April 24 – 26, 2015

Friday we drove up to Chilhowie VA with our friends M & C, for the last weekend of chefs John & Karen Shields at their B&B/restaurant Riverstead. They’re the folks who used to run the Town House in Chilhowie. It closed a couple of years ago & they’ve been doing monthly dinners at their country house while they tried to nail down a new proper restaurant.

They’ve finally gotten it nailed down, it seems, although all they’d tell us is that we’d likely have to fly to get to it. 

I didn’t take any photos, but other people did:

Live scallops with persimmon, young almond, plum and the most delicious magnolia petals.

A photo posted by Charlotte Walton (@charotaco) on Apr 25, 2015 at 4:42am PDT

Guinea hog with spring onion and buttermilk. From @chefjohnshields. #Riverstead

A photo posted by Paul H. Ting (@paulhting) on Apr 25, 2015 at 8:30am PDT

Masai, spring flowers, cured sweet peppers. #Riverstead (Chef Scott Anderson)

A photo posted by Paul H. Ting (@paulhting) on Apr 25, 2015 at 11:28am PDT

We’ve eaten with them twice before, and it was amazing each time, but this time was the best – five hours flew by amid good conversation and course after course of brilliantly conceived dishes.

Saturday was cold and rainy, so rather than hiking around outside, we decided to head up to Roanoke. Before we left, we walked around downtown Marion for a bit. It’s a right odd little town.

I missed the shot of the cat ASLEEP on top of the taxidermy. This is my favorite store ever.

A photo posted by Charlotte Walton (@charotaco) on Apr 25, 2015 at 6:50am PDT

En route to Roanoke, we stopped in Wytheville for hot dogs at Skeeter’s (aka the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson’s second wife Edith), and in Salem at Dixie Caverns.

Reflecting Pool

A photo posted by Ross Grady (@rossgrady) on Apr 25, 2015 at 12:18pm PDT

It’s a classic privately-owned Virginia limestone cavern, complete with local youth leading the tour, telling dumb jokes, pointing out formations that look like bacon or animals or whatever. The tour was only an hour but it kind of wore us out, honestly. Once we got to Roanoke, we had time for a quick visit to the local letterpress print shop, a beer, and then dinner at Local Roots.

And then a long drive home. M+C were total troupers & drove the whole time, so M & I just kind of vegged in the back seat. You never sleep as well at a hotel as you think you would (or did).

Today, in fact, was basically solid recuperation all day. M is watching this week’s episode of Wolf Hall but I cannot deal with it, so I’m listening to Greek power metal & putting all this down for posterity.

April 24 – 26, 2015

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