I went to historic Church Street three times last week. Why? It turns out that Church Street is a pretty great place to take out-of-town visitors, meet up with local friends, find unusual gifts and get a snack. Sure, I’ve been there a bunch for my yoga class and for the Farmer’s Market, but I’m almost embarrassed that I haven’t been to some these established establishments until now!
It got me thinking that there are actually a lot of businesses not only on Church Street, but in Vienna. I am going to make a point of visiting different places around town so I can keeping sharing with you, my loyal readers, with insight on the best places to go.
So here’s where I’ve been on Church Street in the past few days:
Food and Beverage
- New! The Pure Pasty Co. I popped in here today after seeing a menu in my yoga studio. The Washington Post published an article about them yesterday, and the place was jumping! My heart leapt at memories of my study abroad days at Oxford University, where I ate copious amounts of traditional English pasties to warm up in the damp weather – just like today! The thing was delish – as their slogan says, “It’s all in the crust.”
- New! Caffe Amouri. I finally made it to this new coffee shop – twice last week, in fact. I sat outside both times in the beautiful fall weather. I learned that the shop offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights, including open-night mic musicians and more professional acts, too. I hope to make this a regular place.
- Great Harvest Bread Co. I’ve been here before, but I admit only to you that I was there three times last week. They offer free slices of bread! With jam and butter! On the seemingly more healthy side, I tried the High 5 Fiber and the Flax Oat Bran: both were crisp and filling. The Pumpkin Swirl is seasonally satisfying. Of the items that are openly sweet treats, I had the Blueberry Tea Loaf, a scone and, my favorite, Apple Scrapple. Everything was a winner.
Learning and Creativity
- Ayr Hill Gallery. Fancy that: an art gallery right in Vienna. Wish I knew that when my art-loving mother-in-law came to visit! Next time! I only poked my head in real quick this week, but it seems to offer a nice taste of local art.
- Maverick Mosaics. Did you know there is a mosaic art studio on Church Street? Well you know more than me. I have always wanted to take a mosaic class. Maybe now I will!
- Star’s Beads. I used to love to make beaded jewelry, especially in the cold winter months. Knowing that Star’s Beads is around the corner may make me pick it up again. The store, (around for 12 years), not only offers a variety of gorgeous beads and jewelry-making supplies, but offers a friendly environment to sit and make your creations while even getting some help from the staff. Star’s also offers formal classes.
Gifts and Home Decor
- The Artful Gift Shop. This tiny place has an array of handmade items, and strives to be “the coolest local art shop in the area.” I particularly like the hanging window frames with glass artwork in the panes, and the colorful, kooky children’s sweaters. There’s a purple wicker patio set outside: when I am an old lady, I will have a patio set like that. If you want to shop locally, this is a cool place to go.
- Black Eyed Susan. This knick-knack gift shop seems to offer a garden motif. However, you’ll find a mix of windchimes, garden decos, photoframes and clothing accessories at this store that seems to burst with its wares.
What are your favorites on Church Street?