Grace Manor Inn - Richmond, Va, 23220, USA

Top O' the Mornin'

The 29th Annual Church Hill Irish Festival is March 22-23

March 10, 2014
It's amazing how much stock we put into traditions. Whether it's the way your grandmother makes her cherry pies, the music you listen to during the holidays, or your neighborhood's annual 4th of July block party, traditions help carry on our thirst for life and our individuality as human beings. Traditions help define our cultures while also drawing parallels between our shared beliefs- like the importance of good food, family and friends and of course, music to dance to.

This year marks the 29th year of the Church Hill Irish Festival. The festival is as much a celebration of the Irish community as it is the community that helps organize and run it every year. The two day festival kicks off March 22 with a parade down 25th and Broad Street. The festival runs 10 am-7pm. Thre will be face painting, Irish crafts, dancing and music, a harp competition, several bagpipe troops, over 30 Irish crafters and vendors, plenty of children's games and, of course, your favorite Irish foods and beer. Sunday, March 23, starts with the Hill Topper 5K at 9 am. The fun continues with another day of live music, dancing and good food.

Proceeds from this event go to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Society and their fight against childhood cancer, the Church Hill Association, Child Saver’s Clinic of Richmond, the St. Peter’s Meals Program and many other neighborhood causes. Proceeds also benefit the historic preservation of St. Patrick’s Church, a “little church with a big heart” built in the 1850′s by Irish Immigrants, and its outreach programs.

Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, visit:

"The Dome" at the Science Museum of Virginia

March 17, 2014
Ever wish you could experience what it's like to fly through space, swim through the deepest parts of the ocean or float through the air? The Dome at the Science Museum of Virginia has re-opened for the season with an impressive collection of visually stunning films and presentations.  

Witness the Aurora Borealis, watch first-hand the migration of millions of monarch butterflies and discover their secret hideaway, venture across the Arctic with a mother polar bear and her two cubs or float into distant galaxies with the Hubble Telescope.

The Dome is the largest digital theater in Virginia, with a 76 ft. screen. Groups of 35 or more can actually preschedule a special showing of a particular film.

Tickets are $9. For a list of the films and the showtimes available, visit:

The Richmond Trolley Company

March 17, 2014
I can't emphasize enough how many interesting things there are to learn about Richmond. I feel like I can spend years in this city and never fully experience everything there is to see or do.

Once the weather starts to clear up and the warmer days of spring and summer waft in with a cool afternoon breeze, I find myself aching to be outdoors. If you are visiting, new in town or have lived here your whole life, chances are, you haven't had the pleasure of seeing Richmond from the vantage point of a vintage trolley bus.

The Richmond Trolley Company oiffers a dynamic 90 minute tour of some of Richmond's hotspots, including: Shockoe Bottom, Church Hill, Capitol Square, Jackson Ward, Monument Avenue and more.

Tickets are $12.50-25.00. The tour departs from their office at 1805 E. Grace Street in Shockoe Bottom. The trolley runs 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 11 a.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, visit:

The Sketchbook Library Project rolls into town

March 19, 2014
I'm sure we are all guilty of doodling at some point in our lives, whether it was in the middle of your second period history notes or the corners of a new inter-office memo. Our brain needs a creative outlet- a space to simply work through our fears, hopes and frustrations. Something as simple as a sketch in a notebook can relax our minds, allow us to tap into our feelings and express ourselves in any way that appeals to us. The Sketchbook Project, a global, crowd-sourced art project, has taken that idea and expanded on it. The project is a traveling exhibition of thousands of handmade books from over 130 countries. 

The Project has acted as an outlet for artists to share their stories with the world, as every book tells a tale- from finding a cancer patient’s chronicle of their recovery, a marriage proposal between the bindings, or drawings made by distant friends.

The Sketchbook Project Mobile Library will be in town Friday March 21 from 1-5pm at the VCU compass.

Each book in the collection is cataloged and searchable by theme, medium, geographic location, and unique tags that each artist has created for their book. For $25 you can create your own sketchbook to become part of the permanent collection housed at Brooklyn Art Library.

Richmond's Spring Restaurant Week is coming!

Monday, April 21 – Sunday, April 27

March 24, 2014
Yes, that's right, the Spring Restaurant menus have already begun to trickle in. It's that time again, when local restaurants open up their doors for food lovers alike to enjoy a fabulous three course fixed-price menu at some of the hottest spots in town. This event may be a month off but trust me when I say- tickets sell fast! Restaurant week starts Monday, April 21st and runs to Sunday, April 27th. Each meal will be $25.14. As always, $2.14 of every meal purchased will go to benefit FeedMore- "Central Virginia's hunger-relief leader made up of the Central Virginia Food Bank, Meals on Wheels and the Community Kitchen."

Restaurants included in this year's lineup, include: 

Acacia Mid-Town 
Amour Wine Bistro 
Amuse Restaurant
Bistro Bobette 
The Blue Goat 
Julep's New Southern Cuisine
The Local  
Pearl Raw Bar 
The Magpie 
The Roosevelt 
Tobacco Company 
Water Coastal Kitchen

To view the menus or to get more information about tickets, visit:

The Monument 10K descends upon Richmond this Sat

March 28, 2014
If you happen to be visiting Richmond this weekend you will probably notice an abnormally large amount of street closures. Rest assured, the city isn't being quarantined from some sort of debilitating plague nor is it sectioning off bits of road that have spontaneously started to disintegrate, rather, this weekend is the annual Monument 10K. 

For the better part of the day, a large chunk of Richmond, right in the heart of downtown, is closed down to facilitate this giant event. Over 40,000 people will descend upon Monroe Park to compete or just to cheer on runners as they move down the avenue. Bands will be set up throughout the 10K course with a post race festival happening in Monroe Park. The race starts at 8:30 am. Walk-up registration is $55, otherwise, it's free to watch.

To get more detailed information on where to park, street closures and the bands that are performing, visit:

Oui, oui J'adore films français

The 22nd Richmond French Film Festival is March 27-30

March 28th, 2014
This weekend marks the start of the annual French Film Festival- a collaboration of the University of Richmond and VCU.

Each year, the festival will continue in its tradition of showcasing a diverse sampling of France’s newest feature films by established, award-winning directors complemented by a screening of short films, by France’s next generation of groundbreaking filmmakers.

All films are presented by their directors and/or starring actors. A question-and-answer session with directors and actors follows each film. All movies have English subtitles, and discussions are in English or in French with an interpreter. The festival, which stretches over the course of three days, is screened at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown. 

Tickets are $15 per feature film or $115 for the whole weekend. Student passes are $65.

For information on the films and showtimes, visit:

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