This month we thought we would highlight the Cottage at the Fife and Drum Inn by explaining some of the similarities – and differences – between a visit with us and a visit in a historic 18th century Colonial home.
Vegetable, herb and flower gardens were a common addition to colonial houses, the produce of which would be used in medicines, cooking and decoration.
Our cottage: The front yard consists of flowers & boxwoods (a common colonial shrub) surrounded by a white picket fence.
In the 18th century, location of your home was quite important, as the lack of modern transportation prevented one from getting anywhere quickly. The location of the cottage would have been ideal, as it was a five minute walk from the College of William & Mary, a twenty minute walk to the Capitol, and a short distance from the lively heart of town in between.
Our cottage: Today, it is still located in one of the best and most accessible spots of any Williamsburg lodging available; The Historic Area, the College, and Merchants Square with its variety of exceptional restaurants and shopping are all at your fingertips. Jamestown and Yorktown (thank goodness for the invention of cars!) are only short drives away.
Do you know the phrase “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite?” One theory of how this phrase came about is from the ropes which a mattress laid on in colonial times that needed to be tightened before sleep.
Our Cottage: As you might imagine, our king-sized bed and twin bunk beds are much more comfortable than a down-feather mattress held up by ropes.
In the 18th century, you usually had two options in the middle of the night to relieve one’s self – a chamber pot kept under the bed, or a not-so-well lit walk to the outhouse. Baths were generally not an every day occurrence.
Aside from having modern indoor plumbing (phew!), the cottage offers a complete handicap accessible bathroom & shower.
The houses in the Historic Area are usually painted as close to the authentic colors of the colonial era as possible.
Our cottage: Each room is painted with a shade from the Colonial Williamsburg palette, making it easy to feel as if you have traveled back to stay in a real colonial house in Williamsburg (albeit, a bit more luxurious).
A colonial breakfast may consist of breads and meats, various kinds of puddings, and pies made from whatever fruit was in season.
Our Williamsburg cottage:
Sleep late like the upper-class colonists and wake up to a delivered basket full of fresh pastries, baked goods, juices, and other goodies.
While you take breakfast at your leisure, you’ll notice the china plates on the wall – some of these are reproductions of 18th century creamware Wedgewood plates, very similar to what you might have dined on centuries ago if you had the means.