This week, the Northern Virginia Magazine editorial team is looking forward to getting a head start on Christmas, the George Washington Whiskey Festival, a cooking class and the Alexandria Film Festival.
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Skipping right to Christmas
Halloween is officially gone and now it’s time to set our sights on Thanksgiving. It’s just not right, after all, to skip over the gluttonous holiday and focus in on Christmas. Well, that’s usually my rule. But this year, I’ll be making an exception and will head to The Old Lucketts Store this week to see its new Design House. The store’s Shop in Peace event (running now through Tuesday, Nov. 12), is a beautifully designed holiday house with all products in it available for purchase. I’m looking forward to getting inspiration for how I want to decorate my apartment for Christmas this year, and might go ahead and get a head start on my gift shopping too. -Holly Gambrell, Digital Editor // The Old Lucketts Store: 42350 Lucketts Road, Leesburg; $20 through Nov. 6, $15 Nov. 7-9, $10 Nov. 10-12, kids under 12 free
Finger food is the best food
With Thanksgiving approaching, I’ve made it a personal goal to master a few appetizer recipes and cocktail creations prior to returning home for the holiday. I’m doing this for two reasons: One, I want to improve my cooking skills for future affairs like football Sunday and birthday celebrations. But really, I am more interested in proving to my mom that I can, indeed, successfully adult. In addition to testing out some of my favorite recipes concocted by Ina Garten on my own time, I’ll also be heading to Chefscape this weekend for its specialty hors d’oeuvres-focused cooking class. In just two hours, I’ll make an asparagus goat cheese tart, corn cakes and spicy eggplant dip. Hopefully my roommates don’t mind being the guinea pigs for these next three weeks. –Jess Feldman, Editorial Assistant // Chefscape: 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, Unit 120, Leesburg; Nov. 9, 4-6 p.m.; $75
Savoring the small sips
Hello, just your fellow lightweight over here. By no surprise to anyone, my 5-foot-tall frame and amateur experience with sipping wine, downing beer or mixing cocktails has led me to be a one-glass-and-done kind of gal. But I have gotten better and more adventurous over the past year, and I now have a confession to make: I love the taste of bourbon. Vodka? Hard pass. Gin? My second favorite. But bourbon? Nothing really compares with the same aromatic flavors, and nothing pairs quite as well with a fresh squeeze of lime and a few ice cubes. So to toast to even more new adventures I’ve embarked on this year, I’m heading to the first-ever George Washington Whiskey Festival at Mount Vernon on Saturday. I’ll sample some of the first president’s rye whiskey, sip on local spirits and ask all of the burning questions I have about distilling, pairings and more. I may still be a lightweight, but small sips can be delicious too. -Jennifer Zeleski, Editorial Assistant // George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; Nov. 9, 6-9 p.m.; $85
Admiring Casey Wilson
I was already a fan of actress Casey Wilson (Happy Endings, Saturday Night Live) before I realized she is also a NoVA native just like me. Wilson grew up in Alexandria and returns home this weekend for the Alexandria Film Festival. She’ll screen her directorial debut, Daddio, which is based on her experience of grieving after her mother’s passing 14 years ago. As someone who also lost her mother more than a decade ago, I’m looking forward to seeing what will likely be a sad but relatable film. My colleague got to interview her in advance of the film’s screening this Saturday. You can read the interview here. See you at the cinema. -Katie Bianco, Editor // Alexandria Film Festival: various locations; Nov. 7-10; All Festival Pass $50, individual screenings $12.50