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  • psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813
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VIRGINIA THANKSGIVING FESTIVAL AT BERKELEY PLANTATION

imageOn Sunday November 2, 2014 come and celebrate the first English Speaking Thanksgiving in the New World at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City VA.  Join in for a day dedicated to history, food and fun with tours of the 1726 manor house, a living history program, tribal dancers, arts, crafts and jewelry vendors, choral music, traditional Thanksgiving dinner and a re-enactment of the Landing of Capt Woodlief & his men.  Nowhere can you find a more exciting, more educational or more enjoyable way to add to holiday traditions than a beautiful fall day at Berkeley Plantation

 

Sunday, November 2, 2014
@ Noon
Berkeley Plantation
12602 Harrison Landing Rd.
Charles City, VA 23030-3339
(Directly off scenic Rt. 5 between Richmond and Williamsburg)
Festival & Plantation Gardens/Grounds Free
Car Parking $5.00 Donation
Bus Parking $20.00 Donation
House Tours 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Click here For information  or Call 888-466-6018

 

Map picture

Water country in Williamsburg Virginia opens May 17 for the 2014 season

— Fun in the sun season is finally here. It’s time to pack the sunblock and head to Water Country USA®. Virginia’s largest water park opens this Saturday, May 17. With the addition of Colossal Curl™, the park’s newest family-thrill attraction, Water Country USA is this summer’s must-do destination.

True to its name, Colossal Curl will thrill guests with a high-adrenaline, action-packed water slide adventure. Colossal Curl’s combination of wave and funnel elements make it the only attraction of its kind in North America. Colossal Curl opens May 23 and kicks off 99 days of summer fun.

Water Country USA offers fun for the entire family with a retro surf theme, 18 attractions featuring 42 water slides, refreshing pools, lazy rivers and kid-friendly play areas. The park also offers resort-style amenities like free lounge chairs and private cabanas.

Busch Gardens and Water Country USA are offering the 2-Park Fun Card to help guests maximize their time at both Williamsburg theme parks. The $97 pass provides unlimited admission to Water Country USA and Busch Gardens® Williamsburg through Sept. 1. With the 2-Park Fun Card, guests can conquer Colossal Curl at Water Country USA, then visit Busch Gardens to watch London Rocks™ and journey through the history of British rock n’ roll culture. It’s all part of the 99 days of summer.

Water Country USA offers several American Red Cross programs to the community, including swim lessons, babysitting courses and lifeguarding classes.

Water Country USA opens at 10 a.m. on May 17 and 18. Daily operation begins May 23. Check out http://www.watercountryusa.com and plan a trip to the water park.

TOP 10 LOCAL HALLOWEEN EVENTS In Hampton Roads Williamsburg , Richmond VA. and beyond for 2011

Here are a few Spooky Places to Freak You Out in the Hampton Roads, Williamsburg, New Kent, Gloucester and Richmond VA areas during the 2011 Halloween Season.

Experience thrills at  haunted houses, graveyards and enchanted woods. Please send me an email if I missed any….

Williamsburg – Sep 24-Oct 31 – Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is imagethe ideal place to be scared silly. Great new haunted houses like Dead Line offer a modern spin on some classic scares. Howl-O-Scream fans suffering from coulrophobia take note that the evil clowns are back and have taken over Festa Italia in Fear Fair and Grin and Scare It. Finally, Fiends is back in the Festhaus by popular demand. Gasparich and his creative team have breathed new life into Busch Gardens’ classic show that debuted during the first Howl-O-Scream in 1999. It is always “Code Pink” in Dr. Weirdstein’s laboratory, and the good doctor is once again feverishly working on his latest and greatest invention.

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg begins Sept. 23 and continues every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 30, 2011.

ToanoPumpkinville! – Your family can pick their own pumpkins from our patch, or choose from our large selection in the yard. There are lots of free activities: the hayride runs the perimeter of the field, try the corn maze, or toss bean bags and rings! We have a large selection of pumpkins, gourds, winter squash, flowers, wooden cut-outs, arts and crafts and fall decorations. Bundles of cornstalks and bales of straw also available for purchase.

