Growing up in Newport News, Virginia (which is literally next door to Williamsburg), allowed for a lot of day trips to Colonial Williamsburg. On a regular basis when the weather was good, after church my family would drive to Colonial Williamsburg to spend the afternoon. In those days there was no charge to visit the exhibits and you could literally walk the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and feel like you had stepped back into time.
There was always so much to see. There were horse drawn carriages, oxen, historical reenactments, actors dressed in colonial costumes and so much more. If you have never been to Colonial Williamsburg, it is a historical landmark and a living history museum. There were so many craftsmen’s workshops to visit including a printing shop, a shoemaker’s, blacksmith’s, a cooperage, a cabinetmaker, a gunsmith’s, a wigmaker’s, and a silversmith’s. It was a perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon.
After I had children, my family continued to visit Colonial Williamsburg. My girls love the Williamsburg area. The past two years we have taken the children to Williamsburg during the week of New Years to see and enjoy the sites.
One of our favorite places to eat in Colonial Williamsburg is The Cheese Shop located on Duke of Gloucester Street. This shop was opened in 1971 by the Powers family and is known to have the best sandwiches in town and I have to agree. The shop also carries over 200 cheeses, over 4000 bottles of wine, specialty foods, freshly baked breads, gourmet sandwiches, antipasti, plus baguettes, and pastries.
One of my favorite things about The Cheese Shop is you can enjoy a specialty sandwich on the outside patio while experiencing the luxury of some serious people watching. I remember my dad and I would sit on a bench when I was little on Duke Street and just watch all the people walk by.
On my most recent visit to The Cheese Shop, I had the Prosciutto and Provolone sandwich with the house dressing and roasted tomatoes on French bread. When I say house dressing I do not use that word lightly. The Cheese Shop house dressing is the best thing ever. They even sell it by the jar. This sandwich had the prefect blend of savory, smooth and sweet with the salty prosciutto, smooth provolone and oh so sweet roasted tomatoes. My daughter, Holly, had the same sandwich on focaccia bread and she said it was definitely worth every carb that was devoured. Another sandwich I really enjoy is the roast beef on French bread. Although every sandwich I have ever had at The Cheese Shop has always been amazing. Also I love to visit the cheese counter to purchase mixed olives. If sandwiches are not your thing the they will also prepare an awesome charcuterie board with a mix of meats, cheeses, olives and specialty items. Don’t you just love a good charcuterie board?
And while you are at the Cheese Shop you have to visit the Wythe Candy and Gourmet Shop next door. Since I was very young the candy shop has been the favorite stop in Colonial Williamsburg. And it still remains one of my favorite stops to this day. If you want to make a child’s day, take them into the candy shop. On our recent visit, we had a hard time getting all five of the grandbabies out of the store. While there you have to try the turtle caramel apple. I am not sure where they get their apples but they are so tart and crunchy and with all the caramel, chocolate and pecans your mouth will be singing of happiness.
So on your next visit or your first visit to Colonial Williamsburg, please make a point to grab a sandwich and glass of wine from The Cheese Shop and a caramel apple from the Wythe Candy Store. You will not be disappointed I promise you.