William and Mary
CW House
CW House

About  Posts

2012-13 Residents:

Lauren Monark & Kyra Zemanick

The History of Grand Illumination

November 28, 2012 by

Image Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg

Since 1934, Colonial Williamsburg has wowed visitors with Grand Illumination, an annual tradition celebrating the holiday season in the Historic Area. With fireworks, musical performances, and pine-scented cressets enlivening a winter evening, this event succeeds to bring good cheer to all those in attendance. This year’s celebration on December 2 will be no different. As the Grand Illumination schedule of events indicates, Colonial Williamsburg employees will certainly be busy catering to its many visitors.

But such Christmas festivities were uncommon in colonial Virginia. As Harold B. Gill, Jr. elaborates in his article in the Colonial Williamsburg Journal, celebrations on December 25 were rare, so atypical that even international visitors found their absences puzzling. While the diaries of Thomas Jefferson and other prominent early Americans suggest that balls and dinner parties did occur on Christmas day, these traditions were not widespread. Indeed, Anglican families often spent the holiday, the official end to Advent fasting, in a quiet manner.

So if today’s Grand Illumination cannot be dated to the colonial era, how did it come to be?

According to the “Christmas” section on the Colonial Williamsburg website, Grand Illumination developed from the 1934 White Lighting, when Arthur Shurcliff, a landscape architect, lit single candles in the windows of four buildings open to the public. Though this practice was not historically accurate, it was deemed quite popular amongst visitors, so much so that they requested to buy electric versions of these candles for their own homes. Fireworks joined the program in 1957 as a commemoration of the 350th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding. All of these characteristics have remained essential components to Grand Illumination ever since.

We highly encourage all students to join in the festivities. Not only is Grand Illumination a wonderful opportunity to spend time with friends, it is a great way to support our community. Numerous individuals spend long, tiring hours to prepare for this evening-long event. For more information, please see our schedule of events below and the Colonial Williamsburg website.

Schedule of Events

5:00 pm: Candles lit in Historic Area buildings

5:15 pm: Entertainment at the Palace Green, Public Goal, Market Square, and Capitol

6:40 pm: Fife and Drum Corps plays Grand Tattoo

7:00 pm: Fireworks

Season’s Greetings

November 20, 2012 by

As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding area prepare to celebrate the rich history of the holiday season. Garland, wreaths, and Christmas trees already adorn the storefronts of Merchants Square, and soon the Historic Area will be transformed into a colonial winter wonderland. For those students who will be staying in Williamsburg for Thanksgiving, here is a sampling of the activities that will be offered:

Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center
November 22 to 24: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Come to the Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center to learn more about the foodways of the English colonists and the Powhatan Indians. At Jamestown, visitors can unload cargo from a ship docked at the harbor, as well as attend cooking demonstrations in the recreated Native American village. At Yorktown, visitors can join the ranks of the Continental Army and partake in drills to earn their daily rations. The reconstructed 1780s farmstead will also host programs on foodstuffs that have become the staple cuisine of contemporary Thanksgiving traditions.

Milk and Cookies with Santa
Barnes & Noble College Bookstore
November 23: 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Join Santa as he savors his favorite dish on the second floor of the W&M Bookstore.

Father Christmas Strolling the Square
Merchants Square
November 23: 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Will you be getting presents or coal this year? Ask Santa for yourself!

Sipping & Supping for the Holidays
DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum
November 23: 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm

This guided tour of the DeWitt Wallace’s ceramics collection will investigate the importance of various dishware during eighteenth-century holiday celebrations.

Holiday Seafood Feast
Traditions, Williamsburg Lodge
November 23: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The Traditions restaurant at the Williamsburg Lodge will be hosting an evening seafood buffet for $34 per person. Call 1-800-828-3767 to make a reservation.

Musical Diversions: The Holiday Fiddle and Song
Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse
November 23: 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm; 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Join Bill Weldon, Director of Historic Area Programs and Productions, and Brian Forsman as they entertain audiences with period holiday music. A separate ticket is required.

Holiday Farmers Market
Merchants Square
November 24: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Akin to the Saturday farmers markets held in the spring and summer, the Holiday Farmers Market welcomes numerous produce, meat, pastry, and souvenir vendors from the Tidewater region. Among the many proprietors include Bacon’s Castle Supply, Barry’s Berries & Jan’s Jams, Cavanna Pasta, Christmas Peddler, J & J Treeland, and Shiloh Acres Farm. See the Williamsburg Farmers Market website for more details.

Bassett Hall Holiday Workshop: Knitting
Bassett Hall, 522 East Francis Street
November 24: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Learn to knit like Abby Aldrich Rockefeller! This two-hour workshop will give participants the skills they need to knit a winter scarf. A separate ticket is required.

Christmastide at Home
Greenhow Lumber House
November 24: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Learn more about colonial Christmas traditions during this hour-long survey of Colonial Williamsburg’s history. Five additional tours will take place throughout the evening. A separate ticket is required.

