Holidays at Poplar Forest
December 12, 2015
It didn't feel much like Christmas with temperatures in the 70s, but the sun was shining as the RSV returned to Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest for their Christmas open house. Much of the day was spent wandering about the grounds taking advantage of any number of picturesque backgrounds. The afternoon, however, was spent demonstrating and teaching period dancing to the visitors to the house. We had a delightful time with those who got up the courage to learn some of the dances of the era. Thank you to all of our volunteers for helping us--and to the staff at Poplar Forest for your hospitality! Be sure to visit our Facebook page to see pictures from the event!
Historic Hope Plantation Christmas Open House
December 6, 2015
We were afforded another event of extremely pleasant weather, this time just over the North Carolina/Virginia border at Historic Hope Plantation. For the last few years, the RSV has participated in the site's annual open house by demonstrating period dance for visitors and offering a little bit of period flavor to boot! We provided two difference sessions of dance demos, inviting guests to join us and "put their best foot forward" which gave us ample time to stroll the grounds and enjoy the festivities ourselves! Thank you again to Hope Plantation for the invitation and to the visitors who so graciously volunteered to learn a bit of early 19th century English country dancing. If you missed out, be sure to see the pictures that we've posted on Facebook (no need to have a Facebook account to see them)!
Ash Lawn-Highland Fall Open House
November 15, 2015
The weather in Charlottesville was as glorious during this event as it was unpleasant at the previous one! The Regency Society of Virginia was treated to an absolutely stunning fall day at the home of President James Monroe as we presented early 19th century dancing to the guests of Ash Lawn-Highland's open house. We were also afforded plenty of time to wander the grounds and enjoy the lovely views. (Don't miss the pictures here!) There were even some unexpected twists to the day when we were invited to be a part of a YouTube series which had been picked up by ABC Family which involves a family going on "The Ultimate Field Trip." We're interested to see how that turns out! (Stay tuned...we'll probably post the link on our Member Chatter page or on Facebook when it goes up.) Thank you so much to the RSV volunteers who came out for the day--you really helped us make the day a little more special for the Ash Lawn-Highland guests!
Montpelier Hunt Races
November 7, 2015
A stalwart band of RSV members braved the elements to enjoy the group's first visit to the annual Montpelier Hunt Races held on the grounds of James and Dolley Madison's home. Despite a forecast of "light" rain, we were treated to an all day not-quite-deluge that tried unsuccessfully to dampen our spirits. (Our clothing, on the other hand...) In true Virginian style, we went forward with the social part of our day, delighting in a selection of period foods and warming ourselves with freshly prepared tea. Our space was right along the rail at the last gate and we had a fine view as the horses raced by. The weather was certainly far from perfect but it was clear from the fun that we got out of the afternoon that this was an event that we were going to have to do again. We'll be better prepared and hoping for sunshine--and your presence!--next year! Take a look at some of the pictures that we got while there. (No Facebook account required to see the pics!)
October 24, 2015
Not to sound too 20th century but, O! What a night! The RSV was pleased to welcome members and friends to the Country Club of Petersburg to celebrate the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on the occasion of its 210th anniversary. Our guests arrived most elegantly attired and very ready to put their best foot forward on the dance floor. We were most capably aided in this matter by our dancing master, Mr. Charles Steplively (played by the incomparable Jeremy Gershman), and our wonderful musicians, Ms. Mara Shea and Mr. Dean Herington. When dancers tired (although few of them did!) or wished for another diversion to pass the time, they were able to take advantage of our gaming room with whist, cribbage, and faro. For those wishing to try their luck in other ways, we raffled off three baskets--a gentleman's basket, another for the ladies, and yet another which contained writing implements and accessories of all sorts. Divine food and a beautiful venue combined with the most enjoyable company to make for a most pleasurable evening. Many, many thanks to our sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Malgee for their assistance in securing the venue for us and to K. Walters at the Sign of the Gray Horse for her donations towards two of our baskets! Weren't able to make it? Do join us the next time! (But in the meantime, see what you missed by viewing pictures on our Facebook page!)
