It was a Patrick Henry weekend. No, we didn’t plan it but it ended up that way. As usual, I got a scathingly brilliant idea in my head right before lunchtime on Friday. I decided that, in lieu of our usual Saturday afternoon hangouts, we would go do something cool and historic.
Food + history = oldest bar or tavern I can find near Richmond.
I came up with two options – Hanover Tavern or Half Way House. So, on Saturday, after perusing menus (because food decides all), we opted for Hanover Tavern, about 20 mins north of the city.
Turns out, Patrick Henry of the “Give me Liberty or give me death” speech actually owned this tavern. It dates all the way back to the mid 1700’s and was a stopover for travelers between Richmond and Fredericksburg. Some famous folks such as George Washington, Lord Cornwallis, and the Marquis de Lafayette all once stopped here or stayed the night.
The food was delicious, especially the Hot Virginia Dip. It’s a creamy dip made of curated beef (which tasted like bacon) topped with buttered pecans and served with the lightest crostini I’ve ever tasted. If you’re ever here, order this.
After lunch, my sister Jean and I crossed the road to the Hanover County Courthouse. This is spot where Patrick Henry argued his first case and earned his reputation as a great orator which would serve him well later on (i.e. Give me liberty or give me death stand).
Outside the historic courthouse are signs telling the history of the building and showing photos of what it looked like 100+ years ago. I tried taking a picture, but my darn shadow kept getting in the way. I haven’t perfected my photography skills just yet, ha!
Of course, every courthouse has a jail naturally. This one was built in 1895.
Things to know before you go…
1. Order the Hot Virginia Dip. I can’t stress this enough. It’s the most delicious dish I’ve discovered since moving to Virginia. It’s available only on the dinner menu, but when I asked about it during lunch, the restaurant manager was so incredibly nice and said we can absolutely order it then. She was great. The dip was great. Everything was great.