Thursday, June 21, 2012

Richmond Welcomes Summer with "Plein Air Richmond" Event This Weekend

"Plein air" painting refers to an artist painting outside or on location. Beginning on June 18 and running through June 23, 47 juried artists from across the country will be participating in Richmond's first Plein Air Richmond event. Artists have been setting up their easels in neighborhoods all over the city since Monday, and their finished pieces will be offered for sale this weekend at the Brazier Gallery, 1616 West Main Street. Proceeds will benefit the Richmond Symphony. A ticketed gala preview will occur at the gallery on Friday, and there will be a community "Fast and Fresh" painting competition on Saturday as painters will work on their canvasses along Richmond's landmark Monument Avenue between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.--literally right outside our own front door! These "wet" paintings will be available for sale directly from the artists' easels! We are so thrilled to live in the midst of Richmond's thriving arts community. For more information, call 804-358-2771 or visit

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont August 10-12

More than thirty national and international jazz and blues artists such as India Arie, George Benson, BeBe Winans and more will headline three days of music during the third annual Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont. Pre-festival activities that will showcase local musicians are scheduled for Friday at the historic Hippodrome Theater. Wine tastings, chef demonstrations, artist meet-and-greet sessions and more are also planned throughout the weekend at Maymont. Artists will also include New Orleans jazz performer Trombone Shorty, blues guitarist and singer Robert Cray, and Richmond native Lonnie Liston Smith. Tickets are $20 for August 10 and $50 per day for August 11 and 12. Weekend passes are $90 and are only available in advance. For further information or to buy tickets, visit Maury Place at Monument is just a short drive from Maymont.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Serving of Fruit--Part of Maury Place's Complete Breakfast!

As believers of the philosophy that variation is the spice of life, we have added a new breakfast confection to our Maury Place breakfast menu. We always like to start our breakfasts with a serving of fruit, and we have discovered a delicious new recipe.
We begin with the ingredients:
1 cup green grapes (or 1/2 c. each of red and green grapes), halved
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp honey
Optional: sliced almonds

1. Remove grapes from stem and place in two dessert dishes.
2. Mix honey with lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl
3. Spoon over the grapes and serve!

*The recipe recommends an organic lemon to avoid a wax coating.

Serves 2

We are delighted to share the recipe for this delectable and unique dish. This delicious fruit concoction is great as an aperitif or as a healthful dessert, and by not exposing the fruit to baking temperatures, it retains all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that would otherwise be broken down during the baking process. It is also a fun and attractive way to use grapes, which are almost always available throughout the year.
Bon appetit!  

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

Richmond Triangle Players Announces 20th Anniversary Season!

We are proud supporters of Richmond's Triangle Players, whose theatre at 1300 Altamont Avenue is just a few blocks from Maury Place. In fact, Jeff is entering his second year as a member of the theater's board. The 2012-13 season is the 20th Anniversary Season of Triangle Players, and it promises to be one of its best ever!

Opening on September 19 and running through October 13, 2012 is Regrets Only, by Paul Rudnick. A comedy of Manhattan manners by one or our favorite playwrights, Regrets Only explores the latest topics in marriage, friendship, and squandered riches. Next will be Howard Crabtree's Whoop Dee Doo!, which will run from November 14 through December 29, 2012. The companion piece to one of RTP's biggest hits, When Pigs Fly, Whoop Dee Doo offers a similar dizzying array of songs, sketches and outrageous costumes. It will be a spectacle on a shoestring and a valentine to classic musical theater. Next will be Before It Hits Home, from January 16 to February 2, 2013. Winner of the Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play, Before It Hits Home tells the story of a bisexual black jazz musician whose double life endangers both himself and his loved ones.

The Busy World is Hushed will be presented as part of the citywide Acts of Faith Festival and will run from February 20, 2013 through March 16, 2013. With wisdom, humor and insight, this play examines the contradictions we find in our faith, our families, and ourselves. Hannah, a widowed Episcopal minister, is hoping to translate a long lost gospel when she is challenged by her scholarly assistant and her wayward gay son. The Pride is one of the most acclaimed new plays of recent years and alternates between 1958 and 2008 and features the same three people living similar yet radically different lives. It examines the changing attitudes toward sexuality over a period of fifty years. It was the winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play. It will run from April 3 to April 27. 2013.