Early 19th Century Jewelry
October 18, 2015
In conjunction with the Southeastern Virginia regional chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America, the RSV hosted an informative presentation by Kimberly Walters, proprietress of RSV Member-Friendly Merchant K. Walters at the Sign of the Gray Horse. The gathered group was treated to an overview of jewelry fashions during the last quarter of the 18th century and how they influenced or evolved in the 19th century. As if digesting all of the wonderful information offered was not enough, Ms Walters brought original period pieces for us to examine and had copied a necklace from an 1814 fashion plate which she generously offered for a giveaway! For those of us who were not so fortunate as to win said necklace, consolation was found in the extensive selection of reproduction jewelry which Ms. Walters brought for purchase. Few were able to resist the siren song of these beautiful pieces and there were quite a few very happy shoppers at the end of the afternoon. Want to get a glimpse of the event? Be sure to visit our album on our Facebook page!
Richmond Theater Fire Lecture
August 22, 2015
We were given insights into one of the most widely-known tragedies of the early American republic at our lecture presented by award-winning author, Meredith Henne Baker. The RSV met at historic Christ Church in Washington, DC to hear the true stories of how the December 26, 1811 fire changed the lives of those in and around Richmond. After the talk, we were given a little tour of the early 19th century church, too! To find out more about the Richmond Theater Fire, we encourage you to read Ms. Baker's book, The Richmond Theater Fire, Early America's First Great Tragedy. Don't miss the pictures from the event on Facebook, either!
Cape Henry Lighthouse Historic Marker Dedication
August 8, 2015
The RSV was privileged to participate in the dedication of a historical marker commemorating the role of the Cape Henry Lighthouse during the War of 1812. It was a fine--if blustery!--day at the site of the 1791 lighthouse, the first one authorized by the US Congress. Thank you to all of the members who took time out of their Saturday to add a little atmosphere to the event by attending in period attire. Be sure to check out the pictures on Facebook!
Regency Ladies' Retreat
July 16-19, 2015
Several ladies of the RSV gathered at the beautiful Eastover Manor House on the James for a weekend filled with nearly every good thing about the early 19th century. Our days were passed in all manner of activities: dancing, composing letters, exploring the grounds (including dipping our toes in the James River!), trying our hand at archery, sewing, reading, and--every now and then--indulging in movies set in the early 19th century confident that there would be no eye-rolling or exasperated sighing when we put in another Jane Austen adaptation. In true Regency spirit, we savored some excellent meals each day, enjoying hearty breakfasts in the morning with an afternoon repast with tea to delicious dinners composed entirely of dishes made from period receipts. Our evenings were spent enjoying whist and one another's company in an almost magical candlelit atmosphere. Be sure to take a look at all the wonderful pictures from the retreat on Facebook and don't miss it next year!
June 6, 2015
Members of the Regency Society of Virginia were on hand to welcome the reproduction of Lafayette's ship L'Hermione to her first American port of call, Yorktown, in early June. The foul weather held off until late in the day allowing for a wonderful visit on the historic replica. To see some of the pictures from our visit, be sure to check out our Facebook page!
Third Annual Bacon's Castle Tea
May 9, 2015
The Regency Society of Virginia provided volunteers to support Preservation Virginia's Bacon's Castle's Mother's Day Tea. Our ladies were fabulous at keeping the tea and conversation flowing and providing background music for the event. In addition to their duties during the tea, these intrepid RSVers also gave extra hours setting-up and cleaning-up. All of the guests to the tea enjoyed their afternoon and we'd like to think that the RSV had a big part in that! Thank you so very much to those who offered their services! Please know that it was greatly appreciated! (And don't miss some of the pictures that were taken at the event on Facebook!)
