Richmond hasn't ever really been on my mind as a place to visit, but this past weekend I met two of my best girls there and we had the best time!
We stayed at the Quirk hotel and it was colorful, spunky, chill vibes and good customer service. We loved the high ceilings throughout, all the artwork in the rooms and murals in the elevator. There was grand lobby, with the most adorable courtyard with string lights and vines of jasmine with lots of potted flowers... it smelled devine!
Quick also has an onsite art gallery + pretty snazzy gift shop. There faux floral designs throughout the lobby were like works of art!
Brie's cousin and his husband live in RVA, so we have our own private tour guides! Friday afternoon we wandered around VA Museum of Fine Art and saw work from Beauford Delaney, Julie Mehretu, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Sari, Dienes, Dorothy Gillespie, Roy Lichtenstein, Henrique Oliveira, Dale Chihuly and so many others!
Much to our delight, the museum was staying open late and had happy hour. We grabbed a chilled rose and sat out in the museum's garden park. We got slightly creeped out by the huge head that would follow you as you walked passed it!
Friday's dinner was something for the books! Gersi is a small local italian joint. You could literally smell the goodness coming out of the front door when you approached it! The sangria was delicious. Not being able to make decisions, we ordered a lot and shared... Black Salt Caesar, Fig + Prosciutto Crostini, Pasta Limone with house made ricotta, and their out of this world Carbonara. The Carbonara wasn't exactly on the menu, but we saw pictures of it online and asked if the chef would make it, and he did. Our lives are better for it.
After dinner we met the boys for rooftop drinks at Byrd House. The views from this roof top are incredible. You can see the entire city lit up! Dominion Energy had rainbow colors on the top of their tower to honor Pride Month! Trevor shared he loved living in a city were all are welcome. We bounced around Carytown after Byrd House and then made our way back to Quirk for sleep!
Saturday morning I went on a long walk to the river and around downtown. I crossed the James River at Brown's Island and learned a bit of history.
Millie's was our Saturday brunch spot and boy did it hit the spot and give us fuel for our river day. We were to meet at Trevor + Bartley's house post brunch to go to the river. Trevor said they had a special secret spot and it wasn't far from their house and we would just park at the trailhead and walk like 10 min down to the river.
I have learned that Trevor leaves our minor and major details. A quick 10 min really double that. We walked down the side of a cliff and reached the river, but not the special secret part of the river. We then walked across the 1st of three underwater pipelines to to reach the other side of the river to then walk through the wooden trail. The woods finally opened up to the spacious river full of lazy river goers, rafters, and boulders scattered throughout the river.
Pride rock was our boulder- the biggest tallest one, in the middle of the river. It took a minute to decompress but once settled and could take in the beauty, the fun really began. Natural waterslides, water massages when you sat in the perfect spot on the rocks, music blaring, river dance parties. We were river rats for the day and I couldn't have been happier about it!
We nestled up on our rooftop post river, pre dinner. I've decided Raleigh needs more rooftop situations. Our dinner spot for Saturday was Grisette in the adorable Churchill neighborhood. Arriving early and not having our table ready, we had to to kill some time. Luke, a waiter from Alewife, the seafood spot across the street suggested we let him grab us a bottle of crisp white and we walk a couple blocks to Chimborazo Park to watch the sunset over the river and city. This sounded like exactly what we should do.
Chimborazo Park has been around since 1874. Chimborazo is a volcano in Ecuador. Some say Richmond Hill was dubbed Chimborazo in 1802 after Alexander Von Humboldt tried to scale the mountain in Ecuador but failed. The hill is one of Richmond's seven hills and the story goes it was named by local world- traveler b/c of it's topographical likeness to the volcano in Ecuador! This park was also home to the world's largest war hospital and was a "favorite dueling ground".
As the sun was setting we meander back to our dinner reservation. Again, unable to make decisions, we order the the menu: Charcuterie, Crudite, Foie Gras, Steak Frites, Spring Pea Risotto. All this was very much complimented by a nice French red. Things really heat up in this spot as the night goes on... drinks are flowing, music gradually gets louder and before we left, a dance party broke out!
Sunday brunch was at Richmond institution, Perly's. It's a jewish deli and damn, it's good. So good, in fact, it's been named one of America's best Jewish delis. Perly's is short for Perlstein's. Harry Frank Perlstein was born to a Russian immigrant in NY in 1917. In 1961 Harry opened Perly's at 111 E Grace Street, where it still sits today. It was sold in 1974 and again in 1984 and again in 2013.
We got there at 8:50 for a door opening at 9:00, there was several groups ahead of us, and after 9, the people just kept pouring in. Patrons were making to go orders, getting their week's deli selections, and picking up call in orders. Patron's were happy to wait, so we knew we were in for a treat. Bagels, smears, salmon, eggs, latkes, hash, trout, the best turkey bacon of our lives landed on our table.
Post brunch, we said our see you laters and each went about our way. Grab your people and head to RVA for a expediently fun weekend!