Finally, the 20th Anniversary Season closes with a production of the musical La Cage Aux Folles by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman. The legendary musical comes to RTP in a fresh, new, and intimate production. La Cage is a tuneful and touching tale of one family's struggle to stay together . . . stay fabulous . . . and above all else, stay true to themselves. This show will run from May 15, 2013 through June 29, 2013. Attend a play at Triangle Players and receive ten percent of your stay at Maury Place on the evening of the show! For tickets, visit

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

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Other Maury House!

The June 1st issue of Richmond's Style Weekly featured a cover story about eight notable historic Richmond structures "that started life somewhere else and are now doing duty in different locations." The article is written by our friend Edward Slipek. The University of Richmond's Jepson Alumni Center has at its core a Bottomley house built in 1915 and moved across the street in 1996. Historic Agecroft Hall in Windsor Farms was built in the late 15th Century and re-located from Manchester, England to Windsor Farms in 1926.

Of special interest to us, however, is The Maury House, which was built in 1846 at 1105 East Clay Street and moved across the street to 1016 East Clay Street in 1996.  Matthew Fontaine Maury, the namesake of Maury Place at Monument and whose statue is across the street, was a noted sailor and scientist best known for having first charted all the oceans of the earth. He was also instrumental in developing ironclad ships. At one point in his career, he rented quarters at 1105 East Clay Street in the Italianate home of a cousin, Dr. Socrates Maupin, who was a professor at the Medical College of Virginia. Maury conducted experiments in an upstairs bathtub that led to his development of the torpedo. Virginia Commonwealth University dismantled the building and reconstructed it across the street brick by brick in the 1990's. It now is part of one of the few complete blocks of downtown 19th century architecture. The building now serves as the alumni center for VCU's Medical College of Virginia.

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

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Banner Lectures At the Virginia Historical Society This Summer!

One of the great things about the Virginia Historical Society are the Banner Lectures they host throughout the year. The Banner Lectures provide in-depth explorations of varying historical figures and events. This summer, we encourage guests and members of the community to take in a lecture at the VHS. Here is a list of upcoming lectures:

The US Marines at Belleau Wood, 1918-Thursday June 14 at noon

Patrick Mooney will guide us on a journey of discussion about the bloodiest battle American soldiers had faced since the Civil War. The Battle at Belleau Wood demonstrated the American Expeditionary Force's tenacity and perseverance when it came to stifling the German offensive against the Russians and turning the tide of the war.

The Civil War at a Crossroads: The Seven Days-Tuesday June 19 at 5:30pm

This lecture tells the story of a Virginia split in two by advancing Union forces and defending Confederate armies in the spring of 1862. Edward L. Ayers will present the two sides in conflict and the impact the atmosphere of war had on Virginia civilians.

John Randolph of Roanoke- Thursday June 28 at noon

A biographical lecture on the momentous life of the father of Southern conservatism details this Virginia Congressman's tenure as well as public feuds and disputes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. David Johnson will speak on the life of John Randolph of Roanoke and his exploits as a politician and pioneer in defense of Southern agrarian culture.

More Important than Gettysburg- Wednesday July 11 at 5:30 pm

The end of the Civil has sparked controversy and debate on almost all levels of social, politcal, ethical, and economical factors contributing to the "turning point" of the war. Dr. Gary W. Gallagher will demonstrate key moments in the war that may have actually been the real events which ultimately led to the North's victories.

The Queen and the USA: Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee in America- Thursday July 16 at noon

The Queen of England has always been a figure of respect in the United States, despite the fact that independence from Great Britain was a long and brutal conflict. On her three visits to the Commonwealth of Virginia, she has been greeted with deal of honor and respect by American citizens. With illustrations from his new book The Queen and the USA H. Edward Mann will demonstrate the special relationship between the Queen of England and the United States and especially Virginia.

