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December 9, 2005

Eighteenth-century residents invite guests to experience the holidays in CW's taverns

Colonial Williamsburg invites guests to toast the holidays with two special dinners this season—Dinner with Alexander Purdie and the Thomas Jefferson Wine Dinner. Both will be held at King’s Arms Tavern in December.

“These events showcase a slice of 18th-century life in Colonial Williamsburg,” said Bill Wandersee, food and beverage manager of Historic Area Operations. “Guests can get to know 18th-century Williamsburg residents in a casual atmosphere.”

Alexander Purdie, postmaster and editor of the Virginia Gazette, welcomes guests at 5, 5:15 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16-17. Colonial Williamsburg character interpreter Dennis Watson said the Scottish-born Purdie established the third of three newspapers in Williamsburg, the Virginia Gazette, in 1774.

Watson will bring Purdie to life in the Purdie House, the reconstructed home of the 18th-century printer that now is the east wing of King’s Arms Tavern. He will engage guests in the day-to-day life of the colonial capital and talk about his family, including his wife, Peachy Davenport Purdie, and his three sons, Hugh, Alexander and James. Adult reservations for this dinner are $59.95 per person and children are $19.95 per person, and can be made by calling 800-HISTORY.

Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg character interpreter Bill Barker, will take guests on a journey to experience the fine wines of France at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and Dec. 27. Each course features a different wine paired with a dish Jefferson may have enjoyed on his travels.

The dinner begins with Fennel and Saffron-flavored Seafood Sausage with grainy Mustard Sauce that will be served with the wine, Antech, Blanquette De Limoux, Limoux. The second course features a clear Hen Broth with Spinach and Cheese Dumplings with St. Louis, Macon-Villages, Chardonnay. Fresh Garden Salad with Chevre Croutons and creamy Herb Vinaigrette will accompany Guy Saget, Sancerre, France. The entrée, Filet Mignon wrapped in Mushrooms and Puff Pastry with Asparagus, Fennel and Baby Carrots, is paired with Louis Bernard, Cotes du Rhone Village, Rhone Valley. For dessert, guests will enjoy a silky Chocolate Mousse with caramelized Bananas with Rockbridge, Vd’Or, Late harvest Virginia Vidal Blanc.

“Thomas Jefferson always dreamed of developing wines in Virginia,” Wandersee said. “As a tribute, the dessert wine is a Virginia wine.”

Reservations for the Thomas Jefferson Wine Dinner can be made for $105 per person and can be made by calling 800-HISTORY.

The program will be based on Barker’s 20 years of research on Jefferson and his portrayals in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and on the book, “Passions: The Wines and Travels of Thomas Jefferson,” by James M. Gabler that can be purchased for $29.95 in WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers at the Foundation’s Visitor Center.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121