6 Ways to Welcome Spring During Quarantine

These certainly are unprecedented times in Virginia, and indeed all over the world. Due to the rapid spread of Covid-19, we are currently in the throws of a mandatory state-wide quarantine, which has greatly altered the schedule and the view of our beloved Colonial Williamsburg. We are currently embracing those close to us and spending most of our time at home, but also making the most of it! The silver lining in all this is the beautiful onset of spring, which began officially only last week. Today we’re sharing 6 lovely ways to welcome the season while doing your part to stop the spread…. 1. Cook Why not take advantage of all the fantastic fresh fruits and vegetables that are coming into season? Even if you can’t go out to enjoy a meal, this time provides an opportunity to hone your skills in the kitchen. An evening at home can become a fun culinary journey with the right ingredients. And if you need some inspiration for creative recipes, check out last year’s foodie blog post, or maybe invest in a Colonial Williamsburg cookbook! 2. Open the Windows The weather is warming up, right to that perfect spring temperature. It’s amazing how refreshing a little natural breeze can bring such life into the home, so open up those windows! With the streets so quiet, you can hear the birds singing and new leaves rustling in the trees. Fresh air does us so much good! 3. Get Inspired (read a book!) If you’re like us and can tire easily of screens, make it a point to invest time every day in a book that sparks creativity. Whether it’s a travel memoir, a new informative book on gardening, or maybe something unexpected that just invigorates you, go for it! Keep your brain sharp and your imagination free to roam. 4. Get Outdoors All of the local events have had to adjust their schedules, but Mother Nature runs on her own time. And right now,  she’s gorgeous! Weather permitting, try to make it a point every day to get outside for at least 30 minutes; it will do so much to re-energize your day. You can maintain social distancing while enjoying the great outdoors, whether you’re walking your dog, playing frisbee with a loved one, or maybe taking a meal outside for a picnic. Williamsburg has so many beautiful trails and outdoor spaces, it would take all spring to cover them all!
Ron Carnegie as George Washington with his dogs Liberty and Justice at the Wythe House. ALL MODEL RELEASED
5. Bring the Outdoors To You Spring is the season of new life, and what better way to embrace it than to welcome nature into your home with an indoor herb garden! On your next grocery haul, stop and smell all those fresh bulbs and herbs and pick one or two. Pro-tip: remember all those tea tins you’ve collected from The Cheese Shop? Turn those empty tea tins into fresh decorative planters! You’re helping the environment through recycling, the population through social distancing, and your taste buds by incorporating fresh herbs. Win-win-win! 6. Listen Up Welcome something new into your day-to-day with podcasts. There are so many to choose from, no matter your interest (and it’s a great way to peak a new interest too). You can listen to them while exercising, cleaning your home, cooking, falling asleep, really any time. Whether informative or fun, this is a great way to go screen-free for a little while. Our recommendation: start with Past & Present, Colonial Williamsburg’s own podcast! While this time of social distancing and quarantine may be a challenge for us all, we at the Inn, like so many others, are determined to make the most of it. The spring season offers so much beauty every year, and this year is no different in that regard. We hope you are able to enjoy it to the fullest, whatever your circumstance, and we can’t wait to see you in the summer! All of us at the Fife and Drum Inn wish health to you and yours. How are you spending your quarantine? Leave us a comment to let us know, or tag us online at @fifeanddruminn. We’ll see you soon!  

