This past Saturday after our guests left to enjoy a beautiful day, Bernie and I headed south to check out the Draper Mercantile and have some lunch. It’s just a 25 minute drive from The Oaks south on I-81 past lots of pretty farmland. I had been there a couple of years ago when the most recent owners were just starting out and there wasn’t much there.
Since my last visit, it has become a vibrant community center, music hall, gathering place and marketplace. In the middle of it all is The Blue Door Cafe and Bakery. There are little vases with fresh flowers on every dining table, works by local artists all around and wonderful live music. They use farm fresh ingredients, bake their own bread and specialize in delicious made from scratch desserts, gourmet cakes and fresh baked pies. Bernie had a chicken salad sandwich with their homemade chips and I had a BLT with Applewood bacon and their homemade coleslaw. Yes we did save room for dessert, a huge slice of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake with 2 forks please. Super Yummy!!!
After lunch we walked all around the mercantile. They have Melissa and Doug toys, books by local authors, Folkman puppets, local pottery, soy candles, milled soaps and locally made jewelry. The marketplace has lots of goodies for all you foodies and plenty of cookbooks and items for the kitchen. There is a small but eclectic wine cellar in the back with offerings from the Trump, Barboursville, Chateau Morrisette, Attimo, Beliveau Estate and Villa Appalachia wineries. They even have a couple dozen different beers from which to choose.
If you are a garden junkie like me, go next door to Draper Blooms. It will be next to impossible to resist buying a piece of garden art. If outdoor recreation is your thing, go over to The Junction. They have everything you need for a biking adventure along the New River.
Come stay at The Oaks Victorian Inn and we’ll tell you all about the many hidden gems here in The new River Valley.