From a chocolate tasting and demo to a new Ken Burns documentary: What we’re looking forward to this week

This week, we’re looking forward to the start of an Arlington Artisan Confections series, a documentary on the Vietnam War, Staunton’s Hogsmeade, football and Irish fare.

vietnam war
Photo courtesy of PBS

This week, Northern Virginia Magazine editors are looking forward to the start of an Arlington Artisan Confections series, a documentary on the Vietnam War, Staunton’s Hogsmeade, football and Irish fare.

By Eliza BerkonWinn DuvallStefanie GansRachael Keeney and Lynn Norusis

Chocolate Tasting & Demonstration: From Bean to Bonbon
Sept. 19, 7-8:15 p.m.

This is the start of a series from Artisan Confections in Arlington with tastings, demos and discussions about what it takes to turn a bean into chocolate ($30). –SG // Artisan Confections: 1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington

The Ken Burns Effect

In place of a melancholy violin, a driving score by Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross makes Ken Burns’ epic new documentary, The Vietnam War, eminently watchable. Last night, my husband and I curled up on the couch with a bag of candy corn M&Ms (shout-out to my friend Jessica, who introduced me to these last weekend in Texas) and took in Episode 1, and I fully intend to make that a nightly tradition until the 10-episode run is done. To get you in the zone, here’s a playlist from the first couple of episodes. –EB

Hogsmeade Here I Come and a Birthday Celebration

I’m pretty sure I am more excited about heading out to Staunton this weekend for Queen City Mischief and Magic than my children are. After a morning of baseball we’re hitting the road and hoping to learn some magic, if not just to get away from all the household chores that are on the to-do list. But first, today we’re celebrating my husband’s birthday. While I won’t embarrass him with the number that will be on top of the cake, I will say that after 20 years together, it is the simple things (and lack of ideas for gifts, plus children’s schedules) that make the occasions great. My boys and I have found a recipe for one of his favorite local restaurant dishes, and we’ll be trying our hand at it tonight. Happy birthday Mike! –LN

Watching the Tigers take on the Tigers
Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Here’s one reason I tend to prefer doing things at the last minute: You don’t have all the information when you plan ahead. Case in point is the fact that I bought tickets to two University of Missouri football games before the season started and before the team had a full-scale meltdown to become completely unwatchable. But I’ve already committed to being in the stands this Saturday as they play Auburn. Hopefully the charm of being back in a college town and commiserating with fellow fans will make game day a little less tragic. –WD

Friday Night Irish Fare

So it’s been three weeks since my move from Pennsylvania to Northern Virginia, and aside from a handful of trips to Target and the grocery store, I’ve stayed pretty much holed up in my apartment trying to get my life in order. I’ve made mental notes of places that I want to try out, one of them being Ned’s Irish Sports Pub. I’m a big fan of Ri Ra in Georgetown, so I was super stoked to find some Irish fare closer to my new home. My cousin is passing through the area on Friday, so we plan on meeting up for dinner and enjoying the night’s live rock/pop band, Steal the Sky. Coincidentally, the group is from Philadelphia. –RK // Ned’s Irish Sports Pub: 2465 Centreville Road, Herndon