Hi friends, it’s me the Traveling Designer. It’s been a while since my last post, but I am back with details on my recent trip to Richmond, Virginia.
I had the great pleasure of participating in the Richmond Symphony Orchestra show house known as “Rothesay.” My visit for the opening last month afforded me the opportunity to visit the lovely and historic city of Richmond. I have always heard great things about it and I loved getting to see the town and its attractions in person.
I was thrilled to create a design for the main stair hall at Rothesay, a gorgeous and historic home located on the famous James River. I was even happier to meet and become friends with the gracious designers and show house committee from the Richmond area. They were so welcoming and it was their suggestions that led me to a wonderful “insider’s” tour of Richmond. Thanks to their advice, I hit the perfect combination of tourist attractions and local eateries and shops while in town.
My stay began at the impressive Jefferson hotel. To read about the rich history of the Jefferson, visit their website here. The rooms were beautiful and most comfortable. I truly enjoyed myself.
I didn’t have to go far to get a great meal. The restaurant and bar at the Jefferson offers classic food with a southern twist in an impressive atmosphere. It was here that I enjoyed delicious oysters on the half shell from the Rappahannock River Oyster Company in nearby Chesapeake Bay. They were some of the best oysters I have ever eaten and I paired them with a great spicy Bloody Mary from the Jefferson bar.
And though it was convenient to eat great food right in the hotel, Richmond is a bustling town with college students and young professionals, so there isn’t a shortage of chic restaurants to choose from. Another hot spot not too far from the Jefferson is Balliceaux. Recently featured in Food and Wine Magazine, this hip spot features a farm to table menu directed by Chef Russell Cook.
The food at Balliceaux isn’t only tasty, it’s gorgeous. And the price is very reasonable for such a great meal with an urban atmosphere.
If shopping is more of your interest, you may want to head over to a quaint part of Richmond called Carytown.
Carytown is home to great boutiques, fun food and more. One such boutique is Ruth and Ollie, owned by Kat and Mike Liebschwager.
Ruth and Ollie carries a unique blend of home decor including items from Jonathan Adler and Trina Turk.
I loved the gorgeous selection of lamps they offered.
And their combination of both classic and contemporary pillows were fun to peruse as well.
Kat also created a suite of rooms on the third floor of the Rothesay show house. I loved the chance to see an example of her young and hip design style.
Kat named her show house spaces “David + Kelly forever” in honor of many David Hicks and Kelly Wearstler inspired elements in the rooms. I found it clever and fresh and I am sure the residents of Richmond did too!
Now if your design style is a bit more traditional than what Ruth and Ollie offers, a short drive away is Williams and Sherrill interiors showroom. A retail mecca with furnishings, accessories and more than 4,000 bolts of fabric for sale, Williams and Sherrill offers just about anything you might want for your interior.
Kevin Malone and Kathy Morgan of Williams and Sherrill also created a gorgeous space in the Richmond show house. Quite possibly the most popular room in the house, their sun room was a light-filled space with stunning views of the James River through the back window.
Their reinterpretation of the existing fretwork on the walls, which they painted blue and white, was a true showstopper!
Since my stay in Richmond was relatively short, I asked Kevin Malone and Kat Liebschwager to help me compile a list of their Top Ten favorite spots in Richmond. On your next visit, I am sure you will want to check some of these out…
2. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with it’s amazing new expansion. Watch for its upcoming Picasso exhibit
3. A trip down Monument Avenue
4. A Picnic on Belle Island
5. A visit to the West End Antique Mall
6. Dining at Banditos Burrito Lounge, one of Kat’s favorites!
7. A trip to Hollywood Cemetery, the gorgeous and historic site overlooking the James River and resting place of two U.S. Presidents
8. A visit to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
9. Dining, people watching and happy hour at Can Can Brasserie
10. A visit to Maymont Park
And if all these suggestions just aren’t enough to keep you busy, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is just an hour drive from Richmond in the nearby Charlottesville area. Or if you are looking for another day-trip from Richmond, you could spend a day visiting the historic James River Plantation homes.
I think with all these suggestions you could stay busy in Richmond and the surrounding areas for quite some time. So I hope you will head that way and take advantage of some of these new and historic spots that are especially beautiful this time of year. I think you will find it perfectly charming for visitors of all ages. Now I’m off to pack for my next excursion. Have fun in Richmond and until we meet again, Happy Travels.
PS- Click here for The Traveling Designer’s Holiday Road Trip Survival Guide, available on Tobi’s Blog.
In case you missed them:
Read past editions of The Traveling Designer with Tobi Fairley