Updated: Apr 13
Europeans don't let cold temperatures keep them indoors. Rather than hibernate for the winter, cafes, restaurants, bars, inns and other businesses across the pond turn up the heat with firepits, outdoor heaters and fireplaces.
Cozy fireside spots can be found here in Irvington, too, as local businesses look for ways to continue welcoming guests while adhering to Virginia's COVID-19 guidelines. Here are some places in town to warm your toes by a crackling fire.
Hope & Glory Inn
Hope & Glory Inn brings the romance by providing several opportunities for couples to snuggle up together. Two of the boutique inn's six private cottages, set amongst a fairy tale-like secret garden, have fireplaces, as does Hope & Glory's meeting facility. An outdoor patio, reopening in spring, is warmed with fire pits and heaters. The inn's new restaurant The Colonnade also features a welcoming fireplace, as well as 10-foot ceilings, majestic Doric columns, and a grand staircase in the boutique hotel’s massive 1,300 sq. ft. lobby. The Colonnade offers a prix fixe, fine dining menu served Thursday through Sunday, 6 pm to 8 pm. Advanced reservations are required by calling 804.438.6053.
Friends and lovers can cuddle up around Vine's outdoor fire pit to share a fine bottle of wine, craft beer, small plates, and good conversation at Irvington's cozy neighborhood wine bar and wine shop. Open daily, except Tuesday, noon-9 pm (10 pm on Saturday.)
Meridian Bar & Grill
While the kids are enjoying the amusements at Compass Entertainment Complex, parents can relax around the fire pit tables at the Compass's Meridian Bar to partake in specialty house cocktails, craft beers, and new American cuisine, made with only the freshest local ingredients.
The Tides Inn
Nightly Beachside Fires by Fish Hawk are a favorite activity at world class resort The Tides Inn. Each evening, guests wrap themselves in soft blankets and gather on the beach outside the resort's Fish Hawk Oyster Bar to roast s'mores and enjoy the peaceful serenity of Carters Creek. Firepits and heaters can be found on the outdoor terrace at Chesapeake Restaurant. Those who prefer indoor fires can curl up in The Tides Inn's View Room, which features a comfy fireplace and spectacular water views through floor-to-ceiling windows. The Tides Inn will reopen on March 15.
Windswept Experience & Supply Co.
In addition to offering an array of curated apparel, lifestyle products, and outdoor adventure equipment sales, rental and service, Windswept Experience & Supply Co. has carved out a cozy, one-of-a-kind space where guests can warm up by the fire and pose for a photo opp, imagining they are somewhere in the wilderness. Windswept will reopen in the spring.
The Dog and Oyster Vineyard
Enjoy wines specifically crafted to be paired with Virginia oysters at SIP and SLURP, the wine and oyster bars located at The Dog and Oyster Vineyard, part of Hope & Glory Inn and a member of Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail. Reopening in March, the vineyard will have its fire pits and heaters operating to keep guests warm and toasty at the place "where the terroir of the grape matches the merroir of the oyster."
Ditchley Cider Works and Good Luck Cellars
In nearby Kilmarnock, Virginia, two more members of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail keep guests comfortable year-round with outdoor heaters, fireplaces and fire pits. Ditchley Cider Works & Farm is a waterfront 1752 Lee family working farm with cidery, tasting room and B&B, offering farm made ciders and meat products. Good Luck Cellars offers estate-grown, hand-crafted wines served on its massive wraparound porch with expansive views of the vineyard and rescue dog Grape Vine Patrol Squad.
In addition to its renowned resort and historic inn, the Town of Irvington, Virginia, is home to a number of private vacation rentals--some with their own cozy spots for fireside relaxation. Check listings on vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and the Town of Irvington's municipal site.
Keep the Home Fires Burning
Some nights you just want to curl up at home next to a cozy fire. Windswept Experience and Supply sells handcrafted, wood-burning Burly fire pits, designed to reduce smoke.
Never be anywhere without a warm fire! City Bonfires are portable, reusable mini bonfires for personal use outdoors.