Emma and I make the trip out to Round Top and Warrenton each fall and spring for the biannual antiques fair. You can do your antiquing any number of ways. In Warrenton, you can visit vendors who have set up tents along the highway and in the fields. Behind the tents are the travel trailers where the vendors live for the two weeks they are in town. If you are lucky, you own a building like my friend, Robin Lindberg AKA The Queen of Heirs. The Campbell Building(with the wonderful red adirondack chairs out in front) is a landmark and offers interior shopping with real floors. Robin has a wonderful hidden apartment right in her building.
On the square in Round Top, you can visit crafts vendors who have set up tents for the weekend (both the first weekend in October and the first weekend in April). Across the streets is Royers Round Top Cafe famous for their pies. Definitely not your standard comfort food. Even if you can’t make it out to the fair, you can order their pies on line and they ship just about everywhere. Headed north to 290, you find shopping at the other extreme. The Big Red Barn offers high end antiques in an air-conditioned building. Some outside tents have been added in recent years and Royer’s has a lunch outlet there.
My first trip out to the fair was years ago when Rocky was in school and I took a commuter bus (as opposed to a school bus) from the church parking lot as soon as we dropped the children off. The bus was great; we enjoyed snacks and breakfast on the way up and wine and cheese on the way home. There was another advantage; if you bought something big you could slide it underneath. The trouble came when you got back to the church lot and someone had to help you get it home.
This is back when Emma Lee Turney was running several shows and you bought a ticket that got you into Rifle Hall, the Folk Art Tent, and Carmine, and the Big Red Barn. Emily retired and most of the outfits are independent now. Some charge admission like Marburger and the Big Red Barn, but others like the fields in Warrenton and Round Top Square are free.
You’ll have to pay for parking in some places and I recommend driving the biggest vehicle you own. It is not unusual to see people pulling a trailer behind their Suburban (and both the Suburban and the trailer are full). It is not always the easiest parking and the roads can get very busy. My car was hit once by someone trying to pull out on the road. This was the occasion that I found out you could open a claim file right on the side of the road. Knowing my State Farm claim was open (and the other driver was in the wrong), I continued my shopping.
Sometimes Emma and I go looking for something in particular, sometimes we are just looking. Going for a day twice a year, we know our way around and enjoy returning to some of our favorite vendors. Frankly, I just enjoy spending the day with my sister. This fall we took our Mom along and she did great keeping up.
From Houston, we take I 10 to Sealy and then get off and drive through Bellville, sometimes with a stop at Newman’s Bakery. Then we take the back roads through Industry and Shelby before coming into Round Top at the square. There is a nice show at the hall in Shelby, but it has fallen off a little on our last few visits. This time we kept driving, passing Shabby Chic’s Rachel Ashwell’s new place The Praire which we visited last spring. It was a Wednesday, so the square vendors were just starting to set up for the weekend. We took a left on Hwy 237 in the direction of Warrenton and made our way to Marburger Farms, which sits roughly half way between Round Top and Warrenton. Let the shopping begin…