Monday, December 3, 2012

Peddler's Village, Bucks County, PA: A Weekend of Delights


What fantastic local destination has delicious food, refined restaurants, exciting entertainment, comfortable and classy overnight lodging, and is full of history and elegant touches? Why, Bucks County, of course! After 50 years, this quaint village is a still wonderful treat with free special events and seasonal festivals drawing 2 million visitors a year.
Heart of the Village- ready for an event

As one of the top most sought-after and visited tourist destinations in Pennsylvania, Bucks County is a never-fail retreat from the real world, to relax with wineries, food, family fun and events parks, trails, entertainment- Bucks County has it all! Located 75 miles from New York City and 25 miles from Philadelphia, Bucks County will offer a relaxing and fun adventure, no matter the reason for your visit!

Bucks County is full of gorgeous historic homes
The late Earl Hart Jamison founded Peddler's Village in 1962 on six acres of property at the crossroads of Routes 202, 263 and Street Road in Lahaska, once called Hentown. The property had housed a chicken hatchery, a barn and chicken coops. Earl transformed them into 14 shops and the Cock 'n Bull Restaurant. The buildings are placed amid winding brick pathways and gorgeous award-winning gardens designed by Earl, reflecting his consistent colonial America architectural style.
Peddler's Village
 
Peddler's Village is now one of the premier attractions in Bucks County. The 42-acre site boasts 70 unique specialty shops, six restaurants, the 70-room luxurious Golden Plough Inn, and for the kids: Giggleberry Fair, a family entertainment center featuring an antique operating carousel.

 
Golden Plough Inn, Peddler's Village
 
When we arrived in Peddler’s Village, we noticed its picturesque beauty. We checked in to the Golden Plough Inn, and were delighted with our room: spacious, warm, inviting and two queen-sized canopy beds awaited us. Such plush and comfortable surroundings instantly signaled that this was going to be a relaxing stay.
 
Delaware River, Washington Crossing Historic Park
 
But first, we headed out to Washington Crossing Historic Park to take in some of Bucks’ County’s rich history. At this site, General George Washington and his men of the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776 on Durham boats. A Nor’easter had approached making the conditions horrible, frigid and dangerous, yet they pressed on. His some 2600-militia marched the 8 miles to Trenton, New Jersey.


Washington Crossing Historic Park
Each year at Christmas more than 100 re-enactors recreate this significant event across the river in boats and uniforms replicated to near-exact historical proportions. The grounds of this park are along the river and are home to several historical buildings. It was truly an amazing feeling to know that history occurred right in the very place we were standing, as that moment was a turning point in the Revolution.
Washington Crossing Historic Park
After walking outside for hours in the park, we were quite chilled so off we went to begin our wine tour to warm up. We started with Crossing Vineyards & Winery in Washington Crossing. Beth and Mary were our hosts, giving us a tour of the picturesque vineyards and the tasting room. Our tasting room gent John poured us delicious wines and I have to say this winery offered some of the most delicious and imaginative wines I have ever tasted. Rich, full-bodied delights such as the Chocolate Cherry Truffle (port-style heavenly dessert wine) and the Sangria (a sweet juicy citrus-filled red wine) were amazing. Here, the impressive tasting room and cute gift shop are open 12-6pm every day.
 
Tastings Time!
 
From there we headed back to Peddler’s Village, stopping in Lambertville for just a moment to get a hot coffee and stop by the Tomasello Winery to get more of their luscious Blackberry wine. I only bought two bottles...what was I thinking?!
 
Crossings Winery
 We sampled some wine at the Chaddsford Winery, where I received a complimentary bottle of wine for staying at the Golden Plough Inn, imprinted with its Peddler’s Village 50th Anniversary. Their chardonnay is so wonderful I had to pick up a few bottles. Plus, some sangria, as a Christmas present for my mom (shhh, don’t tell) I got her a bottle of sangria from every winery we visited. She will have quite a lot to open on Christmas morning!
Cheers!
 
