Fete Local: Off the Beaten Track Warehouse

A Feteful Life: Off The Beaten Track

I had the good fortune of stumbling across Off the Beaten Track Warehouse while reading about the office makeover of another DC local business (Cherry Blossom Creative), who incorporated a vintage farm table into their otherwise very modern design office. And it was that move that caught my eye. I’m much more of a mid-century modern gal than a lover of rustic vintage, but I like the idea of incorporating vintage decor and furniture in a modern space to help add some balance, depth, and personalization. Then I read more about the concept behind Off the Beaten Track and I knew we had to go visit.

The 36,000 square foot warehouse not only houses a huge showroom full of vintage pieces placed in cleverly helpful vignettes, but also offers a large amount of affordable workspace to DC artists. Supporting the arts and small businesses? Well, that was our whole idea behind starting the Fete Local series in the first place! And Greg Kimball and Wendy Hauenstein, the husband-and-wife owners, clearly spent some time selecting a variety of artisans who could help support them in turn. Off the Beaten Track includes the workspaces of an iron worker, a wooden furniture designer, and a coffee roaster, just to name a few.

Wendy graciously showed us around the entire warehouse a few weeks ago, introducing us to the various artists as we poked around. On top of all the love for local artists, Off the Beaten Track has an amazing selection of reasonably-priced vintage decor and furniture. Every few steps I discovered something that I would love to use in my home or workspace. And I love how they use vintage photos as price tags — it’s always the little details that standout. I highly recommend hightailing it over to the warehouse to check it our yourself. It is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am – 4 pm and the first and last Saturday of the month from 12 – 6 pm.

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

 

Fete Local: Cork Market

Fete Local: Cork Market

When we first moved back to DC from the Bay Area we had an awesome loft apartment in Logan Circle. I loved that apartment and neighborhood so much. A lot of growth and development has happened there since we left and it all seems to have started with the opening of Cork Wine Bar.

The wine bar was opened by Diane Gross & Khalid Pitts who happened to be our next door neighbors in that cool Logan Circle building. When we moved in, they were in the design and development phase of getting Cork open. It was so exciting to hear them talk about their new venture and how they were taking the risk of leaving their jobs as lawyers to follow their passion for good wine and food. It’s something that Rebecca and I find particularly appealing since that’s exactly what we’re starting to do now!

And the risk sure has paid off for them – within two years of opening the wine bar they opened Cork Market, which has an amazing selection of wine, cheese, gourmet ingredients, charcuterie, etc… Pretty much your one stop shop to throw a killer cocktail party or wine night. Here are our top 10 picks to do just that…

Fete Local: Cork Market

1. Baguettes – They had a great selection of artisan bread but these baguettes are the perfect food for a party. Slice at an angle, toast with some olive oil and coarse sea salt and you have the perfect base for any topping.

Fete Local: Cork Market

2. Oil-Cured Tomatoes – And speaking of toppings, you can’t get much better than these house made oil-cured tomatoes. Leave them out to come to room temperature and then spread them on that crostini you just made. Your guests will be in awe.

Fete Local: Cork Market

3. Cheese – Cork Market has an amazing selection of artisan cheeses and their staff can help you pick the perfect cheese for your taste. This Lenora goat cheese is right up my and Rebecca’s alley.

Fete Local: Cork Market

4. Charcuterie – They have a very interesting selection of pre-packaged charcuterie (i.e., Wild Boar Salumi) but how often can you get the good stuff sliced fresh for you? That’s definitely our pick!

Fete Local: Cork Market

Cork 12

5 & 6. Staff Picks of Red & White Wine – Their selection of wine is extensive. You can definitely ask a staff member for help but I love how they have “staff picks,” all at a reasonable price. Pick up a few bottles of the red & white!

Fete Local: Cork Market

7. Lemonade Syrup – Definitely pick up some of this house-made lemonade syrup and mix it with some club soda to give your guests a refreshing non-alchoholic alternative. You could also spike it with some bourbon and make an awesome boozy Lemonade.

