It was a hot and steamy, but beautiful day. We went to a crawfish boil at Chef Paul Marshall’s house. Yes, it was the annual Marshall’s Half Hill Farm crawfish boil. And like everything else Paul and his wife Julie do, it was awesome!
People know Chef Paul Marshall locally because of Farm Boy Fresh. But he is a chef with incredible credentials.
From his childhood on the bayou in rural Louisiana, Chef Paul Marshall always showed a passion for cooking. During seven years under the watchful eye of Fernando Oca he learned classical French technique.
Chef Marshall then returned to his New Orleans roots to work under Emeril Lagasse at Commander’s Palace. There he further developed his passion for “the new” New Orleans cuisine; a melting pot of French, Spanish and American flavors.
Chef Marshall was part of the team that opened the Four Seasons in Florence, the Executive Chef at the Hong Kong Sheraton and Chef De Cuisine of Oscars, the French Brasserie in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel…and now he calls Chester County home.
My husband and I have been really lucky, and have been a guest of the Marshalls at their home. Paul’s wife Julie, has her own amazing credentials in world of food, having been with the James Beard Foundation for many years. She is also a terrific gardener.
So today was all about fun and food and friends and family. It was just so nice. And the food was, as always, off the hook.
The crawfish were flown in live and fresh from Louisiana. They weren’t those frozen little tasteless things that are called crawfish other places. These were fresh and succulent. Lobster’s little freshwater cousins were enjoyed by all!
Our waiter was this nice kid named Sam. He was delightful and hardworking. Lunch was so good I forgot to take food photos! We had burgers, slightly edited because I don’t like cheddar on a burger, and neither of us like eggs on burgers.
Also the makeover inside is lovely. And I say that fully admitting I liked the last interior makeover when it was still called the Eagle Tavern.
But this makeover is so pretty. And great light fixtures and details. The booths are gone and the main dining room is more open.
However ask me what one of my favorite things in the makeover is? Give up? I will tell you: NO TVs IN THE BAR ANYMORE!
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like The Eagle Tavern becoming Bloom, but now I think I do. We can’t wait to try dinner there! Oh and they are one of the few places open for lunch on Mondays. We were actually going to go to the Ship Inn and try the lunch menu, but they are only open for lunch on Friday and Saturday.
Check out Bloom Southern Kitchen located at 123 Pottstown Pike Chester Springs, PA 19425
So I love Magnolia Cottage Shop and the owner is a friend. And I have to give her credit because she open the store just before Covid hit and she hung in and doubled down and actually moved into a BETTER space across the driveway in the same commercial location.
The new space is filled with light and fun things waiting to be discovered. The wall color is one I am a bit obsessed with. A shade of grey that is just so pretty!
One of my favorite things to do in Chester County is attend a Life’s Patina event. Meg Veno and her team of designing women have an amazing eye and flair for putting things together.
When you walk into the big barn, you are always greeted immediately by a lovely tableau in the center. You move from space to space within the barn which is two levels and quite large and your imagination just goes wild!
There is so much to see so many great ideas and every nook and cranny is filled with something you either know you need, you didn’t realize you needed but want, or would make a perfect gift for someone special in your life.
Spring event which started today with the preview my friend Amy and I attended this morning, was just lovely. After a long winter to go through those big barn doors into the magical scenes which unfolded for us every step we took, made even a gray and rainy day sunny!
So can we all hope this means a beloved local landmark will be getting a second chance courtesy of Chef Robert Irvine? Can we breath a sigh of relief since we all saw that it was for sale? I remember when I saw the Keller Williams Commercial listing. I was sad. The Ship Inn long before I lived in Chester County was a familiar landmark when I was coming out here to see friends. Always a friendly looking and welcoming place on the outside…and inside.
So on April 20 they are welcoming diners for filming. We signed up. Do not know if they will pick us, but sure hope so. For me personally, it will be a signal of life returning to normal post COVID year from hell. And ironically, it was one of the last places we ate out at before COVID-19 hit.
Now a confession: I am one of the people who sent Restaurant Impossible an email about this restaurant. It was before COVID hit. I have no idea whose email got them to nibble, but I am sure I wasn’t the only one. I just always thought someone like Chef Robert Irvine would be good for them. I know it sounds crazy, but every time I have been there, I imagined how the place could look with freshening up and space reconfiguration. Especially with regard to the booths in the “grill room”. I just always found them uncomfortable. But I like the other tables and chairs, so I hope they keep them but maybe refresh the seat coverings.
The Ship Inn is an amazing historic resource along with being a lovely spot to eat. And the kitchen was never bad, but fresh eyes I am sure will help them too. So I am so hopeful that Restaurant Impossible is the shot in the arm that they need!
I signed up and will let you know if we are going! If chosen people have to get a COVID test before going. If fully vaccinated I am unsure how that works.
Tasty Table Market & Catering is one of my favorite food gems. Located at 10 Leopard Rd, Berwyn, PA 19312 they are a delight to deal with and their food is amazing! They are breakfast, lunch, take home dinner, corporate events, private events, weddings, any kind of catering you can think of.
