Your Carriage Awaits

Virginia Driving Derby Series at Belle Grey Farm

Competitive driving continues to increase in popularity on the world equestrian scene. The elegance, tradition, and charged competition, has many competitor and spectator completely enthralled.

06513e1f03f1aa0b6b9f0a1e423fbb79 (image: International Combined Driving Event in Live Oak, FL, Micheal Hugggin Photograhy, Pinterest)

Belle Grey Farm is braced and ready to introduce you to – or help you to hone your skills in – this thrilling interchange of rider, carriage and horse. This weekend and again on December 6th Belle Grey Farm will proudly host the 2014 Virginia Driving Derby Series. Experience the grace of precision and pace, accuracy through the cones and thrill of navigation through course obstacles. The series offers the perfect introduction to competitive driving for both participants and spectators – and is a splendid opportunity to experience first hand why this is the fastest growing equine sport in the world!

PicMonkey Collage.combineddriving2 2014 Virginia Driving Derby Series

Belle Grey Farm

November 22, 2014, 9:30am – 3pm

December 6, 2014, 9:30am – 3pm

The Virginia Driving Derby Series is an opportunity, under informal conditions, to drive obstacles in the style of indoor driving competitions or scurries. Competition will take place in enclosed outdoor arena with synthetic footing. The show will host a Novice and an Open Division. Six ribbons will be awarded to each class (pony, horse, and multiple) in both divisions and a series end and reserve champion will be awarded in each division. Cost is $30/Derby. Admission is free and open to the public.

Whether you plan to take the reins or enjoy the excitement from the stands, the Virginia Driving Derby Series is sure to offer a perfect weekend retreat in hunt country.

Belle Grey Farm

21440 Belle Grey Lane

Upperville, Virginia




Felix Doolittle

Truly “Noteworthy” StationEry At The Outpost

Do you know Felix Doolittle? If not, you are in for a tantalizing treat. This resplendent stationery company is the creation of artist Felix Fu and his wife Loren Sklar. Felix paints watercolor illustrations for the company by the front window of their ivy-covered studio. He is strongly influenced by the beauty of the natural world around him, and draws from it lovely little works of art.

delixdoolittle The cards are hand-printed on compact card stock, and each envelope features a coordinating illustration. The set is then presented in a charming book-style box.

return_address_labels_photo_7 Another wonderful creation are the bookmark folios. Five beautifully printed bookmarks are tucked into a matching folio, and feature a wide selection of illustrations, ranging from tranquil scenes in nature to irresistible characterizations of its inhabitants (both above ground and below).


IMG_0085_2_2 Perhaps the most popular item is the custom return address labels. There are over three hundred charming images to choose from, including a whole group for the holidays. The labels are packaged with care in tiny illustrated boxes, and sent directly from the studio to your doorstep.

IMG_8841 The attention to detail and presentation make Felix Doolittle a lovely and personal gift for anyone on your list this holiday season - including yourself! (Custom orders for Felix Doolittle notecards can require as much as a 2 week turnaround – so Santa better get to The Outpost soon).

There are very few retail sources for Felix Doolittle, but here in Hunt Country (fortunately for all of us) The Outpost in Middleburg carries a wide selection. Even better, The Outpost also has in stock a range of notecard illustrations that Felix painted exclusively for them, featuring safari and African wildlife themes, as well as those of a fox hunt and the English countryside. Gorgeous!


Of course The Outpost is also filled with the many other carefully, curated items its owner’s Pam and Keith Foster collect from around the world. From the wildly exotic “Tribal World” collection, to the spectacularly classic, hand crafted “Harvey Brown” furniture line (offered exclusively at The Outpost), the inventory is rich with story, history and the fabulously unique. You can preview a few of this season’s treasures here.

A must-visit destination this holiday – and all year long! See you at The Outpost and be sure to tell them SCOUT sent ya.


