Thanksgiving may be a little different this year. Gatherings won’t be as large, families won’t be traveling as far and more of us are going to be cooking dinner ourselves instead of relying on Mom for the traditional feast. Fortunately, in Loudoun, we have access to an abundance of fresh, farm produce and fine craft beverages to make the perfect meal as well as restaurants that will cater the whole feast. Add in creative elements from local artists and artisans – floral arrangements, candles, even a Loudoun soundtrack – and we will all be outdoing Martha Stewart.
Here's how to create an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner in Loudoun.
Décor & Ambience
The table setting will set the tone for the day, so make yours beautiful with these local products and the rest will follow.
Pick up a selection of these gorgeous decorative hand-poured soy candles – the perfect lighting for the table. Scented in leather, tea, and pomegranate, they are crafted by Ella B. Candles for this chic on-trend boutique, Chloe’s of Middleburg.
On November 15th, from 11am to 1pm this scenic winery hosts a class in floral arranging, centerpieces, and decorative door wreath design. Bring your own clippers and sip fine Fleetwood wines while design professionals Heather and Kim talk you through the perfect floral arrangements.
Loudoun music impresario Todd Wright compiled this playlist of some 25 Loudoun artists including Tracy Hamlin, Emma Rowley, and Juliana MacDowell. The perfect mood music.
Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing — where would we be without these classic accompaniments to the big bird? Forgo the big box stores and get your fruits and veggies to create delicious sides from these farm stands and farmers markets.
Pick up farm-fresh fruit, veg, eggs, and dairy from the popular roadside store of Paige Critchley, just off Route 9 in Hamilton.
This jewel box-sized farm store on Hamilton Station Road has everything from local honey and cheese to eggs, vegetables, and meats.
Stock up on all the farm-fresh veg – heirloom tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, corn, and greens - at these superb weekend markets held at One Loudoun each Saturday and Brambleton on Sundays.
For a list of other farms stands and markets in Loudoun, visit https://loudounfarms.org/market-stands/
The unquestionable star of Thanksgiving is the big bird and the secret to getting the juiciest, most flavorful broiler is to buy fresh from a local farm. Fortunately, wherever you live, there’s probably a supplier near you. Call direct, order online, or take a drive out and pick one up from the source.
Pick up delicious heritage-breed White Holland turkeys at this Hillsboro farm where the birds often roam free with the cattle.
A small family-run farm raising Broad Breasted Bronze and Broad Breasted White Turkeys solely on pasture where they forage on plants and insects.
This Hillsboro farm practices what it calls Family-Based Freedom Farming, raising pasture-raised Broad Breasted turkeys with no artificial additives, GMO, or chemicals. Their birds have appeared on the menu at the famous Inn at Little Washington. What more evidence do you need?
Pasture-raised, organically fed, fresh Thanksgiving turkeys. Everything is grown in harmony with nature, without the use of any chemicals, GMO’s or soy.
Pumpkin pie, apple strudel, artisanal chocolate, farm-fresh ice cream… there’s no shortage of sweet treats to choose from in Loudoun. Visit these classic shops to source the perfect dessert.
Don’t let the queues outside this popular Leesburg pie shop put you off. The pumpkin pie is a hit but, insider tip, the pecan pie is the one to go for. A second outpost in Round Hill is just as good.
Apple strudels and creative new takes on the flakily delicious European dessert are the name of the game at this Sterling dessert house. The Cheese Blackberry Strudel is to die for.
Chef Santosh Tiptur’s artisanal craft chocolate desserts – Manjari cakes, truffles, sculpted chocolate pieces and more – are the perfect way to round off dinner.
Pick up tubs of the richest, creamiest handcrafted ice cream around at this popular Purcellville parlor. Flavors range from classic vanilla and chocolate to coffee, blackberry, and butter brickle.
Wine, Beer, Spirits
Pay tribute to DC’s Wine Country and the LoCo Ale Trail by buying local wines and beer for the table. What wine to choose? In October more than a dozen local wineries were recognized at the annual Loudoun Wine Awards. Stock up on winning vintages such as October One Vineyard’s 2019 Albariño, Maggie Malick Wine Caves’ 2019 Viognier and Bluemont Vineyard’s 2017 Bordeaux blend, Ascent.
For stronger stuff, Catoctin Creek Distillery has a cocktail kit, complete with a bottle of whiskey, bitters, mixers and a recipe card on offer this Holiday season.
If all the shopping, preparing and cooking doesn’t appeal to you – you can still host a feast at home: just order in! These superb local restaurants offer Thanksgiving dinners to go.
This multi-course Thanksgiving feast for six features a sage rubbed 12-pound turkey with an herbed focaccia and sausage stuffing. Delectable.
Enjoy butternut squash soup, goat cheese fritters, green bean casserole, and a 12-14 pound brined heritage turkey accompanied with cranberry chutney, and sage and sausage chutney, in this six-person takeout feast from the popular farm to fork Leesburg restaurant.