Sunday, July 24, 2011

Taking It to the Streets: Valentine Museum Richmond History Walking Tours

Just this past Sunday, the Valentine Richmond History Center sponsored one of their city walking tours.  This one was a walking tour of our own Monument Avenue, and it was led by intrepid guide, and our friend, Jeanne Allen.  Did you know that Monument Avenue was the first street in the United States to be designated as a National Landmark by the National Park Service?  Or that the impetus for the Monument Avenue vision began in 1874 when a group of women in Lexington wanted a statue in Richmond dedicated to Robert E. Lee?  The Lee Statue was erected in 1890, and the placement of the statue created as much controversy at the time as the placement of the statue of Arthur Ashe, the only non-Confederate leader memorialized on the Avenue, in 1996.

Jeanne's walking tour of Monument Avenue revealed all of these facts and more! Jeanne also leads a tour of the Museum District, in which Maury Place is located, and Maury Place is often a stop on her tour.  The Monument Avenue tour is one of 39 Richmond-area tours presented this year by the Valentine Richmond History Center.  Tours cost $10 per person.  For further information, visit

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last night was a hot and sultry night . . .

 . . .  at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  One of our favorite singers, Emmylou Harris, performed as part of the Garden's "Groovin' in the Garden" concert series.  Emmylou took the stage after a fantastic set by the opening band, Jay Starling and Friends.

It was a magical evening, though a little steamy!  We were in the 4th row, and Emmylou covered the full range of her varied repertoire.  She featured several songs from her newest album, including "New Orleans" (which she had just performed on Jimmy Fallon Late Night the night before) as well as some favorites from past records such as "The Pearl" and "Born to Run," which she offered up to the United States Women's Soccer team.  For me, the true highlight was her final encore, "From Boulder to Birmingham," one of her classic hits that remains one of my all time favorites.   "The Red Dirt Boys" provided great back up with guitar, drums, bass and mandolin and vocals.

This concert was sold out, but there are many left to see in the series.  For example, Mary Chapin Carpenter will be performing on Thursday, August 25.  Maury Place at Monument is just a short drive away from the Garden, so plan an evening of "Groovin' in the Garden," and stay with us after the concert.  Check it out!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lunch at the Amuse Restaurant in the VMFA

When we visited the Fabergé Revealed exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) this Tuesday, Mac and I decided to try the Amuse Restaurant at the museum for  lunch.  The VMFA has two restaurants, the Best Cafe, offering sandwiches, salads and a wine bar, and Amuse, a chic upscale restaurant.

Amuse offers a contemporary, open space with glass tables and bar, featuring wall to wall windows overlooking the museum's sculpture garden. Our meals were delicious, starting with the restaurant's freshly made focaccia bread. Mac enjoyed grilled chicken seasoned with orange and rosemary, and I had a jumbo crab cake served with grilled corn succotash.  The service and food were exceptional.  We also enjoyed a glass of the VMFA Meritage, a Virginia wine made exclusively for the museum.

The Amuse Restaurant is open for lunch daily 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, and for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays only from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.  The Best Cafe is open daily for lunch11 am - 2 pm, and dinner 5:00 - 8:00 pm daily.

The Best Cafe and Amuse Restaurant are just two of the great dining options within walking distance of Richmond VA bed and breakfast Maury Place at Monument.  Check out our Restaurant Page for information about our local neighborhood restaurants.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond VA Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our Visit to Fabergé Revealed at the VMFA

Mac and I visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) yesterday, eager to see the new Fabergé Revealed exhibit.  After a relaxing lunch at Amuse, the museum's chic restaurant overlooking the sculpture garden, we purchased our tickets ($15 for adults) and entered the exhibition.  At the entrance was a stunning display of the Luxembourg Diamond Tiara, a diamond, gold, and platinum piece containing diamonds given to Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon I.

Inside, the exhibit showcased the various types of works produced by Carl Fabergé, whose production was organized into separate workshops, independently run by master craftsmen, each specializing in a different type of product.  With over 500 items on display, the space was separated into a number of rooms, each full of Fabergé works.  In the center of each room were the exhibits' most famous items, the Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs.  Each of the eggs is an unparalleled work of art, but we were particularly impressed with the Nobel Ice egg, a simple and ethereal piece made of rock crystal, diamond, gold, and enamel, and with the Imperial Rock Crystal Egg with its rotating miniature portraits inside.

