Shopping & Dining in a Historic North Carolina Estate
Begun as an experimental farm below Reynolda House, the Village and Gardens attract shoppers, naturalists, and those interested in early 20th century NC local history.
Nestled under the shadow of Wake Forest University, Reynolda Village and Gardens in Winston Salem provide unique shopping opportunities as well as a glimpse into early twentieth-century history. Owned by the university since 1965, Reynolda Village features an array of fine shops and restaurants. The Gardens were deeded to the university in 1958 and still preserve the vision Katharine Reynolds pursued in 1912.
Katharine Reynolds Establishes Reynolda Estate
The Twin-City Sentinel reported in 1917 that Reynolda Village, “is a magnificent development and…is becoming the ‘experimental station’ … for reliable and authentic information on-farm problems.” Mrs. Reynolds’s passion was the establishment of a fully working farm complete with a Dairy Barn, a man-made lake, and structures to house employees. The farm became a prototype agricultural laboratory that offered local farmers demonstrations and, according to the Sentinel, “…material aid in developing the agricultural interests of the county…”
The Formal Gardens were redesigned by Thomas Sears, who had worked for Frederick Law Olmsted, landscaper of the Biltmore Estate, also in North Carolina. The Palm House dates to 1913 and today sell plants to visitors. The garden features over 800 rose bushes as well as various vegetable patches including cabbage and tomatoes. The vegetable garden dates to 1921 and today feature ornamental fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. For further information, see www.ReynoldaGardens.com
Part of the Reynolda Historic District, the Village has become a shopping destination. Seventeen shops and three restaurants fill the heart of Katharine Reynolds’ former agricultural center. Established in 1984, the Village Tavern sits on the foundations of the Old Tavern and serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch in outdoor and indoor settings. The Village Tavern has recreated the atmosphere of a “traditional community center,” a claim on the Tavern website fulfilled every day. The varied menu offers burgers, steaks, grilled fish, and boasts a superb wine cellar. Sunday brunch lists Crab Cake Benedict, a seasonal favorite.
Village shops offer everything from boutique stores to designer fashion. Smith Galleries presents fine prints and paintings while the Present Company sells regional items and gift baskets. Visitors seeking local crafts and unique gifts will be rewarded at the Village. Ringmaster Jewelers showcases a full line of jewelry and will help the shopper design one-of-a-kind pieces in their workshops. Anchoring the south of the Village, Wake Forest University is opening a vast store by early 2009 selling official university memorabilia, clothing, and jewelry. For a complete list of shops, see www.reynoldavillage.com
The Village Gardens are divided into seven sections including “All-American” rose selections, annual vegetables, and a children’s garden providing educational experiences such as the Young Naturalists. Teachers can obtain classroom resources on the Reynolda Garden website. Visitors to the estate may wish to stroll through the gardens on their way from the Village to Reynolda House, once the home of Katharine and R.J. Reynolds but now a superb museum of American art.
Reynolda Village and Gardens border Wake Forest University and can be accessed by following Silas Creek Parkway off Business 40 in Winston Salem. Open seven days a week, shoppers should note that many Village shops are closed on Sundays and holidays.