Palace Concert
Governor’s Palace
November 24: 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm; 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Lord Dunmore has opened his grand palace for an evening of music and holiday cheer. The Governor’s Musick ensemble will play period repertoire from colonial Virginia and Europe. A separate ticket is required.

Christmas Decorations Walking Tour
Greenhow Lumber House
November 25: 9:15 am to 10:15 am

Beginning on ever-beautiful Duke of Gloucester Street, Colonial Williamsburg staff will take visitors on a tour of the Christmas decorations that adorn the landmarks of the Historic Area. Three additional tours will occur throughout the day. A separate ticket is required.


As always, remember to bring your Collegiate Pass! Colonial Williamsburg will no longer accept a student ID as an admission ticket. The free Collegiate Pass can be acquired at the Visitor Center or the Lumber House ticket office.

Until next time, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

*All images courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg

Please Sir, I Want Some More… Pork Pie

November 12, 2012 by

“I do not pretend to teach professed cooks, but my design is to instruct the ignorant and unlearned (which will likewise be of great use in all private families) and in so plain and full a manner, that the most illiterate and ignorant person, who can but read, will know how to do every thing in cookery well.”

- Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery (1747), pg. 1

Hannah Glasse was an impoverished English housewife when she began to pen her widely-acclaimed cookbook. She did not intend to produce a book for the wealthy. As indicated by the straightforward text, she sought to teach servants and housewives how to cook in a manner that was simple and undemanding. The cookbook, aptly titled The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, became one of the most well-known cookbooks of the eighteenth-century.

Glasse’s popularity has resurfaced in recent years. In 2004, Prospect Books reprinted a paperback edition entitled First Catch Your Hare. In 2006, the BBC produced a thirty-minute documentary about her fame. But more pertinently to us Historic Area residents, the Department of Historic Foodways has begun to include Glasse’s recipes on their newly-created “History Is Served” blog. Not only do these entries include excerpts from The Art of Cookery, they provide twenty-first century adaptations to the recipes. We have listed some here for those ambitious chefs already preparing their Thanksgiving menus. Enjoy!

Cheshire Pork Pie


  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 2 large MacIntosh apples
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ cup Rhine wine
  • Pastry, homemade or store bought


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and let stand until soft.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough into a 12-inch circle. Then, wrap the dough around the rolling pin to transfer into a 9-inch pie pan. Unwrap the dough from the rolling pin into the pie pan, making sure the dough is form-fitted to the pan. Allow the dough to overhang the lip of the pan. Return pie pan with dough to the refrigerator until it is needed.
  4. Slice the tenderloin into round slices that are ¼ inch thick. Season with salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Sear the slices in a frying pan with butter and set aside.
  5. Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Cut the quarters into slices that are ¼ inch thick.
  6. Retrieve the pie pan from the refrigerator. Fill the pie by alternating layers of pork, apples, and sugar. When the pie is filled, lay the butter over the filling. Pour in wine.
  7. Roll the second piece of pastry dough into a 12-inch circle. Then, wet the bottom lip of the dough and place the top piece over the filling. Trim the dough so it is flush with the edge of the pie pan. Flute the edge or press with a fork to seal. With a knife, cut 4 slits on the top of the pie.
  8. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Place the pie in the middle of the sheet. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes.

French Bread


  • 2 lb. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ¼ lb. butter, softened to room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  2. Heat the water to 90-110º. Stir in the yeast and about half the flour. The mixture should resemble pancake batter. Set aside for 12 to 16 hours.
  3. The next day, your sponge should have an aroma resembling beer. Add a beaten egg to the milk and mix well. Add the milk to the sponge.
  4. In another bowl, mix the remaining flour, the softened butter, and salt together. Add the sponge to the remaining flour and knead for twenty minutes until the dough springs back. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time and continue kneading until the dough is no longer sticky.
  5. Using vegetable oil or butter, coat the entire surface of the dough to prevent a crust from forming during the rise period. Place the dough in a bowl and cover it over with plastic wrap. Set the dough to rise in a warm room for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
  6. One hour before you are ready to bake, punch down the dough, divide it in half, and form two tight balls. Using a knife, divide each half into eight equal pieces. Slice the ball from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock, from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock positions. Bisect each cut piece again, making 8 equal pieces. You should have 16 equal pieces of dough.
  7. Form your rolls by shaping each piece of dough into a tight compact ball. Let the finished rolls set on a baking sheet at least 3 inches apart. Cover and allow them to rise again for another 30 minutes.
  8. Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.

Cupcakes, Tea, and Ghosts… Oh My!

October 29, 2012 by

It has certainly been an eventful two months here at the Colonial Williamsburg House. What with encounters with William Randolph’s ghost (or so we think) and two successful shindigs, we officially consider ourselves members of the Historic Area. One of these days we will manage to invite the Marquis de Lafayette to tea… but until then, we’ll continue to enjoy our time watching the various colonial generals ride by our humble abode.

