive to give voice…
One of the things we love about country living is the tranquility. We pride ourselves on the fact that, except for the chirping of the birds and the rustling of leaves, our farm is completely quiet. And that’s the reason so many of our Airbnb guests enjoy their stay here. “I don’t remember when I’ve had such a peaceful time,” is what we hear. Or, “It’s only when we come down to a place like this that we realize what a constant hassle and racket the city is.”
“Virginia’s finest tree, period.”
A strong, graceful tree emblematic of Virginia forests, our native white oak (Quercus alba) also offers many important ecological services, including providing food and shelter to many types of wildlife. As one arborist is quoted in the book Remarkable Trees of Virginia, “White oaks are Virginia’s finest tree, period.”
A gallerist and an artist have created a spectacular hilltop home and destination art venue. The view from Les Yeux du Monde is itself almost like a work of art. A 360-degree Turner landscape, perhaps? Situated on a hilltop high above Charlottesville, the sweeping panorama takes in the city, the mountains, the wooded countryside, and offers an astounding spectacle when the sun sets behind the Blue Ridge to the west.
Middleburg bistro reimagined in its new home of Leesburg. French Hound Brasserie in Leesburg is both a departure from and offspring of its forebear, the intimate, creaky-floored bistro that overlooked Middleburg’s side street for a decade. The change was not simply a relocation, but rather a reimagining, a refining. “The main difference between a bistro and a brasserie is that now we need to have some good beers to pour,” says owner Marny Birkitt.
A story of two cousins, one wild dream, and millions of oysters. Nearly 20 years ago, a pair of cousins with ties to the tiny Rappahannock River community of Topping made a decision that would spark a local-foods revolution and, eventually, transform the East Coast culinary scene.
My first article for The Piedmont Virginian was written in 2010 when I opened DuCard Vineyards as a Virginia farm winery. Lots of water has flowed under the bridge since then. And we’re both still here! We have grown and evolved.
Rappahannock artist on his most beautiful model to date: Shenandoah National Park. When I received the call in May telling me that I had been selected as the Artist in Residence at Shenandoah National Park for June, I wasn’t worried about what I would paint or how I would get the supplies there or even where I would sleep. I was worried about how I would make coffee. As it turned out, I probably should have worried more about windstorms.
Is there a hidden world of spirits roaming Culpeper’s historic district? The proprietors often start off as skeptics. Then things happen. Strange, unexplained things. Previous convictions begin to waver. Welcome to Davis Street’s world of apparitions. If ghosts exist—45 percent of the U.S. population believe they do—the shops and restaurants on Davis Street might be good place to starting looking. But be forewarned, owners and employees appear to have a greater chance of encountering them than the clientele. Proximity deepens relationships.
…Move Foxhunting into the Future. MFHA’s relocation to Middleburg with Executive Director David Twiggs opens a new chapter. He calls it the “shadow sport” because it’s not highly visible or well understood by those who are non-participants. He aims to do something about that. So, the venerable Masters of Foxhounds Association of America (MFHA), foxhunting’s governing body in the U.S. and Canada since 1907, will remain a fixture in Virginia’s Piedmont, but with a new executive director and a new headquarters in Middleburg.
Gardening tips to cultivate splendid arboreal backdrops year-round. When planning or embellishing a landscape, many people immediately think about which flowering perennials, shrubs, and trees will burst with spring color. What is often forgotten is the fabulous array of plants which best display their vibrance and beauty during the fall season, trees being foremost among them.
Not your typical Piedmont farmer. “First, I imagine the tea mix in my mind. Then I start mixing tea leaves with flavors like orange, anise, and hibiscus,” Sabry Alsharkawi carefully explains, surrounded by hundreds of boxed jars of teas, herbs, and spices in his 4,800-square-foot workhouse on his Fauquier County farm. “You cannot find these teas anywhere else in the world,” he adds with a sparkle in his eye.
Explore Hoo-ville’s bustling, diverse arts districts. What do you experience when you take the time to engage with a work of art? Inspiration, perhaps? Beauty? An emotional or thoughtful connection? This is the beginning. The journey unfolds from there. The more time you take, the more you find—stories, truth, lies, commentary, comedy, outrage, obfuscation, memory. The more you consider, the less you know. Transformation. Magic.
Jake Johannsen. Friday, 7 & 9 p.m., Courtyard Marriott, Fredericksburg. With 45 appearances on Letterman’s late-night show, and HBO special, a PBS special, and other honors, comedian Jake Johannsen’s subtle, intelligent comedy is one of the most highly prized in the industry. Not many comedians will devote six minutes to a single subject, especially one as…
Could you pick a better place for a film festival than Middleburg? Especially in autumn, the brick sidewalks lined with festivalgoers bustling about underneath the changing colors of canopies? You may keep your seaside Cannes and your mountainous Telluride. I’ll take the brisk breeze and the rustic comfort of Middleburg any day. But you’ve already…
Middleburg Film Festival. Thursday–Sunday, Times and Venues Vary. The Middleburg Film Festival offers a carefully curated selection of narrative and documentary films screen in intimate theater environments, followed by fascinating Q and A’s with world-renowned filmmakers, actors, and other special guests. The films include world premieres, first-class foreign films, and Academy Award contenders such as last year’s Moonlight, La La…
The Byrne Gallery is proud to present All that Glitters, a celebration of the season of shimmer that signals that the holidays are coming near! This October’s exhibition features paintings by Gwyn Kohr that incorporate her unique treatment of gold leaf and copper leaf. Sparkle illuminates the horizon line and gives an air of mystery to the…