One of my first Christmas beers of the season, Tidings from Alexandria’s Port City Brewing was a very pleasant welcome to this year’s winter warmers.
The strongest of all Port City’s offerings at 7.8%, Tidings is a Belgian Pale Ale with the addition of honey and seasonal spices. The honey was especially prominent in the glass I had at Rustico in Alexandria, tasting as if it might not have completely fermented out leaving a fair dose of residual sweetness and honey flavor. There are lots of flavors of coriander, clove, and pepper.
Tidings is not quite the super-high-ABV, syrupy wallop of a winter warmer like some breweries come out with around this time of year – more of a subtle toast to the season and one which seems like it would work well as a party tipple or paired with a holiday dinner.
Did you miss out on the lottery for tickets to this year’s National Christmas Tree lighting, held last night? Even if you did, it is not too late to take home a little piece of the celebration. All of the performers at the event have participated in creating Ornaments for the Parks.
Here at We Love DC, we love opportunities to incorporate a little bit of giving back into our holidays. The proceeds from the upcoming auction of the exclusive ornaments designed by local jewelers Tiny Jewel Box and autographed by the likes of Ellie Goulding and Carson Daly will go to benefit the National Park Federation.
Between now and December 11th, you can take a look at the special ornaments on display in the lobby “living room” of the W Hotel – and enjoy a tasty hot cocktail while you peruse.
‘Cocktail, Jack Rose Dining Saloon’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’
Recently, users of the smart phone app from daily-deal site LivingSocial might have seen an usual instant deal pop up: A “Secret Mixology Event” with no further details given. Daring buyers who bought the deal later received instructions on the time, place, and details. They were told to arrive at Jack Rose in Adams Morgan at 9:00, look for a man with a rose in his lapel.
Tucked in one of the lovely little private rooms off the upstairs bar, complete with cozy fireplace and lovely view over the slightly-drizzly night, the small group assembled around the bar to learn from noted cocktail-mixer and Jack Rose beverage director Rachel Sergi about how to make festive holiday cocktails fevor their own gatherings this season. Being greeted with a flotilla of Bulleit Rye bottles arranged in a line across the bar upon arrival, things were off to a good start.
Not everybody has room in their apartment for a full-scale Friendsgiving and it can be hard to coordinate with lots of people leaving town to visit family elsewhere. Adams Morgan “dining saloon” Jack Rose offers a solution this Thursday with something they are calling “The Mutha Firkin Turkey Roast of 2011.”
courtesy of ‘The National Guard’
Have you ever thought you would like to join a group to do some old-fashioned Christmas caroling? Perhaps you noticed you seem daft standing outside singing alone, and are looking for security in numbers? This holiday season there may be a chance for you.
A new group is forming that will be planning to sing around DC at Eastern Market, the Smithsonian, coffee shops, and other locations. Open to singers 21 and over, any tips raised during the season will be used to throw the group a fun party at the end of the season.
These days, stationery designer Nick Hanzlik of R. Nichols is based out of Los Angeles where he is known for cultivating a celebrity clientele for his charming paper-cut designs. His roots, however, are in DC – like the sixth grade teacher at Sidwell Friends to whom he credits getting his start. For this holiday season, he is coming back to Washington with a special limited-edition range of city-themed cards.
courtesy of ‘sheena carmichael’
Here’s a place you might not have thought of to look for a holiday gift — your local farmers market.
Last weekend, I went to two farmers markets and found lots of fun items, including organic coffee, beeswax candles and tree ornaments, local honey in various flavors, maple syrup, all-natural bath salts and soaks, jewelry, handmade cards, Virginia wine, Amish pastries and preserves and creamy local cheeses.
While you’re there, you can pick up things like homemade wreaths, pumpkin pies, breads and cookies, winter squash, apples, and local dairy products and meats (think turkey) for a holiday feast.
You’ll even escape the crowds. So bundle up and head out!
courtesy of ‘ubrayj02’
What’s that bright light in the sky? Why it’s a house decked out in holiday lights.
To see a bunch up close, take a spin in the Arlington holiday lights bike ride this Sunday night, Dec. 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
BikeArlington and Conte’s Bike Shop are hosts; meet at Conte’s at 3924 Wilson Blvd., and pick up a bike light at a discount before the ride if you need one. Helmets are required. Bring along a $10 gift card from Borders, Target, Best Buy, etc. for the Warriors in Transition program at Walter Reed and be entered in a drawing for a Conte’s gift card.
All speeds are welcome; they’ll wait for everyone. So deck your bike and come see the show.
courtesy of ‘TPorter2006’
Want to have a glorious and green holiday? Check out these holiday tips that Adrienne Spahr, founder and principal consultant of DC’s own Green Living Consulting, gave at last night’s Green Drinks DC.
