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Archive for the ‘Wine & Food’ Category

What is There to See at the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm?

February 7th, 2016 by Pamela Murski



The Chappell Hill Lavender Farm in Brenham, Texas, opens for the season on March 4, but has a special gift shop debut exclusively for Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. Take advantage of the blossoming purple oasis while finding that special something for your special someone. Fragrances, bath and body works, culinary creations, and even pet-friendly products are available for purchase.

If that’s too short of notice, schedule a trip in advance and book your stay just 15 minutes away at the Murski Homestead Bed and Breakfast, a delightful country retreat in Brenham, Texas. The bed and breakfast even has a specific Lavender Room, alongside its Sage, Rosemary, and Garden Rooms. An outdoor spa is also at your disposal, along with cooking classes. So, you might get to put that lavender to use in a culinary setting as well as a health resort setting!

Chappell Hill Lavender Festival

Before you book your stay, you should be aware of an annual festival that takes place near the end of each summer. Though lavender blooms throughout a significant portion of the year, August is the perfect time to enjoy the richly colored fields and some wine simultaneously. The Chappell Hill Lavender Festival recognizes that the beautiful and relaxing oasis, waving freely in the fresh country air, pairs well with a glass of wine. The Chappell Hill Lavender Fest joins together Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery, along with featuring vendors, crafts, music, and demonstrations for an outdoor celebration. Admission is free, but wine tastings have fees.

Lavender and Its Healing Qualities

Obviously, the best thing to see at the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm is the awe-inspiring lavender field, a floral sea in a breezy and rejuvenating country setting. The plant itself has been known for its many healing qualities. Typically used in soaps, sachets, and scents, lavender was a typical ingredient in baths to cleanse the body and spirit. It is also deemed a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia, hence its use in candles, incense, and fragrances.

Chappell Hill Lavender Farm Gift Shop

Before leaving the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, the gift shop is a must-stop. The Lavender Patch offers an impressive variety of lavender products ranging from body scrubs to jams. Some of the popular bath and body products include an aromatherapy travel kit, foaming lavender bath salts, and natural dried sea salts with lavender essential oil. Fragrances range from spiced lavender to rose lavender, and a handmade soothing lavender mint bar of soap will rejuvenate in the shower. For some scents to use throughout the home, sea lavender candles and lavender dryer bags will refresh a room or your laundry. The Chappell Hill Lavender Farm shop even includes shampoo for your pet. Then, for tasty treats, try the lavender berry jam or a variety of tea blends. These items make great gifts and, of course, wonderful ways to treat yourself as well.

For more information on things to do near Chappell Hill and Brenham, check out our more in-depth Vacation Guide.


Harvest Grape Stomp At Windy Winery

June 10th, 2015 by Pamela Murski

Windy Winery

Windy Winery

Windy Winery is just one of the great wineries to be found in Brenham Texas.  Located on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail, Windy Winery hosts one of the best and most fun grape stomps in the area during the early to  mid summer  months.  The Harvest Grape  Stomp at Windy Winery is an exceptional opportunity to learn about the intricacies of the wine process, including grape growing, grape harvesting, grape stomping/pressing, grape fermentation and finally the delicious stages of  wine tasting and experimenting!  The Harvest Grape Stomp at Windy Winery  includes a  hayride to the vineyard, picking grapes, pouring some grapes in the barrel, stepping, squeezing & squishing to music which makes all the stress in your life fade away. As an added memento step out with your purple feet on to your keepsake t-shirt.  This fun experience also includes ice cream!  Come up for a stay at the ranch during these weekends, beginning July 4th through  August 9th and join all the fun during the Harvest Grape Stomp  at Windy Winery!

While in the area be sure to also enjoy the Wine Crush at Pleasant Hill  Winery for more wine related fun activities during the same weekends as the Harvest Grape Stomp at Windy Winery.  Want to extend the fun  of the wine trip?  Follow the  Bluebonnet Wine Trail for  tours and tastings at Saddlehorn Winery, Messina  Hof  Winery, Peach Creek Vineyards, Bernhardt Winery and Cork This! Winery, all  of which are within a days easy  drive  from the  Bed and Breakfast.  Though not yet officially on the  Bluebonnet Wine Trail, Texas Star Winery located near Chappell  Hill (a short 10 minute drive from the ranch) is  one  of the newest wineries to open in our area.  It is what is  considered a  “Fun”  winery in that its’ wine is  made primarily from fruits other than grapes.   You  will  be able to taste  some unusual  and fun  wines  like Cranberry,  Prickly Pear, Plum, Hibiscus Flower, 17K Cherie and Mandarin Orange Cocoa.  It is  located at 10587 Old Chappell Hill Rd in Chappell Hill, TX and is open  Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

While out joining in  the fun of the Harvest Grape Stomp at  Windy Winery, Grape Crush at Pleasannt Hill, Saddlehorn Winery and Texas Star Winery, you will definitely want to enjoy the scenic drive on FM 390.  Designated a Historic Scenic  Drive  by the State of Texas, this  is by  far  one of the most  beautiful scenic drives in the  great  state of Texas any time of the year!