All About the Williamsburg Farmers Market

Though there’s still quite a chill in the air, daffodils are starting to pop up as the anticipation of spring is welcomed into Colonial Williamsburg. And one of the first big signs that the seasons are shifting is the annual return of the Williamsburg Farmers Market. This local fixture is returning on March 7, just two weeks away! So whether you’re a long-time market lover or have yet to experience it, here’s all you need to know before you grab your basket and head to the stalls…     WHERE AND WHEN: You can find this gem of a market every Saturday from March through December from 8:00-12:00, and right in Merchants Square! It’s only a 5 minute walk from the Fife and Drum Inn, so even if you need that extra bit of sleep or like a nice luxurious breakfast (we’ve got you covered) there’s still plenty of time to enjoy. SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Duke of Gloucester Street is lined with booths of local vendors, sometimes up to 50 different tents! Browse the bounty from local farmers, florists, butchers, and bakers, plus specialty goods like kombucha, goat cheese, mushrooms, peanuts, and chocolate.  Every week you can check the market website to see the layout map and list of vendors for any given week.   There’s also a few special tents that you’ll want to check out. Aroma’s Cafe, has a stand in case you need your coffee fix. We can’t recommend the basil lemonade enough! Plus, in front of The Cheese Shop you can find the Chef’s Tent, where different local restaurants give some delicious cooking demos. It’s a great opportunity to find some great Williamsburg eats. What’s that sound? To make the market atmosphere even more lovely, local musicians provide a live soundtrack to your morning.   WHAT TO BRING: While some vendors might only accept cash, all you have to do is make a stop by the Farmers Market tent to buy market tokens, which can be used at every booth. You can purchase with cash, credit cards, SNAP, plus W&M Express for market-loving students. And, of course, you’ll want to bring a market bag or picnic basket for all your delicious finds!   The Williamsburg Farmers Market has been a treasured fixture since 2002, and it’s only getting better with each year. If you haven’t had the chance to experience it yet, you have the wonderful opportunity starting March 7th! Our suggestion: fill your basket with market goodies, then head to one of our favorite picnic spots to enjoy the sunshine. Just one Saturday and you’ll be hooked! Which market vendors are you excited to see this year? Comment below to let us know, or tag us at @fifeanddruminn with your new market photos!    

What’s New to Williamsburg in 2020!

Happy New Year! We’re excited for another beautiful year here in Colonial Williamsburg, and even though it’s a town that cherishes its history, there’s always new developments on the horizon. Things are changing to make your stay even more refreshing, informative, and enjoyable. Even if you visited just last year, here are a few reasons, dare we say excuses, to come back and experience it in 2020! _____________________________________________________________________ ENJOY NOW! You might have heard the buzz about the new illy Caffè on Duke of Gloucester Street. It’s a European-style coffee shop offering unique flavors in petite ceramics, plus fresh croissants and paninis. It’s the cutest new addition to Merchants Square! Look just across the street to see what’s up and coming. Although we’ll miss our Williams-Sonoma store, which is closing in just a few weeks, it begs the question, “What’s next?” With so many new ideas bringing life to Williamsburg, we can’t wait to see what happens in this lot by the end of the year. BE ON THE LOOKOUT… CW is under new management! As of January 1st Cliff Fleet has become the ninth CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. We’re so looking forward how things will shift as new opportunities are explored, especially as we approach the nation’s 250th anniversary and the foundation’s centennial in 2026. Be on the lookout for upcoming surprises. For all you thrill-seekers out there, you won’t want to miss the unveiling of Pantheon, the newest roller coaster coming this summer to Busch Gardens. It will be the world’s fastest multi-launch coaster, complete with a 95° drop, a height of 180 feet, and a record-breaking top speed of 73 mph. It’s bound to be a game changer! MARK YOUR CALENDARS… You may have noticed the ongoing construction just off of Henry Street, and we’re here to tell you that the wait is almost over!The Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Art Museum expansion is set to be unveiled in April of this year. The new addition will provide more gallery space, and will improve accessibility all around the museum.
The new entrance, coming soon!
BIG news: Tuesday, April 28 the Antiques Roadshow is coming to Williamsburg! Whether you have an item you to bring to the show or simply want a close-up look, you can get tickets now through February 19. In a town so chock-full of history, we can only imagine the show CW will make! _____________________________________________________________________ Whether you’re a Williamsburg local or waiting for your next chance to visit again, there’s so many reasons to come in 2020. We can’t wait to see how this year unfolds, and want you to get in on the action! Give us a call at the Fife and Drum Inn to book your perfect Williamsburg getaway and enjoy all this year has to offer. What are you most excited for in 2020? Leave a comment or tag us at @fifeanddruminn and let us know!

