Grace Manor Inn - Richmond, Va, 23220, USA

Wine Down at Ellwood’s

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
Richmond’s locally owned natural and organic hangout spot, Ellwood’s Cafe, hosts a Monthly Wine Down each month and the next one is this Monday (1/31) from 6 to 8 p.m. Your $35 ticket (purchase it in advance) gets you three courses prepared by Ellwood’s executive chef Josh Wood, with wines paired to each selection.

This month’s menu includes fried oysters with brie, lemon beurre blanc and sauteed spinach; duck leg gallontine with potato cigar and spiced cabbage; and cochon du lait with hoppin john grits, smoked tomato and craklins. Sounds like a delicious night of food and wine!

Mark Your Calendar: Bourbon Street in Shockoe Bottom

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Grab some beads and get ready to party! It’s 2011 and high time to start planning some fun getaways for the new year. Mark your calendar now and plan to head Richmond for a night of Mardi Gras fun benefitting local nonprofit SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now).

Bourbon Street in Shockoe Bottom takes place on Saturday, March 7, from 8 p.m. to midnight at Richmond’s beautiful Main Street Station. There will be live music from ’80s rock band Judo Chop, along with NOLA-style drinks and fare. Tickets cost $50 in advance (get them here) or $60 at the door. Go for a fun night of Mardi Gras celebrations.

Dining Scene: Secco

Friday, January 21st, 2011
One of the latest hot spots on Richmond’s restaurant scene is Secco, a Carytown wine bar with inventive cuisine and a trendy atmosphere. Owner Julia Battaglini headed up River City Cellars, the wine shop next door, for 11 years before branching into the restaurant business. She uses her same team of wine and cheese experts to make unique selections for Secco.

The menu features reasonably-priced wines by the glass or bottle; build-your-own meat and cheese plates; inventive spreads like country-style pate with pickled shallots, blueberries and purple radish greens; and mouth-watering small plates like ale-braised, paprika-dusted grilled octopus with olive wood-smoked potatoes or ancho-and-cinnamon-cured duck confit with caramelized Brussels sprouts, Japanese turnip puree, fried cipollini and duck jus. There’s also a selection of craft beers and specialty sodas for non-wine fans.

The atmosphere is relaxed and cosmopolitan with a cush sofa, warm bar and cozy tables for conversation. Another great feature? If you find a wine you like, you’ll most likely be able to buy a bottle to take home next door at River City Cellars.

It’s Firkin Freezing!

Saturday, January 15th, 2011
Monday’s (1/17) a holiday, so take advantage and celebrate winter with some special brews and brisk strolls in between restaurants. Five known-for-awesome-beer establishments around town will tap special firkins, or kegs of cask-conditioned ale, for your sipping pleasure starting at 5 p.m. Here’s the rundown:

5 p.m. Can Can will tap Green Flash IPA

6:30 p.m. Secco will tap Uerige Dopple Sticke

7:30 p.m. New York Deli will tap Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout

8:45 p.m. Commercial Taphouse will tap Legend Imperial IPA

10:00 p.m. Friend or Pho will tap Heavy Seas New Black Cannon Black IPA

So, plan to start at one spot and follow a few stops, or let us suggest a spot for dinner and plan to sip a brew or two before or after. If you’re feeling fiesty and want to follow the whole crawl, we’ll be happy to share some taxi companies to get you safely to and from the inn! For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.

Shockoe Wide Open

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
This Friday night you’re invited to explore Richmond’s River District at Shockoe Wide Open. On the second Friday of each month, the vendors in historic Shockoe get together and host special events to get you to head downtown and explore.

The walk extends from East Cary at 12th Street to East Main Street at 21st Street (we’ll be happy to help you find it!). You can park at the lot near Main Street Station or hop the Bottom and Back Bus, which will be taking guests to and from the action all night.

Special events this month including an opening of works by surrealist Helene Ruiz and cubist Ernest Hodnett paired with a wine tasting at C’est Le Vin and a sale on framed art at Frame Nation. You’ll find more fun things as you wander the route.

For more information about Shockoe Wide Open, check out the event’s Facebook page.

Mark Your Calendar: Maymont Flower & Garden Show, MAC Events

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Get ready for spring February 10-13 when the Mayment Flower & Garden Show and MAC Events 2001 Richmond Home Show take place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. That’s right, both of these home-centric extravaganzas now take place during the same weekend and one admission price ($12 for adults, $8 for seniors) gets you into both.

The Maymont Flower & Garden Show has long been a Richmond tradition. You’ll learn about the latest trends in horticulture and gardening through impressive displays (think indoor garden displays the size of a room or larger) and seminars, plus you’ll get to shop a humongous marketplace packed with a wine array of plants and garden adornments.

Along with the Maymont show, your ticket gets you admission to the MAC Events 2011 Richmond Home Show, which features ideas for your home and garden including remodeling solutions, landscaping ideas, interior design trends, furnishings and ways to make your home more eco-friendly. With more than 300 displays, this show is the largest home and garden event in Central Virginia.

We at the Grace Manor Inn can direct you to parking near the convention center, or to easy shuttle pick-up spots. We can also suggest some stops along the route if you want brunch or lunch before you go.

First Fridays Returns!

Thursday, January 6th, 2011
Galleries, shops and more will stay open late tomorrow (1/7) when First Fridays returns for the first time in 2011. Head to Broad Street early and plan to grab dinner, then wander the many galleries with new exhibits and special events.

This month, one of the highlights is Gallery 5‘s Papier Machete exhibit, which will feature two- and three-dimensional creations from artists across the nation using only paper and other similar fibers.

Quirk Gallery will host The Founders, a show featuring the works of ceramic artists Steven Glass, John Jessiman, Randy Edmonson, and Brian Pitney.

Visit the First Fridays web site for a complete list of participating galleries, shops and restaurants.

Haiti Palooza

Next Saturday (1/15) from 7 p.m to midnight you can support the Richmond-based Patricia Sullivan Haitian Outreach Foundation, which works to improve the lives of people in Haiti, while listening to some fun music at the Canal Club, which is just a quick drive or taxi ride from The Grace Manor Inn. The 2nd Annual Haiti Palooza will feature local bands Soul Providers and Docs of Rock, and will feature a live and silent auction. Tickets cost $15 in advance and can be purchased on the Canal Club’s web site. Head out for a lively night of fun for a good cause. We can also suggest some delicious restaurants near the Canal Club if you’d like to make a night of it.

A Few More Days of Ice Skating

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
The holiday season may be over, but there are still a few fun things to do that’ll keep you in the spirit a little longer. One of them is ice skating downtown. Just a short drive from The Grace Manor Inn, RVA on Ice is offering outdoor ice skating nightly through January 9. The rink is located behind Richmond CenterStage at 6th Street on the Broad Street side of the road. For hours and prices check out the web site. Head out for a last bit of holiday fun!

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