For Original Article, see Austin Woman Magazine.
Follow this recipe for an unforgettable girl’s weekend.
Written and styled by Rhoda Brimberry and Anna Crelia, founder of Loot Rentals, Photos by Rui Nakata and Taylor Wilcox.
It’s no wonder why the town of Round Top, Texas, has such magic about it. After all, the population hovers at about 90 of some of the most down-to-earth folks. Twice a year, we load up the car and head down the road an hour or two to get away from the city with friends while ogling fine antiques.
Besides the amazing residents who call this place home, what makes Round Top so special is the antique market stretching all along Highway 237 that pops up in the spring and fall. Mix in sprawling views, mouth-watering food and the welcoming lodging, and you’ve got the recipe for a fun road trip. Many times, we have friends ask to join us on our antique-buying trips, so we decided to schedule a girls’ weekend in Round Top.
The antiques fair is a wonderful time to visit for the most prime picking, but essentially, any time of year is a good time to visit this magical place.
This year’s spring fair takes place March 21 through April 8. Going earlier guarantees the best antique selections, but going on the last days of the festival will help you strike the best deals. At any rate, start booking your lodging soon. In a town this small, space fills up quickly.
Booking your stay
Simplified: You always have the option to stay at a chain hotel in the area. Brenham and La Grange, Texas, each less than a 30-minute drive from Round Top, are the closest towns.
Next level: For a more authentic Round Top experience, we highly recommend booking one of the bed-and-breakfasts or inns in or near Round Top. For our most recent girls’ trip, we revisited a favorite of ours, Elisa’s Sunday Haus. Named after innkeeper Elisa Henderson, the dogtrot-style bed-and-breakfast welcomes visitors with a dose of German heritage and warm reclaimed woods, all dear to Henderson and her husband, Wayne Rentfro. Entering the property, guests are instantly at ease, fully aware they are no longer in the city, and encouraged to take a load off and enjoy the countryside.
The hosts take care of every need. They are so welcoming and make guests feel comfortable whether they’re hanging out in the shared space of the main house or relaxing up in a private room. In the morning, a lovely homemade breakfast wafts from the kitchen, beckoning visitors to arise for a great day of discovering new trea- sures. Be sure to sample Rentfro’s homemade bread, known throughout Round Top by even the most modest as “better than sex.”
Once you’ve filled up, it is time to hit the fields.
Simplified: The dining experience is just one of the beauties of staying in Round Top. For lunch, we never miss the rosemary chicken salad provided exclusively at The Texas Rose Cafe, and look forward to fine dining at The Garden Company after a long day of shopping. Of course, a trip to Round Top is not complete without a stop at Royer’s Round Top Café for the world-famous pie.
Next level: Often after a long day, the last thing you want to do is go out to eat. All you want to do is kick back and relax, and a great way to do that is to coordinate a catered dinner at your lodge, where you can decorate with items you scored throughout the day. We hosted an intimate dinner styled with our treasures and foraged clippings from the property. We sat for hours amid the candlelight, enjoying the company of our hosts and other guests of Elisa’s Sunday Haus. Royer’s Round Top Café offers delicious catering, which is a treat. Cleanup is a breeze and allows you to save your energy for the next day’s adventure, when you can do it all again.
Shopping the festival
With more than 20 miles of fields to scour between La Grange and Carmine, Texas, you
can guarantee your day will be jam-packed with shopping. We recommend staying at least two nights and three days in town so you can make the most of the festival.
Simplified: Your best bet is to hop in the car and roll up and down the highway, stopping at each and every field you can. Having a shopping basket helps when hunting for smaller items. Most vendors allow you to hold your items at their booth, but pay very close attention to where these booths are located, as there are so many vendors in Round Top and beyond that it’s all too easy to forget where to find them again.
Next level: For those new to the area and a little intimidated by the size of the festival, consider joining a guided tour. A favorite of ours is hosted by Catelyn Silapachai, owner of Austin-based The Distillery Market. Silapachai provides a detailed schedule and guide through the festival for a one-day trip. Her pre-tour survey will help her learn what you’re looking for so she can take you straight to those areas of the festival. If you’re staying with your girlfriends for the weekend, we suggest using her guided expertise on the first day in Round Top, and spending the next couple days pacing yourselves and revisiting some of the areas you may have missed.
Anna Crelia and Rhoda Brimberry’s Round Top tried-and-true spots
o Elisa’s Sunday Haus, roundtopbnb.com
o Round Top Inn, roundtopinn.com
o The Vintage Round Top, thevintageroundtop.com
o Bill Moore Antiques, open all year, 1350 N. Hwy. 237
o The Porch, open during spring and fall shows, 306 N. Washington St.
o Ex-Cess, open during spring and fall shows, 145 Rohde Road
o Market Hill, open during spring, fall and winter shows, 1542 Hwy. 237
o Royer’s Round Top Café, open all year, 105 Main St.
o The Texas Rose Cafe, open during spring and fall shows, 2075 Hwy. 237
o The Garden Company, open all year, 104 W. Wantke St.