5 Heartwarming Ways To Get You In the Holiday Spirit

The winter holidays are fast approaching, and it’s easy to get swept up in the end of the year wrap-up stress. So in case you need a little dose of holiday cheer (we say, we all do!), here are 5 ways to bring a little cozy comfort to your day. Whether you’re visiting the area for the holidays or are a Williamsburg local, these are just a few little things you can include into your week that will help you slow down and appreciate this season…
  1. One thing that never goes unnoticed in Williamsburg is the beautiful, fresh decorations, in particular the wreaths. Every year these unique wreaths adorn almost every door in town, all made with fresh local greenery. They’re absolutely stunning and only around for a short time, so why not take a stroll down one of the many streets and spy a few?
2. Just a 5 minute walk from the Fife and Drum Inn  is the brand new illy Caffè, a European-style cafe serving Italy’s most popular coffee. Aside from the breakfast and lunch menu, they switch over to a dessert-only menu in the evening. It’s the perfect place to stop in for a cup of coffee and a sweet with someone you love, or maybe to savor alone in a moment of quiet. 3. One word: CRESSETS. These beauties are placed throughout Colonial Williamsburg as sort of seasonal lanterns. Not only are they stunning, but they’re warm. There’s no need to fear the weather if you’re in the mood for an after-dark stroll; you can enjoy the holiday lights around town with little pit-stops sporadically at the cressets. They hearken back to an older and simpler time and makes for a refreshing pause in the evening.
Carriage Rides © Britt Conley
4. What better way to see all the holiday sights than in a horse-drawn carriage? While these carriage rides are available all year round, we think they’re especially lovely at this time of year. They’re just 15 minutes, so you don’t have to carve out too much of your busy schedule, but they’re such a treat. It makes for a unique gift idea too! 5. Finally, we think there’s no better way to enjoy any day, let alone the holiday season, than by starting with a good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast. Stay a day or two at the Fife and Drum Inn and you’ll simply have to enjoy your time. We’re decked out for the season, but we still like to keep things simple. There’s really no better start to your day than breakfast by our roaring fireplace! _____________________________________________________________________ Christmastime in Williamsburg is a treasure that we look forward to every year, and we hope these ideas inspire a festive gathering of those you love, a quiet moment of gratitude, or perhaps a night of much-needed rest. However you celebrate, we wish all the best for you and yours during this holiday season. Merry Christmas from the Fife and Drum Inn!

Sounds of the Season: 10 Williamsburg Ways to Enjoy the Music of the Holidays

The holiday season is drawing near, bringing with it not just the sights, but also the sounds, of Christmastime in Williamsburg. Music is such a lovely part of this season, and here at the Fife and Drum Inn, we love to experience it live with those we love as much as we can! Today we’ve put together our top 10 opportunities to see (and hear) the beauty of Williamsburg through music of the holdays… -December 5: Come see Dean Shostak perform “Crystal Carols”, a program on glass armonica, crystal handbells, and glass violin at the Hennage Auditiorium. It’s unlike any other sound, and a beautiful way to hearken in the season. -December 7: The William and Mary Choir, along with the Barksdale Treble Choir and the Botetourt Chamber Singers, present their joint winter choral concert at  Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. It’ll include a new composition by Dominick DiOrio as well as beloved holiday and winter-themed pieces, plus students get a discounted rate! -December 8: The Grand Illumination is an outstanding Williamsburg tradition that always draws quite the crowd, and with good reason! In addition to the spectacular fireworks, come to the Palace Green early to hear the vintage Christmas tunes of 504 Supreme and the Truetone Honeys, plus a special performance by the Fifes and Drums. -December 9: Join Thomas Jefferson and James Madison at the Hennage Auditorium for “Music of the Season”, a delightful selection of historical tales and tunes enjoyed by these great founding fathers. Complete with live violin, guitar, cello, and harpsichord, it’s a true taste of the Colonial Christmas. -December 13: We all some joy during this time, so why not kick it off with “Joy In the Morning” in Colonial Williamsburg, a program dedicated to the spirit and pride of the enslaved African Americans of the 18th century. Check the link for other dates for this hope-filled show! -December 11, 18, 24: Join in on the fun with Caroling at the Courthouse, a holiday sing-along on the courthouse steps. This one is free and open to the public, and is just a walk from the Fife and Drum Inn! -December 15, 22: Or, gather around Charlton’s Coffeehouse and go caroling! Because Christmas festivities are always better with a warm beverage. No ticket necessary, just bundle up the scarves and warm up the pipes! -December 24: If you live near or are visiting the Williamsburg area for Christmas, we highly recommend this pre-dinner concert at the Hennage Auditorium. Timothy Seaman will perform holiday carols from old American and European traditions on the extended-range hammered dulcimer.  “Profound Joy” is a beautiful celebration unlike any other. -December 29: If you thought the holiday season ended after Christmas day, not so! “A Season Full of Holidays” in Colonial Williamsburg is a fascinating program by four amazing musicians all about the festive season, including pieces from Thanksgiving to Hanukkah to Epiphany and everything in between. Come revel in the sounds of dulcimer, Celtic harp, violin and viola, guitar, flute and voice as you learn more about different traditions. So fun! -Now through the New Year: Of course, we can’t forget about the joyous sounds from Busch Gardens Christmastown! The best of Virginia’s musical talent comes together in 7 different shows across the park, plus roaming carolers. It’s a must-do this season, and we highly recommend seeing some if not all of these beautiful live performances throughout the day. _____________________________________________________________________ While you might not be able to make ALL these amazing performances, why not take a look at your calendar and mark a few of these down? It’s a great opportunity to take a pause during all the hustle and bustle and simply enjoy. We hope your season is all the merrier this year, and hope to see you in Williamsburg soon! How do you like to sing in the season? Comment below or tag us with the hashtag #fifeanddruminn and let us know!

