29 Dec 07

Dec 29 2007

This week’s adventure: a trip to Middleburg.

Adventures are never sure things. That’s part of what makes them adventures. Each trip carries with it the danger of total failure. “Failure” means “nothing new,” in this case.

I drove down to Middleburg, stopped just inside town, and walked around. I’d been there once before, for a book signing with Dick Francis. My parents are big fans of his; I’ve never read any of his books through. They’re well-written; just not my cup of tea.

I remember the bookstore fondly. ‘Twas an old-style bookstore. Small. Lots of wood. Vaguely musty smells. Hand-written signs. Hardwood floors that echoed every boot and heel.

It’s gone now, sadly, and that robbed the town of much of its appeal for me. Otherwise it’s similar to Leesburg, with a stronger flavor of Hunt Country. Lots of antique shops, high-end clothing stores, and a few hole-in-the-wall delis.

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I did make one discovery, though. Walking along main street, I found what looked like a bank, but promised to be a “Traditional Butcher and Graziers.”

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I looked inside, and my jaw dropped. It’s literally an English butcher and general store. Small and densely packed, but clean and not cramped. Everything was fresh and organic. It was apparently run by a farm, so much of the dairy and produce came from a farm a few miles away.

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If Middleburg weren’t so far, I’d drive down here every week and buy all my groceries here. What a pity.

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