We’re not sure if everything is bigger in Texas, but Living crafts editor and product designer Hannah Milman can certainly vouch for the antiques fairs. In our March issue, Hannah takes us on a tour through the magic and mayhem that is Round Top, Texas — the site of a massive series of antiques fairs spread out over two weeks and 15 miles. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so read on to discover Hannah’s insider tips on what not to miss at Round Top. (The spring shows start soon, so begin planning now!)
Where to Feast: Royers Round Top Cafe
Make reservations well in advance (Royers starts taking reservations for the spring antique show on March 14), and eat light for a few days before your visit to prepare for what Hannah calls “some of the best food I’ve had in my life.” She recommends the Grilled Shrimp BLT (1/4 pound of grilled shrimp with bacon, lettuce & tomato served with a smoky mesquite mustard on a jalapeno sourdough bun) and a slice of Pecan Pie topped with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream. As much as she loves the food, Hannah says she adores the hospitality at the family-run restaurant, which is led by Bud Sr. and his wife Karen and includes their daughter Tara, the “Pie Queen” who runs Royers Pie Haven, plus sons JB and Todd, and Tara’s husband Rick Steele. After Hurricane Sandy, Bud Sr. and a friend drove to New York and New Jersey to deliver 650 pies to storm victims for Thanksgiving. Craving Royers now? Pick up the Royers Recipe Card Box, which includes all the café and pie recipes.
Hannah with Bud Sr. at Royers.
Royers is very much a family business, which includes (counterclockwise from left) Bud Sr. and Karen’s daughter Tara Royer Steele and her husband Rick Steele, and sons JB and Todd. Server Angie joined in for the photo.
This is advice we’re happy to take.
At Royers Pie Haven, you can indulge in both sweet and savory pies, plus breakfast fare, pastries, and smoothies.
Recreate your favorite dishes at home with the Royers Recipe Card Box.
Where to Get Your Caffeine Fix: The Coffee Bug
Don’t miss Brad Frank and his retrofitted VW bug in Warrenton for what Hannah has declared among her favorite in her hunt for the best iced cappuccinos.
What to Collect: Vintage holiday decorations, jewelry, and more.
No matter what you collect, you’re sure to find some new treasures at Round Top. Hannah loves the antique Christmas decorations, and she picked up a vintage ornament from Betty Bell Antiques at Big Red Barn.
Vintage ornaments from Betty Bell.
Betty Bell’s vintage holiday collection also includes these patriotic pins, which give a sparkly boost to the Stars and Stripes.
Great idea: Show off your collection of cups and saucers by stacking them under a bell jar.
Three generations of Round Top: Margaret Mebus (right), owner of the Marburger Farm Antique Show; Ashley Ferguson, show manager and Margaret’s daughter-in-law; and Ellen Ferguson, Ashley’s daughter and Margaret’s granddaughter (Ellen rings the bell to officially open the show!)
Hannah hitches a ride around the Marburger Farm Antique Show with dealer Stephen Dori Shin, who owns Antediluvian Antiques & Curiosities in Lake Placid, New York, with his partner, Christopher English.
Where to Find Lodging: The Country Butler
After a long day of of scouring the fairs, a comfy place to stay is key. Contact Jordan Fischman of Country Butler to rent a room at the Longhorn Inn, or a cottage or house in the area.
Photos by Hannah Milman