I stopped in to pick up lunch and discovered all sorts of new things on the menu, as well as a slightly new look inside. You can go and eat your breakfast and lunch. The seating is limited but it’s very socially distanced. Oh and they serve La Colombe coffee!
Today I am having one of their Vietnamese hoagies which is a really good sandwich. I also checked out something new on the menu which is a vegetarian broccoli rabe quesadilla. Some of that is coming home for heating up at another time along with their famous crab cakes which are absolutely delicious.
I am about to talk about an issue I am not experiencing personally, but as I have started to see the issues crop up more and more in Chester County community groups, I figured it can’t hurt to put the problem out there. And the problem is simple: AmeriGas isn’t delivering the way they should be.
It’s winter, it’s cold. And no one wants to run out of fuel to heat their homes. A lot of people in Chester County use propane to heat their homes. A lot of people are signed up with AmeriGas and in several social media community forums I have seen posts, including today, about people coming close to running out or having run out of fuel and AmeriGas keeps telling them they’re going to deliver only they haven’t.
I am paying it forward and putting this issue out there. It’s cold this winter and we’ve had a lot of bad weather, so people expect delays with delivery of home related services like fuel. But when folks are told they were getting a delivery and then there is no delivery and then people keep being told they are on a special list but no matter who they talk to can’t actually get the fuel delivered, it’s just not fair.
Further complicating matters when you are running out of fuel and waiting on AmeriGas, is the legality of who owns the tanks. Most people rent their tanks. And if you rent your tanks other companies don’t want to deliver propane because it’s somebody else’s tank.
I did a little research and this is a problem with this company from coast to coast. AmeriGas has issues. A reporter from North Carolina recently did a story on the issues people are having with AmeriGas. (CLICK HERE ) after he did his story he got emails from as far away is Pennsylvania.
And a very unscientific and just general matter, I noodled around on Facebook and I put in the search term AmeriGas delivery problems and I came up with posts from people in groups all over the country.
So AmeriGas what gives? I am not hearing these complaints about any of the other local companies that deliver propane.
A few years ago I picked this chair out of a barn. For $45. Which is astounding because vintage furniture of this quality is highly desirable even used. And if you’re looking at the gorgeous mahogany of this chair this is also why you don’t need to chalk paint or faux paint every piece of vintage furniture. Sometimes it just needs to be recovered.
“Brown wood” is cool, pass it on.
It’s a Southwood Sheraton side chair. It was made in Hickory, North Carolina. It’s just slightly past mid century, this chair dates to 1973 when Southwood was founded.
Southwood was started in 1973 with the vision to become America’s premier maker of authentic, museum-quality antique reproductions, as well as offering traditional upholstered seating. They went out of business around 2013, sadly.
Anyway, The chair when it originally came to me was in a powder blue silk velvet. But the velvet had been drying out and getting very brittle over time and I knew I needed to start looking for fabric to recover this chair in. Enter a friend of mine whose late mother had amazing taste. She gifted me a remnant of vintage Scalamandre upholstery fabric.
So I called up my upholsterer Ken and said I have the fabric for the chair. He had coincidentally just start looking for fabric for me for the chair because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.
This evening my chair came home. It looks amazing! And I did save some money by supplying my own fabric. But that was just a fluke that the fabric was gifted to me. It’s just like the planets aligned.
Once again I am sharing with you the information on my upholsterer, Ken’s Upholstery. They pick up, they deliver, and their attention to detail is unparalleled. It has been a long time since I saw an upholsterer who is this good at his craft.
And Ken does nice little things for his customers like send you photos of whatever he’s working on for you from start to finish. And something Ken did for me was to put the original Southwood tag back on the bottom of my chair. I had not asked him to do that, I had asked him to just hang onto the original manufacturer’s tag!
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the way the chair turned out. My husband knows he will never be able to drink red wine in it but that’s OK. I love it! And once again I am a regular customer of Ken’s Upholstery , I am not getting anything as far as compensation in any way shape or form to write this post. I am just a very, very happy customer!
Today was errand day. I was the mostly stay in the car wingwoman. After a couple of stops in West Chester we were coming down 352 and when we were at the intersection of Ellis Lane and I noticed that Old Mill Antiques and Interiors/ Shutters and Sand were open!
I love antiquing even if I don’t need anything. I love looking and learning. Today was window shopping and they have some amazing pieces! They require masks, and have hand sanitizer right as you walk in.
One of the things I totally love they had is an antique punched tin chandelier. They are easy to wire and rewire and if you have a covered porch, they are the perfect touch. They also are great as a kitchen chandelier or even dining room. I love them but they have to be big enough to hold a space. This one was. See this photo:
Another thing I absolutely love about this store? Country chairs, and a lot are antique country painted chairs. I have some. Some of mine came via my Pennsylvania German grandmother and others I have found right here in Chester County.
This is two floors of exploring and fine country antiques reasonably and fairly priced. Also vintage and other things mixed in. Lots of things will catch your eye. Their hours are slightly reduced due to COVID19. But I highly recommend exploring what they have to offer. Enjoy the photos!