Williamsburg-  SPOOKY HAYRIDE THROUGH THE WOODS –October 20-22 and October 27-29, 2011

Join us for this hour long spooky hayride through the woods of the York River State Park. Discover some of its haunted past through storytelling and costumed interpreters. Don’t worry, you can pretend that you are not scared, but no one will really believe you.
Thursday, Oct 20 & 27, 2011 only one hayride. Fridays & Saturdays additional rides will be scheduled at 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Not suitable for children under 3. Reservations required. Fee: $4/person, $8/family, $25/group. For more information about these or other programs, please call the park office at (757)566-3036 or visit our website

Charles City – Oct 14 & 21, 2011 – Berkeley Plantation Autumn Sunset and Spirits Tour – Come early to explore the beautiful October gardens at Berkeley. Meet your costumed guide at the Gazebo on the West Lawn. Relax and enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, magnificent panoramic views of sky, field and James River as sunset falls. At twilight marvel at Berkeley’s amazing history as your guide leads you through a candlelight tour of the elegant 1726 mansion. Reservations are required. $

Charles City – Sep 3, 10, 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 21, 28, 29, 2011 – James River Plantation Progressive Ghost and Spirit Tour – In Williamsburg’s James River Plantation Country you will experience an evening of spirited tale telling with "Tours-by-the-Owners" while visiting Piney Grove, Ashland, Ladysmith and Duck Church. You will hear the Legend of Rippons Run, visit the Harwood graveyard, and hear of the Beechwood Tragedy. The evening concludes with hot cider and homemade cookies!

Chesapeake –October 20-22 & 27-29, 2011  Ghost Train at Northwest River Park – Ride the terrifying train and see the haunts and ghouls of the haunted woods of Northwest River Park. Tickets go on sale, at all community centers, and Northwest River Park, or register online at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/parks on September 18. (Reservations required) Tickets will be available, however limited, at Northwest River Park during train times on a space available basis. Train times to be announced. $

Chesapeake- October 1,7,8,14,15,20,21,22,26,27,28,29,30 & 31, 2011 Spooky Acres Haunted House  Come celebrate 15 years of haunting with the March of Dimes annual Spooky Acres Haunted. Young and old alike are sure to have a frighteningly good scare or two at Spooky Acres!

Chesapeake
– 10am-7pm Friday and Saturday now through October 29th  Corn Maze at Bergey’s Breadbasket – The 5-acre maze is a fun and educational activity for your whole family. We also have hay rides and games, and you won’t be able to pass by our family-run bakery without stopping for a treat!

Charles City – Oct 22-31, 2011 – Ghostly Tales and a Graveyard Trail – Celebrate the bewitching spirit of Halloween with ghostly stories of “Aunt Pratt,” the legendary ghost of Shirley Plantation and the eleven generations of the same family to live at Shirley. From October 23-31, 2011, guided house tours will include the tales of “Aunt Pratt” as featured in Haunted Plantations of Virginia by Beth Brown and Ghosts of Virginia, by L. B. Taylor. Make sure you take a tour of the Great House at Shirley before the cemetery walk so you can see the portrait of Aunt Pratt. Aunt Pratt became so famous for her strange behavior that in the 1974 she was featured in a newspaper cartoon among several other publications.

Charles City  Renwood Fields  Bring your family, church group, company employees,image senior citizens or student field trip for “kernels of fun” in our seasonal Amazing Maze Maize. Admission includes courtyard activities, guided tractor ride, farm museum and picnic area. CLOSED ON SUNDAYS. September: Open from 10 am til dusk on Saturdays only. Weekdays by appt. only Oct 2 & 9  open from 10am until dusk.
SPECIAL MOONLIGHT MAZES!!!! One of our most popular! Moonlight maze dates are:
Oct 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29.
Bring your own flashlights!