Reuse or recycle wrapping paper — more than 8,000 tons of it, equal to 50,000 trees, festoon packages each year. Or wrap presents in creative, reusable materials. Send e-cards, or send cards made from recycled paper. If all cards were made from recycled paper, it would save the equivalent of 248,000 trees.
Buy a locally grown Christmas tree and recycle it. Carry reusable shopping bags. Buy LED holiday lights, to save watts and electricity dollars. If you get new electronics, recycle your old ones or sell them. Buy rechargeable batteries and chargers, and recycle old batteries.
And after the holidays, “regift” that tacky sweater or shrimp deveiner to Goodwill, eBay, Craigslist or Freecycle.
courtesy of ‘tbridge’
After the enthusiastic response to our Gift Guide to DC Artists last week, I wanted to do a follow-up to further assist you awesome bunch of DC Enthusiasts in your gift-giving efforts.
I didn’t get a chance to talk about holiday markets, which are a great way to check out local and regional artists and let the perfect gift suggest itself to you.
The biggest and probably most convenient is the Downtown Holiday Market, which will be happening until December 23rd. It’s at 8th and F Streets from noon to 8 on daily, so it’s perfect for slipping out at lunchtime or on your way home from work to take a look. Take a look at their exhibitor list, because not every artist is there for the whole market. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘pink_fish13’
It’s time for another green holiday here in DC, and the area’s eco-friendly groups are gearing up to celebrate the season. Join in this slew of fun events, help curb global warming — and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Toast Another Year
Wednesday, Dec. 2
6 – 8:30 p.m.
End of the Year Joint Happy Hour
Local 16, 1602 U St., NW
LiveGreen will be joining DC Net Impact, Young Non-Profit Professionals Network, and DC Public Private Partnership to celebrate the holidays and the end of 2009, and to look forward to the year ahead. Nosh on complimentary hors d’oeuvres and belly up to a cash bar.
courtesy of ‘erin m’
Soon the holiday shopping season will be in full force — so here’s one way to avoid the crowds at the mall.
Next Thursday, Dec. 3, the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, headquarters of the historic National Woman’s Party, will hold a holiday bazaar from 4-8 p.m.
You can cruise for gifts from 20 vendors, including female artisans, selling eco-friendly products, jewelry, paper crafts, art, textiles, fine tea and chocolates, plus items from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. There also will be music, wine, refreshments and free gift wrap.
It’s the perfect excuse to sleep in on Black Friday.
Connecticut Avenue, courtesy of Daquella manera
It’s the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year. Here’s some common sense tips to help make your journey a little less stressful – and a whole lot safer.
Chances are if you’re reading this on the day before Thanksgiving, you’re either not going anywhere for the holiday weekend, you’re stuck at work hoping they’ll cut you loose early, or you procrastinated until the last minute and you need to leave five minutes ago. Still, regardless of your situation, I’m fairly sure these tips will come in handy at some point during the next six weeks as the end of the year comes upon us.
Union Station Wreaths, courtesy of FredoAlvarez
Ok, I confess.
My initial intent with doing a “Holiday Happenings” article was to hit the majority of the cool stuff happening in the area. But as I did more and more research, the more amazed (and flummoxed) I became with the sheer volume of cool holiday stuff to do around here.
This’ll be my third Christmas in the area and my first real foray into finding out what all is going on to sate my holiday appetite. Normally we just hit the area neighborhood to ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ over light displays but this year? We wanted to really take advantage of the season.
Hence wanting to take this project on. Boy, am I ashamed to say I was utterly ignorant on the goings-on around here during December.
Jefferson Memorial HDR, courtesy of Intiaz Rahim
Hope everyone had a great holiday / extended weekend. While everyone was digesting food and recovering from family visits, November snuck out the door. Welcome to December!
First off, we’ve got some exciting news for you! Today we’re kicking off our first-ever photo contest, and you’re all invited! Of course, I should explain the rules before just cutting you all loose…
The theme is “Holidays in DC” which means that yes, every photo submitted must reflect the holiday / winter season in our area.
Holly Chopsticks, photo courtesy A. Drauglis Furnituremaker
I am on record preferring to do all my shopping online. I hate malls, even when they’re NOT packed with crazed bargain-seekers, stressed about the state of the economy. But I’ve also spent all year trying to source my food locally and enjoying the intangible benefits of spending my dollars within my own community. Fortunately, Etsy.com, which is a marketplace for individuals to sell their crafts and handmade items, provides a handy Shop Local feature so you can specifically search for sellers in your area.
I have to admit that Etsy’s search isn’t nearly as well developed as I’d like- for example you can search item descriptions for the type of item you’re looking for, OR you can search for sellers in a local area, but you can’t search for a particular kind of item made by a local seller. Which is kind of lame, and it means that you have to be pretty committed to buying gifts from local artists to make this work. Or, you can work from our gift guide! Read on for my suggestions: