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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Clifton Town

This is the last weekend of my USA hiatus so I am dedicating this post to some of my favorite things about Clifton, Virginia. My parents moved to Clifton while I was in college so it has never officially been my hometown, but when you move a lot as a child, your hometown kind of becomes whatever starts feeling like home. So, Clifton is now my adopted hometown and it does a pretty good job of fulfilling a hometown's duties. Familiar, check. Quaint, check. Comforting, double check. I have spent many of my days during the last few weeks here in town enjoying what Clifton has to offer. Here are some of the highlights:
Orchids and Hydrangeas - gorgeous

  • The Clifton General Store - This is a three-in-one bonus stop. 1) The General Store is a full functioning store with limited inventory. It's a good stop for the one or two things you may have forgotten during your full on grocery run. 2) In the back of the store and on the side of the building is The Main Street Pub (also referred to as The Pub). They have sandwiches and salads, burgers, appetizers and a steak option. Full beer and wine list, maybe liquor too, but I wouldn't know because I've never ordered it. Nice outdoor seating in the spring/summer. It's a super casual place to grab a bite or pick up some quick to-go food. Also, if you cannot find my parents at home, this is the logical second guess, they are super regulars at The Pub. 3) Tucked on the side of The Pub and The Store is a small florist shop, A Flower Grows in Clifton. Judy, who owns these three gems with her husband, is a no-nonsense flower genius. She'll tell it like it is, but she did our wedding flowers (bride bouquet shown on the right) and they were remarkable.
  • The Clifton Café - The Clifton Café has undergone some management issues in the past, but it has been owned by the same adorable owner now since March 2009 and she's doing a great job with it. They have amazing coffee drinks, traditional and fru-fru alike, and will discuss your preferences for as long as you want so that they can create something perfect for your pallet. They also have an extensive crepe menu that is growing each day and includes sweet and savory varieties. This is a perfect spot to meet up with a friend you haven't seen in awhile and just sit and chat without being bothered. Needless to say, I've been here many times.
  • Clifton Wine Cellars - This is a new favorite of mine and happens to be under new ownership as of eight weeks ago. We stopped in for a quick tasting the other day and the owner was friendly, knowledgeable and unassuming - just my style. The wine selection was unique and the prices were reasonable. We sat and had a 4-wine tasting for $5.00 (not the cheapest I've seen, but certainly not a bank-breaker either) and the shop had meat, cheese and chocolate pallet cleansers available. If you purchase a case of wine (12 bottles) you receive a $10 discount and 1/2 case (6 bottles) gets a $5 discount. My favorite part of the shop is that they have their wines in sections like; crisp, clean, bold, dry, etc. etc. and then a main board that describes the qualities of each section.
  • Cottage Art - This adorable gift shop is my go-to for Mother's Day, female birthdays and non-registry baby gifts. Their website displays only a fraction of the unique gifts available at this shop and the people working there are quite possibly the nicest people on Earth. It's almost guaranteed that anything you buy from Cottage Art will not be duplicated and people will say "Where did you find that ______??"
When I'm not patronizing the businesses in downtown Clifton, I may be participating in the other past times that the town has to offer. Last Thursday I joined my mom and her friends on the Clifton Homes Tour put on by the Clifton Community Women's Club. This in an annual tour in May, tickets are sold for $20 ahead of time or $25 the day of the tour. The CCWC arranges for 4 or 5 homeowners to open their homes to ticket holders and you go from house to house admiring the home, the decorating and the gardens. In other words, it's a very sophisticated way of spying on other's ideas and designs. I was skeptical at first, but the homes on the tour were amazing and absolutely worth the ticket price. The downside is that you will want to go home and redecorate every room in your house at the end of the day. I'm sad to miss the Clifton Wine Festival that takes place on Saturday, May 29, although it sounds like a really good time. There are also great events like Clifton Days, Halloween Hayride, and Christmas Caroling at other times of the year.
All in all, Clifton is a great stop for a bite to eat, a coffee or just a walk around the town on a nice day. It's a great place to call your adopted hometown.

1 comment:

  1. Who's that beautiful bride in the picture??