Updated: Mar 16
Spring is in the air, around the vineyards, across the water, and down the streets. As the weather warms up, the Town of Irvington, VA, is waking up from its winter respite, ready to welcome seasonal visitors. Here's what's new.
HOPE AND GLORY INN
Hope and Glory Inn remained open during the winter season and added a new dining experience: The Colonnade. Located in the lobby of the boutique hotel's majestic and massive 1,300 sq. ft. lobby (to provide ample space to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines), The Colonnade is named for the ten Doric columns that frame the space and anchor the grand staircase, fireplace and baby grand piano.
Five-star chef Meseret Crockett serves a pre fixe, fine dining menu Thursday-Sunday, from 6 to 8 pm. As temperatures rise, Hope & Glory Inn will reopen its patio dining, Hooky, complete with fire pits and tower heaters.
Around the perimeter of The Colonnade are Detention, the hotel’s full-service bar, a dessert/espresso bar and a gift shop. The previous dining space, The Dining Hall, has been redesigned for private parties and desserts, after-dinner drinks and Blanchard’s specialty coffees, for those who wish to retire to a different location after dining.
THE DOG & OYSTER VINEYARD
Where the terroir of the grapes matches the merroir of the oysters...The Dog & Oyster Vineyard is where the Virginia Wine Trail intersects with the Virginia Oyster Trail, creating a perfection in pairing. Giant corkscrews (awesome photo opp!) greet guests as they enter the winery's SIP outdoor tasting room, reopening for weekends, Friday-Sunday, starting March 12. In April, the winery will be open five days a week, from Thursday through Monday, then daily beginning on May 1.
SLURP, the oyster and seafood stand located at the winery, reopens weekends beginning March 27, noon to 5 pm. Enjoy fresh, local oysters from the waters of the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay, on the half shell, roasted and fried; jumbo lump crab cakes; seasonal soft shell crabs; and more.
THE TIDES INN
Peruse The Tides Inn Spring Guide to learn about the seasonal experiences offered at the resort when it reopens March 15, such as culinary and art classes, outdoor recreation, live music, wellness activities, and guest favorite Virginia Oyster Academy. Special spring events include Easter Weekend, April 2-4; Crustacean Celebration and Spring Festival, April 23-25; Nautical Weekend Retreat, including "Life on the Water" boating basics and sailing, April 30-May 2; and a Pickleball Tournament on the Tides' new courts, May 19.
Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage Truman Jones returns to The Tides Inn kitchen, offering culinary and libationary masterpieces at Chesapeake Restaurant & Terrace, Fish Hawk Oyster Bar, Eagle Room, and Golden Eagle Grill. Learn more about the former farmer and view some of his favorite recipes on our blog Tides Inn Executive Chef Truman Jones showcases regional jewels of the Chesapeake & Rappahannock.
Some rooms at the resort have received renovations, such as refreshed balconies. During their stay, guests may notice activity along Carters Creek as part of the The Tides Inn shoreline restoration. Stay tuned for details and updates on the project.
STEAMBOAT ERA MUSEUM
Steamboat Era Museum is expected to reopen in May. Guests can step inside the POTOMAC pilothouse, the largest remaining piece of a Chesapeake Bay steamboat, and experience the life of a crew member. Also on display is the last American flag to fly aboard the steamer.
Ooh and ahh at a 1902 wedding dress worn during the ceremony of a popular local merchant and his bride, which The Virginia Citizen newspaper at the time called "one of the most beautiful and interesting of the June  weddings." The John Adams Floating Theatre exhibit tells the story of a traveling show that brought entertainment to towns via the Chesapeake Bay. Click here to view an interactive tour of exhibits at Steamboat Era Museum.
WINDSWEPT EXPERIENCE & SUPPLY CO.
Windswept Experience & Supply Co. is using its seasonal hiatus to expand and make renovations to its already vintage cool 1929 service center storefront. Offering all things apparel, bicycles, boards and accessories for purchase or rent, Windswept Experience & Supply is planning on reopening in early April and will also provide bicycles and services for The Tides Inn.
DOWNTOWN IRVINGTON & SURROUNDING AREAS
Boutique shops and local designers in downtown Irvington, Virginia, such as (photos, left to right) The Dandelion, Ann Carpenter Designs, and Sewlovelee, are freshening up their displays with the latest spring apparel, home decor and textiles.
Local restaurants are revising their menus, offering seasonal specials that take advantage of the fresh produce and ingredients from regional farms.
In addition to daily specials, The Office Bistro is offering a special St. Patrick's Day menu and Easter Brunch. Dredge "boat- and farm-to-table" prepares weekly chef's specials, as well as Taco Tuesday, Wednesday Pizza Night, and Dollar Oyster Thursday. Vine features a scrumptious Sunday Brunch; and with temperatures warming up, The Local is inviting guests to dine al fresco on its charming patio. Nearby Adrift reopens March 18.
Photos, clockwise from top left: The Office Bistro, Dredge, The Local, Vine.
Nearby Willaby's, in neighboring White Stone, prepares weekly dinner features and offers outdoor deck seating with spectacular views of the Rappahannock River. There's also a giant Adirondack chair riverside for a fun photo opp!
Chesapeake Doughnut Co., also in White Stone, has expanded its menu, adding several lunch sandwiches to its vast array of fresh, organic, craft doughnuts. The Irvington-adjacent eatery has savory breakfast sandwiches, avocado BLTs, chicken tender & doughnut baskets, chicken and tuna salad sandwiches, and Chef's Specials. Chesapeake Doughnut Co. has also opened a second location in Warsaw, VA.
Historic Christ Church & Museum
Historic sites around Virginia's Northern Neck are also anticipating a May reopening. Until then, enjoy fresh Spring Colonial Tavern Fare from Historic Christ Church & Museum in nearby Weems and help support the historic site. The drive-thru / take-out meal includes choice of Boneless Prime Rib, Ham with Pineapple Chutney, or Coriander Glazed Salmon and includes salad of broccoli and greens, creamy lemon garlic dressing, biscuits and butter, savory asparagus and cheese bread pudding, flourless chocolate torte with raspberry sauce.