This past week I headed down to a friend’s family house in Madison, Virginia for another friend’s low-key bachelorette weekend, including an afternoon at the Market at Grelen. I get why people do the big city celebrations, but I am so biased towards a more laid back bachelorette party. It’s so much less expensive, so much less stress, and lets you truly focus on spending time with your closest friends. I guarantee you that I’ll be writing more on the subject as my time gets closer, but that’s my disclaimer for now.
THE MARKET AT GRELEN
The hostess of the weekend organized the most lovely afternoon at the Market at Grelen, a garden shop and pick-your-own farm located in Orange County, Virginia (they also have a shop location in downtown Orange). It’s the most picturesque spot I’ve seen in the Blue Ridge – and that’s saying a lot. The website describes them as a “European-style garden shop set on a 600-acre nursery,” so perhaps it’s that European influence at work, but it’s seriously charming – charming to the point where I had to talk myself down from thinking, “How did I not know this existed when I was looking at wedding venues?!”
THE PROPERTY AND GROUNDS
The Market at Grelen is set on 600 acres and has five miles of walking trails along the orchards and through the woods. I was told it was a light stroll, found it to be a bit more of strenuous power walk, but that’s coming from a city girl who isn’t really into the mud and bugs scene. Regardless, it’s so nice to be out in the serene surroundings of the outdoors. Plus, there’s a picture perfect LOVE sign on the property – if I was in the area doing engagement pictures, you can guarantee I’d plan a stop here. The Market itself reminds me of an English garden full of flowers and plants overflowing from one area to the next.
WINE TASTING AND LUNCH
After our walk through the trails, we sat down for lunch and wine tasting in the greenhouse. We filled up on delicious salads, sandwiches, and a delightful cheese and charcuterie plate that was conveniently placed directly in front of yours truly. Once we had rehydrated and replenished, the Events Director for the Market walked us through a wine tasting of four local Virginia wines and I found a new favorite – the Barren Ridge Viognier.
It’s also worth noting, she accommodated the four pregnant women among us with a tasting of local Virginia juices – this is what comes up at bachelorette parties in your 30’s!
I love an adorable farm shop and I’m an absolute sucker for anything Virginia related, and particularly anything Charlottesville related, of which they had plenty. I walked out with a “There’s no place like Charlottesville, VA” dish towel, but I could have gone crazy with serving pieces and home decor if I had more room in my apartment.
If you’re a gardener, this is seriously your heaven. There are so many gorgeous flowers, plants, and garden accessories to take home. Of course, I don’t have outdoor space, so instead I just chose to take pictures of all the colorful flowers – that’s close enough to actual gardening, right? And, I’ll have those pictures to look at until next time I’m driving through Orange on the way to Charlottesville and I make a stop at the Market at Grelen for lunch and a leisurely stroll through the orchards.