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Each spring and fall, designers and design lovers from across the world descend onto a quaint Texas town looking to find one-of-a-kind and rare furniture pieces and artwork. The Round Top Antiques Fair has served as one of the country’s most-celebrated antique shopping destinations with its rolling fields filled with countless vendors. “Only in Texas will you find open pastures with cows and towering oak trees that neighbor miles of antique shopping venues,” says Houston-based designer Devon Liedtke, who makes the trek to Round Top, Texas for some serious shopping and family bonding every year.
And as a seasoned fair regular, Liedtke knows just how daunting the massive gathering can be for newcomers to navigate. That’s why she’s sharing her insider guide to the Round Top Antiques Fair with tips on everything from how to get to the small town to what vendors you should visit during this spring’s fair—open March 28 to April 2.
How to Get There
For those coming out of state to Round Top, Liedtke recommends looking into Airbnbs in the area or booking a night at the charming boutique hotel, Hotel Lulu. However, the decorator notes that these options tend to fill up early, so consider staying in Austin or Houston which are both an hour and a half drive away from Round Top. Both cities offer a number of impeccable lodging options, but some of our favorites include Hotel Ella in Austin and Houston’s Hotel ZaZa. You’ll need to rent a car to get to the antiques fair, but Liedtke finds the drive to be a quiet moment of relaxation. “Every time, I put on a good book on tape or a favorite podcast, and enjoy the slower pace and open spaces.”
What to Pack
Before making the journey to the fair, make a list of furniture and accessories you are keeping an eye out for along with measurements. Bringing along a tape measure doesn’t hurt either as it helps to ensure you know exactly the height and width of each item that caught your eye. You don’t want to run into an issue where you purchased a 19th-century English console table or a Louis XIV mirror only for it not to fit in your space.
Liedtke advises people to protect themselves from the Texas sun with trusty sunscreen, a stylish hat, and plenty of cool drinks on hand. Cash is also a must as it’s much easier to barter with and not every vendor accepts cards. Lastly, make sure you’re wearing a pair of walking shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. It can get a little muddy in those pastures.
Where to Shop
The best advice Liedtke can give to people when shopping at Round Top is to be a little impulsive. “If you love something, buy it,” says Liedtke. “Trust me, the times you think about it and go back to get it, it’s always gone!” With miles of vendors scattered across expansive fields, it can be tricky knowing where to start though, but Liedtke has a few must-visit spots every person should make their way to:
Round Top Village
Courtney Barton for well-traveled wares plus exclusive pop-ups with Christy Lynn March and Loeffler Randall.
Eneby Home for a distinct mix of European furnishings and antiques.
Prize Home and Garden for vintage case goods and seating.
Marburger Spring Show for a mix of high-end jewelry and furnishings.
Where to Eat and Drink
Lady Elaine, the Austin outpost housed in Bader Ranch during Round Top, for thirst-quenching margaritas and ranch waters.
Prost, for wine-lovers who want to sip their end-of-day glass in Round Top’s most historic building.
The Garden Co., for not only its fabulous food but also its beautiful florals.
Mandito’s, located in Round Top’s main square, for legitimate Tex-Mex – and go early for porch margaritas and to avoid the line.
The new Lulu’s for delicious Italian fare and fabulous interiors to boot.
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