Fete Local: Cork Market

8. Dolcezza Gelato – We’re a bit obsessed with gelato over here at AFL and Dolcezza is our gelato of choice. It’s SO good and it’s local! Buy a lot, it won’t last long.

Fete Local: Cork Market

9 & 10. Vin Santo and Biscotti – When Jim and I were traveling through Italy before we moved back to DC, we spent some time in Tuscany and fell in love with this classic Tuscan combo. Serve the Vin Santo chilled and dip the biscotti in this sweet dessert wine as you sip it. Molto Bene!

Fete Local: Cork Market

 

 

 

Fete Local: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

I came to two conclusions after visiting local jewelry designer Beth Silverberg’s 14th St. studio: (1) I want to live/work there; and (2) I would drape myself in her gorgeous geometric brass and quartz designs any day of the week. I might not accomplish the first, but you and I can both make the latter happen seeing as Jewelry by Beth Lauren is available online. One out of two isn’t bad, I suppose.

Beth’s unique jewelry features incredibly interesting tribal and brass geometric elements, and incorporates quartz and crystal in unexpected arrangements. I love that her approach to design is to source materials first, including a heavy dose of vintage, and then use those as inspiration. It’s such fabulous handcrafted design. And while her jewelry is stocked by serious retail stores (such as Barneys Japan and Anthropologie), she continues to maintain a strong local presence by working out of her live-in studio and popping up in boutiques around town.

Her studio, by the way, seems pretty much the perfect place in which to create. From its floor to ceiling windows, to the well-styled living room, to my favorite CB2 candleholders (of which I had an entire dining room table full pre-kiddos), I’m ready to move in. But I digress.

If you’re looking for unique jewelry, from the everyday piece to something really special, we highly recommend checking out her collection. We didn’t even bother trying to cull a top ten — it wasn’t going to happen. We’ll take it all (can’t you just see me in that first pair of earrings below?! … bad pun intended).

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Laure

Fete Local: New Columbia Distillers + Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

Well, it took two fete locals for us to feature a local distillery, which is about two more than I thought it would. Fortunately, we recently found our way to a tasting of the fabulous Green Hat Gin and a tour of the first craft distillery in DC since prohibition: New Columbia. Co-owners Michael Lowe and John Uselton graciously showed us around their distillery, explaining their craft and how they opened up shop. Oh and pouring a few small tastes of their outstanding gins, of course.

New Columbia currently distills a classic gin and two seasonal editions (a Spring/Summer and a Fall/Winter) — we’ve had all of them and they are all truly delicious on their own or in a cocktail. I particularly like the Spring/Summer edition, which features floral cherry blossoms (from a local florist) and rosemary sunbaked in John’s own backyard. How’s that for local? Plus, keep your eyes peeled for a rye whiskey on which they’re currently working.

In addition to crafting fantastic gins, New Columbia boasts spectacular graphic design (from local Design Army) and an awesome backstory to their gin’s name (it’s the moniker of the legendary bootlegger to Congress). AND you too can check out the New Columbia Distillery, which opens its doors for free tasting and tours every Saturday from 1 – 4 pm. Father’s Day is right around the corner and we can pretty much guarantee that dads would appreciate a tour and tasting far more than another bad tie (or good tie, for that matter). We intended to take both Mr. Fetes with us, but they were too busy being awesome dads. Don’t worry, we picked up a little something for them from the Distillery’s retail store. But if you can swing it, a tasting and tour followed by eats and drinks at nearby Union Market would be fabulous. Also, if you really want to get involved, get on the Distillery’s bottling party list — if you’re lucky, you might get picked to help label and bottle a batch.

