Friday, February 1, 2013

Downtown Frederick, Maryland

Today I drove north, I followed I-270 through the suburbs of Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown.  I drove out past civilization until I came up over the last hill in the highway to get a glimpse of the valley that is Frederick, Maryland.  Once I came off the exit I headed toward Downtown, the historic district, which is always a hub of hustle and bustle!
Old Town Frederick is one of my all time favorite spots in the area:)  The downtown area is full of restaurants, trendy clothing, home decor and gift shops, antique stores, Italian markets, Sweet shops, Tea shops and the Serenity Tearoom.
This is a great area to visit alone or with friends and family, there is something for everyone's interests!!!
Here is a typical Frederick day for me, and hopefully, you and yours will give it a try:)

Park in one of the many garages so you don't have to worry about your meter running out, you don't want to have to keep an eye on the time, you want to have fun!!!  Plus, the garages are very inexpensive:)
Start with lunch at my personal favorite, The Tasting Room.  This lovely, posh restaurant offers up some of the best eats in the city, and it can totally compete with the best restaurants in DC!!!  While here you can sit at a pub table by the window to enjoy lunch and people watch or you can cozy up at one of the many tables further inside the restaurant.  The lobster chowder here is exquisite, made with fresh main lobster, roasted corn and amontillado sherry, its rich so split one order among two people, believe me its plenty:)  The Power lunch, Salmon, Burger and Fried Chicken are some of my favorite entrees!!!  Pair any of these with wines from the amazing wine list and you'll be set!  Another great option if you want to pair lunch with a wine tasting is The Wine Kitchen.  Set along the water, this great spot offers up local wine flights as well as great eats, try the fried green tomatoes and the Spicy BLT, Wowza!!!
The Tasting Room
Next, venture out for some shopping and dessert!!!  Must see spots include my personal favorite antique and gift shop Tiara Day, because everyday is a tiara day;)  At least that is Maria's take on life, she is this beautiful shops owner and she and I share the same philosophy: glitz and glamour = a life worth living!  Inside this charming boutique you'll be immersed in style and luxury!!!  You'll visit the shops of Paris without leaving the country.  Maria has stocked everything from stunning, vintage clothing, hats and gloves, Italian mosaic, rhinestone and gemstone brooches to antique porcelain, vintage party favors, fine candles and soaps, Parisian cookies, and enough tiaras for every fabulous girl on you list!!!  When you're in here, life is truly divine:)
Me at the Tiara Day Holiday Party, yes, they have one every year:)

Tiara Day

If you're looking for something a little more modern, drop into shoe and clothing paradise located inside the Velvet Lounge, stop here for amazing Anthropologie meets Urban Outfitters apparel and they carry TOMS and Steve Madden shoes.  This place carries everything from funky printed skinny jeans to pop t-shirts, handbags, and small accessories.  The ladies inside are always ready to lend a hand in the stylist department which makes this place even cooler;)
Velvet Lounge
After these two shops you're probably ready for something sweet and savory:)  Pop into Zoe's for truffles and chocolates, Oh My!!! My favorite, the Pistachio chocolate and their Dark Chocolate truffles!!!  YUM:)
A few doors down is Firestone's Market on Market and this is where I do some of my specialty grocery shopping.  I never leave Frederick without their delicious lamb stew and/or other soups ready to prepare at home, a french baguette, a nice bottle of wine, and pastas, sauces and sausages!!!  
Now we'll go on a little stroll, down to West Patrick Street and turn left, along this street you'll find a little bit of everything, there are many antique shops, a comic book store, and many other clothing and gift stores, a highlight here is Venus on the Half Shell, where shop owner Jennifer brings vintage clothing, antique and super funky accessories and retro furniture into the 21st century!!!  This is another shop that is on my favorite list, inside I always swoon over something.  I've fallen in love with a 1960's floral printed shift dress, a pair of luscious cowboy boots and a cashmere sweater that was as soft as a feather.

Venus on the Half Shell
Just across the street is the Emporium Antiques, an antique lovers dream come true!!!  Inside you will find booths and booths of China, Silverware, glassware, art, clothing and jewelry, furniture and other odds and ends.  Leave yourself at least 30 minutes to peruse the aisles and aisles of treasure after treasure:)

Over on East Street is a whole other section of Downtown Frederick that you won't want to miss, more shops, more restaurants and even a train museum is sure to delight!  Family Meal is another dining choice if you're looking for more of a vintage diner feel.  Built up inside an old 1960's car dealership, this eatery has a gourmet twist, the founders of the ever popular, chic and pricey Volt, decided to go back to basics with this American Classic.  Feast on the deviled eggs for starters, move onto a cheese burger with bacon or an egg salad sandwich on toast paired with their scrumptious duck fat fries and try one of their delightful desserts, like a milkshake or cobbler.

And, ofcourse, no road trip of mine is complete without a stop at a local winery, so either on your way up to Frederick, or on your way back down, take EXIT 22 to Sugarloaf Mountain Winery, you'll be in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain, surrounded by amazing countryside views and even better Maryland wine.  Do a tasting at the bar or grab a glass and relax; my favorite white- Chardonnay, my favorite red- Stomp!  The Comus Inn is right near here, so if you are hungry for dinner after you're wine tasting this is also a great place to stop and dine....again!

The Comus Inn
Sugarloaf Mountain at Sunset
Have fun:)

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