A Short Trip to Williamsburg


Apr 3rd, 2011, 03:28 PM
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A Short Trip to Williamsburg

DH and I spent a long weekend in Colonial Williamsburg from 3/23/11 until 3/27/11. We flew into Richmond and drove to Williamsburg via rental car. It was an easy drive of about 45 min. We had reservations in the Colonial Houses so we went to the Williamsburg Inn which is where we had to check in.

The Williamsburg Inn is really a lovely looking inn; the flowers were gorgeous both inside and out. The Inn is listed in the Historic Hotel Directory but was just too rich for our blood we thought for this trip. I had priced the rooms and we simply weren’t willing to pay $350 a night for a room. Checking in was a breeze and with directions in hand we made our way to the Market Street Tavern where we had a room on the ground floor; Room 3046. The room had a cute queen four poster canopied bed with two Queen Anne chairs (not the most comfortable), desk, coffee maker and small bathroom. The building was one of the original taverns that they of course renovated and updated. It only had about 6 rooms on our end (3 up and 3 down) and the front door opened up right onto the main street of Historic Williamsburg. There was parking right behind our tavern for guests only too which was nice.

Our first night we really didn’t do anything simply because by the time we got there, got checked in and settled in the room it was already 6:30 p.m. Hank and I walked down the street to an area called Merchant Square at the end of the Historic District for dinner. We ate at Berret's Seafood Restaurant & Tap House Grill. The Tap House Grill side wasn't opened yet and wouldn't be open until April 1st. We had seafood that was pretty good actually. At the suggestion of the server we tried a bottle of Virginia wine (Wednesday's 50% off) which was also very good. So it was a pleasant start to our weekend.

The next day we slept in and then decided to head over to the Williamsburg Inn for breakfast. We figured while we were there we would then get our tickets for the Historic District, plus it would give us a chance to check out the Inn a little. So off to breakfast – where I had my $14 French Toast and DH had his $14 eggs! We thought the service was slow and the food was definitely not worth the price. Afterwards we saw the concierge and got our tickets for the Historic Area. One of the perks of staying at one of their lodgings is you get a reduced admission price so our $30 each ticket was good for the entire length of our stay versus the usual cost. We did at least recoup our breakfast in the difference in the ticket prices.

We decided to head over to Yorktown instead of doing the Historic Area that day. We went through the Victory Center and then did the battlefield site. There is a self-drive CD you can buy which guideyou through the battlefield. We enjoyed learning about the history and stopped at several of the sites. The CD is cute because it is narrated by a soldier from Lord Cornwallis' Army as well as the Colonial Army.

By the time we got done at Yorktown it was late afternoon so we headed back to the room. DH took a short snooze.

We had dinner reservations at 6:00 p.m. at Kings Arms Tavern with family who lived in the area. We could walk to the Tavern from our room. Now this tavern is supposed to be a “dining experience.” Your server is dressed up and they are supposed to have “entertainers” wandering around during dinner. We were really disappointed in the dinner. It was understaffed on the server side although the server tried but she was just overwhelmed. It took forever and we only had 1 “entertainer” come into our dining room 1 x the entire night! To show you how bad – we were the last group to leave the restaurant before it closed!!!! The food was expensive and one person in our group had to send back her dish because it wasn’t fixed correctly. I had Peanut Soup, Prime Rib and it was O.K. I think my favorite part of the meal was the Mint Julips I had before dinner. I found out later than this was the only tavern open which may have been part of the problem. All of the other taverns weren't scheduled to open until April 1st.

Friday morning we hit a small restaurant named Aromas in the Merchant Square area for breakfast. Not bad if you want something light (I had a muffin). We then walked around Williamsburg for the majority of the day. It was enjoyable to see the various craftsmen, and buildings. We bought tickets for the afternoon carriage ride around the area too. At the DeWitt Wallace Museum we had a chance to see some of the musicians play that were there for the International Glass Musician Seminar. Who even knew there were glass musicians? It was very interesting and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dinner that night was at the Blue Talon Bistro. It was O.K., again not great. After dinner that night DH and I went to “Cry Witch” which was held at 9:00 p.m. in the Capitol building; it was very fun to do. It’s a mock trial in that time period of a woman accused of being a witch and we were the jury. The characters really got into it and it was held with candlelight (of course) which added to the effect. Lots of fun – separate tickets but worth it.

Next day breakfast was at Old Chickahominey House in Williamsburg. Cute house ad good food. We then went to Jamestowne and looked around. We saw the glassblowers which was interesting - we didn't do the settlement which is more of a children's site I think. We enjoyed Yorktown more but it was still interesting.

By the time we were finished, it was later in the afternoon so we just headed back to the room and DH dozed and I read for a while. Our last night's dinner was at the Trellis Cafe and Restaurant. The food was very good and probably the best food we had the whole trip. The owner wrote a cookbook “Death by Chocolate” and that is also the name of their signature dessert. It was the only thing I was so so about. Actually to me it was too much chocolate.

After checking out the next day, we headed to Richmond. We went to the “Whitehouse of the South” and looked at the museum but didn’t have time to go through the actual house before heading to the airport. Flight home and that was it.

Now what would I change? For this time of year I would have waited until the first week in April before going because of all the taverns being closed and a couple of sites were also in the Historic area. We had another tavern directly across the street from us which would have been fun to try. That’s really about it. I definitely would recommend staying in the Colonial Houses for the perks on ticket costs and convenience – plus they’re just cute.
patandhank is offline  
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Apr 6th, 2011, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Great trip report! I'm glad you enjoyed Williamsburg, sorry that you had disappointing meals.

The Trellis is actually run by the owners of Blue Talon. They purchased and renovated it last year. Marcel Desaulnier, the cookbook writer, did open it years ago but is doing other things.

Jamestown Settlement is a great place for kids to visit but I think adults enjoy it too. It's interesting to see 16th century life depicted in the fort, Indian village, ships, etc. plus their museum is very good.
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