Festive Entrances

Wintertime and the holiday season brings out the best in doors!  Even an otherwise mundane entrance can be transformed by the addition of ribbon and twinkly lights.

Red Pepper Wreath

Red Pepper Wreath

Recently I led a group of friends in a tour of historic Georgetown in Washington, D.C. and took the occasion to snap a few photos of some of my favourites.

 

Red Door

Red Door

 

English Boxwood Wreath

This was one of my favourites.  Although the greenery surrounds the charming door all year ’round, it still looks more festive when the Christmas wreath adorns the door.

 

Decked out with matching wreaths, garlands and a surprise Christmas ornament!

Decked out with matching wreaths, garlands and a surprise Christmas ornament!

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Tucked into the shrubbery is this matching Christmas ornament.

Tucked into the shrubbery is this matching Christmas ornament.

Red doors are the most popular colour it seems.

Side by side surrounded by garland and twinkling lights.

Side by side surrounded by garland and twinkling lights.

 

Some “wreaths” are square to match the windows.

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And some are not “wreaths” at all.

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Plain and Fancy

Plain and Fancy

 

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The holiday decor comes in all colours, shapes and sizes but they all look gorgeous!  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Georgetown – French Country Style

For a while I’ve been thinking of writing about doors.  I know that there are many posts about doors, but there are plenty to go around and I love them!

I had a walking tour in Georgetown, Washington, DC yesterday.  It was a glorious late summer day, with brilliant sunshine and clear, fresh air.  While we strolled through the streets, I was sharing stories of some of the more famous residences and a gentleman walked by with his gorgeous little cinnamon coloured terrier.  As he passed our group, he chirped, “And this is a Georgetown dog…” which, as intended, drew smiles, laughs and more than one pat on the head for the little terrier.

When my tour was finished, I returned to my car and who should I find sitting on the steps of a Georgetown house, right beside my car, but the same gentleman and his dog.  I stopped to pet her and we began to chat.  He asked me about my tour and in the course of conversation about firemarks, interesting homes and famous residents, he asked if I were familiar with Julia Child’s unique yellow house at the end of Olive St.  I was familiar with the house and the fact that she had lived there, but not with the anecdote he JChild's G'town houseproceeded to share.

JChild's house rear view

Garden View

He had worked for the Associated Press and had the occasion to interview the Queen of Cookery, Julia Child.  During the interview, she asked him where he lived and when he said Washington, DC, she got more are more specific until it was determined  that he lived on Olive St., NW which is the same street on which she and her husband, Paul, had lived in the 1970’s.

JChild's Georgetown

2706 Olive St., NW dressed in country french colours

The house at 2706 Olive St., NW is a lemon yellow wooden structure with a bright blue door that has a storied history dating back to the 1800’s in post-Civil War Georgetown.   Julia asked if the door knocker was still on the front door.  It turns out that she wanted a door knocker and so Paul went to the kitchen, commandeered a trivet and proceeded to attach it to the front door to be used as the requested door knocker.  It is still there, right on the bright blue door.

Julia Childs Front Door

Craving chocolate? Take a tour!

trufflesWhen you have a craving for chocolate (now don’t lie and say you never have a craving for chocolate!) what do you go for?  Truffles?  Fudge?

Designer Chocolates

Designer Chocolates

Devil’s food cake with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate crème icing? A Kiss?

Whatever your favourite, be it white, milk or dark, DC Metro Chocolate Tours will satiate that craving!  How better to spend a weekend afternoon than strolling through fascinating Washington neighborhoods, learning a little about the history and character and sampling a wide range of chocolate along the way?  If you choose the DuPont Delights tour, between stops at 6-8 local and unique chocolate vendors, your guide will share stories of the eclectic neighborhood with its monumental, museum-like homes.  Whatever happened to the statue of Adm. Samuel DuPont for whom the circle is named?  Something to ponder amid to-die-for cupcakes, gellato and the world’s best chocolate cake.

Adm. Samuel Francis DuPont

Adm. Samuel Francis DuPont

If a few savory surprises are what you have in mind, select the U St. Chocolate Lovers tour where gourmet chocolatiers are intermingled

Enchilada with mole sauce

Enchilada with mole sauce

with a delightful mole dessert.  You’ve heard of wine and chocolate, but beer and chocolate? For the savvy Washingtonian,

U St. is equated with Ben’s Chili Bowl, but the west end, closer to Adams Morgan, has a disarmingly eclectic mix of shops and restaurants just waiting to be sampled.

Macaron Tree

Macaron Tree

The allure of Georgetown appeals to everyone.  Most are familiar with the wide array of choices located on the main thoroughfares of M St. and Wisconsin Ave., but the Sweets of Georgetown tour takes one off the beaten path and surprises the visitor with delightful treats he might have otherwise missed.  The guides spice it up with the commentary – being sure to include a scandal or two – and point out some historic buildings and homes of interest along the way. All in all, it’s a fine mix of a neighborhood and chocolate sampling!

DC Metro Chocolate tours are offered on weekends year ‘round, rain or shine.  More information is available at the website www.dcmetrochocolatetours.com.

yocake

Sprinkle a little love on Mom

Sprinkles Georgetown, D. C.

Sprinkles Georgetown, D. C.

Hidden in plain sight in the heart of Georgetown, Washington, D.C.  is another little gem of a cupcake shop – Sprinkles Cupcakes.  Its bubblegum pink exterior stands in sharp contrast to the re-purposed red brick turn-of-the-nineteenth-century structures that surround it. Step inside and one is immediately struck by the minimalist yet tasteful style with the daily selection of confections on clear display behind glass.

There are 12 to 16 selections available every day on a rotating basis – a pocket sized “selection card” lets customers know which days their favourites are in stock.  Additionally, there are seasonal selections such as a Key Lime delight for Cinco de Mayo,  and I am eagerly anticipating the re-arrival of my personal favourite, Salted Caramel (heaven!).

Salted Caramel cupcake Sprinkles, which has been in its Georgetown location for 2 years, is the brainchild of Candace and Charles Nelson.  Formerly investment bankers,  in 2002 they decided to create a better cupcake and proceeded to develop their flavours over the next two years.  With it’s flagship store in the Nelson’s home state of California, Sprinkles now boasts 12 locations nationwide and has recently opened a store in Kuwait.

In the works for the Georgetown shop is a “cupcake ATM” which will dispense cupcakes and doggie cupcakes on a 24 hour basis and can hold as many as 600 cupcakes.  Any daily leftovers are donated to a local food pantry in keeping with Sprinkles desire to give back to the community.

Sprinkles is open Monday – Saturday from 9-9 and Sunday from 10-8.  Stop in, there are no lines and Sprinkles’ friendly staff will invite you to linger over a cup of coffee and a delightful cupcake at the bright tables set into the window bays.  Mother’s day is Sunday, May 12.  If you’re heading to Mom’s for dinner and want to bring along a dessert that is sure to be a hit, stop in to Sprinkles and pick up a variety box of daily specials.  They are sure to be a hit.  I’m a mom. I know. cupcakes behind glass

Sprinkles Cupcakes  3015 M St., NW, Washington, D.C.  20007  (202) 450-1610

Facebook.com/sprinklesdc  Twitter:  @sprinklesdc