I have written about going to Texas Antiques Week in Round Top and Warrenton, several times. In the past, I have only found myself in that neck of the woods during “show” times, but over Memorial Day weekend, a dear friend and I decided to head to Fayette County for an overnight getaway.

We made our way leisurely down the road, stopping at one of my favorite places, The Garden Company in Schulenburg, for lunch. After a lovely meal, we made our way to the Grand Fayette Hotel, a stunning gem that serves as a cornerstone of the town square in Fayetteville.

Joan, the charming owner of The Market Street Inn, where I have stayed many times, acquired and restored the Grand Fayette Hotel, formerly the Country Place Hotel, several years ago. Each room, with its own chic style, is like a mini art gallery which is no real surprise given that the owner also curates the Red and White Gallery on the corner of the square opposite the hotel.

After a quick drop of our bags, we were off for a sweltering afternoon of shopping, snacking and sipping around Henkel and Bybee Squares in Round Top. We wound our way through the “seeming endless” array of treasures, oddities, clothes, antiques, gifts, pies and treasures housed in the charming shops. We soon found that we had whiled away the entire day.

One of my favorite stops in Round Top is still The Humble Donkey Studio, curated by John Lowery, the delightful owner and artist. The eclectic mix of antiques, gifts and unique original artwork are a feast for the eyes and coupled with the witty banter and cold Lone Star Light offered by John, the Humble Donkey is still one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.

After picking up another piece of John’s unique work, we headed to a relatively new addition to Hinkel Square, the Ellis Motel.

The Ellis is actually not a motel at all. It has been perfectly described by its owner Lee Ellis, a Houston restaurateur, as “a lounge and emporium.” There is a hip bar in the back, but the real stars of the show are the four funky, living room style spaces that are as unconventional as they are cozy. The huge exotic mounts, life-sized plaster pigs, motorcycles and comfortable tufted sofas create a relaxing juxtaposition perfectly suited for Round Top.

Even though it was one of the hottest days of the year so far, it was also one of the sunniest in recent memory, so we decided to enjoy our cocktails on the expansive front porch of the Ellis. It was the perfect way to end the day.

This quick trip was such fun that I am already planning my next visit to the quaint village of Round Top. I think I will wait for autumn’s crisp breezes to blow me back.

Before we enjoyed a sumptuous meal at The Wine Bar Restaurant, I had a glass of wine and a lovely visit with a couple from Houston in the Grand Fayette’s front lounge. We snacked on one of the Wine Bar’s charcuterie boards and shared stories of the day’s shopping adventures.

The next day, my mind was still on the Wine Bar’s lovely cheeses when I decided to make a pan fried brie, inspired by one of my favorite food bloggers, Half-Baked Harvest, for the first pool party at my new home. It was an easy and elegant snack that you will find is perfect for any occasion.

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Katherine Compton is an active mother of two grown children and a Realtor. She loves cooking almost as much as she loves living in Jackson County. Katherine can be contacted by email at whatscookingkatherine@gmail.com

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