Edward Coles: Crusade Against Slavery- Thursday August 2 at noon

This lecture will focus on the efforts of a wealthy tobacco plantation owner to end slavery in the United States. Edward Coles inherited his family's successful plantation and decided to free his slaves and offer them 160 acres of land each. Some continued to work for Coles but as wage earning individuals, others sought work elsewhere. Coles stands among few who were willing to try this bold maneuver. Bruce G. Carveth will describe the remarkable life of a man who stood his ground against slavery.

Thats it for the lecture series this summer. Hope you can make it to some of them!

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Butterflies Flutter By Richmond

Perhaps the equivalent of the parrot in terms of color and patterned beauty, sans the talking, the butterfly is the insect world's flying stained glass. Each gossamer pair of wings an independent work of natural art, the flight of thousands of butterflies simultaneously is truly a sight to behold. And beginning May 25th through October 14th, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens will be home to thousands of butterflies on display in North Conservatory garden. Visit the Conservatory between 9 am and 5 pm and witness the jovial flight of the butterflies throughout the garden. Be aware that butterflies do not fly at night and they are most active on bright sunny days. The exhibit will highlight tropical species from Central America, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa, along with species some may or may not be familiar with from North America. Not exactly a formal tour, visitors are encouraged to roam the North Conservatory and revel in the peace associated with the calming, erratic flights of so many colorful insects. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions about the butterflies. The regular garden admission of $11 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for children ages 3-12 (children under 3 get in free!) gets you in to the Butterfly Exhibit at no additional charge.

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

Monday, June 4, 2012

New Exhibit at the Science Museum of VA "Gets Under the Skin"

The Science Museum of Virginia at 2500 West Broad Street has just opened a new exhibit, "Body Worlds and the Brain." The exhibit literally "gets under the skin" as it features a dozen preserved, skinless human bodies and dozens of other specimens, such as individual organs and slices of organs. The exhibit is the brainchild of German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, who in 1977 created the plastination process used to preserve the bodies.

On the "Body Worlds" website, von Hagens describes initially embedding the organ in liquid plexiglass, an acrylic resin, and using a vacuum to extract the air bubbles that formed when a hardening agent was stirred in. He has since refined the process. The first "Body Worlds" exhibit was in Japan in 1995, and Body Worlds exhibits have since become huge hits in science museums across the globe.  The twelve bodies on exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia are in various poses. One is swinging a baseball bat; one is sitting in a thoughtful pose; another is head down, feet up on a skateboard. While the exhibit may not be for every taste, it is a unique way to learn about the human body.

The exhibit runs through September 23. General tickets are $14 for ages 4-12 and for 60 and older; $15 for ages 13-59. Tickets for members are $7.50. Audio tours may be purchased for an additional fee. For more information, call 804-864-1400 or visit The Science Museum of Virginia is just a short drive or short walk from Maury Place at Monument.

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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Jewels of India Arrive at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Yesterday, Mac and I attended the most recent blockbuster exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, "Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Great Kings." The gorgeous--and informative--exhibit was organized by London's Victoria and Albert Museum and runs in the VMFA's special exhibition space through August 19. The display of 200 opulent objects from the Indian kings actually begins in the atrium, where a spectacular 1915 carriage sheathed in silver and decorated with enamel representations of flowers, birds, and butterflies entices visitors to the floor below. The ten-room exhibit pays tribute to the taste for opulence among the plethora of Indian kings who ruled their dominions during the glory days of the British Empire. A life-size model of an elephant and another of a horse set off saddles and other richly adorned trappings. The dazzling exhibit features lots of "bling" with a throne richly decorated in gold, gold turban ornaments encrusted with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and pearls, and swords and other weaponry encrusted with jewels. In addition, there are sparkling textiles including robes, an extravagant wedding dress, and other garments. Another interesting feature is archival video footage of the period depicting actual royal events involving the Maharaja. The museum shop has enhanced its collection with even more gemstones and precious jewels, and the upscale Amuse Restaurant will entice diners with various entrees with India themes. Tickets to the exhibit are $15, but it is free for VMFA members. For additional information, visit The VMFA is within walking distance from Maury Place at Monument.

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