Here is a synopsis of our CW adventures thus far:

Family Weekend Open House

On Saturday, September 29, we hosted an open house for students and their families. Despite our off-the-beaten-path location, at least thirty people visited our house. Much of our time was spent answering questions about the history of the building and how we were given the opportunity to live here; however, the highlight of the event was watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the family of a friend of one of our Spotswood buddies. We were watching the film on ABC Family before our first visitors arrived, and it inadvertently became a form of entertainment for our guests. Oompa Loompas, anyone?


Our guests watching Willy Wonka

Afternoon Tea

On Sunday, October 21, we hosted an afternoon tea for students. Although only two of our friends attended the event, we enjoyed our time drinking Earl Grey, eating scones, and – surprise, surprise – watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on ABC Family. Thanks to Maggie and Hannah for stopping by!


Lauren’s Halloween cupcakes for our Afternoon Tea

William Randolph? Is that you?

Each Friday night, we watch Ghost Adventures while eating cookies or pizza. While we thoroughly enjoy watching the crew scream at invisible beings, we never expected having supposed paranormal experiences of our own. First it was the clapping of horses’ hooves in the middle of the night. Then it was the chuckle right in the ear. Next it was the sigh, the groan, the television turning on by itself. Could these be signs of William Randolph’s presence? We can only speculate.

Until next time, stay safe and dry from the hurricane!

The Early Bird Gets the Banana Bread

September 6, 2011 by

Hello everybody!

Kate and I made it through the hurricane! The CW House is still standing—shutters and all. Colonial Williamsburg made every effort to make the residents of the historic area feel safe, protected, and cared for. After our initial “crisis tree” was enacted to alert residents of the impending storm and the safety protocols involved in preparing for a hurricane we closed our 18th century shutters all around the house and locked our doors and cellars. Even though Kate and I evacuated with most of the W&M student body, we knew that Colonial Williamsburg would look after the property, assuring us that they would monitor the house. It feels good knowing that just as the College has every intention to protect and benefit the student body, Colonial Williamsburg deeply cares for and protects its residents. While we might be a little removed from the college campus, we still feel like we belong to a caring community. A huge thank you to the Facilities Management team for effectively getting everything set back up in as quick a time as possible.

The first couple days of living in a historic area can take some time for anyone to get used to. There are the regulars: a re-enactor in a blue coat on his horse that Kate passes every day on her way to classes, the familiar cider place next to Chowning’s, and the friendly CW workers that work extra hard tending the gardens and maintenance facilities. With the sun finally shining and the weather seeming to cool to a bearable temperature, Kate and I met a couple friends this past Saturday for a Farmer’s Market morning. Feeling rather adventurous, I bought       several sugar cookies, banana bread, and a bouquet of wildflowers (now proudly displayed on our coffee table)—the zucchini bread from Lucille’s Bakery, always a popular favorite, was sadly sold out by the time that we made it around to the baked goods tent. A word of advice: make sure you get there before 10am to claim all the good stuff!

The Farmer’s Market in Merchant Square is such a unique opportunity that most college students don’t take advantage of. Especially if you’re a freshman living in Dupont or Yates, the trek to CW on a Saturday morning seems like the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, Kate and I seriously would encourage you to spend a couple mornings enjoying everything that the Farmer’s Market has to offer. Fresh produce, baked goods, and flower tents are regular attractions, although the fresh honey tent is a personal favorite. Later in the semester, many a cappella groups will also entertain the crowd, bringing a little flavor and music to Merchant’s Square. There is simply too much to miss by sleeping in on a Saturday. Bring your whole freshman hall or just a few close friends and support the neighboring farms in Williamsburg!

Here’s a quick summary of popular vendors at the Farmer’s Market that appear every week:

Lucille’s Bakery: From Richmond, they sell breads (sourdough, Honey Whole Wheat, Jalapeno-cheddar, Kalamata oline, Cinnamon Raisin Walnut, Cheese, Challah, Pesto, Pumpernickel), Fruit breads (banana, apple walnut, cranberry-orange and German fruit and grain bread), croissants, quiche, cookies, and salad mixings.

Greek Bakery: A local bakery from Williamsburg, they sell delectable treats such as everyone’s favorite baklava!

Duchess of Gloucester Flowers: provide fresh, fine flowers grown locally in Gloucester, Virginia. These blooms offer old-fashioned scents and textures (this is where I just got my new bouquet…they’re BEAUTIFUL).

Drunheller’s Orchard: Pick up some fresh apples and peaches—skip the dining halls and grab a fresh and healthy brunch!

Chocolate Cravings: (a personal guilty pleasure) makes some of the finest chocolate products in Virginia. Hand-rolled truffles in weekly flavors such as honey lime ginger, beer, and pretzel flavors. Black currant and whoopie pies are favorites, barks and key-lime ganache and orange peels are personal favorites. Many of these products are also infused with local herbs!

