By Pam Kamphuis
Art Director for the Piedmont Virginian
Working for the Piedmont Virginian, delivering magazines as each issue comes out, I am lucky enough to be able to take long tours of the Piedmont area. Last week I had the pleasure of delivering to the northern area around Leesburg. The scenery was beautiful, as were the leaves. Well worth the trip!
After a bit of a drive through interesting scenic dirt roads, my first stop was Willowcroft Farm Vineyards (http://willowcroftwine.com/). It wasn’t open at the time, but I was able to see the buildings and surrounding yard. The tasting room is in a lovingly restored historic barn…so beautiful. The views are gorgeous and the landscaping was beautiful. Go on out and enjoy before the weather gets too cold!
From there to Old Town Leesburg. I don’t know Leesburg that well, so I was discovering as I went. Behind Tuskie’s restaurant is a great little open-air historic mall with small shops and other restaurants. Also, in Old Town, you can buy a copy of the Piedmont Virginian at great little stores such as “Books and Other Found Things,” “The Leesburg Vintner” (http://leesburg-vintner.com) and “Very Virginia Shop.”
Also in Leesburg is the Gallery 222/ArtSquare/Loudoun Academy of the Arts. (www.loudounacademy.org). Artsquare combines fine art classes, gallery exhibit space, and 14 artist studios all under one roof. “Definitely the best place to see art in Loudoun.” Available there is our free pickup Annual Arts Guide.
Then to Purcellville to the Franklin Park Arts Center (http://www.franklinparkartscenter.org) a huge facility in a restored barn. Tucked away in a Loudoun county park, they have a theater, art gallery, art exhibits, and performances of music and plays there. The Franklin Park Arts Center is a great place for meetings, receptions, recitals and workshops and is available to rent year-round for any occasion. Booking priority is given to non-profit, resident artists and arts groups. It is a great place to discover local artists, musicians, and actors, something which the Piedmont Virginian celebrates in every issue.
My next stop was Middleburg, a celebrated tourist town with tons of quaint shops. (buy your copy of the Piedmont Virginian at the long-time establishment, the Fun Shop. (http://www.thefunshop.com/). I visited Olio, a new store. In addition to their Alexandria store, they sell olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars. (www.oliotastingroom.com/) I did a tasting while I was there, and my favorite was the combination of rosemary olive oil and cranberry balsamic vinegar. Delicious!
Then The Plains, where they had just had their Scarecrow contest. Buy your copy of the Piedmont Virginian at Zig Zag Arts, a gallery that shows crafts and art by local artisans. www.zigzagtheplains.com
The next day, a trip to Buckland Farm Market (www.bucklandfarmmarket.com) in New Baltimore with my daughter to pick up our pumpkins for carving. The market is a family-owned and operated Produce Market operating on a 150+ acre working cattle farm. They offer locally- grown produce and other products supplied fresh from our farm and the farms of 11 other local growers. All of the growers are herbicide & pesticide free (organically grown,) another thing celebrated by the Piedmont Virginian. My daughter is too old now for most of the fall entertainment provided, such as moon bounce, a civil-war themed corn maze and hayrides, but there were plenty of younger children, some in costume, having a ball. Buckland Farm Market is a new place you can buy your copy of the Piedmont Virginian. We welcome them and hope our magazine sells well for them.