Unique places in Williamsburg to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Halloween is just around the corner, and with it the annual sweet craving. Though we might not be able to go trick-or-treating like we did when we were younger, that sweet tooth hasn’t aged a bit! Fortunately, Williamsburg is home to several unique and satisfying sweet shops, bakeries, and creameries that you can’t find anywhere else. No costume required! CANDIES AND SWEETS: A fixture of Colonial Williamsburg, Wythe Candy and Gourmet Shop in Merchants Square is a great local spot to find a large variety of sweets, as well as hand-crafted truffles, caramel apples, and fudge! It’s worth the trip just to watch the masters at work. Likewise, Kilwin’s right down the street from the Inn is a great place to find wonderful chocolate-covered creations, plus this location doubles as an ice cream shop! Waffles cones are made fresh all day long, and the sweet smell wafts down the street……ahhhh. Maybe you’re one with a bit of a sophisticated palette? The The Cheese Shop is the perfect place to look. It’s here that you’ll find those really unique things like specialty honeys, teas, dried fruits, as well as imported cookies, sweets and (of course) cheese. Or maybe you really like that sweet-salty combination? Step across the street to the Peanut Shop of Williamsburg and go nuts! Peanuts, almonds, cashews, you name it, all covered in high quality chocolates, and trust us, the peanut brittle is a MUST. BAKERIES: Tucked away in between Prince George Street and Merchants Square is Blackbird Bakery, a lovely local bake shop. In addition to their fresh breads, croissants and Illy coffee, they also have quite the array of cookies, tarts, and (the claim to fame) some HUGE pecan sticky buns! Or you can go right up Richmond Road to Extraordinary Cupcakes. Trust us, the smell alone is so heavenly it’s hard to leave! With rotating and seasonal flavors like Amazing Apple Brown Betty and Sensational S’mores, plus mini cupcakes and gluten free options, they’re a true Williamsburg indulgence. If you’re haven’t traveled much along the East Coast, you may be unfamiliar with Duck Donuts, but around here they’re a staple. Hot and made to order, you’ll have to check out their season cinnamon apple pie, salted caramel, pumpkin roll, and maple bacon donuts. Or you can create a unique combination of cake, icing, and toppings all on your own to make the perfect bite! ICE CREAM: Though hardly more than a walk-up window, Bruster’s Ice Cream on John Tyler Highway is the place to go to find wacky ice cream creations. In addition to classic cones and sundaes, they also have like Oreo ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cakes, blended ice cream blasts, and lots more. Call ahead to see which flavors from their extensive list are there today! Finally, we thought we’d bring it full circle with a spot about 10 steps away from the Fife and Drum Inn.  Retro’s Good Eats on Prince George Street has all the charm of 1950’s Americana, but more importantly has true frozen custard. Thick, cold and sweet, you can get it in a cone, on a sundae, in a milkshake (so many flavors!), or in a classic soda float. It’s a sweet way to top off any evening. Mouth watering yet? While the little ones are counting and inspecting their annual batch of Halloween candy, why not try one of these local haunts? When you stay in the heart of Williamsburg, rest assured your sweet tooth will be satisfied! Which sweet treat will you choose, Candies, cakes or cream? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Williamsburg in Autumn: Our Must-See Events!