If you are just looking for the gins, the Distillery retail store is open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. They are also in an impressive number of retail stores, restaurants and bars throughout DC, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware (you can check out all the DC spots right here). Pick up a bottle of the Spring/Summer edition and get busy making one of the Distillers’ favorite cocktails: Michael likes a classic gin + tonic and John’s into a Summer Rickey variation (btw, we learned that the Gin Rickey is DC’s official cocktail and you can expect to see something from us on that soon!).

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

Fete Local: Trohv DC

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

At AFL, we’re always on the hunt for interesting gifts or decorative items for our home and that’s what first drew us to Trohv. But we soon found out that they have much, much more to offer.

Trohv got its start in 2006 as a store called Red Tree in Baltimore, MD. It was renamed Trohv in 2011 and luckily for us, they expanded to a second location in DC. They are located in the historic Takoma Park neighborhood conveniently located on the Red Line. The collection of home goods are a mix of vintage, industrial and modern.

While this is a list of some of our favorites, this is no way covers all of the amazing things available at Trohv. So, if you’re in town, be sure to stop by to check it out for yourself or if you aren’t local, you can check out their online store which offers a small selection of what you can see in the store.

Ok, enough reading… here’s our Trohv DC Top 10!

Furniture

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

1. Beer Table Sets – {S} – Jim and I are in the midst of rehabbing our backyard and I think these tables and benches would be a perfect addition. It would be like my own little beer garden heaven. {$498}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

2. Leather Chair – {R} – I love how Trohv artfully mixes together mid-century modern and industrial designs and this gorgeous, buttery leather chair is no exception. It would fit equally well in the home or the studio/office I pretend I have.

Art

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

3. Vintage German Periodic Table – {S} – It was so very painful to leave this awesome piece of art behind. My son is obsessed with the periodic table right now and he would have LOVED it so much. I only passed on it because it looks a bit fragile and I don’t trust my 2.5 year old not to do some serious damage to it! I will forever be jealous of the lucky owner. {$230}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

4. Hand-Printed Monotypes – {R} – These beautiful monotypes of the night sky are made by Claire Harper, a Trohv employee. They’re gorgeous and remind me of geodes. I’d take ’em all. {$40}

Clothing + Accessories

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

5. Red Polka Dot Pajamas – {S} – There’s nothing I love more in the evening than putting on my pajamas and relaxing on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good TV show. These adorable lightweight cotton ones would be the perfect addition!

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

6. Gold Handbag – {R} – There were plenty of beautiful accessories in the store, but you know I went right for this one by Hobo Bags. I’m such a sucker for a gold bag and this one was gorgeous and the perfect size — not too big, not too small. Goldilocks right. {$220}

Kids

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

7. Topozoo – {S} – This is one cool toy! You can mix and match the different sets to make over 1200 combinations of animals. It has all the good stuff you want out of a toy as well… non-toxic, recycled wood, etc., plus I don’t think the kids will get bored with them anytime soon. {$32}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

8. I Heart Guts Stuffies – {R} – Um … I wanted ALL of the I Heart Guts stuffies. My daughter would love this aptly-named metallic Heart of Gold. {$24}

Paper Goods

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

9. I Heart DC Notecards – {S} – Not only do I heart DC, I also love a handwritten note. A match made in heaven. {$15.95}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

10. No Regrets Temporary Tattoos – {R} – Hehehehe. If you know me at all, you know that I can be slightly liberal with expletives. Plus pretty typography and kick ass messages? These temporary tattoos are right up my alley. {$6.25/pack}

Fete Local: Salt & Sundry

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

One of the things we love most about living in D.C. is the ever-growing creative community. From craft cocktail mixologists to artisan food makers to home goods designers to DIY lifestyle bloggers (uhem, uhem ….), the city is experiencing a great surge in creativity. And we want to share it with YOU. So, we decided to start a new monthly series: the local shop feature. Each month we’ll visit a great local shop and share our top ten favorite items from the store, which is going to be a hard task given the abundance of creative goodness. That is certainly the case with our first featured shop: Salt & Sundry.

