Celebrate the holidays the way they used to be in Chester County

Cindy Ross

Overnight accommodations at the Inn at St. Peter’s Village take you back to a simpler time. (Cindy Ross) 

You won’t see anyone staring at a cell phone while visiting St. Peter’s Village. Instead, you’ll hear conversations, laughter, and music from the babbling French Creek, as it flings itself over the boulders a stone’s toss away. 

Reception is spotty in this historic southeastern Pennsylvania town, but you will feel release and peace as you slip back to the way life used to be 100 years ago. 

This historically preserved village, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was once a company town housing workers in the now-silent iron mines and stone quarries. The restored stone and wood-frame buildings are filled with enough charm and entertainment to consume a happy weekend away. A holiday package makes it easy for visitors to sample some of the best St. Peter’s has to offer.

Learn from the locals

Head to St. Peter’s Bakery, where yeasty smells of warm bread seep into the street. Melanie Melle’s delicious goodies earned her shop this year’s “The Best Little Bake Shop in America” title by online source “Only in Your State.” 

The bakery’s rounded glass case is stuffed with gooey pecan pie, monster-sized chunky cookies, and hand-shaped loaves of bread. Hearty soups made from scratch, signature sandwiches, and savory quiches compete to satisfy your hunger pains. A baking class is offered throughout the year, but the getaway package includes a Sunday lesson from Melle on how to assemble and decorate a gingerbread house.

Goodies at the St. Peter’s Bakery will tempt you to try everything. (Cindy Ross)

In the holiday package, folks also make a glass ornament at the Glasslight Studio on Saturday. This studio has been producing beautifully turned glass light works for more than 30 years and owners Joel and Candace Bless will share a sampling of their art with you in class.

You can also wander through antique shops, see handcrafted woodworking at Dilworth by Design, unwind with a massage at Massage On The Rocks, try your hand at Village Arcade on the restored antique pinball machines, or just sit on a massive boulder in the creek, your face lifted to the winter sun.

Come Friday and enjoy homemade pizza and local musicians at St. Peter’s Bakery and stop at nearby Hopewell Furnace National Historic Sites for Saturday’s “Iron Plantation Christmas.”

You’ll overnight in the beautifully restored Inn at St. Peter’s Village, a small bed-and-breakfast combining 1880’s ambiance with modern touches. Your weekend away will help you disconnect, then reconnect with something frequently lost in our hectic lives — the opportunity to learn something new while immersed in a historic place. What better time to make that happen than during the holiday season?

Learn more

Chester Co. Tourism: brandywinevalley.com/main-streets 

 

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