PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Show Guide Spring 2023

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L'ESPRIT FRANÇAIS À LA ROUND TOP EYEOPENER ROUND ROUND ABOUT TOP BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON AND CANDICE COWIN, WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ANNE LEE PHILLIPS JORDAN GEIBEL JORDAN GEIBEL C hef Tammie Mills has given the sleepy town of Burton, just 10 miles from Round Top, something worth wak- ing up for: Blue Willow Cafe, located in a circa-1937 building downtown. In 2019, Mills revived the historic spot with an interior update that's both familiar and fresh, as well as a jazzed-up menu showcasing her contem- porary take on classic breakfast, brunch, and lunch dishes. The original hardwood floors meet a backdrop of crisp blue-and-white toile wallpaper that speaks to Mills' favorite china pattern — Blue Willow, of course. White- painted farm tables and metal Tolix-style chairs occupy the airy dining room, where servers concoct strawberry and blackberry teas and lemonades, iced coffees, and cap- puccinos behind the grass-green bar. Popular dishes include eggs Benedict tweaked with a schmear of herbed cream cheese; huevos rancheros; blackberry balsamic French toast; and fancy hot cakes such as brown sugar banana and blueberry lemon curd. Health- conscious options include avocado toast and quinoa topped with sauteed spinach and eggs. Hearty sandwiches on house- made bread, salads, and soups make up the simple but flavorful lunch menu. Blue Willow Cafe, 12513 W. Washington St., Burton, @bluewillowcafe. Candice Cowin J ust in time for the Spring Antiques & Design Show, Round Top gets a new destination for antiques and garden design — and it's fluent in French. The Compound's newly branded The Compound Neighborhood (which features, to date, The White Barn) adds a venue when Jardin de France unveils. We caught up with co-owner Patrice Watine as workmen were putting the finishing flourishes on the first building of a planned portfolio of three on his two-acre property on Compound Lane. The handsome 5,000-square-foot aerie features antique carved Louis XVI- style pilasters framing barn doors offering expansive views of field and farmland. Watine, raised in a French village in the Picardy region near the Belgian border, and his Colombian-born wife/business partner, Gloria Watine, are readying the new space in time for its big reveal on opening day of The Compound, Saturday, March 18 (through Saturday, April 1). The Watines and Jardin de France now boast three footprints (besides this new property, The White Barn at The Compound and Bader Ranch) as well as the Watines' original charming Jardin de France in Houston's West End at 4819 Blossom, which opened in 2015. Patrice says of the new space, "A third of it will be set up as a beautifully curated store with A/C, and the rest will be more market style, where great deals will be found. The master plan includes another two buildings for a total of 20,000 square feet." Houston designer Aaron Rambo guided interiors and provided inspiration. Phase 2, Watine says, calls for an identical building, the pair united by "majestic central gates, and a basin with a calm water feature, to create the ambiance of a grand estate nestled in France's countryside." The couple, who got their start in the plant-care biz in Houston, continue their commitment to green, envisioning an allée of large trees and clipped boxwoods punctuated by a signature structure, a French chateau, in Round Top. Jardin de France at Compound Lane, 108 Compound Lane, Round Top,, @jardindefrancetx. Catherine D. Anspon Jardin de France at Compound Lane Blue Willow Cafe 100

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