Bee’s n’ Blossoms: A selection of different honeys and honey products. (This vendor also gives free samples which is a PLUS). It certainly is a lot of fun to try different kinds of honey!

Goats R Us: provide a selection of different fresh chevre cheeses and cheese spreads with dill and garlic, chives, peppercorn, hot pepper, Greek, sun-dried tomato, as well as hard feta cheeses.

As a side note, I was especially pleased to see that Cavanna Pasta offered pre-packaged homemade pasta dishes that were gluten-free. Considering the  College’s new commitment for offering gluten-free meals in the dining halls, this could be a nice home-cooked and freshly made alternative for those with dietary restrictions.

Obviously, the Farmer’s Market has different vendors to cater to every kind of person. The vendors I mentioned are only a select few that we often frequent. Comment on this blog post and let us know your personal favorites!

After you’ve completely sated yourself with free samples (and maybe splurged on some wildflowers), take your food and have a picnic on the Governor’s Palace Lawn. Saturday mornings are simply too exciting in CW to spend sleeping in!

You can visit the Farmer’s Market website for more information about different vendors and product. As always, visit Colonial Williamsburg’s site  for more information about upcoming events and productions.

Take care, and enjoy your Saturdays!

Leah Towarnicky

There’s a Cure to that Dull Summer…

August 1, 2011 by

The house in the quiescence of Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is welcoming its newest residents!  Kate Hughes and I have been given the tremendous honor of becoming the residents for the 2011-2012 school year in the William Randolph House. We are tremendously excited and consider ourselves very, very lucky. We have some very interesting and new ideas planned for William and Mary students to hopefully allow a closer look at Colonial Williamsburg programming, especially concerning the Arts. We will let you know about the programs and events we plan throughout the year through this blog, Our Facebook Page, or you can join our listserv for quick updates and reminders about CW House events by entering your email for cwhouse-l at lists.wm.edu.

While my lovely counterpart is currently conducting her Monroe Project in her native Long Island, I have been given the opportunity to live in the William Randolph house for the remainder of the summer in order to conduct research in the Biology Department before the beginning of school. Waking up to the clapping of horse-drawn carriages, streaming sunshine from the beautiful gardens, and utilizing my HUGE skeleton key to the house forged by the blacksmiths, has already been a rewarding and unique experience. Having spent two summer in Williamsburg on campus before, it certainly is a much different experience to live in Colonial Williamsburg—even though it’s only a slight distance away from the hubbub of campus. I’ve felt the dullness before, and many students always complain that William and Mary is “boring” during the summer–that there’s never enough to do without constant student activities and the general excitement on campus besides go to Movie Tavern eight times and try and figure out how many pounds you’ll gain by eating at Nawaab daily. However, there is actually plenty to do right up DOG street. If you’re in Williamsburg this summer, catching yourself in a summer lull with nothing to do, here are some quick suggestions to liven up the day:

  1. Beat the summer heat by purchasing a 2011 souvenir mug for only $10! Refills are completely free and the mug is good until the end of 2011! These souvenir mugs can be purchased at the Kimble Theater concessions stand, Chowning’s Tavern, Shield’s Tavern, Raleigh Tavern Bakery, or the Visitor’s Center. During the summer months, fill up your mug with cool cider or with vanilla, chocolate, or swirled soft-serve ice cream!
  2. Kick back and enjoy a little music Wednesdays with the Summer Breeze Concert Series in Merchants Square.  From 7-9pm on Wednesdays, enjoy bands playing a variety of music! If you don’t have one, borrow a chair from the CW House to return for an easy night of entertaining. A recent concert on July 27th featured the band “Slapwater.” In the following weeks, enjoy tunes from USAF Rhythm in Blue Ensemble, USAF Heritage Ramblers Ensemble, USAF Blue Aces Ensemble, and the USAF Concert Band.
  3. Instead of debating where to eat dinner, take your friends or visiting relatives to one of the taverns! In the 18th century, taverns provided lodging for travelers as well as meals, conversation, and entertainment. The taverns of Colonial Williamsburg carry on the tradition of good food and a cozy and entertaining atmosphere. This summer includes programs such as:
  • Chowning’s Beer Garden: Gather in the Garden for an entertaining evening of lively music, visits from characters of Williamsburg’s past, a colonial magician, and 18th-century games. Enjoy casual quick fare.
    Nightly, 5–9 p.m. June 17–Sept. 1
  • Chowning’s Gambols: Experience an evening in an 18th-century alehouse! Join in rousing period sing-alongs and learn to play popular games of the day. Snack on Virginia peanuts, light fare, and local wines and ales, and select from a wide variety of other refreshments.
    Nightly from 9 p.m.
  • Shield’s Tavern: High Life Below Stairs—A three course meal complete with a show about magic, foolishness, bravery, intrigue, greed, and love. $45.95 adults; $23.95 children ages 6-12; children 5 and under FREE. Prices include tax and gratuity. Tuesdays & Saturdays, June 18–Aug 30; 5:00 pm seating; Reservations required
  • Raleigh Tavern Bakery: 20% off by showing your student ID from their selection of tasty treats!

