Brunch Tea at Historic Rosemont Manor

On Friday, Ben and I took a vacation day from work and drove to the Shenandoah Valley. We had brunch tea at Historic Rosemont Manor, a B&B that has hosted several presidents, including Roosevelt and Kennedy.

Rosemont served non-alcoholic apple cider mimosas, scones, a stack of mini pancakes with layers of jelly, nutella and peanut butter in between; stuffed apple croissants; chicken and waffles; mini pumpkin pieĀ  and several other items. Both Ben and I really liked it (he said it was “surprisingly delightful”).

After brunch, we drove to Leesburg, a town in Loudoun County that’s similar to Old Town, Alexandria, with its red brick sidewalks and storefronts in historic brick buildings. I’m actually writing this post from a Leesburg cafe.

Random Thoughts

  • The metal jewelry making course that I enrolled in starts on Wednesday. Fingers crossed that I like it because it’s 5 weeks long.
  • I finished a book about the Duchess of Devonshire called The Duchess. I’m thinking about incorporating the books that I read into this blog, so that I’m forced to summarize them and retain what I read. We’ll see how ambitious I’m feeling.
  • We’re attending a Halloween party and despite my internet searches, I still don’t have a costume. I may resort to cat ears.

Woodlawn Plantation

In the same weekend that I visited Tudor Place, I went to a house with another Washington connection: Woodlawn Plantation.

Woodlawn is close to Mount Vernon, and that’s because it used to be part of the estate. On George Washington’s birthday in 1799, his nephew Lawrence Lewis married Martha’s granddaughter (his step-granddaughter) Nelly Custis. Washington gave them the land as a wedding present.

This house has fewer objects than Tudor Place (it was sold out of the family in 1846), but it’s just as interesting, given that Nelly is a prominent figure at Mount Vernon. She was raised by the Washingtons after her father died, and she gave birth to her first child at Mount Vernon, likely in the Chintz Room.

Due to the number of people on our tour and the small space, I found it easier to take pictures of the objects in the home than the home itself.

A clock in the dining room:

A vase on a mantel:

The top of a guest bed:

The brass rings would have been used to anchor a curtain that would hold in heat during the winter.

Random Thoughts

  • I’m going to learn embroidery! I saw some embroidered wall hangings in a vintage furniture store and was inspired to make my own. To get started, I bought a cross stitch sampler at the Mount Vernon gift shop and a book on boho embroidery from my local sewing store (I’m not sure what boho embroidery is, but I liked the sample projects in the book).
  • I have a goal to walk 70,000 steps per week, and I’ve been listening to the History Chicks podcast on my walks after work. The episodes are usually more than an hour. I’ve already listened to podcasts on Queen Victoria, the Gilded Age heiresses and Georgianna, the Duchess of Devonshire.
  • Ben and I just watched the first episode of This Is Us. I’ve heard it’s a tear-jerker, and I have a feeling that I’m going to regret this. The first episode had such a good twist that I can’t not watch it.

Tudor Place

Tudor Place is a historic home in Georgetown that was built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter and her husband in 1816. What sets it apart from other historic houses is that it remained in the same family for six generations. It appears as it did when the last generation lived there from the 1920s to the 1983.

The family preserved many of Tudor Place’s historic features and adapted them for modern use, such as the light in the room below, which has been wired for electricity.

The closet in this bedroom contains vintage dresses (possibly 1950s), but unfortunately, it was too dark to photograph them.

Due to the Washington connection, there are paintings of George Washington and objects from Mount Vernon in the house (not this tea set, as far as I know). The Marquis de Lafayette once visited, and gifted the family with a portrait of himself that still hangs in the room where the family first placed it.


Printed Textile Exhibit at Colonial Williamsburg

Ana and I drove to Colonial Williamsburg yesterday to see an exhibit on printed fashions. Although the museum is large, the textile exhibit was smaller than I expected: one room, with about five pieces of clothing on mannequins and other pieces of fabric in display cases.

I definitely had a favorite:

This dress was made in England in 1785, of cotton and linen. I really like the color combination.

Also, Williamsburg is beautiful in the fall, like something out of a painting. My photo doesn’t do it justice.

Random Thoughts

  • As we were driving home from Dunkirk earlier this month, Ben and I accidentally discovered a resort that’s about 2 1/2 hours from Alexandria. We stopped for dinner, not realizing that the restaurant that I’d found on Google was part of a place called Bedford Springs. It’s a luxury resort in the mountains with a spa and a heated mineral springs pool. We ate outside next to the fire pit at the Frontier Tavern. I love fire pits.
  • I’ve been making up for my lack of sightseeing lately. I visited Tudor Place and Woodlawn Plantation last weekend (posts on those are coming up).
  • Ben and I went to see the new Kingsman movie. Two thumbs up (except for the stereotypical portrayal of Americans…but we probably deserve it).