The Outpost

6 South Madison Street

Middleburg, VA



Spotlight: Highcliffe Clothiers

Highcliffe Clothiers has relocated to a bright and vibrant new store outfitted just for you on Washington Street in Middleburg. Proprietor Mark Metzger is the consumate professional with a dynamic attitude and sense of humor that pervades the space. Mark brought his unique talents in bespoke clothing and 30 years of experience as a fitter and designer to hunt country from the DC area 8 years ago. This Fall his expanded offerings in his new location will deliver the entire Highcliffe Experience to an ever expanding clientele.



The distinct offering of that perfect fit is a product of Mark Metzger’s keen eye for detail. Mark and his skilled staff  regard fit as a fundemental componant of their clothier services.  They will guide you to a proper fit with Highcliffe Clothier ready-to-wear standards such as Barbour, T.Ba, Bill’s Khakis to name only a few.  Or tailor with custom clothing your fit with your specific need and occasion to achieve a personal aesthetic. Highcliffe’s custom clothing is made in workshops here in the United States by the finest bench tailors and is guaranteed for fit and workmanship.

We all understand the feeling of confidence and pleasure that comes with that perfect fitting jacket or pair of perfect fitting pants. Highcliffe Clothiers will be your guide.

Dapper PicMonkey Collage



That scent of fine wool, silk, and leather pervade the shop as you enter. It is that scent that calls you to graze the racks with the palms of your hands to feel the fine fabrics… and leaf through the dozens of books of fabric swatches for the custom pieces in your wardrobe. Highcliffe Clothiers select for the very finest fabrics available. They will also guide you through a creative list of options with accessories to add that perfect finish and further customize your fabric selection.



With comfort at the forefront of the Highcliffe experience, it is only natural that their new space offers a relaxed environment with natural wood, leather and comfortable upholstery in a sitting area complete with TV, fashion publications, and fabric swatches. Here you may plan your jacket, suit or wardrobe…or simply enjoy the company! Highcliffe Clothiers is welcomed by friends who are customers & customers who are friends. When you visit Highcliffe Clothiers you will be welcomed with smiles, in a professional yet relaxed atmosphere. You will leave with the knowledge you carry with you value unrivaled. You will be back again … and tell them SCOUT sent you!


Highcliffe Clothiers

Main Street





A Festive Open House @ Locke Store in Historic Millwood VA

Before there was a national ”sustainable” – “local” – “foodie” movement, before Michael Pollan wrote Omnivore’s Dilemma, Juliet Mackay-Smith had taken the helm – supporting her agricultural community and committed 100% to bringing the finest & freshest to Locke Store. Her commitment has been far reaching, bringing neighbors and tourists alike to a small Hunt Country community in Clarke County, Virginia.

While 2014 marks Juliet’s 12th year as Locke Store owner, this weekend marks the store’s 1st Holiday Open House. Come, celebrate and let all the locally-sourced goodness the Locke Store  has to offer up your game this holiday.




Locke Store has grown and evolved over the years, expanding their house prepared goods as well as their extraordinary wine selection (which is tightly curated by Juliet herself). Locke also offers fully prepared meals for your freezer (great to have on hand for when unexpected guests arrive), and housemade baked goods (so good, they may not even make it all the way home). YUM!

PicMonkey Collage.locke

Locke-Made Holiday

This weekend Locke Store staff will be tasting old favorites, such as their infamous House Made Pate’ and Butternut Squash Soup. Locke customers already know to snatch these items up to have on hand for special occasions year round (come find out for yourself what all the fuss is about). There will also be Seasonal items, such as the gorgeous Goat Cheese, Sun Dried Tomato and House Made Pesto Terrine as well as Cheddar and House Made Chutney Terrine. All available for you to taste, order, bring home (and show off with) this Holiday.

Locke Store kitchen will also help you fill the dessert table! Whether a prepared crust for your pie or the whole dessert – they have your back. Come, taste, enjoy (and fill up on) their Candied Nuts, Ginger Cakes, and Sweet Potato Pie. Locke housemade, and carefully selected specialty items are exactly what’s needed to set your hostess gift basket apart from the crowd.

