Brandywine Valley: Weekend Getaway

Spend the weekend in the Brandywine Valley

Just a few hours from Manhattan and close to Philadelphia, the Brandywine Valley is known for illustrator N. C. Wyeth and son Andrew, who drew inspiration from the rolling green hills. Spend the weekend strolling more than 3,000 acres of landscaped gardens, museums, restaurants, wineries and local shops.

The 12 mile stretch of the Brandywine Valley from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, to Wilmington, Delaware, may seem brief, but it takes a few days to truly enjoy. The continued allure is evident with the announcement of of the hugely successful Clover Market coming to Kennett Square {mushroom farming capital of the U.S.} on Sunday June 18th {Father’s Day}. Voted best market to shop by Philadelphia Magazine, the open-air market will feature dozens of food and beer vendors, plus local handmade goods and antiques {see complete list of vendors}. Clover Market has been pleasing shoppers in Bryn Mawr, Chestnut Hill and Collingswood for years with its spring and summer schedule of outdoor markets. The one-of-a-kind market will be located at 600 S. Broad Street.

map of brandywine valley

With more than one million visitors a year, Longwood Gardens is regarded as one of the most spectacular gardens of the region. The Main Fountain Gardens return May 27th after a two year renovation. Inspired by the great fountains of Europe, this 5-acre masterpiece was created by Pierre S. du Pont, in the early 20th century.

Visit the Brandywine River Museum often called the “Wyeth Museum” for its extensive collection of works by the internationally acclaimed Wyeth family – grandfather N.C., father Andrew and son Jamie – the Brandywine River Museum is housed in a converted 19th-century grist mill on the banks of the Brandywine.

Enjoy touring eight wineries that make up the Brandywine Wine Trail, including Penns Woods Winery, where owner Gino Razzi create wines made 100% with Pennsylvania-grown grapes. Extend your stay and enjoy Winterthur and Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware just 15 minutes down the road. Where to stay? The Inn at Montchanin Village was once home to the workers of the du Pont powder mills.

clover_market_kennettsquare

Creativity abounds at WorKS in Kennett Square (432 S. Walnut Street), open Friday – Sunday the concept store offers 10 new artisans vendors, in addition to vintage finds. Founded by vintage maven Tara Dugan as a curated group of high-end purveyors of artisan, designer, and one-of-a-kind goods. “The creative offerings that Clover Market brings to Kennett Square fits perfectly within our efforts to create an attractive and eclectic retail pop-up experience alongside worKS and the Creamery.” said Tara Behan. For several years, Clover Market founder Janet Long and manager Pat Norton, had been looking at Kennett Square as a potential future destination.

WorKS Kennett Square - Social Stylate

The Creamery pop-up beer garden is located at 401 Birch Street in Kennett Square and will be debuting their second season starting Memorial Day through October, 2017. Built in 1902 and re-imagined in 2016, The Creamery is a community gathering space and pop-up beer garden for the whole family in the heart of Kennett Square. A setting that’s rooted in Kennett Square history, The Creamery is committed to re-purposing and re-vitalizing a once-industrial space into a unique environment for the whole family. Nestled on historic Birch Street, The Creamery offers a variety of food options through rotating food trucks, craft beer, lawn games and live music, making it a destination for both Kennett Square residents and visitors alike. With a distinct focus on highlighting the many local talents of Kennett Square’s active art and music scene, the Creamery truly has something for everyone to enjoy.

kennett_creamery

A few of our favorite shops include: houppette, No 109, Scout & Annie, Ashley Austin, Terrain at Styers, and Talula’s Table {owned by Aimee Olexy, one of the most recognized personalities in the Philadelphia dining scene}.

Kennett_Square_Shopping

photo: Little Nest Photo Glen Mills, PA

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Hattie Weselyk Designs

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Local artisan and jewelry designer Hattie Weselyk is one busy lady! This mom of three creates gorgeous pieces that can be found in the Longwood Gardens gift shop, online at Urban Outfitters and she has partnered with the Philadelphia Union Soccer Foundation making custom ladies and men’s bracelets (50% of proceeds are donated to the foundation). Her website features a beautiful collection of earrings, necklaces and bracelets available in a variety of metals. Hattie also runs group workshops out of her 18th century farmhouse studio where you and a bunch of friends can gather together and make your own piece! We LOVE that!