 Haunted Trail at Beaverdam Park –  October 21, 2011, October 22, 2011

  This night of fright is held on the Nature Trail at Beaverdam Park. Volunteers turn the woods into a very noisy and scary place! Open to all ages, however youth ages 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult. $5 – adults & youth 13 or over; $3 – youth 12 and under. Not recommended for children under 8 years old.

Gloucester Green Hand Farm Park – Green Hand Farm Park boasts a GIANT 4+ acre Corn Maze & a smaller one for younger children 🙂 A 3+ acre Pumpkin Patch where any size is only $5.00! Fun Activities for children of all ages! Hayrides, campfires w/a group, Friday & Saturday ‘Flash Light’ Nights – go through the maze in the dark!

New Kent Exit 211 on I 64 – Fridays and Saturdays, Oct 1-30, 2011 – Because truth is far scarier than reality, Journey Haunted Trails offers three terrifying trails for you to experience, plus an all new Journey to the Past Gross Museum that contains the grossest things found in the ancient pages of Scripture, spilled out on display, for the first time for all to see!

Newport News – Oct 22,2011 – Night of the Living Museum at the Virginia Living Museum – Enjoy non-scary Halloween fun for families with children ages 12 and under. See live animal shows featuring Halloween critters. Meet the Pumpkin Lady, Storytelling Witch, Spider Lady and Magic Wizard. Dig for ancient shark teeth. Visit the enchanted lagoon, pirate cove, and magical waterfall. Take a nighttime hike. Hunt for aliens in the planetarium ($2+ adm.). Creepy crafts and Halloween games.

Portsmouth – Oct 29, 2011 –  MUSEUM MADNESS: Calling all Ghosts, Goblins, Princesses and Superheroes!
Enjoy a haunting day of Halloween fun at the Portsmouth Museums, including frightfully fun Arts and Crafts, Face Painting, and Wizardry! Ships, Spooks & Seas!
Enjoy a wide variety of Halloween themed crafts and activities at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum! Listen to scary stories, and at Discovery Cove, build a ghost ship, make a pirate flag or a porthole monster! The Frightship Portsmouth!
The Lightship Portsmouth will be transformed into a haunted vessel, the "Frightship." Inside, meet ghosts of sailors and pirates past. Note: The ship will be completely transformed by creative lighting and lots of spooky decorations, both inside and outside the ship!

Be sure to stay for the Annual Safe Trick-or-Treat in Olde Towne Portsmouth October 29, 2011, Saturday, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. This event is held exclusively for all children up to age 12, on the Saturday before Halloween.

imageOlde Towne Ghost Walk Oct 29, 2011

Take a guided walking tour past the haunted houses and mysterious creaking mansions of Olde Towne.Guides take spectators on a walk past haunted houses and mansions of Olde Towne, a 20-square block, 500 building area on the National Register of Historic Places.At each house on the tour, actors in appropriate costume will retell the legends of ghostly visitations and things that go bump in the night. Cameras are welcome. Houses are private properties and not open to the public. admission. For information please call 757-393-2346

Richmond VA Blood Lake Oct 14-31, 2011

Blood Lake is moving to Windy Hill Sports Complex at 16500 Midlothian Turnpike.   Our devious cast of terrifying characters stalk their prey like the voracious timber wolf stalks sheep. Beware the plethora of tricks and traps for the unwary traveler on this path of doom, for the breeze that blows on Windy Hill this October carries a chill like no other. Blood Lake at Windy Hill is an outdoor haunted trail attraction. If you love being scared or watching your friends scream in terror, then you don’t want to miss this year’s trail.

Richmond VA Scream Forest  Sept 30-Oct 31, 2011
Dare to experience Scream Forest. We put you out in the woods…on foot, with nothing between you and the creatures of the night…where no one cares if you scream! Escape from the forest and find the Bedlam House- a haunted house full of surprises.

Richmond VA Creepy Hollow Hayride
Creepy Hollow Hayride located in Richmond, Virginia returns with it’s tractor drawn haunted hayride. Creepy Hollow Hayride is filled with spooky scenery, amazing illusions & scary surprises. It’s a unique experience designed to entertain you every turn.

