My latest post for Southern Living is up and it’s all about an area of Virginia that’s very special to my husband and me. If you’ve been following my blog, you might remember that last year, my husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary at L’Auberge Provençale and spent a whole weekend roaming Clarke County, VA. Now that our baby boy has arrived, we thought it would be fun to come back for a family day trip with our little one.
We started the day by stopping in the charming little town of Millwood to grab picnic supplies at the Locke Store – their made-to-order sandwiches and hot food, like quiche and chicken pot pie, are delicious. Also try their house-made boursin, baked goods, and chutney. And while you’re at it, you might as well grab one of their delicious frozen soups and a bottle of wine to take home for dinner. The store stocks a great selection of both local and international wines.
Our next stop was the State Arboretum – a garden lover’s dream, this hidden jewel is rarely ever crowded. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better place for relaxing walk and picnic spots are abundant. As you might have guessed, this park is very picturesque. On our recent trip, we ran into a group taking prom photos for this very reason. There are a number of events held here throughout the year – our favorite being the Garden Fair, which features vendors selling a variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees, including native Virginia varieties (pics of last year’s here). We spent the remainder of our afternoon strolling around, snaking on our picnic, and admiring the flowers that had just started to bloom.