The school year has started and there’s a cool breeze rushing through Williamsburg. That’s right, the fall season is upon us! We look forward to this time every year, as the weather is ideal for fun outdoor events. We’ve compiled 9 must-see fall activities, so whether you’re a local or in need of a Williamsburg getaway, you have the perfect excuse to stay at your favorite bed and breakfast… _____________________________________________________________________ SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS: Autumn at its finest! -Need that pumpkin fix for it to really feel like fall? Pumpkinville in nearby Toano, VA has got you covered. It’s open throughout all of October and, in addition to lots of free family-friendly activities like a hayride and cornfield maze, it’s the best spot to pick the perfect pumpkin! -Start the season off with a local arts festival. An Occassion for the Arts on October 5th and 6th will take over Colonial Williamsburg (it’ll be right outside our front door!) with demonstrations and galleries of glass, ceramic, paint, metal, wood and so much more, plus dozens of local music artists and the Williamsburg Fifes and Drums. -Any Tribe pride out there? This year’s William and Mary Homecoming is October 17-20 and makes for a beautiful reunion, complete with the annual parade, tailgate, and (of course) football against JMU! -The mild fall weather is great for outdoor exercise. Consider signing up for the Governor’s Land 5k Run/Walk on October 26, right up the street from us. Getting your steps in while taking in the beautiful Williamsburg scenery. HISTORIC HAUNTS: Spooky events all October long! -As the Halloween season approaches, consider the Colonial Ghosts Tour. It’s been named one of the Top 10 Ghost Tours in the US, with good reason! They really know their Williamsburg history, which we love. Or, come experience Haunted Williamsburg and gain access to real historic buildings. -If you’re one of those people who really love the scary side, Busch Gardens’ ever-popular Howl-O-Scream event promises even more sights and frights this year. A new show and two new haunted houses, plus the thrills of roller coasters, you’ll be screaming one way or another! The Haunting On DOG Street Trick or Treating on October 25-26 is our ultimate local Halloween event. Perfect for little ones, you can find the Haunting Horsemen or Blackbeard, parties, and an auction. It’s the essence of the holiday done the Williamsburg way. -Also on October 25-26 is Fright Nights at Jamestown Settlement , so why not make a weekend of it? This is an all-encompassing Halloween event held on both land and sea, complete with ghost stories, family activities and trick-or-treating. Stroll through smoke and lanterns in the historical camp and board the three enormous ships in the harbor! _____________________________________________________________________ We hope you’ll stop by our favorite historic town this season to enjoy one (or all!) of these unique events. Stay with us in the heart of Williamsburg and learn why we love to call it home! What’s your favorite fall memory in Williamsburg? Leave us a comment and let us know!

