Take a free guide
These over 170-page Colonial guides, on my picture, were available free in all Virginia Welcome Centers, I visited, and in the Colonial Williamsburg's Visitor Center. Do not forget to take one. The guide is issued once a year or two. Check it, not to take the previous version. I found in 2004, the version issued in 2002.
Well, over half of the guide includes advertisements and it doesn't include map of Colonial Williamsburg (for walking) but, anyway, it is usuful source of information on both Williamsburg and Jamestown/Yorktown (the Historic Triangle). There is information on the James River Plantations in Charles City County and historic Hampton, as well. The guide includes discount coupons for dining, shopping and activities, schematic maps of the areas covered, information on attractions and activities, dining, nightlife and shopping.
This costumed guy, on my picture, was a cooking interpreter. He prepared and cooked some real meals on a fireplace in the kitchen of the Governor's Palace. He explained and gave us some information on the art of the 18th century cooking. The meals were displayed on a large, wooden table.
Well, I got an impression that in these old times of poor cooking equipment, no exact measurements of quantity and temperature, cooking had to be real art. Making delicious meal depended more on the cook's skills, his taste, nose and heart than on exactly written and done step by step recipe.
The only inconvenience is that those delicious meals cooked by highly skilled cooks were availavble for very few folks of the upper class. I am not sure whether I would be born in rare upper class that time :-). The cooking and preparing food in upper class houses took ages and was very expensive.
Where did they dine?
Folks used to dine/drink indoor or in a garden/backyard in the past and the historic town continues this tradition. There are no tables put on a street in front of local restaurants and taverns in Colonial Williamsburg. Instead there are tables hidden in the backyards in some of them.
But just outside strict historic area, at Merchants Square (western end of Duke of Gloucester Street) I found it - Trellis Restaurant And Cafe with tables and umbrellas put outside along a street. Sit down, relax and watch people. I will do it... next time. And I will order Death by Chocolate cake ($6.50) with cafe au lait. Or better I will follow Nat's suggestion and go to eat at Shields Tavern. They have better desserts there too.
Dormer window and green roof
This sloping roof, on my picture, covers the Governor's Palace kitchen building. Not at all off the beaten path but fairly easy to miss if you don't pay attention. The roof is pretty overgrown with bright green moss and contains small dormer window. I didn't see any more so green roofs in Colonial Williamsburg.
M. Dubois is the grocery store along Colonial Williamsburg's main drag, Duke of Gloucester Street. It is a lot smaller than your Wal-Mart, Corte Ingles, or Carrefour because they had no refrigeration in those days and many fruits and vegetables (like pineapple) we regard as commonplace were rare back in the 18th Century. Such traditional Southern favourites as smoked hams, peanuts, preserves, wine, ales, root beers, and candies are sold in this reconstructed store on the site where Monsieur Dubois operated a grocery in the 18th Century. All my friends have stopped in here. J.D. bought some Chownings Tavern Ale here. If you can't carry it with you, they do mail order.