VA Beach NightMare Mansion

Located on the resort strip of Virginia Beach. Walk at your own pace through the narrow hallways. Enter at your own risk!

imageVirginia Beach – Sept 30- Oct 31 ,2011Haunted Hunt Club Farm & Halloween Fest – Come for the Haunted Hayride, Village of the Dead & Field of Screams. Grab some friends and come on out to the farm for an evening of good old Halloween fun. $

Midnight Manor Haunted Attraction,  Friday and Saturday from October 8 to October 29, 2011. At Midnight Manor Haunted Attraction, a trio of ghoul-infested haunts inspires nightmares in covens of two or six with Hollywood-style and 3-D special effects. The gnarled beckon of a skeletal grim reaper lures in brave souls and paleontology majors to the Midnight Manor castle, where they tread cautiously through supernatural frights, including a bloodthirsty mummy and desecrated gravesite. Cobwebs lace the lairs of a vengeful pharaoh while a slaughtered skeleton drips blood behind bars. Then thrill seekers hightail it to the Trail of Terror, where they face off against the woodsy demons and overworked lumberjacks that dwell in the forest’s foreboding darkness. Finally, the Maniac Maze breathes life into horror stories as murderous clowns sneak up on unsuspecting wanderers ogling 3-D effects and devouring on-site snacks.

If I missed any in the area please add them in the comments field. Let me and the readers know what you thought of these attractions. Share in the comments below or on my Facebook Page.

 

TRICK-OR-TREAT HOURS Hampton Roads VA

Trick-or-treating hours for each city are as follows:

  • Norfolk, until 8 p.m.
  • Virginia Beach, dusk to 8 p.m.
  • Portsmouth, dusk to 8 p.m.
  • Chesapeake, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Suffolk, until  8 p.m.
  • Hampton, dusk to 8 p.m.
  • Newport News, until 8 p.m.

 

Central Virginia

Richmond – Thursday-Saturday through Oct 29 – Capital Creepers EERIE NIGHTS Ghost Tours of Richmond – There are no cheery guides to greet you here, instead we offer you our "Ghoul Guides," a group of the walking dead doomed to haunt the streets of Richmond and tell you all about its tragic past. We mesh haunt gore with history. Our tours are for mature audiences, but families are welcome! Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. $
Richmond – Thursday-Saturday through Nov 5 – A fascinating exploration of Richmond’s oldest and most haunted neighborhood – that’s Haunts of Richmond Ghost Tours. Hear tales of trauma and tragedy at or near the sites where paranormal activity has been reported. $
Doswell ( Near Richmond)- Weekends Sept 30 through Oct 30 – Halloween HAUNT at Kings Dominion – Beginning September 30, as dusk settles over cheery grounds of Kings Dominion, the atmos-fear will change as shrieks and screams signal that Haunt is coming to life. Families and children may enjoy Halloween fun during daylight hours with age-appropriate, non-scary activities!

For more information and details about HAUNT, please visit www.haunt.kingsdominion.com. Please keep in mind that HAUNT is a PG-13 event; it is not intended for young children.

HOWL-O-FEST! Kings Dominion

Every Saturday and Sunday beginning October 1, visit the Not-So-Scary Monsters, say hello to Patch the Pumpkin, hear Stories of the Seas, and join in the Howl-O-Fest Scavenger Hunt! Don’t forget to paint your very own pumpkin to take home! Your family can also meet the PEANUTS while they are in their favorite costumes at the PEANUTS Meet and Treats!

This year there are more activities for kids than ever before! Most activities are on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 noon to 5:00pm. Click HERE for more spooktacular daytime activities for the little ones!