Back to relax in our gorgeous room, Rach and I each lounged in our impressive queen four-poster beds, reading until it was time for dinner. We stopped in the homey and pretty Buttonwood Grill for a pre-dinner drink, deciding on the hot apple cider. Complete with creamy caramel, buttershots and vanilla vodka, and pleasantly warm, this drink was a great start to our evening.

Hot Apple Cider, Buttonwood Grill
 
We then headed across the street to Earl’s Bucks County. Instantly, this place relaxed me. Warm d├ęcor, soft lights, an atmosphere I knew I would enjoy my dinner in. Our server Erhn helped us with our choices and was a superb commentator on the food. He suggested the raw oysters as starters. Rach and I sampled sweet succulent oysters- great season for then right now- from Martha’s Vineyard and Rhode Island.

OYSTERS!
 
All of Earl BC’s food is locally sourced or flown in from just a few hours away. Every single item is fresh and authentic and prepared to the guest’s liking...and believe me, I was liking it a lot! We also enjoyed warm bread with lemon zest ricotta sprinkled liberally with salt and pepper and some crunchy flatbread. I then tried the lobster bisque, which was rich and savory with chunks of lobster in it. Rach tried oysters for the first time, and we liked them so much we ordered a couple more.
Lobster Bisque, Earl's Bucks County
 
Our main dishes arrived. I had the house smoked St. Louis ribs with a cider glaze over smoked Cheddar-scallion mashed potato and horseradish spiked slaw. These ribs were fantastic, meaty, messy, sweet, smoky and satisfying. I’m usually not a big meat eater, but these ribs were amazing. Rach had the grilled 8 oz filet mignon with whipped potato and spinach. The filet was tender and juicy, with hints of wine and butter, and the spinach was fresh and tasty.

Smoked St. Louis Ribs, Earl's Bucks County
 
We then had dessert- apple pie and locally made chocolate and butter pecan ice cream was absolutely fantastic. And then, it was time to retire to our room- with visions of Peddler’s Village dancing in our heads!
Locally made chocolate and butter pecan ice cream, Earl's Bucks County
 
 Sunday’s weather was perfect- warm and sunny- for strolling and shopping. The great thing about Peddler’s Village is that everything is close- dinner, cute and fun clothing shops with shoes, apparel, outerwear, baby clothes, bath and beauty shops, grab a little snack, attend a murder mystery, enjoy a buffet, or coffee, sample local wines, find a place to relax, a place to sleep- all within walking distance. We went back to Earl's for farm-fresh breakfast with sausages, eggs, potatoes and coffee, and commenced wandering around the village.
Breakfast at Earl's BC
 
The village was alive with people all enjoying themselves in one of Bucks’ Counties favorite places. One can see why this village has thrived for 50 years, and will continue thriving. Such a community-oriented, exciting place is home to many local artisans, all who share the love of Bucks County.

Shoppes at Peddler's Village

 We rounded off our visit with a trip to see Santa Claus and his lovely wife on the magical New Hope & Ivyland Railroad for the North Pole Express. An old-fashioned steamer train, this ride evokes scenes of the Golden Age of steam railroading. The train will take you along on the historic route that was filmed in the 1914 movie series Perils of Pauline, all the while singing carols and enjoying a warm beverage and cookies.

Aboard the North Pole Express
 
So for this holiday season, see the lights, attend the festivities, sample the wineries, eat at the restaurants, and do so much more at Peddler’s Village!

Special thanks to Michelle Greco Falcone, Communications Manager of Visit Bucks County and Eve Gelman, PR Manager, Peddler’s Village who strived to made our Bucks’s County visit such an impressive stay! Thank you!

Photographs by Rachel Richards

Plan Your Bucks County getaway at VisitBucksCounty.com. Stay connected to Peddler's Village on Twitter.



 

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