PicMonkey Collage 4 Curious about how they make EVERYTHING taste so good? Every member of Locke Store staff is dedicated to the store’s mission to provide high quality, farm-to-table goodness (and it shows). Their prepared foods and baked goods are off the charts! The amazing smells of fresh made breads, soups, and deliciousness of all kinds will hit you the minute you open the door. Couple the decadence of food options with contagious enthusiasm and an endless knowledge of sustainable, local products and you soon understand – Locke Store is not just place to shop, it is a place to experience.

See you at Locke Store this weekend (November 14-16)! Come hungry and be sure to tell them…

SCOUT sent you!


The Locke Modern Country Store

Millwood, Virginia




November Loves


Delicious autumn!

My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird

I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

- George Elliot

George, we wholeheartedly agree! Fall is our favorite time of year – and nowhere is this season more magestic than in the rolling hills of Virginia’s countryside.  This season of all seasons is abundant in anticipation, tradition, crisp air, dancing leaves, fabulous style and glorious foods that comfort. There’s so much to love about November, but here’s just a few of our favorite things…



 1. Festive Tablescapes

Bring in elements of the season, such as fruit, gourds or even a few Fall leaves or greens from outside. And don’t be afraid to mix fine china and family heirlooms with newer pieces. Use what you love and create something festive for your family this holiday. Need serving pieces that will make a statement? Our favorite go-to for tableware is Baileywyck Shoppes (908.313.4441), FoxFire Gallery & Antiques (540.687.5241) of Middleburg and Piccadilly (540.347.5300) in Warrenton.

2. Riding Coats

While I don’t ride, I love the look and this all weather rider from Asmar Equestrian is in my closet (well, it will be soon)! Just spotted it at Tri-County and it is stunning. Early morning rides, or a day out in town, it is the perfect Fall accessory (and is just one of a zillion great Fall looks at Tri-County). (540.364.1891)

3. Fireside Gatherings

In our home, the first fire of the season is the prelude to great holiday gatherings to come. We love this fireside bench from Throwleigh Club Fenders. Made to order in four frame styles and a variety of finishes and upholstry options. (540.550.4253).

4. Cinnamon

The undeniable spice of the holidays! The common compliment to many a festive holiday cocktail, the “kick” in many a favorite Fall-time recipes, and matched with a few cloves and boiling water, Cinnamon creates a festive aroma that lets everyone know the holidays are near.

5. Pie 

The Turkey may get all the attention, but the pies are what we crave all year long. Locke Store (540.837.1275) in Millwood and The Whole Ox (540.724.1650) in The Plains, are serving up everyone’s favorite (all deliciously local and homemade). You will want to pre-order, so visit them soon.

6. Beer & 7. College Football

You can’t have one without the other and thanks to the Cavaliers, the Hokies and Old Bust Head Brewery we can enjoy this favorite pastime duo LOCAL.


Tell them SCOUT sent you!



Thanksgiving Wrapped Up at TWOX

gty_turkey_dinner_jef_121120_wblog Those of us tasked with preparation of the all-important Thanksgiving feast know some aspects of the meal are simply non-negotiable. Everyone’s favorite dish must make the table, grandmother’s cornbread stuffing will make it’s annual debut, and the turkey – the turkey must be a slam dunk!

With so much at stake, the tendency may be to make lists, fight the crowd at the grocery store and STRESS OUT! Not this year. Our favorite local artisan butcher – The Whole Ox - has everything you need for a stress-free holiday (including a stress less, enjoy more perspective on the holiday).

