Wine, dine, do it yourself and travel back in time to learn about, taste and simply enjoy a variety of culinary delights in Richmond, Virginia.

It’s one thing to book a reservation at a four-star restaurant for your group, but it’s an entirely different and exciting experience to be able to offer everything from cook-it-yourself workshops to learning about the history of your favorite dishes. Add in some tasting and tours and you’ve got yourself the quintessence of a foodie group trip.

Taste History

At Virginia House, your group will not only enjoy afternoon tea, but also tour the splendid manor house and learn about 16th century table settings. Explore Maymont, a gilded Victorian mansion, furnished with rare antiques, silver, porcelains and tapestries, most of which belonged to the original owners. While there, your group can tour the rest of the estate, including the Italian and Japanese gardens.

Maymont interior

Maymont interior

Find out what herbs Native Americans used to cook with and try your hand at pounding corn into meal at Henricus Historic Park. While at Pocahontas’s home, make your own colonial candles and learn about the Powhatan Indian way of life and the significant impact their culture had on the English colonists. The Virginia Historical Society showcases personal recipes of some of Virginia’s First Ladies.

Step in the Chef’s Shoes

Richmond Region Cuisine

Richmond Region cuisine

During a hands-on cooking class at Sur La Table, your group members will learn new recipes and expand their culinary skills. Classes cover everything from Italian and Indian food to desserts and holiday-themed treats.

Visit Lavender Fields, the largest grower of USDA-certified organic herbs, and take an herb- or vegetable-growing workshop, tour the greenhouses and try lavender ice cream and lavender lemonade. Seasonal offerings abound at the family-oriented farm.

Keep the gourmet vibe going with a hands-on class at Mise En Place, where your group will prepare its own lunch from fresh ingredients. Mise En Place has a recipe for group experiences that are as delicious as they are fun. Try a “chef’s challenge” and engage your group in some friendly competition.

Wine and Dine

Family-owned and operated James River Cellars Winery offers award-winning wines from Virginia-grown grapes. Take a tour and enjoy wine tastings, entertainment and relax at dinner in the winery’s Tuscan-style event room.

Spend an afternoon at New Kent Winery for a tasting and tour. The tasting bar provides a view across the vineyards to the distant polo fields. A leisurely paced tour will give you a close-up look at the building’s detailed woodwork and craftsmanship.

New Kent Winery

New Kent Winery

Stop in at Chocolates by Kelly and participate in a first-rate chocolate workshop. Add a chocolate and wine paring as you create your own Old World truffles.

While touring Civil War battlefields, groups are encouraged to stop by participating wineries to sample specially labeled wines in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Visitors also gather stamps from wineries in their passports.

Put the Cherry on Top

Add any of the many themed dining events Richmond offers to your group itinerary, including Blues & BBQ, African-American Emancipation Celebrations, herb and chocolate workshops and glass blowing demos, which can be customized using historical interpreters and authentic herbs and ingredients.

Witness hibachi chefs perform tricks, see a flaming onion volcano and watch shrimp tails fly at Kobe Japanese Steak & Sushi, a Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar in the downtown area.

Kobe Sushi. Credit: Mike Ritchie

Kobe Japanese Steak & Sushi. Credit: Mike Ritchie

Explore an eclectic mile of shopping and a plethora of restaurants in Carytown. Check out the boutiques and shops to walk off all those guilty pleasures.

At the end of a long day of cooking and tasting, sit back and relax at Lemaire’s in the Five-Star, Five Diamond Jefferson Hotel for one of the finest restaurant experiences in Richmond.

Hungry for a group trip to Richmond? Click on the Instant Info box below to request  more information and visit Richmond Region Tourism’s website.