Orange County, VA has plenty of romantic date options for you to enjoy!
Romantic Evening: Barboursville Ruins + Barboursville Vineyard + Palladio Restaurant
There are few dates more romantic than an evening at Barboursville Vineyards. Start the date with a self-guided tour of the historic Barboursville Ruins. This historic property of Governor James Barbour was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1814 and is a magnificent example of Jefferson’s residential style, as influenced by the 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio.
Once you’ve satisfied your inner history buff, stroll hand-in-hand to the Tuscan Tasting Room for a wine tasting. Don’t miss Octagon, the most celebrated of Barboursville’s wines. Other vintages include:
For a delicious meal that is “Virginian in resources and Northern Italian in perspective,” dine at The Palladio Restaurant at Barboursville Vineyards (reservations required). Chef Spencer Crawford and Sommelier Professionista Alessandro Medici are masters of their crafts, delivering an unforgettable dining experience. Try seasonal dishes, such as:
•Tortelli di Zucca: butternut squash filled ravioli with brown butter, sage, and parmesan cheese
•Guanciale di Vitello al Vino Rosso: braised veal cheeks, smashed red potatoes, local chicken of the woods mushrooms and red wine reduction
•Crostata di Mele con Gelato alla Cannella: apple tart with cinnamon gelato and apple cider reduction
Take your date to the next level with culinary classes taught by executive chef Spencer Crawford, offered by reservation.
Hands On: Art from the Bark + BBQ Exchange
Get hands-on with wood carving classes and finger food! Art from the Bark offers woodcarving workshops, free carving seminars, and private lessons. Classes are very affordable—prices range from $15-$42—and include holiday snowmen ornaments, mushroom houses, wood burning clocks, and shelf sitter critters. The whimsical carvings are fun decorating statements and memorable date souvenir.
BBQ Exchange is a barbeque lover’s paradise. Dig in to hickory-smoked slow-roasted pork, melt-in-your-mouth beef brisket, charcoal chicken, and every classic side (mac and cheese, corn bread, slaws, hush puppies, collard greens—the list goes on and on!). The casual atmosphere is inviting and homey, and the order-at-the-counter service is fast and friendly.
Can’t decide between Carolina and Kansas-style barbecue? You don’t have to, with over 5 barbeque sauces to choose from:
•Hog Fire: This sauce is for the boldest of sauce lovers, layering of spices and hot peppers make a delicious fiery sauce.
•Colonel Bacon: The Barbeque Exchange Original Virginia style BBQ sauce anchored by smoky bacon and a blend of mustards. This sauce is addictive.
•Craig’s Carolina: Inspired by the great BBQ houses of the Carolinas, this sauce is an ode to the greatest BBQ on Earth.
•Qx Sweet: A Kansas style sauce blended with spices and secret ingredients to create the perfect harmony of sweet and spice.
•Soo-Eet: A Memphis style sauce made with a base of roasted onions, molasses and our secret red rub. It’s sweeeeet.
•Specialty hot sauces
It’s impossible to leave this real Virginia barbeque joint hungry!
Snack and Shop: Krecek Kakes + Shopping in Downtown Gordonsville
With quaint shops, tucked-away cafes, and a charming streetscape, downtown Gordonsville is the picture perfect small town.
Start your date with fresh baked snacks from Krecek Kakes, a bakery and coffee shop with “small town charm, big time yum” and European-inspired made from scratch treats such as cakes, breads, cookies, and pastries. Everything is baked fresh daily, so the selection rotates; customer favorites include apple spice cake, S’mores angel bites, and garlic rosemary bread.
Grab a cappuccino to go, and stroll through the downtown’s antiques, home décor, and clothing shops. Poke your head in these Gordonsville favorites:
•Homespun: country furniture and home accessories
•Laurie Holladay Interiors: fine furniture and lamps
•Madyson On Main: gifts and home décor for the cottage style decorator
•Painted At Poplar Haven: Painted furniture, antiques, and primitives
•Stokes Of England: architectural and ornamental ironwork
•The Alpaca Boutique and More: alpaca products, pottery, and hand-crafted jewelry
With both an ironworks shop and an alpaca boutique, discovering Gordonsville is a one-of-a-kind adventure!
Dinner and a Show: Bella J Cucina + Lake of the Woods Players
You don’t need to go to the Big City for dinner and a show! Start your evening with dinner at Bella J Cucina in Locust Grove. House specials include shrimp scampi, manicotti Florentine, and veal parmigiana. And don’t forget to end the meal on a sweet note with a cannoli.
It’s a short drive from the restaurant to the Lake of the Woods Players theater. Recent productions include Here’s Broadway, Annie Get Your Gun, Driving Miss Daisy, and Fiddler on the Roof. Founded some twenty-five years ago, Lake of the Woods Players offers the audience an intimate experience, welcoming them into the community of dedicated actors, volunteers, and theater-lovers. The Players put on two shows a year—one in the spring and fall—see what’s playing now.
No matter which date you choose, stop for a kiss and a picture at the Orange County LOVE artwork, currently located in downtown Orange.