10 Places You’ll Love: Dining In Williamsburg

When it comes to breakfast, we’ve got you covered! Our comforting spread is hot and fresh first thing in the morning, and is the perfect way to start your Williamsburg day. That can still leave a lot of your stay or vacation to chance, though, with so many options and so little time. Fortunately, you’re in luck! We at the Inn are Williamsburg natives through and through and have local recommendations for just about everything, no matter your taste. So without further ado, here are 10 fantastic places (you can only find in Williamsburg) to enjoy the other two meals of the day! -Retro’s Good Eats: Not ten steps from our front door is this 1950’s-style diner that specializes in classic All-American fare like hot burgers, fries, milkshakes and floats. Look closer, though, and you’ll find that there are also a few hidden gems, like seared scallops or crepes! -Blue Talon Bistro: This warm French cafe never disappoints. From the warm decor and outdoor seating to the delicious food and happy homage to Julia Child, it’s one for the true Francophile. Our suggestion, try either the fresh Illy coffee or the Parisian hot chocolate! -Amber Ox Public House: This new addition to Prince George street has quickly become a local staple. With a lovely selection of beers from Precarious Beer Project, a hearty and seasonal menu, and regular specials and events, it’s great for a night out for the couple that still likes to keep it casual. -The Hound’s Tale: The owners describe it best as “English pub-ish.” It’s a cozy little dog-themed pub that is clever, quirky, and still tasty. They’re only open in the evening, so it makes for a great dinner spot. Their menu offers a little bit of everything, and the atmosphere is fun and inviting. -The College Delly: Truly a staple of Williamsburg natives, this spot is perfect when you need a quick bite or a tasty meal on a budget. While the subs are certainly their claim to fame (the list is extensive!), the Delly also a great place to find shareables like wings and nachos, as well as Italian and Greek staple dishes. There’s a reason it’s been here for over 40 years! -The Trellis: This treasure is worth visiting for two reasons. One, the modern-American menu is clean, delicious, and offers dishes for a large price range. Two, the dessert is a destination in itself. Bread pudding, cheesecake, a brownie sundae? Just a spoonful is worth the trip. Our recommendation: try the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream! -Oishii: Recently reopened after a large re-model, this funky-yet-casual Japanese restaurant specializes in ramen, sushi, and hibachi. They also offer some newer trends like poke bowls and bubble tea; it’s a unique place that offers consistently tasty dishes. -The Fat Canary: Celebrating an occasion? Craving the finer things in life? This beautiful destination resides within the Cheese Shoppe in Merchants Square, and rests above the Shoppe’s wine cellar. And while the list of signature cocktails and specialty wines is a lengthy adventure, the menu by Executive Chef Thomas Power Jr. is concise and seasonal. Simplicity and excellence, it’s a true Williamsburg fine-dining experience. -Chowning’s Tavern: We would be remiss without mentioning an opportunity to dine like the founding fathers. This alehouse tavern is warm, authentic, and historic, but not by sacrificing flavor! Try the signature Shepherd’s Pye and satisfying trenchers served in bread bowls for a truly Colonial meal. -A Chef’s Kitchen: Lastly, this recommendation is for the adventurous or the gourmand. By reservation only, it’s a class and a meal all in one! You’ll learn to prepare a beautiful, seasonal, 5-course meal, and enjoy it with a complete wine pairing. It’s an experience that is truly memorable and includes the recipes! _____________________________________________________________________ No matter what you’re in the mood for, it’s so easy to have a delicious, one-of-a-kind meal in Williamsburg. Why not click on a couple and give them a try? And, we should mention, ALL of these fantastic local eateries are no more than a 10-minute walk from the Fife and Drum Inn. It really pays off to stay local and right in the heart of town; sweet dreams are only a few steps away! Have a memory of your favorite Williamsburg meal? Comment below and let us know!

