My Trip to the Round Top Antiques Fair - Part One
Hi Everyone! It’s been a few days since I’ve written a blog post because life has been busy! I’ve been to San Diego, Round Top Texas and today, I’m leaving for France (so excited)! I think travel expands the mind, encourages creativity (which may be the same thing), gives us understanding and therefore empathy for other cultures and people and makes us love home! I feel so fortunate to be able to travel and see other parts of the world and our country! Here is part one of my trip to Round Top Antiques Fair. I really crammed so much into not even two full days!
On July 29, I woke up at 3:00 am to catch a 6 am flight to Austin Texas to go the Round Top Antiques Fair, and attend the Dinner Under the Stars that was to be held there, only to come home the next day and then get up to leave for France (does that all make sense?). I was talked into this madness by my friend Pandora de Balthazar (who is a vendor at The Arbors at Round Top) and I’m so glad that she talked me into it. I’m sitting in Dallas at the airport right now, typing all of this while ii’s still fresh in my memory. I met so many wonderful people and had such an amazing time!
When I landed in Austin, I rented a car and drove to Round Top, Texas. It took about an hour and it was really a nice drive. I saw lots of cows and noticed, whether it’s true or not that the sky looked really expansive. I spoke to Pandora on the phone as I was driving and she warned me that I needed to slow down soon because I would begin to see the Round Top vendors and she wasn’t kidding! The road narrowed and I started seeing lots of people, interesting tents and so much stuff! I knew that Pandora’s tent (to call it a tent is almost laughable!) was down the road a bit, so I decided to pull over and take a look at some of the other vendors before I got there! I parked and started looking around at different tents and vendors’ wares, It was interesting to say the least…I was thoroughly enjoying myself and meeting really nice people, but truthfully wondering why I came such a long way! Anyway…my phone rang and it was Pandora telling my to “hurry up”! I took a few pictures and was on my way!
I followed Pandora’s directions and ended up at my bed and breakfast, which was the most charming Victorian house! My bed was completely “done” in style in Pandora’s beautiful linens and she had placed her delicious smelling throughout my room including her Lavender Linen Spray and Face Cream. I knew at that point, that no matter how tired I was, that I would sleep like a baby…and I did!
After dropping my bags, Pandora and I hopped in the car and drove to her tent! When we pulled into the parking lot, I knew that it was worth the trip! Her “tent” was like a high end shop selling her Pandora de Balthazar bedding, antique linens and Lavender products! The whole thing was larger than life (just like Pandora) and so beautifully done!
I was so thrilled to meet Amanda Barkley, who is THE floral designer for Christmas at the White house this year (OMG). Amanda designed several breath taking fall floral arrangements for Pandora’s Tent. She is a third generation florist…her grandmother and mom opened Nita’s Florist in Bryan Texas, which is still in business after 68 years! “Amanda attributes her passion for floral design, work ethic and desire for creating due to these two strong and very talented matriarchs.” One of my favorites of the arrangements was created with handmade paper flowers, as well as leaves cut from a “book of encouragement” along with fresh greenery. Take a look at Amanda’s arrangements and listen to my interview with her below! She is so talented and has achieved so many things, but she is still so sweet and approachable! I loved meeting her and look forward to featuring her in Blondie, the holiday issue!
Another one of the highlights of my trip was meeting Mary Emmerling! Mary is an author and designer that I have loved for over 30 years! When I was much younger, Mary’s decor books inspired me so much and I still have my dog eared copies today! Mary’s new book, American Country Cottages is out now!
Pandora’s tent was surrounded by other tents that were also huge and selling everything from original art (fabulous) to jewelry to cowboy boots! I really wanted a pair of cowboy boots, but there wasn’t enough time to look around…so I guess I’ll just have to go back in the spring!
Here is just a sample of some of the things I saw and loved!
The day was a whirlwind of meeting people and seeing beautiful art, jewelry, and taking lots of pictures. Before I knew it, 5:00pm came and it was time for the first cocktail party/olive oil tasting of the evening. I loved meeting Rob and Linda Rosenbaum, who hosted the olive oil tasting! They have planted 300 olive trees on their property and produced their first bottles of the finest olive oil that I’ve ever tasted! Their property in Texas is called The White House on the Hill where they host events, workshops and produce their amazing olive oil. You’ll want to read more about them here! Below, they are sharing a piece of bread soaked in olive oil.
The next cocktail party was over the top with a wine tasting and delicious hors d’oeuvres and more people to meet! The fashion was just as creative as the people wearing it and I so enjoyed seeing what everyone had on! Lots of cowboy boots for sure. The main event was “Dinner Under the Stars” which was a fund raiser for The Round Top Festival Institute (more about that in Part 2). We sat under tents at long tables on hay bails and feasted on paella and local barbecue. It was so much fun to eat outside under the sparkling lights and drink more amazing wine. After we ate, it was time for dancing…the band started playing and I was fading fast.
Bedtime was later than I expected, but I went to bed, very tired, but also very very happy that I had come! I slept like a baby in the comfy bed with Pandora’s linens and pillows that had been misted with her lavender linen spray, feeling totally spoiled!
5:30 am the next morning came early, but I had things to do before heading to the airport. I had an appointment at 8:00 am to have a tour of with James Dick of The Round Top Festival Institute! Please check back tomorrow for Part 2 of my trip to Round Top!
I’m off to finish packing and do a few last minute things before leaving for the airport! The next time I blog, I will be in Lourmarin!
Have a great day everyone! Have any of you been to Round Top and/or how has travel inspired you? Leave a comment below!
So many of the talented women that I met on this trip will be featured in the upcoming Holiday Issue of Blondie! Be sure to subscribe!