4. Take your visiting family or friends on a Williamsburg Ghost Tour! Each tour is led through the streets of Williamsburg by candlelight, sharing in some eerie folklore and favorite scary stories. Purchase tickets online or at the Williamsburg General Store, and meet your tour guide before your tour in Colonial Williamsburg. During the summer, tours are only $10 with your Good Neighbor Pass.

5. The Farmer’s Market, open every Saturday from 8am to 12pm, is an excellent opportunity to pick up fresh produce or gifts and spend your morning in CW, escaping the heat of the day.  Enjoy a loaf of fresh banana bread or pick up a bunch of wildflowers, and then take a stroll through the gardens!

6. Invest a little time exploring the vast artistic and educational opportunities in Williamsburg:

  • There are countless activities everyday, free for those with a William and Mary student ID. Look online at Colonial Williamsburg’s page for daily events or special exhibitions.

7. If the humidity and heat has got you down, pay a visit to the Kimball Theatre and enjoy a CW experience (from the comfort of air conditioning). Enjoy movies, shows, and educational exhibitions for the rest of July/August before the stress of school and classes fills up your time.

Many, but not all of these events can be made more affordable for students by showing your student ID as your “Good Neighbor” pass. Many shops and events in Williamsburg offer discounts especially for students, so please ask!

Students at William and Mary during the summer might think that Williamsburg is only for the tourists—but just do a little exploring and you’ll see that there’s plenty to do besides the occasional stroll down DOG Street. Even though you might be far removed from your family or your friends, enjoy as many of the countless opportunities in Williamsburg during the summer that you can. As always, feel free to use Kate and I as a resource for what types of programs are available in CW. We’ll be updating soon about our planned events for the House, so stay tuned!

Until next time,

Leah Towarnicky

April 10, 2011 by

(Image from history.org)

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
-  Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

I  can hardly believe it’s already April. Addie and I have been excitedly awaiting the sunny spring weather, and we’ve (officially) decided it’s here to stay.  Walking around the colonial area and campus today, I was delighted to see flowers everywhere; from the clusters of pink blossoms in the trees, the patches of precious, mini flowers springing up in the grass here and there, the rows of tulips behind the Governor’s Palace,  to the tulips outside of College Delly, the gardens and flowers are certainly- and suddenly- in bloom! In our “garden” behind the CW House, our first flowers, Irises, have recently bloomed.

During this time of year, you will see  lots of wildflowers, violets, daffodils, and tulips in bloom in the colonial gardens. Starting this month through September, one-hour garden tours, such as “The Garden History Walk” and “The Gardens of Gentility Walk”, are offered. Information about the tours at:  http://www.history.org/history/CWLand/index.cfm#programs.  On the calendar at history.org, you can check out all the daily, evening and special programs going on this spring.

The Colonial Garden and Nursery is now open again until wintertime. At the nursery you’ll see plants and flowers that were grown in colonial times, such as heirloom vegetables, plants and roses, and an herb garden. The nursery sells 18th-century reproduction gardening tools, authentic plants, seeds, and other gardening items, too, for all you green thumbed garden lovers out there. It is located across from Bruton Parish Church on Duke of Gloucester street.

Upcoming Event on Saturday, April 16:

Addie and I will be hosting one of our last events this coming Saturday, during which we will lead students on our own special tour through some of the colonial gardens and our favorite CW spots! More details to come– so look out for information on the event; we are “William Randolph Lodging” on Facebook and we will also have the details on Student Happenings later this week.   We hope to see you on Saturday, but either way, try to take a walk in the historic area on one of these lovely, sunny April days… even Barack Obama is trying to take some time off to visit Williamsburg  with his family!

Carriage by Bruton Parish Church

Here are a few more things to do in CW in April:

- This coming Saturday, the 16th, you can participate in the D.O.G. (Duke of Gloucester) Street 5k which benefits Avalon from 7-9 a.m. (you can do this before our event!). Registration and more info at: https://www.raceit.com//register/?event=3159 .

- The Farmers’ Market is now open for season, held every Saturday in Merchant’s Square from 8am-12 noon (until the beginning of October).

- If you want to see the Fifes & Drums, they will be visiting Merchants Square also this coming Saturday from 2:30-3 pm.

