I decided to take a little break from blogging just before Christmas after experiencing blogger burn-out and stepped off the hamster wheel for a bit to revisit the reasons I started this blog in the first place. I think it’s good for bloggers to do that every now and then. The break was very refreshing and a short trip to Charlottesville was just what I needed to reconnect with that creative and care-free side of blogging again!
I visited the Charlottesville Downtown Mall to do a little Christmas shopping and was feeling spontaneous while spending the entire morning there and pulled out the iPhone to take pictures of the places I visited. It felt like the old days of blogging- not worrying about taking perfect pictures with my nice camera or getting so detailed with the photos. I just had fun and did exactly what I did when I started this blog three years ago.
I know this area of Charlottesville has been in the news a lot lately with everything that occurred here in August, but I really got a sense of healing taking place and solidarity among the business owners and the locals during my visit to the Downtown Mall. I can tell you Charlottesville is a lovely place to live and visit. My husband is from Charlottesville so I spent a lot of time here when we first started dating. He still has family here and we only live about 30 minutes away now, so it’s easy to plan a visit anytime we want to.
Verdigris Clothing was my first stop! We have been following each other on Instagram for a while now and since they suggested their air plants for my basket I recently found at a thrift store, I just had to have one! It seems that live plants don’t stand a chance in my care so this air plant is my final effort at having a real live plant in the house and so far it’s going well!
Is it bad that I came here to do some Christmas shopping, and did some shopping for myself? Haha. I don’t think it is! That large air plant on the left now has a home and I currently have it sitting in a decorative dish but as soon as our family room project is complete, I’ll show you how it looks in the basket.
After choosing my air plant, I had to get a picture of this lovely chandelier by the dressing rooms. It looks perfect with the black ceiling! I’d love to know where they found this light.
Verdigris is mainly a clothing store but they have more to offer…such as the air plants. I’m not really a fashion blogger but TJ, the marketing manager at Verdigris Clothing, says they’ll find a dress for me one of these days. I admitted to them that my husband has only seen me in one dress the entire time we’ve been married, and it was my wedding dress. Someday, TJ! For now, I look forward to giving our family room a nice decorative touch with this air plant. Thanks for the suggestion!
My next stop was at Mudhouse Coffee Roasters for my second cup of coffee for the day. I always have two cups a day and their coffee was delicious! The interior was beautiful and I would have liked to take more photos of the inside but it was very busy inside and I didn’t want to disturb the customers. I did manage to sneak a quick photo while they were making my coffee. I love the open shelves and the marble countertop!
I don’t usually take anything sweet in my coffee but decided to treat myself to some toppings. The coffee was delicious and just what I needed during my stroll down the brick walkway on a cool morning!
I love walking along the Downtown Mall, looking at all the lovely detail of the historic buildings, visiting the outdoor vendors, and the outdoor dining areas.
I also spotted this cool mosaic chair outside C’ville Arts. Isn’t it awesome? I wanted to go inside because I always enjoy an art gallery but with the coffee in my hand I thought it might not be a good idea. Next time, I’ll visit the gallery THEN get my coffee!
I finished my coffee during my stroll down the mall by the time I walked into the New Dominion Bookshop. This place is so cool and the books just seem to go on forever! I loved the detail throughout, including this lovely staircase with the large window above.
A local bookshop like New Dominion has a much better atmosphere than the large chain bookstores, in my opinion. There’s more of a personable interaction with the staff and they really support local authors and host community events as well.
This makes me want to build some bookshelves in our house and you know I always love the look of antique furniture, anywhere! This pretty dresser greets you right at the door when you walk in.
Of course I visited the home decorating section of the bookstore! I saw a book I wanted but put it right back on the shelf and went on with my Christmas shopping instead. Hmmm, maybe my husband will read this post and remember it when my birthday rolls around. 🙂
The design inspiration continued as I walked into Tilman’s Wine and Cheese shop…look at that bar and those fabulous pendant lights! Dang.
I happened to walk in here just as they opened for lunch, so I beat the crowd and got to take quite a few pictures. What a lovely place! The cheese display looked so appetizing, I just had to stay for lunch.
This seating area was quite cozy…
Check out these vintage flash cards they use instead of the usual table numbers. How cute is that?!
Their Chopped Salad was amazing! I hope to visit Tilman’s again during a weeknight for one of their wine and cheese pairing events!
And last, but certainly not least, I have to give a shout-out to Rapture Restaurant and Nightclub! You MUST try Rapture if you visit the Downtown Mall! The food is delicious and the atmosphere is fun and relaxing. Every time I have been to a concert in the evening at the Paramount, I always eat at Rapture before the show. It’s a thing, now, and I remember how much my Grandmother enjoyed it before she took me to the Diana Krall concert years ago.
I look forward to visiting the Downtown Mall again during the evening so I can visit Rapture!
I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Downtown Mall and were inspired by the design and will enjoy the shopping and dining suggestions! The Downtown Mall is a great place to visit and if you have young children, I would also suggest a visit to the Virginia Discovery Museum while you’re there. The mall has plenty of family-friendly options for a day (or night) out with friends!