The Bird

This year The Whole Ox has 4 fabulous birds to choose from (all local, free-range, humanely-raised without use of antibiotics or hormones). Grab your holiday planning notebook, here’s your TWOX options (orders must be placed by November 15th):

Kelly Bronze from Fort Valley, VA

These local, Heritage breed turkeys are free roaming naturally fed without the use of antibiotics or hormones. They are traditionally processed by hand plucking and dry hanging. TWOX tells us they’ve cooked several samples and have found these birds to be the most delicious turkey they’ve tasted! Special note, the tendons in the legs have been removed so that more of the leg is meat usable. Bonus: your Kelly Bronze bird will come in a box with a meat thermometer. $11/lb

Heritage Blacks from Ashley Farms in NC

An old breed, probably the first turkeys to be developed from Native American stocks (the Black Turkey made its debut in Europe in the 1500′s and became very popular). They are a naturally mating, slow growing breed particularly suited for the outdoors and produces a very flavorful meat. Raised on a family farm just down the road in North Carolina – this may be the most authentic Thanksgiving Turkey you can find. $9/lb

White Hybrid Turkeys from Warrenton, VA

Local, Jessie Straight of Wiffletree Farm in Warrenton, VA raised this classic white bird with love and care. The birds are free roaming all natural turkeys raised respectfully and without the use of any antibiotics or hormones. $7/lb

Ashley Farms Hybrids from NC

Another classic white hybrid. These NC turkeys are all naturally raised and free roaming without the use of antibiotics or hormones. $5/lb

Oysters & Ham

PicMonkey Collage.friedoyster

The bird is not the only show-stoper at our table. My Grandmother (96 years old last April) insists on a batch of fried oysters as a prelude to the big meal. It is a tradition for which I must admit I am quite grateful and plan to continue for all my Thanksgivings to come. Lucky for me, TWOX has Grandma covered.

Chesapeake Bay Oysters: fresh, shucked, select-sized oysters from the Chesapeake Bay. Available by the gallon, quart or pint.

And, for the ham lover at the table (for me its my Uncle Bill and brother Dave), take home a Virginia Ham!

Virginia Hams: Hams from Edwards of the Surry. Spiral sliced: Bone-in, Half Ham or Boneless Mini. Or, Salty Country Ham: Petit Boneless.

Sides & Pie

PicMonkey Collage.sidepie

Why labor all day in the kitchen when TWOX can do the work for you? Just take in this list of delicious and start planning how you’re going to spend all that down time this holiday.



Oyster Chowda (pint or quart)

Apple, Sage & Squash Soup (pint or quart)

Corn Pudding with Bacon

Ginger Cranberry Relish (half pint or pint)

Turkey Gravy (pint or quart)

Crab Dip

Potato Gratin

Traditional Stuffing

Sage Sausage Stuffing

all sides available with pre-order.



Locally-made pies from Ahsbank farm are available for pre-order.

Pumpkin Pie (small or large)

Apple Pie (small or large)

Pecan Pie (small or large)


Expert Advice

Finally, we asked Derek Luhawiak, owner and “head butcher in charge” at The Ox for his best advice on prepping our holiday dinner. His response, priceless!

“Our “traditional” non-traditional Thanksgiving begins with shooting a few pumpkins outside, then we come in for Bloody Marys and gear up for a day of cooking, eating, drinking and great times.”

“Have fun with Thanksgiving. Don’t stress over the bird. A fresh, free-range turkey will not need much seasoning or fuss. Just stick the bird in the oven and cook it until it is ready. Kick back and have a few glasses of wine while it cooks. As for the rest of the meal, I decided a long time ago not to sweat the timing. We cook all day and just put the food out as it’s ready. We snack on little bits for brunch while we prep the meal. We just keep eating, drinking and celebrating all day long. No stress, just good food and a great time.”

 ”Have fun with Thanksgiving. Don’t stress over the bird. a fresh, free-range turkey will not need much seasoning or fuss. just stick the bird in the oven and cook it until it is ready. Kick back and have a few glasses of wine…”- Derek Luhawiak, The Whole Ox

Thanks to The Whole Ox, we can all have a stress-free Thanksgiving (special note: they have an extensive wine and beverage selection too). So, forget all the fuss and let TWOX do this one for you. REMINDER: Turkey orders must be received by November 15th. To place your order, come in or call 540.724.1650. Pies and sides are pre-order also, so get your list started and see you at The Whole Ox.

Wishing you a very Happy (stress-less) Thanksgiving!

Tell them SCOUT sent ya!


The Whole Ox

6364 Stuart Street, The Plains, Virginia