3 Colonial-Inspired Recipes for Summer!

Warm clam chowder served in antique china.
It’s Summertime here in Williamsburg, and today we’re bringing you three recipes that are perfect for the season and come with a little colonial history. No need to stoke the fire, let’s head to the kitchen and get started! ____________________________________________________________________________________________ First up, let’s talk about Creamed Celery. It may sound odd, but this dish is actually referenced in the Williamsburg Cookbook as part of the menu from the original King’s Arms Tavern. Traditionally, this is more like a casserole of celery with butter, cream and flour, sprinkled with pecans and breadcrumbs, but we’ve found a more updated take on this colonial offering.  This is a recipe for Cream of Celery Soup (by Elise Bauer) It’s a light, flavorful take on traditional creamed celery with leeks, onions, and garlic that is a delightful way to start a summer meal:   INGREDIENTS 3 Tbsp butter, divided into 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp 1 cup chopped onion 1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only 5 cups of chopped celery, and 1 1/2 cups of diced celery  (from one large bunch of celery or two small bunches) 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 bay leaves 4 cups chicken stock 1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, to taste 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cream Freshly ground black pepper to taste Fresh chopped chives or parsley for garnish   INSTRUCTIONS Sauté onions, leeks, 5 cups of chopped celery: Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot on medium heat. Add the diced onion, the leeks, and 5 cups of the chopped celery. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more. Add stock, bay leaves, salt, then simmer: Add the chicken stock and bay leaves to the pot. Taste for salt and add salt. (If you are using unsalted butter and unsalted stock, you will need to add more salt than you expect, if not, maybe just a little salt will be needed.) Increase heat to bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Braise remaining celery to soften: While the soup is simmering, prepare the extra celery that will be added later to the soup. In a separate small sauté pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter on medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups diced celery to the butter. Ladle 1/2 cup of the simmering stock from the soup pot into the sauté pan. Simmer on low for 5 or 6 minutes to soften the celery. Set aside. Purée soup: Remove the soup pot from heat, let cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender, filling the blender no more than a third full at a time (keep your hand on the lid so the hot liquid doesn’t explode). Return the puréed soup to the pot. Stir in the cream and the braised diced celery. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and chopped chives or parsley to serve. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Virginia has always relied on the Chesapeake Bay for plenty of fresh fish, mollusks, and crabs. Blue Crabs in particular were quite a big part of Virginia’s farming and eating traditions during its formation and throughout its history (you can read all about it and the Chesapeaks Blue Crab Fishery here ). Today no summer party in Tidewater feels complete without an element of the sea, so try these Old Bay Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Peppers (from Ali at Home and Plate) INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs Parmesan and herb flavored 1/2 red pepper roasted and diced 4 green onions diced 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon parsley flakes 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg beaten 1 pound lump crab meat 1 tablespoon olive oil   INSTRUCTIONS Mix together all the ingredients well, using your hands if necessary. Shape into eight patties. Be sure to refrigerate the crab cakes for about 30 minutes before cooking. It helps to keep them together while cooking. Using a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the crab cakes to the pan when hot. Fry them flipping once until golden brown on each side, for a total of about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges or cocktail sauce. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Finally, here’s a refreshing sweet drink bursting with citrus flavor. During the 18th century, you could find a treat known as an Orange Cream, a beverage made from oranges, water, sugar, and eggs. English author Hannah Glasse included her recipe in a collection entitled “Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy”, which was revised in the United States in 1796. Here is a recipe for an Orange Julius, a more modern take on this classic fruit concoction. (by Kelli Foster) Makes 2 drinks INGREDIENTS 1 cup milk (whole, 2%, or skim) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate 1/2 cup sugar (or sugar substitutes, check package for equivalence) 1 1/2 cups ice   INSTRUCTIONS Blend the milk and vanilla: Pour the milk and vanilla in a blender and pulse until combined. Add the frozen concentrate: Add the frozen orange juice concentrate. Blend until fully combined with the milk. Add the sugar and ice cubes: Blend until cubes are crushed and mixture has thickened. If things end up a little thick, just add a tablespoon of water and mix once again. Pour and enjoy: Pour the drink into glasses. Serve with a straw and sip your way to blissful happiness. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ We hope these help bring a little colonial flair to your summertime fare and help you soak up this beautiful Virginia season. From all of us at the Fife and Drum Inn, happy cooking!   Tried any of these recipes? Comment below and share!

19 Top Favorite Local Spots in Williamsburg

scene of body of water from sandy shore

Do you have a bit of extra time planned during your stay with us? Why not take some advice from the locals? Here are our top picks, from places to shop to things to do, that every Williamsburg local is familiar with, and for a good reason! You know what they say – when in Rome, do as the Romans do.


Restaurants

To watch the big game: Paul’s Deli/College Deli

To pick up a fantastic, yet affordable bottle of wine: A Chef’s Kitchen

To indulge in dessert: Extraordinary Cupcakes

To feed the family: a TIE between Retro’s Good Eats and The Cheese Shop

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Activities

DoG St Pub Running Club

Summer Movie Nights on Prince George

Saturday Williamsburg Farmers Market

Pick all-you-can-eat crabs at Oceans and Ale (ok, so this is an activity AND a meal)

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Outdoor Spots

To spend a day at the river: College Creek (the Williamsburg Parkway)

To watch a sunset: College Landing Park

To have a picnic: the Sunken Garden (William & Mary)

To go exploring: the College Woods/Lake Matoaka Amphitheater

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Family Fun

Busch Gardens / Water Country (everyone with a family has a season’s pass!)

AMF Bowling

Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf

Movie Tavern (High Street) 

Shopping – You can find anything between these three golden locations! 

Williamsburg Premium Outlets

Newtown

Monticello Shopping Center

Questions? Feel free to ask!