Round Top Tips!
March 30, 2017
by Claire Zinnecker
Happy happy Thursday!
I hope you all are having a wonderful week. Things have been nonstop in the best way over here, but I wanted to make sure I set aside time to share my 2017 Spring Round Top adventures so you can add some of my must see picks to your list before the show is over!
I was fortunate enough to make it out to the antique show twice this year. The first time I traveled in my Lexus NX so I could make sure I had plenty of space to carry the big stuff (I can’t wait to show you what I found!). The second trip was with Texas Monthly and an incredible crew of ladies for a full day of fun and adventure. For simplicity’s sake I’m combining the two to share my favorite parts and must visit shops. Keep reading for more!
How I get there: There are two ways to get to Round Top from Austin, Highway 71 or Highway 290. I prefer 290. The drive is lovely, especially once you get to the farm fields of Round Top Road, and you enter from the north end into Warrenton, which allows you to avoid most of the terrible traffic jam that inevitably happens.
What to bring: I like to travel light but it’s always smart to pack sunscreen, water, snacks and a hat. I always wear comfy shoes and dress in layers. I bring a backpack instead of a tote bag to make for easier carrying. Make sure you bring cash or a checkbook. Most vendors take cards but sometimes the internet is spotty, so having a back up is always helpful!
First up: Marburger. I love it here but more for visual inspiration than actual shopping. I like the search and finding the deal, but Marburger is a more curated (and more expensive) part of the antique show. If you have a couple of days to spend out in the fields, then definitely pay the entrance fee and spend at least half a day exploring these tents! The vendors are so knowledgeable and kind. I love browsing and finding new shops to keep in touch with throughout the year. I am quite the business card collector. They have access to wifi (the cell service is touch and go), which is always helpful. Lastly the food here is so yummy, definitely my lunchtime go-to.
Second stop: The Compound. This fun spot is packed with great vendors. The air conditioned bathrooms, free wifi and lovely grounds are an added bonus! I beeline it to Eneby Home in the Carriage House and lust over everything they have for sale. This Nashville based antique dealer has quality pieces in fantastic condition. If I could move into the Carriage House I would. My next stop is Nomads Loom, Inc., a wholesale rug dealer. Their rugs, both new and vintage, are incredible colors and quality. I always find at least one rug here for a client.
Third stop: Excess & Beyond. These stalls might be my favorite part of Round Top. The vendors are interesting and diverse and you can look and look and still not see everything. I highly suggest going into every stall here. KB Design, John Petty Antiques, Elephant Walk Antiques and Installations Antiques are just a few of the vendors I love at Excess. The building at the end (on the east side) also has some must see chairs, mirrors and lights. Next to that is a spot called Recycling the Past which has some fun odds and ends. THEN just south of that are 3 or so tents of incredible French antiques. I never remember the name of this vendor but trust me, you can’t miss it and will be glad you traveled past Excess to see their goods. If you liked my new front porch sconce I shared on my instagram story, walk a little south of that and across the dirt road you will see Red House Blue Ocean. They have some fun nautical style lights and beautiful brass hardware. I found my bird statue just a few tents down. I fell in love with her. Thankfully I had my Lexus so I could bring her home (along with Joe’s 2 birds!) Continue your loop and don’t get lost in the sea of tents! Turn right, head west and you will see Anatolia Rug Gallery tent. It’s rug heaven and if you buy more than one they will give you a deal!
Fourth and Final Stop: Excess II. Just across the main road you will see the stalls of Excess II. This was added a year or so ago and is such a fun addition. Christian Rathbone is a New York based rug and pillow dealer. His new pieces are impeccable. I can’t go a year without buying at least one pillow from him. Further down you will find Nomadic Trading Co. This Durham couple is so kind. Their stock of vintage lighting and chairs is stunning. I could stare at their wall of rugs for hours and not get bored. Make sure you pet their pup! Definitely poke your head into every stall here. I seem to always find a breadboard or two begging me to bring it home.
Whew! Your day is finished and you are exhausted, hot and overstimulated, but there is one more stop you have to make. Rancho Pillow has a small, curated group of vendors set up in an idyllic landscape of tepees, lodges and tents. Browse the goods, sip some wine and listen to tunes as you cool down and unwind. Sheila Youngblood has the perfect set up here and you can even purchase tickets for a delicious family style dinner prepared by a talented chef. Eat outside under the stars and enjoy a true Texas night. You can even spend the night in one of the lodges! It’s a can’t miss for sure. Emily Henderson came to the dinner too!
I have to say I’m pretty spoiled after these two trips. My Lexus allowed for easy cargo transport, air conditioned seats, great navigation and perfect road trip tunes. Texas Monthly gave us the tour of a lifetime (thanks Lauren Smith Ford and Jordan Breal!) from breakfast at Hotel Ella, a bus ride adventure and an unforgettable evening at Rancho Pillow with dinner by Chef Rene Ortiz. Keep reading below to see all the photos from my adventures!
Hope this list helps you narrow down the craziness that is Round Top. Have you been? Who are your must see vendors? Favorite stops? Comment below to let me know!