We’re blessed in Loudoun to be surrounded by superb wineries and breweries, a bounty of fresh farm produce and a subculture of creative artisans designing everything from ceramic wine cups to floral centerpieces. There’s no better time to take advantage of this epicurean abundance and crafting talent than when planning your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner feast.
Pre-order a gorgeous Thanksgiving flower arrangement of roses, berries, mums, foraged materials and other blooms from Holly Chapple’s wonderful Hope Flower Farm in Waterford. She also offers garlands and wreaths for mantles and doors. Over in Purcellville, Designing Flowers will custom tailor a floral arrangement to your specifications using anything from dahlias and lilies to tulips and rare orchids and deliver same day in Purcellville and surrounding areas.
Loudoun produce always tastes good, but it’s more complete when prepared with – or served on – locally made kitchen or dinnerware. Inspired by western European countries, Italy & France, Crème de la Crème has everything for your table decor needs with an artisan-style collection that includes cutlery, glassware and table linens. At the Clay & Metal Loft in Leesburg potter Amy Manson makes fire-glazed vases, bowls, plates and mugs.
Let’s talk turkey. Multiple farms in Loudoun raise and sell tasty big birds, the unquestionable stars of Thanksgiving. Day Spring Farm in Middleburg specializes in pasture-raised, organically fed turkeys while Ayrshire Farm in the Upperville area of Piedmont focuses on sustainable agriculture, which includes sustaining the health of several breeds of turkeys that you can choose from. Dawson Gap Farm sells Broad Breasted turkeys raised without artificial additives, chemicals or GMOs – what they call “Family Based Freedom Farming”. You can order online or call the farms directly to book, usually picking up your bird on the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without fresh local produce to accompany that turkey. Leesburg, Middleburg, Purcellville and Ashburn all host weekend farmers markets but Farmer John’s Market on Route 15 north of Leesburg is open all week and is a go-to destination for potatoes, greens, cranberries, purslane and Chris Petro’s Misty Meadow Mushrooms. On Route 9 near Hamilton, rustic Paige’s Pit Stop sells fresh greens and fruit alongside more regular items such as eggs, milk and ice cream.
Whether as an appetizer or post dinner with wine, cheese is an essential accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner. At Georges Mill Farm in Lovettsville pick up a range of goat cheeses – chevre, feta, blue and more – produced with milk from their own goats. At the tasting room of Chrysalis Vineyards at the Ag District in Middleburg you can find no less than eight cheeses produced by the farm’s Locksley Farmstead Cheese Co. We swear by the cheddar, gouda, fromage blanc, camembert and washed rind.
Loudoun is wine country of course and there’s no shortage of superb vintages with which to impress your guests. Why not pick up a winner from the recent Loudoun Wine Awards, which took place at Lansdowne Resort in October. Cana Vineyards in Middleburg swiped two gold medals, the most notable and top of its class is the 2020 Chardonnay, while family-owned Williams Gap Vineyard in Round Hill snagged three gold medals and won best Petit Manseng. 868 Estate Vineyards owner Nancy Deliso seized Wine Grower of the Year. Have a toast with 868’s award-winning Sauvignon Blanc - best of its class, cheers!
Leesburg’s Black Hoof Brewing Company specializes in authentic European ales and lagers that pair perfectly with turkey. Try the Full Quiver Märzen. Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s Dark Czech-Style Tmavy Lager is the perfect pre-dinner winter warmer with its notes of rich toffee mixed with a pleasant roasty aroma - you can smell the warmth before diving in. Lost Barrel Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg is a great accompaniment to apple or pumpkin pie.
Mom’s Apple Pie with outposts in Leesburg and at Hill High Marketplace in Round Hill is the go-to stop for fresh apple, pecan, pumpkin pies and more. Order well in advance though because they get busy. Dana’s Cake Shoppe in the Village at Leesburg custom makes special occasion cakes and gourmet desserts. The tiramisu is out of this world. Over in Middleburg, Upper Crust bakery on Pendleton Street has been baking superb fresh bread, pastries, cookies and pies for a generation. Harvest Symphony, a locally owned online retail and delivery business, produces gluten free baked goods straight from the roots of local farms, the apple oat crumble pie is sure to rouse your sweet tooth.
If you’re being treated to Thanksgiving dinner this year, why not bring the host a gift? Take a trip to western Loudoun to find something great for the hostess with the mostess at Twigs in Purcellville. Every room of this repurposed 20th century home is filled with an eclectic style range of goods for any occasion displaying gifts from room décor, women's clothing and accessories, jewelry, children’s items and much more. You can also save your time and wrapping paper with the complimentary gift wrapping all year round – gift giving can be easy!
And finally, the cherry on top: music. For the perfect Thanksgiving ambience before and after dinner, tune in to the Songs of Loudoun Playlist on Spotify: songs by 25 Loudoun artists curated by local music impresario Todd Wright.