December 2011 Issue


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The December 2011 issue of Virginia Living pulls back the curtain, giving you a behind the scenes look at life as a dancer in the Richmond Ballet. We also reveal the secret to hosting a successful supper club, and detail how to combine friends and food in a way that delivers a deeper appreciation of both. For those who prefer eating out, we serve up the lowdown on the growing trend of small plates—America’s answer to tapas, dim sum and piattini—and if you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside the Great Dismal Swamp then prepare yourself for a fascinating story of species and wetland survival, coupled with stunning photography. We also introduce you to the least weasel (the pound-for-pound most aggressive animal in the Old Dominion), pay a visit to the hospitable nomads of Mongolia and explain why the Governor will be eating deer this holiday season. Also inside: a luxurious holiday gift guide; Tintin style; tasteful Thanksgiving tablescapes; Grandma Moses; Swannanoa; a Jeffersonian classic home tucked into lush mountains; the age of the Chesapeake Bay steam packet, and more.

The Blue Ridge Palace of Love and Good Vibrations. Read more


Grandma Moses broke the glass ceiling from down on the farm. Read more


The Least Weasel may be cute, but it's a killer. Read more


The modern version of the classic supper club hasn't lost any of the elegance of its golden era, but today, it is as much about forging deeper connections between friends as it is about the food. Read more



Kip Dawkins

Thanksgiving-inspired tablescapes that invite your guests to linger. Read more

House + Garden


Joe Mahoney

Deer-for-Beef Switcheroo is fine by the Governor. Read more


Ahi Tuna

Stephanie Bragg

The Spanish have tapas; the Chinese, dim sum. Italians have piattini and Greeks, the mezze. What does American cuisine have to offer as a match? Increasingly, the answer is small plates. Read more


Great Dismal Swamp

John Henley

A private-public partnership is working to protect the enigmatic swamp that has captured Virginians’ imaginations for centuries. Read more

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A look behind the scenes at the working life of the artists-cum-athletes of the Richmond Ballet, and into the world of la belle danse. Read more

Culture 2 Comments

Tricia Pearsall joined the nomads of Mongolia as they crossed the Kharkhiraa Mountains. Read more

Travel 1 Comments

John Henley photographed a series of beautiful and breathtaking images of the Great Dismal Swamp for our December 2011 feature "The Green Island." We published nine images in the magazine, but offer an expanded selection of 22 in this slideshow. Read more

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