We didn’t have a lot of exciting plans for this Memorial Day weekend, honestly life’s been busy lately and everyone wanted to keep it kinda low-key. All we knew was we planned to hit a couple of spots and just hang for a bit. Maybe do one day of touring with lunch and dinner as bookends. So a couple of us got together by text mid-week and made a rough plan, we’d meet at one of my favorite spots for lunch, Solo NY Pizza, as some of the squad hadn’t been there yet and they were getting sick of the rest of us talking about it! Then we’d hit up a new favorite winery, Twin Oaks Tavern Winery waaaaaay out on the Loudoun/Clarke border. From there we’d just see where the day took us. A nice, simple, relaxing day out and about with some of the best family & friends you could hope to have!
Everyone was on time for our planned meet up at Solo at 11:30 am! Bonus points for punctuality gang, great job. Our usual server/harasser-in-chief, Kelly was there, so of course she took care of us. Until she came around though we talked with Kyle a bit, he’s a great guy and enjoys harassing Kelly as much as I do, so a perfect fit. And Said, the owner came by to say hi. Well he didn’t actually come by so much as holler at us from the other side of the restaurant, but the effect was the same, we felt welcome and like family. Everyone at Solo is simply amazing at what they do, and they truly do make you feel like family. Three of the group go there weekly, the other three had never been, so we of course gave them the crash course in what’s good. Everything. Everything is good. But I’m partial to the pasta dishes, and the other two pros are partial to the cheese steaks, so we gave lots of great advice to help out the newbies. Our group ended up with garlic knots and onion rings to start. Pro tip…best onion rings to be had are at Solo. Our lunches were several different versions of the cheese steak, a slice of cheese pizza (don’t worry we all informed her that was incredibly boring…she didn’t care), and I had the bacon burger because Kelly told me I hadn’t had a burger yet and today was the day. It was all served fast and incredibly hot, and thoroughly enjoyed the everyone. Solo is the perfect spot for a nice filling lunch before heading out for a day of winery hopping.
A pleasant surprise was while we were sitting at Solo, I got a call from a really good friend that we hadn’t seen in a while. He said he and his beautiful, delightful, enchanting, lady-friend (my words not his), were free and were wondering what we were up to because they were going to joins us. How perfect! So we made plans for me to text him after we were done eating and meet up at Twin Oaks Tavern Winery, our first stop for the day.
We had visited Twin Oaks Tavern on Mother’s Day weekend, and I was immediately impressed with the quality of their red wines. A bonus point was that they also had not one, but two great wine slushies for the light-weights in the group. We were so impressed with the reds that we decided to join the wine club! Yep, for those of you keeping track, that’s #6. Ugh. Anyway, the way their club works is you pick up one bottle per month, and our first was ready, so this was a perfect place to start our day. Our friends got there before we did and were just finishing up their tasting when we arrived. So we grabbed a bottle of blush and a Raven Rocks Red, their signature bordeaux-style blend. The early arrivers had gotten a bottle of White Nights, and we all headed outside to settle in for a while. Housed in a tavern dating from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s on the top of the Blue Ridge mountain, Twin Oaks boasts some of the most spectacular views you could ever imagine. You have to see it to believe it. No really, go this weekend and see it. Not only do they have amazing views, they’ve situated all of their outdoor space, which is huge, to take advantage of the scenery. A wonderful place to spend a couple lazy hours with good friends, and that’s just what we did.
After a while we decided it was time to move on, so we voted and came up with Otium Cellars in Purcellville for our next stop as several in the group hadn’t been there before. When we arrived we were once again greeted with a beautiful tasting room building, several nice outbuildings and beautiful grounds. While wine makes the winery, I believe that the setting really does help improve the experience. And like most of my favorite wineries, Otium has a setting that says ‘stay a while and relax.’ So that’s just what we did. We started with a quick tasting that included 3 whites and 4 reds. All the wines were good, but my personal favorite was the 2014 Dornfelder, a nice smooth red wine that perfectly suited a lovely day out. Another group favorite was the 2015 Blaufrankisch, which I was quite excited to see as I’d never seen it in Virginia. In fact my first and only experience with that wine was in the Finger Lakes earlier in May (blog coming, I’m still working on it, lots to cover.) So we bought a couple of bottles of each of those reds, some crackers, lots of cheese and salami, and set out to find a place to park for a while. Found a perfect spot and settled in once again for a couple of hours of just being.
Someone made the mistake of looking at a watch and realized it was getting late in the day and lunch had been early so some were getting hungry. I had seen on Facebook that my absolute favorite Chinese restaurant in Leesburg had reopened after being closed for renovations, so we decided to head to China King to cap off our perfect day. The food was delicious as usual, I had the same exact dish I’ve been eating there for 17 years, the Kung Pao two kinds, which is chicken and shrimp kung pao and it is amazing. Give it a try when you go to China King.
Another amazing day out and exactly what I needed after a busy and rough couple weeks. It is not possible to overstate the therapeutic effects of spending an entire day talking and laughing with dear friends and family. The wine helps too of course. And add in some great food, and beautiful settings to enjoy it all and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect day. Go visit Solo (tell them Ricky sent you!), Twin Oaks Tavern Winery, Otium Cellars, and China King in Leesburg. Makes for a great day, trust me you won’t regret a minute of it. And we’ve already mapped out another perfect day for you so what are you waiting for, just add friends and you’re ready to go!