Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia is well-known for NASCAR racing at Martinsville Speedway as well as Philpott Lake and the Smith River Sports Complex, but you may not be aware of MHC’s growing reputation as an award-winning foodie destination. The Martinsville-Henry County EDC’s Tourism Division has launched a new contest intended to showcase just that.
The prize package for two people includes two nights of lodging and everything that you need to explore these local treasures. Once you have a taste, you will be ready to come back for more!
Start your day in the kitchen with an interactive workshop by culinary artist Colleen Butker of Uptown Sweets. Butker will teach you the basics of gourmet cupcake decorating as well as some advanced tips that will impress friends at your next cook out. While in Uptown, enjoy shopping and visiting the area’s many art galleries, museums and antique stores.
Visit Checkered Pig BBQ, as seen on the Food Network and Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters. The prize package includes a bottle of their winning Grilling Sauce and you can stop by for lunch to experience the casual and friendly atmosphere and delicious food created by owners Tommy and Lisa Houston. Be sure to try their ribs which won 1st place in this year’s Smoke n Thunder BBQ Classic.
Explore the countryside of Henry County, Virginia and the scenic Smith River as you travel to enjoy a wine tasting nearby at Hamlet Vineyards. Located on 300 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at historic Eltham Manor, owners Virginia and Butch Hamlet have created a warm and friendly environment for guests to come enjoy Virginia-made wines. Sit on the Tasting Terrace and enjoy sipping Pinot Gris, Viognier, Old Virginia Red, Reserve Merlot and Petit Verdot as you overlook the vineyard. While in Bassett, be sure to visit the scenic overlook at Philpott Lake for a magnificent view of the Blue Ridge.
Enjoy a dinner at Third Bay Café during your visit. As featured on FoodAroundTheTrack.com by celebrity foodie Steve Post, Martinsville’s Third Bay Café is located in a restored 1960’s service station. They are known for a variety of dishes including fresh salads featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables, juicy 8-ounce burgers, blackened sea bass and chocolate chess pie. The winner of the prize will enjoy dinner at Third Bay complete with an opportunity to meet with owner Yvonne Givens and learn about farm-to-table cooking.
To burn off the calories you can explore the area’s rivers and trails. Fly fishing, hiking, biking, paddling and tubing are just some of the exciting activities that can be enjoyed here. The prize package also includes tickets to the Smithsonian-affiliated Virginia Museum of Natural History where you can nourish your mind as well.
For an afternoon treat, visit Dippers Ice Cream of Ridgeway where you’ll meet Owner Tracy Cox and enjoy a gourmet ice cream tasting of some of her most popular flavors. Made with local produce and only the freshest of ingredients, Dippers Ice Cream is a true Virginia treat. In fact, their Peanut Butter Bang Sundae won the 2014 Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness Challenge. You can sample customer favorites like Southern Pecan Pie and Brownies Overboard and unique seasonal flavors like Harvest Pumpkin, Campfire Treats and Summertime Peach, which are all thoughtfully hand-crafted in the Dippers kitchen.
In addition to the above listed prizes, the package will also include a jar of locally made Hooper’s Pasta Sauce, as featured in Southern Living Magazine, as well as a Martinsville-Henry County tote bag and t-shirt.
Food tourism is defined by the World Food Travel Association as “the pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences, both far and near.” According to Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County. “Food Tourism is a hot trend around the country and we are pleased to showcase that Martinsville-Henry County has a variety of businesses to appeal to foodies.”
You may register for this delicious getaway by stopping in the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center located at 191 Fayette Street Martinsville or at the Virginia Welcome Center in Bristol, VA. There is no cost to enter, the contest is open to persons over the age of 21, limit one entry per person. Registration is open until December 31st and a winner will be announced on January 15, 2015.
Award Winning Area Culinary Businesses
Checkered Pig BBQ: 1st Place Overall – 2014 Covington Cork & Pork - Covington, VA 1st Place Overall – 2014 Pigs & Pedals - Asheboro, NC 5th Place Overall – 2014 The Great Vegas Gridiron Grill Off - Las Vegas, NV 1st Place Best BBQ Restaurant – 2012, 2013 & 2014 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards
Dipper's Ice Cream: 2014 Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness Champion 1st Place Best Local Ice Cream- 2014 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards
Third Bay Café: 1st Place Best Place for Lunch - 2014 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards
Chatmoss Country Club / Rusty Spence: 1st Place Best Mixologist – 2013 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards
Wild Magnolia: 1st Place Best Overall Bar – 2013 & 2014 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards
Binding Time Café: 1st Place Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop - 2014 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards
Fenderz: 1st Place Best Burger Joint - 2014 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards
Captain Tom's Seafood: 1st Place Best Seafood Restaurant – 2012 & 2014 Virginia Living Magazine “Best of Virginia” Awards