A Mini-Trip to Frederick, Md. Hill House Volt

Jun 25th, 2019, 10:47 AM
  #1  
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A Mini-Trip to Frederick, Md. Hill House Volt

Friends celebrated their 50th anniversary in Jefferson, Md. 6 of 8 mutual friends and their spouses would be there so I decided to spend the night in nearby Frederick. DH and I had visited Frederick a few times over the years and enjoyed its arty ambiance and colonial architecture.

It is about a 2-hour drive from the Annapolis area. Directions online chose either the D.C. Beltway or the Baltimore Beltway to Route (2)70. I chose Rte. 97 to Rte. 32 to 70. It took about the same time but avoided both busy Beltways.

Instead of a well-known chain, I decided to stay in a B&B. I called the first on the alpha list provided by our friends, but it was booked, Owner kindly called the second on the list and it was also booked. She suggested Hill House as a good bet and I called there. Innkeeper, Damian (“D”), had a room for one night so it was good. There is something wrong with the link but here is some info: https://www.visitfrederick.org/listi...-breakfast/96/

Hill House is located on 3rd Street and is one short block from Market Street. A super location for downtown. It is a one-way street so you may have to go around a block. Parking is free on weekends and there were several open spots when I arrived on a late Friday afternoon. 2-hour parking during the week so check for nearby parking garage. D and her husband,Taylor (“T”), have been rehabbing Hill House since their retirement and their good taste shows. A nice shade of yellow brick with a red door on a quiet street is perfect. Inside looks just like the photo online. Lovely antiques and nice personal touches to make one feel at home.


Stair alert!I didn't ask but don't believe there is an elevator, but if stairs are a problem, you should find out in advance. There are 4 suites in a row on the second floor. My room, the second, had a very comfy bed, a modern bathroom, and a door to an outdoor porch. Looks like the porch was shared with the 3rd room. Very inviting. There were 2 doors I didn't open but figured they were closets.




Modern bath to the right


Door to outside porch!

In the past, I have moved things to find an outlet (shh!). I now take an outlet strip along. No need to pack books anymore; they are replaced by charging items! Since this was just an overnight, I only brought the kindle and plugged it into the bathroom outlet as I didn't see any others except those behind furniture. Be sure to get the wifi guest password before you've donned your pj's!

Breakfast is served at 9. D made 2 slices of French toast on brioche type bread. Served with 2 strips of bacon, sliced bananas and syrup. Juice awaited at each place and a coffee carafe and fixings were on the sideboard. Really great. There was a couple there whose daughter had gotten married the day before (a perfect day—80s, no humidity, beautiful sky) and they were leaving.


D had the beautiful corner cupboard built for the room.


That's my book and part of D's head.
D's DH, T, joined us and we 3 talked a bit. Found out that D grew up near my cottage and that T is from nearby D.C.

After breakfast, I strolled along Market Street. As Basingstoke has mentioned, there are some nice specialty shops in Frederick. Perhaps someone can weigh in about the commercial rents but I didn't see many empty buildings. A few. I bought some pasta, a SMALL jar of saffron, a bar of soap, a napkin set for hostess gift and a jar of white balsamic vinegar. Mostly at different stores. The vinegar person knew a lot about vinegar and is related by marriage to D.

I walked by Volt and didn't see it. It is in a gorgeous old building that maitre-D said was at first a private home, then a doc's office and now Volt on the first floor, and a graphics firm on the second.


Lots of restos and places to stop for food!

Next, Volt.

Last edited by TDudette; Jun 25th, 2019 at 10:53 AM.
TDudette is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 11:05 AM
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I'm interested in seeing the details of this trip, TDudette. My husband and I spent a night in Frederick in late March and enjoyed our short stay in the city.
Vttraveler is offline  
Jun 26th, 2019, 01:09 AM
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I loved Frederick.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jun 27th, 2019, 06:28 AM
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Your B&B looks just right and it's in a lovely residential area. We try to walk or drive on a different street each time we go to Frederick, and there are blocks of these well-cared for and nicely-proportioned solid old houses. We're getting to the point where some of our day trips are just a leetle too long as a round trip, so maybe an overnight in Frederick is in our future?