Chester – Oct 21-22 – Things that Go Bump in the Night – Experience an evening of spellbinding accounts and legendary tales as storytellers relive old English legends and folklore. Join us by the fireside and listen to European stories early Colonists told as they recounted tales from their homeland. Capture the essence of what a Colonist felt between 1607-1622 in a strange new land surrounded by danger, darkness and uncertain peril. $
Gordonsville – Oct 21-22 – The Exchange Hotel Ghost Walk – A fun tour of the Hotel and don’t come alone because you’ll need a hand to squeeze when someone from the Civil War comes to visit an old friend at the hospital on the top floor! Hope to see you there they will be waiting! $
Richmond – Oct 23 – Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Fun in the Children’s Garden featuring a pumpkin and harvest theme. $

 

Like what you are reading ? Want to receive updates by email in the future ? Sign up here  banner psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I have no connections to these attractions. Please contact then directly for dates/ times/ info.
I  would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home.
This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to  Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the  surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities,   condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New KentPoquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton,  Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth  Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry,  Va Beach, Yorktown  and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @  757-254-8136

So, where was the first Thanksgiving?

If you say, Plymouth, Massachusetts your answer would match that of most 7th graders as well as their mothers.

A story that’s set in 1621, about a year after their arrival on the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock.. the pilgrims gathered with the friendly, local, Native Americans for a bountiful feast of Thanksgiving.

“It’s the event held in Plymouth in 1621 that has been an inspiration to Americans for generations,” says Plymouth Historian Peggy Baker.

Berkeley Plantation At the Berkley Plantation on the James River, near Jamestown and Historic Williamsburg, Virginia, the people around there will respectfully beg to differ with those folks in Plymouth, Massachusetts.” Continue reading

Who would have thought getting lost could be so much fun?

charles city corn Maze renwood fields Are you looking for a fun fall family activity ? Then check out the corn maze in  at Renwood Fields farm, located on the James River in beautiful Charles City County, Virginia, just a short drive from Williamsburg or Richmond.

After the corn is harvested most farmers normally plow down their corn stalks. A few sell them for fall decorations. The ingenuity of  Renwood Fields Farms  is a marvel.  Their corn stalks have become a giant maze.  Corn mazes offer families an opportunity to wend their way through intricately designed fields.

Renwood Field Farm’s Maze is no amateur effort. It stretches over multiple acres. Like to get lost in a puzzle and find your way out? That’s what this maze is all about. No need to worry though if you get lost within there is a large tower which oversees the field. Lost maze walkers need only find a telestalk ( home made intercom) to talk to a cast member and get a clue for the maze .Before you enter the maze, you’ll receive a game-board and a flag. As you find your way through the maze you collect map pieces to complete your map of the maze. In the end you will meet the host on the Victory Bridge at the end of the maze. There you will clock yourself out so that you know what time you finished.

At first, the maze looks like it would be easy to get in and out of, but that is deceptive. Even with a map, and clues along the way, most people wind up going around in circles. ( we did ) The adults take the longest to find their way out. Kids of 8 or older have been seen darting quickly through the twists and turns not fooled by dead ends. We noticed a few lost adults being led out by grinning children.
For a real challenge go on one of their special Moonlight Mazes !   Remember to bring your own flashlights! They are open on Saturdays from 10am till dusk thru Oct 10th. See the schedule at left for hours of operation

More info here

 

Admission Prices: Age 12-Adult      $12.00

Children  5 – 11    $10.00

Children  3 & 4     $6.00

Included in admission:
The Wizard of Oz Amazing Maize Maze
Farm Activities
Tractor Ride Tour
Free Parking!
Picnic areas available
Directions from Williamsburg, VA:
From Rt. 199 In Williamsburg, follow Virginia State Route 5 west across the bridge to Charles City County. Go approximately 4 miles , then left at Wilcox Neck Road (Rt. 623). Willcox Neck changes into Sandy Point after about 2 miles and then you go for another 2 miles on Sandy Point. Stay on that road, until you see the sign for Renwood Fields Farm on your right.Click here for map
john_circle-449-2 This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf.  John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market.  His websites, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and   www.MrWilliamsburg.com, were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg, with the hopes of selling a house now and again.  You can reach him at 757.254.8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com.

Mr Williamsburg.com Restaurant Update

Fans of two popular restaurants that closed last year should be happy to learn that the best parts of those places have united in a culinary merger and acquisition that, as with any good deal, has resulted in a sum greater than its previous parts.