Ash Lawn-Highland Girl Scout Day
May 2, 2015
We were delighted to be invited to participate in James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland's first Girl Scout Day! Our group of volunteers spent the morning at this historic home teaching girls about historical dress and dancing during the early 19th century. It was great fun to help all of the participants engage with history. We were also able to enjoy a tour of the house and an incredibly gorgeous spring day which encouraged us to linger on the grounds. What a delight! Get a glimpse of some of the day's activities by looking at our pictures on Facebook!
An Afternoon Tea
April 18, 2015
Some of the ladies of the RSV met at the Coach and Horses Tea Room, a charming c. 1790 restored mill in Winchester, Virginia, to enjoy an afternoon tea together. The assembled ladies came from all over the Commonwealth and Maryland and were a most handsome group in their frocks and bonnets. Each of us was able to choose a tea from the tea room's extensive menu (four pages worth of tea selections, at least!), little knowing what culinary delights awaited us. Orange-cranberry scones with clotted cream and jam, cucumber sandwiches, turkey croissants, strawberry tarts, lemon marscapone cake, and so much more! Thankfully, the day was so pleasant that we were able to enjoy the out of doors, which not only aided in digestion but provided a ready excuse to linger in one another's company! Be sure to enjoy the pictures from the day by visiting our Facebook album!
Regency Era Fragrance Workshop
March 7, 2015
The RSV opened the month of March with a workshop led by Perrin Cottage Perfumery's Rebecca Suerdieck who provided us with a brief history of fragrance and then told us a little more about the scents that were popular during the early 19th century. In addition to learning about perfumes and colognes of the era, our participants also had the opportunity to create a fragrance of their own which they were also able to name and take home in a wax-sealed bottle. Did you miss it? Check out the pictures from the event here!
Make Tea, Not War
February 22, 2015
To commemorate the bicentennial of the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, in conjunction with the Regency Society of Virginia, hosted a tea to educate the public about the Norfolk area during the War of 1812 and what the Treaty of Ghent meant for the area. Several ladies of the RSV played hostess, serving tea and stories of how the war impacted Norfolk. Thank you so much to the Hampton Roads Naval Museum for the invitation! To see some pictures from the event, take a look at article in the HRNM's blog!
Treaty of Ghent Bicentennial Gala
February 21, 2015
Norfolk, Virginia concluded the War of 1812 bicentennial years with an elegant soiree befitting the occasion. A dance demonstration team from the RSV helped to open the evening by performing "Ramsgate Assembly." Representatives from the US, UK, France and Belgium were all in attendance during the evening. During dinner, a mayoral proclamation was read and author John Quarstein gave an oration on the War of 1812 and Treaty of Ghent. After the appropriate toasts to amity between nations, the dancing commenced! It was a delight to have guests join us on the floor to try English Country Dancing . The evening concluded to the universal praises of all! Did you miss it? See a few of the images from the event on our Facebook page. Professional pictures were also taken of the event by Magali deVulpillieres. See the professional album here.
2015 RSV Annual Members' Meeting
January 24, 2015
Thank you to all of the members who joined us for our annual business meeting despite the gloomy weather. We had a very productive meeting, discussing the good and bad of previous events, learning about upcoming events and sharing ideas for the future of the organization. This group works because of the efforts and enthusiasm of its members. From what we can tell, the RSV is doing well!
Second Annual Twelfth Night Dinner
January 3, 2015
Members and friends of the Regency Society gathered at the historic Hanover Tavern outside of Richmond to close the holiday season out with an elegant Twelfth Night dinner. Despite the rain, two dozen partygoers arrived to enjoy their dinner in the ambiance of the historic upper rooms of the tavern. Everyone enjoyed the convivial conversation about the table as well as a delicious three course meal. We were also delighted to welcome several new friends to our gathering (and hope that we shall soon know them as fellow members!). Did you miss it? You can still get a glimpse of the fun through our pictures on Facebook!