December 2011 Issue


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The December 2011 issue of Virginia Living pulls back the curtain, giving you a behind the scenes look at life as a dancer in the Richmond Ballet. We also reveal the secret to hosting a successful supper club, and detail how to combine friends and food in a way that delivers a deeper appreciation of both. For those who prefer eating out, we serve up the lowdown on the growing trend of small plates—America’s answer to tapas, dim sum and piattini—and if you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside the Great Dismal Swamp then prepare yourself for a fascinating story of species and wetland survival, coupled with stunning photography. We also introduce you to the least weasel (the pound-for-pound most aggressive animal in the Old Dominion), pay a visit to the hospitable nomads of Mongolia and explain why the Governor will be eating deer this holiday season. Also inside: a luxurious holiday gift guide; Tintin style; tasteful Thanksgiving tablescapes; Grandma Moses; Swannanoa; a Jeffersonian classic home tucked into lush mountains; the age of the Chesapeake Bay steam packet, and more.

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    Photo credit: Kyle LaFerrier

    National Botanic Garden

    The highest point between the Atlantic Ocean and the Blue Ridge Mountains is a 550-foot, man-made mountain in Chantilly at the National Botanic Garden. Its creator is nature lover, businessman, and co-owner Peter Knop, who spent 30 years creating it. Read more


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    Illustration by Jon Berkeley.

    William and Mary's Marriage

    The bride, 15-year-old Mary, cried through the ceremony, hardly swept off her feet by the groom, her first cousin William. Introduced a few days earlier, she’d
been weeping ever since. Read more

    Culture Virginiana

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    Photo courtesy of VCU.

    VCU's Children's Tower Opens

    Treatment for broken arms to brain tumors is provided at the Children’s Tower, but needs that go beyond trauma care are also a priority. The kitchen serves food that kids love, like brick oven pizza and soft-serve ice cream. Read more