Throughout the journey touring, tasting and enjoying the beautiful  scenic  drive along FM 390 and the LaBahia Trail,  you will need to stop for  a bit  of  “grub”.  Some of the delicious eats to be found along the way include:

  • The Burton  Cafe, a bastion of authentic German Fare, in Burton,  Texas
  • Bevers, a mix of  local American and Tex-Mex food in Chappell Hill
  • Nathan’s BBQ,  some of the best local Bar-B-Que in the state, located in Brenham,  Texas
  • R Place, American steak and burgers in Washington, Texas

Summers are some of the best months for a trip to Washington County with live music, lavender festival, winery tastings, antique  shopping, good eats and beautiful  weather.  You will want to book  your room at the bed and breakfast and start your planning for all the great things there are to do and see here.  Come for a weekend or come for an extended discounted midweek vacation stay!

Photo Courtesy of Cortney Martin

Imbibe Texan Wine on The Bluebonnet Wine Trail

February 3rd, 2015 by Pamela Murski

Wine Trail

Wine Trail

The Bluebonnet Wine Trail is the perfect trail to enjoy true Texan  Wine.  The B&B, located directly on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail, is  close to Saddlehorn Winery, Windy Winery, Pleasant Hill Winery, Texas Star Winery and Messina Hof Winery!  Each of these wineries offers a unique take on Texas Wine and is a great way to experience the uniqueness of different vintners and their definitive twist on hand crafted, small production artisan Texan wine.  Not  only will you experience great wine, meet delightful vintners and enjoy the overall ambiance that a true Texas winery offers, you will delight in the beautiful drive through the hills and vales on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail.

Throughout the year the Bluebonnet Trail offers fun food and wine pairings and events at each winery. During your Bluebonnet Wine Trail  tours & tastings, often done by the vintners themselves,  some of the few fun facts and trivia about wine you might just hear during the conversation.

  • Full body doesn’t necessarily mean intense flavor
  • Generally, the longer the finish, the better the wine
  • More than 80% of the ability to taste comes from the smell
  • Four clusters of grapes produces one bottle of wine
  • There are approximately 20 billion bottles of wine produced worldwide each year
  • To speed up the chilling process, place 2 T. of Kosher salt in the ice bucket
  • To prevent a sparkling wine from foaming out of the glass, pour an ounce, which will settle quickly. Pouring the remainder of the serving into this starter will not foam as much.
  • Old wine almost never turns to vinegar. It spoils by oxidation!
  • When Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii in volcanic lava in A.D. 79, it also buried more than 200 wine bars.
  • The average age of a French oak tree harvested for use in wine barrels is 170 years!
  • The lip of a red wine glass is sloped inward to capture the aromas of the wine and deliver them to your nose
  • The foot-stomping method is still used in production of many of the finest ports
  • Only 20 of the 400 species of oak is used to make oak barrels for aging wine, the average tree age being 170 years Wine Bottle glass and rose petals
  • White wine becomes darker in color as it ages, while red wine becomes lighter in color
  • Wine contains more chemical compounds than blood
  • Wine tannin comes from the skin and seeds and of the grape
  • Wine is known as nectar of the gods, but the Sangiovese grape was actually named after a god: “Blood of Jove”
  • The most common fining agent? Egg whites. Bull’s blood and gelatin have also been used.

Now for a little wine trivia:

  • Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and succulent texture. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of Rome.
  • The Vikings called America Vinland (“wine-land” or “pasture-land”) for the profusion of native grape vines they found there around A.D. 1000.
  • At the center of Greek social and intellectual life was the symposium, which literally means, “drinking together.” Indeed, the symposium reflects Greek fondness for mixing wine and intellectual discussion.
  • When Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened in 1922, the wine jars buried with him were labeled with the year, the name of the winemaker, and comments such as “very good wine.” The labels were so specific that they could actually meet modern wine label laws of several countries. (Trivia and fun facts courtesy of local vintners at Windy Winery🙂

Book your room today  and sip your  way down the Bluebonnet Wine Trail!

(Photo courtesy of Fast Forward Productions)


Washington County Events in February

January 10th, 2014 by Pamela Murski

Looking for something to do in February?  These Washington County Events are sure to please!  Reserve your room at the ranch for a relaxing nights sleep after enjoying all that we have to offer in this great area!


Saturday, February 8th:  2-4 p.m.

