Colorfest: Art of the Blue Ridge

Sunday afternoon I went with a few ladies from church to a tea at a cute little shop in Dillsboro called Country Traditions. We had lots of fun–good tea and tasty things on which to snack. The event was to support an organization called Catch the Spirit of Appalachia. We met several of the authors whose books were published by this organization as well as the two ladies who founded and run it. 

Somehow or another….and honestly I’m not sure how….I was invited to participate in Colorfest: Art of the Blue Ridge, a fine art festival in downtown Sylva in October. So, I’ll get to have a little table of my photography on October 23rd from 10am to 4pm.  I’m quite excited about it, though it is a bit of a scramble to get everything together! I’ll probably have some prints, some cards and then business cards that have my redbubble gallery on them.

blue ridge banner

Dillsboro Chocolate Factory

Dillsboro Chocolate Shop

Since I often visit the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory (or as I sometimes miss-name it, the Dillsboro Chocolate Shop) for both my own consumption of yummy chocolate and to purchase some of the best fudge to take to friends and family, I thought it would be appropriate to do a real review of them.

I am most certainly a chocoholic, a trait and habit I inherited from my mother, so any place that is primarily dedicated to that wonderful and delightful obsession that is chocolate is a place I want to frequent.

The Dillsboro Chocolate Factory is located, oddly enough, in Dillsboro, NC in the little area of shops across the street from the historic inn–The Jarrett House.  It can be found, as most all of these little businesses are, in an old house that has been repurposed for use as a chocolatier’s home. It is next door to Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church, which can be seen from the main street. Parking is along the street and, except in high tourist season, is never a problem.

The fudge, I will confess, is my primary reason for visiting there.  It is yummy–always freshly made and never crusty, gritty or hard like some fudge can be. Many different flavors, of course, and my favorites are Amaretto, Oreo, Peanut Butter and, the not-nearly-often-enough-available Tigerbutter which is a swirl of milk and white chocolate with peanut butter. It is bought by the pound at a reasonable price, boxed in a simple white box and supplied with a little plastic knife for cutting.  There are also many types of fudge available in sugar-free as well.

Beside the fudge case is a case filled with other delightful chocolates to explore: various things dipped in chocolate like pretzels and nutterbutters and graham crackers, solid chocolate bars, chocolate turtles and other things. They serve various coffee drinks with all sorts of Starbuck like names but with better coffee in them. They also have various other candies available, thought I have no idea why anyone would care for anything other than the chocolate!

Additionally, this is not a grab your fudge and go kind of place. There’s comfy chairs and a couch, a handful of tables and chairs, internet access and a really nice porch with lots of seating for hanging out. The people who work there are nice, too. Never been there when someone was rude or dismissive or brusque, which can understandably happen in high tourist areas.

In all, I recommend it highly! 🙂

The Well House Restaurant

Went for lunch yesterday at the Well House. It’s one of my favorite places for lunch around here. It’s in Dillsboro in the area with the little shops. I am assuming they serve both lunch and dinner, though I’ve only been there for lunch. 

 Well House 

First off, it is a very interesting building. It’s in what seems to be a cellar or at the least, the lower floor of an older house converted into shops. The door is below street level and you descend a few round brick steps to get inside. The interior has an old pub feel to it with dark wood tables and only a couple of windows. The windows are even blocked a bit by lovely stained glass pieces hanging there which, presumably, came from the stained glass workshop in the same area. And there is, of course, the well for which the Well House is named. While the sign on the well says that it can still provide water, I’m sure that is quite limited. However, they were wise to put a plexiglass cover across the top so that you can see into the deep well and not toss things down it. 

 steps 

The food is comprised mostly of sandwiches and soups and although there is a pub-like feel, they do not serve pub fare or beer, for that matter. My personal favorite is the Triple Treat which includes several kinds of meats and cheese on a white hoagie style roll. Not overwhelmingly big either. These are not Subway sandwiches and, at least as far as I am concerned, that is not a bad thing. Today I had a platter with potato salad, egg salad and pimento cheese. It comes with crackers and is served on a bed of lettuce. Everything on the menu is fairly typical deli-type sandwiches and such. Rubens, French Dip, etc. While there is nothing spectacularly original there, it is consistently good food. Good sized but not absurd servings that are just good every single time. I’ve yet to go there and not get a good meal. The service is good, too. Order at the counter and it is brought to your table with other table service provided. You do, however, need to bus your own table when you are ready to go. 

 In all, it is a place I readily recommend to others for lunch. Dependable good food. 

Half Day Off

Today was a half day off and I spent part of it in Dillsboro.  I can tell that spring is officially here, not because of flowers or pollen or warmer weather. I can tell because everywhere I go, people ask me something about my ‘visiting the area’. Tourist season is upon us. Before long, we will be beset by the one and only traffic woe we have in this area: the slow and confused vacationer. A friend of mine once said she wanted a bumper sticker that said “please get out of my way, I am not on vacation”. So I shopped for a bit in Dillsboro, determined that a half day off would not turn into a full day that just got started late. Got fudge from the chocolate shop to take home to mom in a few days and was sad to see that the fabric store is yet another small shop fallen prey to hard financial times. Apparently it closed last week. 

 Dillsboro Chocolate Shop Spring creeps up the mountain side and each day on my way home from work I can see more and more of the grey-brown coats of the mountains turning into their lovely spring dresses. Watching the seasons change is like seeing the tide marks on the sand as the ocean slinks in and out. Lovely flowers out in front of our church and also Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church. 

 flowersJarrett Memorial Baptist Church 

 But, perhaps most lovely of all are these Lenten Roses.  I think that’s what they are, though I could certainly be corrected if they are not. I just learned that they previously belonged to the mother of a parishioner and were replanted here upon the lady’s death. Quite nice, I think. 

 Lenten Rose