Located in the recently revitalized Union Market, Salt & Sundry has been a favorite of ours since opening about a year and 1/2 ago (you might recall it was on our shop local list for Small Business Saturday) and features a beautifully curated selection of housewares, linens, gifts, artisanal foods and covetable vintage finds. The shop is gorgeous, owner Amanda McClements is so lovely, and we had an incredibly rough time narrowing our favorites down to just ten items. As we remind ourselves often when working on our cocktail of the week, it’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it.

If you are in the D.C. area, stopping in to Union Market and Salt & Sundry is a MUST — especially during the upcoming Thread at Dock 5 event, which is a curated pop-up retail event running April 4-6. And for you unlucky souls who aren’t local, as luck would have it, Salt & Sundry recently opened up an online store carrying a select set of items from the store.

Without further adieu, here’s our Salt & Sundry Top 10!

Home

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

1. Mint Farm Table — {R} — I tend to have a slightly more modern aesthetic, but I LOVED this gorgeous mint-colored farm table (hand-made by Amanda’s father). Maybe it’s just part of my mint phase, but this one-of-a-kind table was my favorite home piece in the shop. And I’ll take everything on it as well. {$795}

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

2. Moroccan Pouf — {S} — Who doesn’t love to sit back, relax, and kick up their feet? Skip the traditional ottoman and go with this gorgeous Moroccan pouf instead. I love everything about it! {$278}

Linens

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

3. Cheese Tea Towel — {R} — I could probably live on bread and cheese alone {and cocktails}. And this sweet tea towel has me covered with a list of cheeses made from the milk of cows, lambs, and sheep. {$26}

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

4. Turkish Towels — {S} — I really have a thing for Turkish towels and I love their beautifully curated selection. They’re soft, incredibly absorbent, and way more fashionable than your standard bath towel. {$20-$45}

Cocktails

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

5. Scrappy’s Bitters Gift Set — {S} — Take your cocktail making to the next level with these sample sets of artisan bitters. I took home a set and have already put them to good use – I’m sure you’ll be seeing a cocktail hour post (or two) using them in the near future. They come in sets of four (orange, aromatic, lavender & celery OR lime, chocolate, cardamon, grapefruit). {$26/set}

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

6. Homemade Gin Kit — {R} — I really wanted to just include the entire fabulous bar cart, but that’s cheating. So I narrowed it down to the locally-born gin kit that allows you to turn vodka into a small batch of homemade gin. Magic? Does it matter? {$50} (I also picked up one of those great white and steel mini cocktail shakers for my husband’s minimalist office bar tray, which were designed by Salt & Sundry and made locally).

Servingware

A Feteful LIfe: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

7. Agate Coaster — {R} — So, yes, these coasters are technically servingware for drinks. But they are just gorgeous, so I’m picking them as my favorite for this category. They are the perfect balance between rough and polished and the colors are beautiful. {$16 each}

A Feteful Life: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

8. Black Cake Stand — {S} — I really regret not buying this cake stand when I was at the store and I’ll definitely be heading back in the near future to buy it! The black finish takes what would be a simple cake stand and makes it a statement piece. Just imagine how stunning a simple white cake would look displayed on here! {$72}

Kiddos

A Feteful LIfe: Local Shop Feature -- Salt & Sundry

9. BabyLit Books — {S} — I love these board book versions of major literary classics. The illustrations are colorful and fun and will be sure to capture any child’s attention. Skip giving your friends another copy of Good Night Moon when they have a baby and give them these instead. {$9.99/each}

S+S 11

10. Uncle Goose Egyptian Hieroglyphic Blocks — {R} — My son is completely obsessed with blocks and all things Egypt. He would seriously pass out if I brought this set of blocks home, so I’m going to save it for a special occasion. Uncle Goose’s blocks are beautifully crafted with non-toxic ink, so they’d work just as well for the younger kiddos too. {$56}