Indian Fields Tavern, which closed in June after more than two decades as a worth-the-drive destination for Richmond residents and Williamsburg tourists, is being operated as the Charles City Tavern by the former owners of Café Lafayette, which attracted knowledgeable diners to a side street in the near West End from 2003 until a year ago.

After a five-month renovation of the modest, two-story farmhouse that included installing a new kitchen and refurbishing its three 96-seat dining rooms, chef Michael Macknight and his wife, Cate,changed the name and opened in late November.

The Macknights had been looking for a new place since January 2007, after they failed in an attempt to buy their Richmond space for needed expansion. When Indian Fields closed, they found that space.

The Macknights retained many of Indian Fields’ dishes, such as the Sally Lunn bread, crab cakes Benedict and chocolate bourbon pecan pie, and brought with them favorites from Café Lafayette, including bacon-wrapped meatloaf, mussels steamed with chardonnay and hooch cake.

Michael Macknight, a classically trained cook who apprenticed in his native California with Wolfgang Puck and locally at La Petite France and The Trellis, has done more than just meld two menus. He’s managed to retain the house’s Southern charm (in the fall, cotton grows across the road) while adding a French accent.

Sunday brunch has always been a highlight at this location — the 45-minute trip, especially when the canopy of trees over Route 5 is lush with leaves, is a great mood-setter.

Now, in addition to traditional midday fare, it boasts innovations such as tavern-style “bacon and eggs,” made with crisp pork belly instead of bacon, and a pan-roasted bowl of plump oysters, Surry bacon, creamed spinach and a puff pastry.

The pork belly was a big hit with our party of five, but one of the Benedict’s poached eggs arrived hard-cooked. Perhaps because we were seated in the second-floor dining room, one of us had to leave the table to track down our server. With that mistake corrected, the crab cakes, combined with Smithfield ham and hollandaise sauce sitting atop toasted Sally Lunn bread, proved to be a winner. Pumpkin French toast with maple-orange syrup and winter fruit also rose above the ordinary.

(Gone, sadly, is Indian Fields’ unlimited champagne, a decision that Macknight defends as sparing customers the headaches that accompany cheap bubbly. It also makes the winding drive safer.)

Several of the brunch entrees also are available as dinner entrees, including Eastern Shore crab cakes with a ragout of sweet corn and country ham, meatloaf with crème fraîche mashed potatoes and Madeira mushroom sauce, and oyster stew.

The dinner menu will change with the seasons, but one recent addition that’s likely to become a standard is barbecued beef short ribs smothered with a molasses-mustard sauce atop a bed of grilled polenta.

Macknight plans to take advantage of local products, and there already is plenty of that in evidence, including the Byrd Mill cheddar stone-ground grits that accompany the grilled Gulf shrimp. (They’re so difficult to buy retail that I’ve stocked up by driving to the source, north of Ashland.) Pork dishes are a recurring feature of the menu, from the “bacon” bellies at brunch to dinner portions of grilled pork tenderloin and a three-way, Austrian-style combo of belly, pulled shoulder and tenderloin supported by Riesling-braised cabbage and kartoffen potatoes. Both also come with a warm, spiced bosc pear compote.

Most entrees are in the $20s, although several are available as appetizers also ($10-$12), including Prince Edward Island mussels with chardonnay, 24-hour tomatoes and basil-pesto-butter broth.All of the desserts are made in-house, including a moist rum pound cake and Café Lafayette’s bread pudding.

The arrival of spring means that the building’s two screen-enclosed porches also will be available for bug-free dining. Beginning March 26, Charles City Tavern will expand its operation to Tuesday through Sunday.

One thing hasn’t changed: The black-and-white stray cat that showed up about 10 years ago, Robert Le Chat, still roams the property and remains the restaurant’s unofficial greeter. Charles City Tavern Route 5, 9220 John Tyler Memorial Highway Charles City, Virignia

829-5004 Lunch: Wednesday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Dinner: Wednesday-Sunday from 5:30 p.m.

Sunday brunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.(Adding Tuesday hours in late March.)