From main street boutiques and galleries to craft beverages, produce and artisanal goods found at our wineries, breweries and farm stores, we’re spoiled for holiday gift choices in Loudoun. But sometimes we all need a little help to get the right gift.
Here’s our guide to buying the perfect present this holiday season.
Brick & Mortar on King Street, Leesburg has quirky accessories for the man in your life. The shop features everything from canvas shoulder bags, Vuarnet sunglasses and faux vintage vinyl record players to ephemera such as coffee mugs, baseball caps and quirky car license plates.
If your man likes a strong drink – tequila, brandy, bourbon, rum, even absinthe – book him a tasting at Mt Defiance Cidery & Distillery in historic downtown Middleburg. You can try the spirits neat, in a mini cocktail flight or in seasonal specialty cocktails. Make sure to buy him a bottle for under the tree to taste over the holidays. We like the green, French-style Absinthe Supérieure
Middleburg’s Washington Street is a trove of treasures for the style conscious lady in your life. Pick up fragrant “Gourmet Candles” in scents of pomegranate, grapefruit and blackberry from home goods boutique Crème de La Crème, which also sells decorative tablecloths, cutlery, glassware, textiles and jewelry. At nearby Chloe’s of Middleburg, the chic women’s apparel and gift store of former Bergdorf Goodman buyer Wendy Osborn, you can find gorgeous feminine shirts, skirts and dresses from Dizzy Lizzie, Riley Midi and others.
Over in Leesburg, wldwst is the lifestyle boutique and design studio of Lori Tran and Colleen West. Pick up locally made, small batch apothecary products (facial creams, perfume oils,) as well as artisan jewelry, clothing and art prints. Across the street, Muz and Rose is a unique boutique supporting local and sustainable designers, brands and artists. Pick up some whimsical handmade clay earrings by Krysta Solomon of Loudoun’s Harper Leigh Designs and the timeless Margot Dresses with fluttered sleeves and blue and white floral print from local designer Rebekah Murray’s Virginia Dare Dress Co.
For something more retro or classical, make your way to Nostalgia Boutique in Purcellville: three floors of vintage clothing – coats, dresses, hats, shawls, scarves and more – collected by owner Silas Redd from around the country.
A final treat? Since the holidays can be a stressful time, put a gift card for Aria Medispa in Sterling under the tree. An hour-long hot stone massage for $155 at this medically inspired wellness center will wash away any tension. They also offer yoga, body shaping, facials, pedicures and detox treatments too.
For the Family
We’re blessed in Loudoun to have access to a bounty of locally grown fresh farm produce and craft beverages as well as access to the exquisite work of a creative community of artists, artisans and crafters. “Take Loudoun Home” for the holidays by visiting the Loudoun Made Loudoun Grown Marketplace to order the perfect locally made gift; everything from beer, wine and cheese to Christmas trees, flower arrangements, jewelry, paintings, pottery and more.
On top of supporting local farmers and artists, be sure to support local restaurants this holiday season, many of which have upped their gift card game. Family favorite Ford’s Fish Shack sells cards for $20, $25 and $200 – the latter perfect for ready-made family feasts of crab legs and lobster rolls.
At Fire Works Pizza, with outposts in Sterling and Leesburg, you can purchase gift cards of up to $200 and either have them mailed with a personal greeting or sent instantly via text or email. Either way the lucky recipients get to try superb artisanal pizza (the Smoky Blue!), fresh salads (we love the Bacon Shrimp), wine and craft beer at Leesburg and a full bar in Sterling.
For the Kids
Kids with a sweet tooth, ie all of them, might like an extra special treat this winter: at Sweet Signatures in Sterling everything’s made in-house, from hand-crafted chocolates to lava cake, tiramisu, cookies and all manner of pastries. Buy a box of cookies and chocs for after dinner treats. Loudoun has its share of ice cream parlors; pick up a tub of farm fresh deliciousness from Tipped Cow Creamery in Purcellville, part of the Monk’s BBQ empire. Kids love the Cookie Dough, Butter Brickle and Blackberry flavors.
Leesburg Animal Park provides plenty of festive fun for children in December. Take them to the park’s Christmas Village, then buy a gift card to visit in the New Year and learn about camels, zebras, llamas, snakes and other exotic animals.
Are any of your children budding thespians? Stagecoach Theatre Company in Ashburn doesn’t only host plays, improv nights and murder mysteries, but also after-school drama classes, summer camps and theatre workshops as well as private singing lessons and even audition prep. Next stop Broadway!
For a Friend
Buying local products and produce is a good way to impress friends about the bounty of Loudoun. Visit one of Loudoun’s 40 vineyards – or shop their online stores – to send wine to someone this holiday. There’s no shortage of superb vintages to choose from so why not pick out a winner from the Loudoun Wine Awards held in October? Maggie Malick Wine Caves took home no less than eight golds (we love the 2019 Fortissimo), while Willowcroft Farm Vineyard’s 2020 Traminette is sublime. Bonnie Archer, owner of much-loved Zephaniah Farm Vineyard won the Loudoun Wine Ambassador of the Year. Order your friends a bottle of her 2017 Three Captains Red Blend.
Thera are more than 35 breweries in Loudoun, almost all of which sell cans and growlers to take home or order online. Buy a selection of seasonal ales from one of your favorites such as Old Ox Brewery’s Bourbon barrel-aged stout, a real winter warmer, or Harvest Gap Brewery’s full bodied American Brown Ale, which they have quirkily named Cow’s Cud. Cheers.
Winter is coming so buy something distinctly Loudoun to keep a friend warm. Fiber artists Rebecca Brouwer of Shepherd’s Corner Farm, Purcellville, and Susan Trask of Lovettsville, raise Gotland goats and alpacas respectively, shaping and coloring the wool into majestically beautiful fleeces, scarves and throws – what Trask calls “art you can wear”. Order from Brouwer at www.she.farm/shop and arrange a visit to Trask’s farm and studio via her website www.earthwindandfleece.com.