Valentine’s Concert with Dick Smith and Friends

Broadway Melodies…the Best of Broadway

A trip to New York to see a  “Broadway Musical” has been an exciting part of American cultural life for over a century but this year you only need to travel as far as Round Top, Texas to hear the best of Broadway!
The afternoon concert starting at 2:00 pm will feature Dick Smith who has spent a lifetime perfecting his interpretations of the music of America’s greatest Broadway musicals. With performances by his daughter Ryan Smith and a star studded cast of guests artists including Charles Whitaker, Will Lynde, and guest performers from the recent Zack Theater production of Le Miz.You will hear many familiar tunes from Rogers & Hammerstein to Irving Berlin,   Sondheim to Hamlisch,  Guys & Dolls to Wicked, the best of the past and a sampling of the latest on Broadway. Come spend a magical Saturday afternoon with the music we’ve all grown to love.
For more information:  Round Top Festival Institute.
Round Top, TX
February 20
Bluebonnet Opry
Doors open at 5:30, Dinner at 6, Show at 7:30
Enjoy live music by varying artists and the Bluebonnet Opry House Band. Evening contains food, music and door prizes.
Silver Wings Ballroom, 4100 Hwy 105, Brenham, TX
For more information click here
 February 22nd
James Dick, Piano
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Piano playing at its keenest and most stirring conveyance from the Founder and Artistic Director of Round Top Festival Institute.   Be prepared to be lulled by the intriguing music of Schubert, Beethoven and Schumann during this concert!


February 8-9th, 10-4:30
Visit Barrington Farm to learn how early Texans passed the time of day. What games did they play and what crafts did they practice? You will find demonstrators exhibiting such skills and opportunities to perhaps try your hand at a skill you would like to learn! Play mid-1800’s parlor games and just enjoy a day of leisure!
For more information click here!
Barrington Living History Farm, 23400 PR 12, Washington, TX

LIVE THEATRE:play-AlmostMaine

February 13–March 2
 “Almost, Maine…….A Romantic Comedy  by John Cariani
  • 3 weeks, 12 shows…….
  • Thursdays 7:30 pm
  • Fridays & Saturdays 8:00 pm
  • Sundays 4:00 pm

On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.

Unity Theatre , 300 Church St, Brenham, TX,  979-830-8358

February 20 -23
“Alice in Bed”
This dramatic fantasy, taking place in the 1890’s merges the life of Alice James, the brilliant sister of William and Henry James, with the heroine of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It is a play about the anguish, grief and rage of women; and about the triumphs and limitations of the imagination.
 For more information click here
Blinn College, Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center, Brenham, TX


Friday February 7-8,  10- 4 p.m.

Stars Over Brenham Quilt Show:  Judged “Contemporary and Traditional” Quilt Show

A number of vendors will be on hand with demonstrations and products of all types, ranging from quilting supplies to jewelry. In addition, a Boutique filled with a wide variety of upscale items handmade by Quilt Guild members will be available for shoppers as well as numerous Raffles.

Fireman’s Training Center
1101 Hwy 290 W
Brenham, Tx  77833
Click here for Quilt Show Info or call 979-421-2210
washington county events

washington county events

February 10-23
Annual Quilt Exhibit @Winedale Historical Complex:  “Red, White and a Bit of Another Color!”
Winedale Historical Complex – Meadows Conference Center
3738 FM 2714, Round Top
For more information click here or call 979-278-3530 


February 14, 6 P.M. til Midnight
Valentine Dinner & Dance
Fajita Dinner (Design II), dessert (Brenham Olde Towne Bakery) and drinks. Music by Robbie Wooten Band. Live & silent auctions, raffles. Ongoing Custom Golf Cart raffle sponsored by Family Motor Sports & Toys. Benefits Morgan’s Angel Robot Program!!!!! Hosted at the Chappell Hill Fire Department

For more information call 713-299-2963 or email: linda@tlmaintco.com


 February 23rd,  2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Taste of Texas Beer Fest
  • Experience Ten Great Texas Beers
  • Complimentary Beer Glass
  • 2 p.m. –  6 p.m.   – Live Music with Jack the Sax
  • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Live Music with the Black Cat Choir
  • Enjoy the experience on the Patio (Bybee Square)
For more info:  The Stone Cellar  or call 979-249-3390
204 E. Mill Street, Round Top
All these great events and more await you in Washington County!  Book your room with us at the B&B and enhance your experience while in our area!

Uptown Swirl Set for January 18 in Downtown Brenham

December 27th, 2013 by Pamela Murski

Romantic Weekend Getaways in Texas

Romantic Weekend Getaways in Texas

Downtown Brenham is the place to come for fun in the new year!   What Better way to kick it  than to experience the excitement and fun of an afternoon and evening of wine tasting in quaint stores around Brenham’s historic downtown district!   It is called the Uptown Swirl (wine walk) and this Brenham annual event is coming up!!!!

Girlfriends Getaway in Brenham

Girlfriends Getaway in Brenham

It was loads of fun last year and is sure to be even better this year. I was able to procure some really fantastic champagne, a couple of reds and a white that I thought were extraordinary!  This is the way to sample wine without all the expense of buying the bottle until you find the one or more that perfectly suits your palate!

Mark your calendars for January 18, 2014 (3-7 P.M.), book your room and purchase your ticket in advance!  

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