- Starting this Tuesday, April 12th through June 7, there is a new walking tour called “Talk of the Town: The Women’s Tour,” going on every Tuesday from 11:30am-12:30pm. On the tour you can find out what life was like for women on the eve of the American Revolution. The tour is free with your ID but a free reservation is required; make your reservation by calling 1-800-HISTORY begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-HISTORY end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

**And remember, our W&M student pass gives us the same benefits as the “Good Neighbor pass members,” which gives us:

  • Free admission to all of the Colonial Williamsburg exhibition sites and museums
  • Free use of CW’s bus service, which includes a shuttle to Jamestown and Yorktown
  • 25% off tickets for most evening programs (for the members/W&M students only)
  • 25% off up to 20 general admission passes each year per household for your friends and family
  • Special discounts and offers for the month of April- info. at: http://www.history.org/visit/goodNeighbor/offer.cfm

Enjoy the sunshine and the historic area this April, and, as always, be good to thy lady. This is the perfect time for those  picnics and romantic strolls I spoke of  in my first blog post, and with the beautiful flowers blooming, you know one thing you can surprise your lady with.


Lady Grace

Holiday Romance in CW

December 2, 2010 by

Now that we’re feeling the winter chill in the air, it’s time to heat up your love life. To help you keep that flame burning during this extra special time of year, I’m back with a few final colonial date ideas to do before the New Year.

By Grace McGlade

*Grand Illumination in CW: 

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to get in the holiday spirit with your romantic partner, or your friends, this Sunday, December 5th. Watch the sky light up at 6:15pm with fireworks launched from the Governor’s Palace, Magazine and Capitol, as the candles flicker on in the surrounding homes and buildings.  This event gets crowded, as students, residents and even out-of-towners flock to CW for the annual Grand Illumination celebration; so make sure to make your way down to the historic area beforehand so you can get a view of the fireworks, and bundle up. You can also stop by to see me and Addie in our colonial home, and we will be offering hot cider, cocoa and holiday treats to students from 4-6pm (more details on our Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108996609171104&num_event_invites=0#!/event.php?eid=108996609171104). At 5:45 pm, the Fifes and Drums kick off the beginning of the Grand Illumination and after the fireworks, musical performances (on outdoor stages) and caroling begins until about 7:30pm. Let this be the kick off  to your holiday season!

*More information at:

*Holiday Farmer’s Market:

On Saturday, December 11th, take a walk to Merchant’s Square for the special Holiday Market, the final Farmer’s Market of the season. The market takes place from 8:30am-12:30pm, with special musical guests singing holiday favorites from 9-11am, our very own Accidentals- one of W&M’s finest female a cappella groups. Checking out the 30+ vendors selling wreaths, trees, berries, and other gift-giving baked goods and items, would make for a sweet, and festive, date.  This could also be a good opportunity to find a seasonal gift for friends, family, or your partner.

*Santa Clause is comin’ to town!

Experience the magic of Christmas again with your sweetheart by paying a visit to old St. Nick (you could even take a picture with Santa Claus)! Santa will be visiting the W&M bookstore from 10am-2pm this Saturday, November 4th, from 12pm- 3pm on Sunday, November 5th, 9am-2pm on Saturday, November 11th, 12-3pm on Sunday, November 12th, 10am-2pm on Saturday, November 18th, and from 12-3pm on Sunday, November 19th. “Old-time Santa”, Father Christmas, will be strolling the streets of Merchant Square from 2:30-5:30pm on Saturday, November 4th, 3:30-6pm on the 5th, 3-5:30pm on the 11th, 3:30-5:30 on the 12th, 2:30-5:30pm on the 18th, and 5-5:30pm on the 19th; so make sure to look out for Santa and check out the holiday decorations in CW.

More information about holiday events in Merchant’s Square, including holiday concerts and performances at: http://www.merchantssquare.org/calendar.html.

Enjoy spending the holidays with your loved ones; whether you are near or far, let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life! I hope your winter season is filled with love, magic, and holiday cheer.

Take care,

Lady Grace

It’s autumn in CW!

November 15, 2010 by

As we get deeper into the heart of autumn, Grace and I are enjoying the explosion of color that has painted Colonial Williamsburg in many shades of yellow and red. The cool weather is here, and we are happy to be enjoying a crisp and sunny fall! Our big news is that we had our first fire in our fireplace this weekend. I’ll admit that, as inexperienced fire-tenders, the flames took many long minutes of coaxing before they took off, but by the end of a sooty and breathless half-hour, we had a roaring, warming fireside to sit (and nap) by. We are currently planning our first s’mores and fire combination evening!

Our home is still decorated with the products of our latest event, the CW house colonial pumpkin decorating party that we held on Halloween. It was awesome to meet so many new students and to see their creative production in action. I also enjoyed the discovery of the electric pumpkin-carving-drill; like something out of a welder’s studio or our own blacksmith’s workshop, the tool brings pumpkin carving to a whole new level. The results were, if not artistically innovative in my case, certainly notable for their uniqueness. Thanks to everyone who came out! It was wonderful to take a creative break over candy, cider, and witch’s brew with you all!

Stay tuned for future events. We’re having a reception before Grand Illumination on the Sunday before exams, so make sure to keep that in mind when you’re planning your study-breaks. Remember to friend us, The William Randolph Lodging, on facebook if you haven’t already, and we’ll keep you posted on the blog about upcoming CW house events and events in the greater Colonial Williamsburg area.  Talk to you soon!

Want to get off campus? Explore Colonial Williamsburg this week!

America’s Music: On November 16, from 11:30 to 12:30, Kelly Kennedy is performing her Irish-influenced music in the DeWitt Wallace museum. Every week the “America’s Music” segment of their programming brings in a new type of American music from various diverse genres.

Kimball Theater: I’m Still Here is playing for two more days! The film follows an experimental year in the life of actor Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line, Gladiator) after his announced retirement from film in 2008. In Phoenix’s career shift from blockbuster star to hip hop musician, first-time director Casey Affleck (actor Ocean’s 11, Gone Baby Gone) explores the struggles of reinvention, especially when confronted with the ever-present glare of the public eye. It’s playing on Nov. 10–15 in the screening room.

Freedom Denied: Slavery in the Time of Liberty: This is an ongoing activity that explores the realities of enslaved African Americans living in our area, the birthplace of many revolutionary ideas about freedom and equality. The tour explains many aspects of the institution of slavery and attempts to leave us with greater knowledge of how free and enslaved African American lived within and tried to resist the system. Call 1-800-HISTORY for prices and reservations.

More at: http://history.org/visit/whatToSeeAndDo/historicArea/index.cfm

Romance in CW: Unique Date Ideas from a Colonial Resident!

November 11, 2010 by

*Dating tips from a CW resident…get the inside scoop! See if you can try one of these 5 dates and look out for my next “Romance in CW” update!

By Grace McGlade

Grace McGlade

Do you want to do something special for your significant other? Make a memorable impression on your first date?  Take a look at my out-of –the-ordinary date ideas and try something new with your friends, budding romance or partner!

I know what you may be thinking but yes, people still do go on dates- give it a try! It’s a great way to keep your relationship fun and fresh or to get to know someone you’re interested in, whether you’re developing a friendship or testing out your compatibility and chemistry.  So take advantage of our beautiful surroundings and unique colonial experiences and spice up your fall semester with some romance!

I’ve always thought that our gorgeous campus and the surrounding area are very romantic. You’re probably familiar with the ”hot spots” on campus- i.e. the Crim Dell, the Sunken Gardens, Lake Matoaka, the gazebo(s), the dock behind Botetourt- but there are many more within our reach, in the surrounding area, and this is our chance to find them! If the places I’ve listed below are not on your cognitive map of the Williamsburg area, I encourage you to give one of them a try; but if nothing else, do a little exploring in the CW area and have fun!

I’ve been doing some exploring and researching, myself, lately to come up with this initial list and have visited all of the places I am recommending. If (once) I try out these dates for myself, I will let you know how they go…there’s one in particular I know I just have to do before the end of the year- you’ll see which one!  Please feel free to post a comment if you try one out, too! I’d love to hear about your dates!

Date Ideas:

1. Candlelight Concert at the Bruton Parish Church:

*   Cost: no charge, small donation suggested

Would you like to see an organ or harpsichord recital in a charming historical church in the colonial area? Every Saturday at 8 p.m. concerts take place at the Bruton Parish Church, located at 201 Duke of Gloucester Street (makes for a pleasant evening stroll, too). Performances are also on most Tuesdays and Thursdays from March through December.

Candlelight Concerts & Historic Organ Recitals November 2011 Schedule:  http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/1318/NOVEMBER2010CANDLELIGHTCONCERTSCHEDULE.pdf

More information about Bruton Parish musical performances at: http://www.brutonparish.org/music_performances

2. Romantic stroll behind the Governor’s Palace 

Want a more intimate spot? Check out the gardens behind the Governor’s palace (go in the left hand gate, behind the kitchen building)! It is truly picturesque, with a small “canal” (pond), a bench on top of a bridge going over the water, and a few benches around the pond area.  Take a stroll around the pond and relax and chat on a bench as you enjoy the peaceful setting. Don’t miss out on the maze, also located behind the Governor’s Palace! When it’s warmer, the lawn in front of the Governor’s Palace makes for a great picnic date, too!

Maze behind the Governor’s Palace                                    Couple having a picnic in the front of the Palace
(provided by waymarking.com)                                          (livinginwilliamsburg.blogspot.com)

3. Colonial Carriage Ride:

*Cost: $12.50 per person if you have an admission pass to the historic area or for students, you just need to show your W&M ID! Otherwise, it’s $20/person.

A carriage ride through CW- you can’t lose on this one!! Enjoy a pleasant 15-30 minute tour of the colonial area, perfect to share with that special someone; this could be a great anniversary or birthday surprise! (….However, as a side note, I would personally love to go on a carriage ride any day; so to all those gentlemen out there, you may pick me up in a horse-drawn carriage anytime! ;)

Here’s how it works: you cannot book it in advance so you must make a reservation on the same day you want to go on a carriage ride. You will need to do this in person at the Lumber House ticket office, open from 8:45am-9pm every day.

The Greenhow Lumber House ticket office is located across from the Bruton Parish Church, down DoG Street; it’ll be on your right, or the south side of the street. If you have any trouble finding it or any additional questions, call 757-229-1000 and ask to be directed to the Lumber House ticket office. Make sure you book a time early to ensure you get a reservation!! If you reserve a carriage ride in the evening, make sure you’re bundled up. With any of these dates, it might be nice to stop and get some hot cider at the stand as you walk down DoG Street. If you are planning this as a surprise, you could ask that special someone to go on a little cider date and CW stroll with you… and then bam!- the horse-drawn carriage rolls up and you will melt your date’s heart!

4. The Kimball Theatre:

*Price: movie tickets are $6 for students, seniors and children and $7 for adults. Prices vary but for the musical performances tickets are generally between $5-20 for students (holiday/special programs tend to be the ones that are more costly).  The box office is open 4-9 PM daily.

*More info: Located in Merchant’s Square at 428 W. Duke of Gloucester Street. For more information, call (757) 565- 8588 and for tickets call 1-800-HISTORY (1-800-447-8679). Website: kimballtheatre.com

Did you know that the Kimball Theatre has been open since 1933? The theatre, originally called “The Williamsburg Theatre”, was built in 1932  as a sister theatre to Radio City Music Hall as a part of John D. Rockefeller’s restoration of CW. Rockefeller owned a film distribution company called Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) and the Kimball Theater along with two other RKO theatres which were located in NYC, Radio City Music Hall and the Roxy Theatre, opened on the same week. The Rockefellers frequented this theatre, as well as Walt Disney, who is said to have spoken with W&M students before and after film screenings! The theatre was originally built for motion pictures but also held community events; however, from 2000-2001 the theatre was renovated and restored which is why it is now able to house more people and live performances.  Bill and Gretchen Kimball from CA are to thank for this, who backed the renovation, which is why the theatre was renamed “The Kimball Theatre”. (More info at history.org)

You can impress your date with a little background about the theatre and choose from a variety of offered entertainment, from seeing a current film to an orchestra performance, going to one of the upcoming holiday programs or concerts, or even a chance to swing dance! Check out all the upcoming events on the November-December calendar at: http://www.history.org/visit/eventsAndExhibits/kimballTheatre/images/KTMailer.pdf! There’s something here for everyone!

5.  Time for dessert!

Going out for dessert is a great date option! You can make it as casual or romantic and formal as you want; for instance, you can go get an ice cream at Baskin Robbin’s or a delicious Berrybody frozen yogurt for a more casual date versus going to The Trellis restaurant to get a slice of ”Death by Chocolate” for seven heavenly layers of chocolate goodness (people do go in for just dessert and you can ask to sit at the bar if you’d be more comfortable with that).  Also, I recently discovered that The Trellis has a jazz night every Friday where local jazz musicians play from 6-8 PM and they even made a special menu featuring “small plates” if you just want to get something light and listen to music! Small plate menu: http://www.thetrellis.com/docs/Trellis-Menu-Lounge-and-Bar-September-30-2010.pdf

Here are a few more of my dessert favorites: at Aroma’s (on Prince George Street), they have a good selection of desserts such as slices of cheesecake, cake and other baked goods in addition to delicious warm beverages! After 5 PM they offer fondue, too, so you can get a chocolate or cheese fondue to share ($10.99). Aroma’s also offers a smores dessert to share ($5.25 for two, $9.50 for four people). Getting fondue or smores could be a fun option if you want to do a group date!  Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop makes for a fun outing, whether it be with a friend, a group, or your love. Going in recently with my good friend, Lauren, I was blown away by the variety of candy at Wythe, and we enjoyed seeing all the holiday goodies!  We like to get a few chocolate truffles and buy our friends a fun seasonal treat (like chocolate pumpkin lollipops). If you happen to know your sweetheart’s candy preferences, you could get them a little something and let them know that you are thinking of them! Little gestures go a long way, and hey, you deserve a little treat, too, so get yourself something while you’re in there!

Hours of operation for the listed places:

  • Aromas: Open Mon-Thu 7am-10pm; Fri-Sat 7am-11pm; Sun 8am-8pm.
  • Baskin Robbin’s: 9am-10pm
  • The Trellis: open for breakfast 8am-10:30am, for Lunch at 11am-4pm, and for Dinner at 5-9pm.
  • Berrybody:  Mon-Sat open from 12pm(noon)- 9pm; Sun open 12pm(noon)-8pm.
  • Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop: Mon-Sat 10-6pm; Sun 12-5 pm
  • And check out Blue Talon’s dessert menu at: http://bluetalonbistro.com/docs/menus/DessertMenu.pdf

Hope some of these date suggestions are helpful and I can’t wait to try some out and post my next 5!

- Lady Grace