The other works displayed included walking stick handles, small jewelry, picture frames, cigarette boxes, and floral art.  Many of these pieces were extraordinarily ornate, reflecting the opulent tastes of the Russian imperial family and the wealthy families of Europe.  Many others, however, were powerful in their simple elegance.

Fabergé produced many types of art-- even, to the delight of Maury Place at Monument inn dogs, small statuettes of animals! Chico and Lucy are now Fabergé fans.

Fabergé Revealed is an unforgettable collection of art, displayed in a wonderful way by the VMFA.  The exhibit runs July 9 through October 2, 2011.  Maury Place at Monument, located in Richmond VA's Museum District and walking distance to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, is offering a lodging special for ticket holders to the exhibit.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond VA Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fabergé Revealed | Maury Place at Monument Lodging Special

The Fabergé Revealed Exhibit is open now at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), and Richmond VA bed and breakfast Maury Place at Monument is offering a lodging special to visitors of the exhibit.

Fabergé Revealed showcases over 500 pieces of the work of Russian craftsman Carl Fabergé, including enameled picture frames and clocks, gold cigarette cases, hardstone animals and flowers in rock crystal vases, and ruby encrusted brooches and boxes. The exhibit runs through July 9 through October 2, 2011.

Maury Place at Monument, located within walking distance to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, is offering ticket holders to the exhibit 10% off their first night's stay at our luxury bed and breakfast.  See this an our other lodging specials on the Bed and Breakfast Specials page of our website.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond VA Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fabergé Exhibit Comes to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

On July 9, 2011 the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) will present Fabergé Revealed, featuring the largest collection of Fabergé in the United States. The Museum is located at 200 N. Boulevard, a short walk from Richmond VA bed and breakfast Maury Place at Monument.

Fabergé Revealed will feature more than 500 objects, showing the full range of the craftsmanship of the renown Russian master. The Russian jeweler Karl Fabergé crafted objects for the Russian imperial family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including specially commissioned Easter eggs.

The Fabergé exhibit will include the VMFA's own permanent Fabergé collection of 198 pieces.  The museum owns the largest permanent collection of Fabergé in the U.S., including the largest collection of imperial Easter eggs outside of Russia.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts just completed its showing of "Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris", the most important exhibition in the museum's history, viewed by 229,729 visitors in three months' time. The VMFA completed a major 134,000 expansion in 2010, and with a permanent collection of more than 22,000 items spanning 5,000 years, the VMFA is recognized as one of America's top museums. The Museum is the only art museum in the U.S. open 365 days a year. While the museum does charge for special exhibitions such as Fabergé Revealed, all of the museum's permanent exhibits are free of charge to the public.

The Fabergé exhibit at the VMFA runs July 9, 2011 through October 2, 2011.  Tickets to the exhibition can be purchased on the VMFA website.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Richmond has Revolutionary War History Too!

On this Fourth of July weekend, we remember that Richmond VA has landmarks of the Revolutionary War as well as the Civil War.  In fact, the Revolutionary War liberating the thirteen colonies from Great Britain's domain may not ever have happened were it not for events that took place here in Richmond.

Perhaps most noteworthy was Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, which occurred at St. John's Church on March 23, 1775.  At the Second Virginia Convention in March 1775, before his fellow delegates George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry's masterful argument summoned Americans toward independence.  The immortal final words "Give me liberty or give me death" not only spurred the colonies into the Revolutionary War but echoed throughout the following centuries for full equality for African Americans and women.

St. John's Church in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond offers tours inside the church daily that explore the ideas and events in Virginia that led to Patrick Henry's famous speech.  The speech itself is re-enacted weekly during the Summer, by professional actors in 1770's attire who portray ten of the Founding Fathers who participated in the animated convention debate that culminated in Patrick Henry's famous speech.

The church is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. Speech re-enactments are performed most Sundays during the Summer, as well as for some holidays. A schedule of speech re-enactments can be found on the St. John's Church website.   For the speech performance, free tickets are distributed at 1:00 p.m., a patriotic organ program begins at 1:20 p.m., and the performance begins at 2:00 p.m.

Bed and breakfast Maury Place at Monument is the perfect place to stay when visiting the many historical attractions Richmond VA has to offer.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument