Friday, December 13, 2013

Historic Downtown Lynchburg, VA

In a time when historic downtown districts are dying, and big box shopping strips are thriving, Downtown Lynchburg Virginia is just now being reborn!  When you want to walk along sidewalks peppered with history, visit beautiful small businesses and eat at some fabulous local restaurants, look no further:)  Afternoon tea, lunch and some much enjoyed shopping are just a drive down 29S away!
I enjoyed just that with a friend of mine starting at The Ploughcroft Tearoom:)  This cozy tearoom is filled with English charm, you'll be seated at an antique table and chair set that's dressed in antique china, complete with fresh flowers and a delectable menu.  Lunch is served from 11-2pm and Afternoon Tea is from 2:15-5pm, Mon-Sat.  Menu's include Curried Chicken Salad, Chicken and Mushroom Pie, Soups, salads and other goodies.  The Afternoon Tea menu serves up fabulous finger sandwiches, scones and sweets!  We enjoyed the Chicken and Mushroom Pie followed by freshly baked scones with jam, devonshire cream and lemon curd and warmed up with a porcelain cup of typhoon English tea and cookies, it was a most pleasant experience!  I highly recommend it!

Shopping for uniques, curiosities, and preciously lovely treasures?  Steps from the tearoom you'll find many shops along Main and Commerce Streets.  Check out the best small businesses around!  My absolute favorites included:  Enchanted, a haven for Old Paris Porcelain, Asian antiques, beautiful wooden furniture, art, mirrors, jewelry and silver among many other wonders!  The enchanting owner of this boutique truly knows her stuff!!!  Ask her about the different pieces and she will share an abundance of wonderful information with you on the many pieces she has in the shop!  

Urban Merchant specializes in new goodies, soaps, home decor, tunics and timeless pieces of mercury glass and accessories for her.  Keep your eye out for the ebony colored poodle that keeps watch over the store:)  She's a total sweetie, so don't be alarmed by her grand stature;)    

Gladiola Girls, is a lot like stepping into the best closet in town!  A treasure trunk filled with beautiful clothing, shoes and accessories, there is a little something special and truly unique for everyone who walks through the doors!  And the lovely gals that work here will partner with their sister store in NC if they don't have something in your ideal size:)  Talk about sweet service!  Bittersweet, down and up on the newly renovated 5th Street is another great spot for amazing threads including FRYE and TOMS.  They also carry an array of beautiful clothing, accessories and jewelry, and these ladies will dazzle you with kindness as well, if they don't have something, they'll find it at their sister store in Charlottesville:) 

Studio 11, marked by the robins egg blue paint on its facade, shares a space of vintage furniture, vintage accessories for the home and handmade delights like banners, wreaths, and decorating tips and techniques from the owners.  Silver, burlap and antique woods dress this gorgeous shop from head to toe!  Upon arrival you're greeted with some pretty fancy scents, their candles and soaps are truly divine!!!   

Pastiche is an elegant, mischievous hodgepodge of handmade delights from local artisans and vintage finds like punch bowls, milk glass, mason jars, vintage luggage and other goodies!  The amazingly creative people who work here share the same passion for treasures as you and I do and their lovely to work with and are full of great ideas!!!  I'm not afraid to say that I come into shop here at least every other week:)  Such charming goodies, I simply can't stay away for too long!

If you need a gelato or a chocolate truffle break, check out the Confectionery, new to Lynchburg, this beautiful little chocolate shop has everything from coffees and chocolates to books and locally made jewelry.  Pop on in:)

Federal House Antiques is different, but in a good way, a building tucked into the side of a hill, its dim, lit lightly with the warmth of lamps and cool on the inside, when you walk through the aisles you come upon old books, china, beautifully carved furniture, and there are cases upon cases of historic maps, etchings, watches, spectacles, porcelain dolls, and many beautiful pieces of art.  Buzzards Roost, down on Commerce just steps away from the bustle of Main St. is similar, a little dimmer and full of wonders, antique furniture and shaving stands, rugs, silver, books and art.  So many lovely shops and shop owners, be sure to pop into them all:)  Scarlett's Antique Mall on Main is worth a trip too, bigger, with many aisles of oddities!

Great dinner spots include:  Dish, a favorite local small plates resto features yummy's like duck spring rolls, chops, quail and delicious salads!  Jimmy's on the James  features great burgers, steaks and other grilled dishes alongside Jimmy playing the piano and signing classic tunes!  The Depot Grille, down to earth and filled with local charm has a filet mignon that melted in my mouth and they have great wines!!!  Waterstone is a must for pizza, salads and pastas, below and behind the grand, historic Craddock Terry Hotel, its a bit hidden, but it's reputation highlights it as a true local favorite, be prepared for a pretty long wait!  On the weekends, grab fresh from the farm produce and crafts from the Community Market on Main and be sure to sample all the other wonderful shops and galleries, Downtown has to offer!!!

So if you ever thought the world dropped off south of Charlottesville, VA, you were very wrong!  Enjoy my other Lynchburg posts on Southern Virginia which highlight other amazing wineries and historic sights right around the Lynchburg area:)  

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