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  • Phyllis H. Moore

8 Reasons to Break for the Round Top Antique Show

I have been busy with marketing books. It is a never-ending job. I have an Amazon Countdown Deal in the next day with Opal's Story and Tangled, a Southern Gothic Yarn will be featured on BookBub later in April. The deal with these promotions is, I have to pay attention. The deal with paying attention is, I have to retrain myself to do such a thing. I'm not complaining. I think it's good for my brain. However, it has been a twenty-four-seven thing. So, when my sister texted me, suggesting a day trip to Round Top for the Antiques Fair -- I was ready for a day off.

The Round Top Antiques Show is held two times a year, spring and fall. It is much bigger than the little burg of Round Top -- growing every year, encompassing acres and acres of rolling fields. There are more and more venues for food, furniture, accessories, clothing and textiles. If you can't find it in Round Top during the Antiques Show, well, you can't find it. A map is a necessity if you have never been. It is not a day trip for the novice because it is overwhelming. If you go each season, you will find your favorite vendors, right where they were the last time.

This graphic is my favorite find this year. I could not pass up these vintage books with marbled page edges and covers. The titles have been worn off the leather bindings. I just want to sit and look at them and smell them -- yes, smell them. They are luscious. Be jealous. If you have ever attended the Nutcracker Market approaching the holidays in Houston, you will recognize Paul Michael Company. This vendor cannot be topped for Christmas décor, furniture and accessories. They have a new building at the Antique Show on Market Hill. It is impressive -- full of the items you can expect to find at the Nutcracker Market and their store fronts in the south. These books were part of my purchase at Paul Michael Company during my visit to the show this week. I passed on the rollers for printing wallpapers, but there were endless ideas on how to use these unusual items for decorating. They excel at reasonable lighting ideas, lamps and décor. A great addition to the show.

The other venue I had not visited before, was the Compound. This well-planned group of rustic buildings is a fabulous place to stop and have a cocktail or lunch. Food trucks in the courtyard offer tasty snacks and meals on a covered patio beside a large fountain. The variety of offerings range from vintage military and mid-century décor to rustic implement lighting and oversized basketry.

I could go on for days and walk for days and never see everything at the Fair. The highlight this year was a great cheeseburger and my vintage book purchase. Here are some reasons to visit the Round Top Antique Show, (by the way, go on a week day when the crowds are not so overwhelming):

1. There are still reasonable prices on quality furniture pieces, new and old. Textiles, in very hue and texture will provide inspiration for an old pillow or daybed.

2. More food trucks show up each season with meals that have not been reproduced in a restaurant. Homemade chips, funnel cakes, corndogs, cheeseburgers, brisket fajitas, cupcakes . . .

3. Even in unpredictable weather, the vendors and visitors keep their pleasant attitudes -- always greeting each other with smiles. One friendly guy is repurposing old computer keys as magnets for iron ball stands and creating unique, weathered zinc lamps for bargain prices.

4. Excess and Clutter, not a way of living, but venues at the show, offer a glimpse into the imagination of the creative brain. It is amazing what some people can pick up off the ground and create a beautiful work of art or dining table, light fixture of serving piece. These places are wonderful for inspiration.

5. Marburger Farms claims their vendors are where "new trends begin again". Indeed they do, and visitors can be driven from their cars to their favorite tented booths. Unlike most of the venues, Marburger charges for entrance, but many find it well-worth the fee.

6. Blue Hills is a favorite venue. It appeals to me because, much like the Compound and Paul Michael, there is food and drink and the parking is most accessible.

7. Lodging in Carmine, LaGrange, Brenham, Fayetville and many other small towns around Round Top is unique and fun. There is no way I can list the possibilities, however a search will reward a person with more places to stay than they can dream of. Rachel Ashwell's, The Prairie, will certainly give a visitor the flavor of a Texas country stay. Book early, some places are reserved by the same "girl-trippers" every season -- can't blame them.

8. Inspiration. Even if you are so overwhelmed with the possibilities that you cannot decide on a purchase, I guarantee, you will return home and rearrange the furniture and put flowers in a unique and unused object. Walking through the Fair and exploring the booths will allow creativity and inspiration to seep into your skin. You will not begrudge your home's tired appearance, you will change it with your fresh outlook and the creative jumpstart you received at the Round Top Antique Show.

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