From sipping hot chocolate to watching ‘Star Wars:’ What we’re looking forward to this week

This week, the Northern Virginia Magazine editors are looking forward to 58 percent dark hot chocolate at The Conche, ‘The Nutcracker,’ ‘Star Wars,’ Bull Run’s Festival of Lights and heading home for the holidays.


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By Briana EllisonEliza BerkonLynn NorusisRachael Keeney and Stefanie Gans

Real hot chocolate at The Conche
This week I interviewed Santosh Tiptur (story slated for the February issue, btw) of The Conche, a chocolate-themed restaurant in Village at Leesburg. After almost an hour of chatting about bonbons and caramels and dulcey blond, I need a fix. I’m planning to stop at the bar for a real hot chocolate (58 percent dark), made by the chocolatiers and served with a bruleed marshmallow. -SG

Holiday entertainment
No holiday season is complete without a theater experience. Last week my family and I took my parents to a Broadway performance of Sound of Music (I was somewhat saddened when I learned that evening it was not, in fact, a sing-a-long like I had thought.) But this week I’m looking to get tickets to a showing of the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker. I’m also going to be taking a half day at some point this week to take my boys to Star Wars. I realize I’m chancing fate by waiting, though I have yet to hear any spoilers. Let’s hope I can make it another day or two. LN

Star Wars and cousin duty and holiday shopping, oh my!
Since my previous weekend was nothing short of packed (read last week’s “What we’re looking forward to”), I’m going to wait an entire week to see The Last Jedi. As a Star Wars fanatic, I can guarantee I’ll be on edge and dodging spoilers like Neo dodges bullets in The Matrix. But it’ll be worth it since there’s a better chance of a less-crowded theater. I also need a bit of time to emotionally prepare myself for Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Princess Leia. And even though I said I was going to do it differently this year, I’ll be doing some last-minute holiday shopping. I’m hoping for a sale. Lastly, since I’m a serious and committed (read: child-like) older cousin, I want my younger cousins to experience some of the magic of the holiday season: I’ll try to convince the family to hit up Bull Run’s Festival of Lights, because there’s nothing like watching a 4-year-old’s face light-up with innocence and wonder. -BE

It’s beginning to look a lot like Fredericksburg
Forage. Agora. Sedona Taphouse. All my favorite Fredericksburg spots are mine for the taking this weekend as I travel home for the holidays (if where your parents recently transplanted to still qualifies as “home”). After playing a few mean games of Uno and Steal the Old Man’s Pack with my son and daughter, I plan on sampling more than a few gingerbread cookies and reading Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth by the fire. And of course doing my fair share of my second-favorite activity, next to family time: shopping. (Mom, don’t worry—you can come with.) –EB

Over the river and through the woods/To Grandmother’s house [I] go
Like most people, I will be heading home for the holidays this Friday. My dad’s birthday happens to be the same day, so I am looking forward to seeing my grandparents, aunts and uncles for a welcome home/happy birthday/pre-holiday dinner and dessert. But what I am most looking forward to is probably exchanging gifts. I am pretty proud of what I’ve selected for my loved ones this year and I can’t wait to see their reactions. This is also the first year that I have lost my grand”kid” status and will be participating in my family’s kind of kooky, make-up-the-rules-as-you-go gift-giving event. I took a comical approach to the type of gift that I was assigned to buy, so here’s to hoping that I’m not the only one laughing—and that karma doesn’t come back to bite me. -RK