Give us a little history – how did you grow your artistic abilities into a full-fledged business? From a very young age I began my training in ballet leading me to a career as professional ballerina and instructor. Ten years ago I stopped dancing and needed a creative outlet. I bought my first jewelry making book at a local craft store and fell madly in love. I work very hard and I never stop. I can’t.

 Where do you find inspiration?  I have a profound need within me to create. I’m not exactly sure where it comes from…but it’s endless.

 What is your preferred medium? Sterling Silver. I work in many metals but this is the one I know like the back of my hand. In my opinion it’s the most refined and beautiful.

Do you have a favorite piece? I love my Tiny Terrarium necklaces but I must say my favorite is my new Bee Cuff bracelet. It’s a collaborative piece that my father helped me to create. It’s special to me. (pictured above, bottom left)

Favorite book?  Any book on metal smithing that I haven’t already devoured.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Tuscany. One day..

The best time of day is… Early morning when its quiet and the rest of the house is asleep.. I have three children so this time is precious. I sneak down and grab my coffee and phone. Yes, I do love my phone!

 Check out Hattie’s website here and click here to register for the workshop on May 30th from 7 to 9pm

 

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July 4, 2014

 

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A Short Escape

The stretch of the the Brandywine Valley from Kennett Square to Wilmington, Delaware, may seem brief, but is packed with museums, history, art and more.

Winterthur Museum takes a full day to take in this family residence that Henry du Pont turned into a museum. A huge draw is the Downton Abbey costume exhibit now on display through January 2015.

downton abbey exhibit at winterthur

Hagley Museum is where the duPont story began. Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E. I. du Pont in 1802.

Brandywine Valley Shopping

artwork: Haley Cairo

Stop in Greenville for lunch at Janssens MarketPizza By Elizabeths or BBC Tavern and Grill and tax free shopping. Peter Kate, houppette and Two Sisters are in Powder Mill Square. It is like shopping at a mini Henri Bendels in the countryside with an amazing selection of the most unique shoes, handbags, clothing and makeup and accessories in the area.

peter kate

houppette

Take a drive along the Brandywine River along Route 100 – stop at SIW Farm stand for local produce and flowers along the way  (from June – October). Over 95% of Hill Girt Farm has had conservation easements placed on it preserving its natural beauty forever.

The Brandywine River Museum sits on U.S. 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The museum sits in the midst of the Brandywine Conservancy, and features the works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, who lived and painted in homes and studios nearby.  Jamie is still alive and lives nearby. Stop by the Brandywine Battle Field for a piece of American History.

There are several great places to dine along the way.  Brandywine PrimeDilworthtown Inn, Sovana Bistro and Talulah’s Table, our favorite local favorites such as Hank’s Place, The Mushroom Cafe and The Whip Tavern.  For wine enthusiasts, a day on the Brandywine Wine Trail includes stops at eight regional wineries.

Shopping: Antique Stores are up and down Route 1 in Chadds Ford. Our favorite is the Antiques Barn & right next door is  Studio 882. A Furniture & Design Showroom whose brands include Baker, Chaddock, Kindel, CR Laine, Julian Chichester, Fauld Enland, Palu, local artisans, Wyeth art and more.

Studio 882

Kennett Square is home to Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great garden treasures and the former estate of Pierre S. du Pont.  Explore more than 325 acres of dazzling outdoor gardens, tree houses, live concerts, one of the largest conservatories in America and more.

You can spend a day walking the quaint streets of Historic Kennett Square. Stop by Scout & Annie and Details by Inside Lines for fab vintage finds, furniture and unique accessories. Talula’s Table for lunch and be sure to get pick up some local cheese and fresh pastries. Owner Aimee Oxley is usually behind the scenes, Stephen Stars partner of Washington Square Talulas Garden in Philadelphia.

details by inside lines

houppette image via femmeandfortune.com

 

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