PLACES TO GET TOASTY BY A FIRE
Think outdoor dining or wine-tasting are out for the winter? Think again! Wineries and restaurants around Charlottesville know that a roaring fire does more than warm chilled fingers and toes; It creates ambience that make winter nights memorable. Here are some of our favorites.
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Thatch Winery: With a wood-burning stove inside and a fire pit outside, Thatch winery has the cozy winter bases covered. After you’re warmed up, you can play a game of Scrabble on a giant wall-board.
South Street Brewery
here’s something quintessentially cozy about South Street’s fireplace. Comfortable, well spaced seating offers the perfect setting for a small group gathering with locally brewed beers flowing freely.
Spring, summer and fall, Pippin Hill has built a reputation as one of the must-visit wineries in the area, and don’t think you have to sit indoors just because it’s winter. Grab some friends and gather around one of several fire pits on the grounds. From Friday-Sunday, you can pick up one of their s’more kits (serves four), and add some hot chocolate or hot cider for a sweet winter pick-me up that’s wrapped in nostalgia.
A double-sided fireplace doubles the number of people who can sit fireside while dining at Common House. That’s just one of the ways the social club creates an inviting environment. Big comfy chairs and couches to lounge on before or after dinner add to the warm welcome. -Recommended by Insider Logan Hall
The fireplace at Zocalo at Central Place on the Downtown Mall is sleeker and more modern than others, but it’s no less cozy. Dim overhead lighting adds warmth to a space that’s a favorite for romantic dinners in town.
Known for some of the best Italian food in town, Vivace has a snug atmosphere and the crackling fire only adds to that ambience. The restaurant on Rt 250 west of town also boasts one of the biggest patios with sparkling string lights that make the entire place seem candlelit.
It’s hard to imagine a more inviting winter setting than the fire pits at Veritas. Forty bucks gets you and your group full table service at a private fire pit for an hour and 45 minutes. Stay warm while you dine and sip with friends! Reservations required. -Recommended by Insider Bekah Erkel
One of the newcomers to the local wine scene, family-owned Hark Vineyards hasn’t wasted time making sure visitors are comfortable year round. Multiple fire pits provide places to sit, socialize and sip their wines. That last one’s sure to be a win. They’ve already taken five awards in the Virginia Governor’s Cup!
Blue Mountain Brewery
Looking for brews with a view? Look no further than Blue Mountain Brewery, part of the Nelson 151 trail of wineries, breweries and cideries. In addition to a fire pit, Blue Mountain has miniature heaters they’ll put around certain outdoor tables to make sure eating al fresco doesn’t leave you al frozen.