Looking forward to your review of Volt. A friend who's a fan of TV chefs has been pushing for a meal there. Your verdict could sway us either way. No pressure, TDu!
Coquelicot is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 09:13 AM
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As mentioned, Volt's building was a home. A center hall colonial. From what I could see, to the right, there was a nice bar, then a private dining room, followed by the bathrooms and maybe something else but I didn't go all the way back. To the left was the main dining room, a kitchen with an eating counter first visible. Again, I didn't go any further back.

The walls are a soft gray and the woodwork is white. Some beautiful white wall carvings and mouldings remain on the center hall walls. Very bright abstracts would have made a nifty contrast if there had been fewer of them. Humble opinion only!



Nice view from main dining room. You can just see the edge of one of the abstract paintings.

My brunch was salmon salad ($24) and chocolate mousse ($8). Bread sticks came out with the wine (a rioja type red wine $16 by the glass); with the meal were cunning little buttermilk/chive biscuits and/or bacon/rosemary brioche. The butter served with them was too salty for me as I am very used to unsalted butter. The salad was very pretty. Two small endive halves were crunchy like you wouldn't believe. Arranged over them were ribbons of carrots, parsnips and something else. I asked for the dressing on the side and it was a very thick greed goddess--good. The veggies were so crispy they were tough for these old teeth.

The salmon was perfect and served to the side of the greens. Crispy crust, melt in your mouth taste. It was served with a warmed lemon half and that was a perfect touch. I would give it an A for presentation and the salmon, but a B for salad eat-ability.

Dessert was a huge yum. Two sticks of a fairly stiff mousse lightly, deftly dusted with cacao, with pistachio ice cream on a bed of chocolate crumbs. Some pretty curved chocolate snaked around the plate. That was an A+. Total before tip was about $59.

There was a tasting menu that 2 groups were sharing—looked like a great way to get a bit of everything. Oh, and wait staff asked about food allergies.

(An email review was asked for and I did mention about the salad and that no one re-filled my water glass.)

I would recommend Volt—especially for lunch. The food was excellent and I was being particularly picky because of the reputation of the chef owner, Brian Voltaggio. When it was good, it was perfect; when it wasn't, it was great!


A closer look out of Volt's window reveals a crooked roof line!

Strolled back to my car and drove toward the Community Bridge https://www.visitfrederick.org/listi...9D-mural/3064/ . Found a parking garage near what looks like lots of cafes along the water. I also drove by the Delaplaine arts center but decided to head on home.

Much heavier traffic as there was an accident on Rte. 95 that started to back up the already "coming home from the weekend" folks!nic

If you enjoy Colonial and Civil War architecture and information and nice specialty shops, I would recommend Frederick. It's not so far from Gettysburg that you could combine the two towns to make a nice vacation.
TDudette is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 09:15 AM
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LOL, Coquelicot. Please report back if you eat there!
TDudette is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 04:16 AM
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The Volt brunch sounds delicious. I was very impressed with the number and range of restaurants in the historic Frederick area. We ate at a Spanish/Mexican restaurant that served zarzuela, a wonderful shellfish stew from the Catalan region of Spain.

During our brief overnight stay in Frederick in late March we went to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine which was very well-done and very interesting.

We also stayed at a B & B at the edge of the historic district that looks quite similar to the one you were at. Apparently there are a lot of air bnb's in recent years and some concern about the ones that are not owner owned.
Vttraveler is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 07:25 AM
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I meant to add that we have been through the area just north of Frederick (and south of Gettysburg) several times on our way to see our son in the DC area. This is a very pretty area with lots of orchards and vineyards along Highway 15. On our next trip we may try to stay in our camping van in Catoctin Mounatain Park. Camp David is in this area.
Frederick is also very close to Harper's Ferry which has been on my want-to-see list for years and to some major Civil War battlefields.
Vttraveler is offline  
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