WINTER ROAD TRIPS

Everything You Need to Know for a Weekend Trip to Round Top

Slow down, recharge, and escape the buzz of the city.

By Geneva Diaz Published in the Winter 2022 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Henkel Square is one of three town squares to choose from when shopping and dining out.

DRESS IN YOUR BEST COUNTRY-CHIC ATTIRE and take a short hour-and-a-half drive to Round Top for a quick weekend getaway. Internationally recognized for its twice a year antique show, the town may be small (with a population of 87 people), but it’s big on local flavor and eclectic goods. Even after the shows, when the crowds of designers, shoppers, and treasure hunters have subsided, the town remains a quiet, attractive escape from city life, taking you back to simpler times

From what to do and where to eat, to the best places to stay, here’s all you need to know for a winter weekend getaway in Round Top:

What to Do in Round Top, Texas

Looking for your next home decor statement piece? Each day is a treasure hunt in this town. Enjoy some retail therapy by choosing from rustic antiques or handcrafted leather goods, jewelry, and clothing from three different town squares: Main Town Square, Henkel Square, and Rolland Square.

Check out the new STARR’Z boutique located in the old Teague’s Tavern Building in Henkel Square. Native Houstonian Starr Zaleski brings her interior design talents and antiques to the shop, filled with curated vintage finds, retro, and mid-century modern home decor, accessories, costume jewelry, handbags, and so much more. Take a trip to the popular store, Junk Gypsy, and then head to Round Top Village for more cute shops to choose from. 

Check out the popular store, Junk Gypsy, for all your shopping needs.

Image: Tricia Daniel

Visit the 9-acre Texas Cotton Gin Museum which features four historical buildings: a 1933 Cobblers Shop, the Burton Auto Garage, the Cotton Warehouse, and the 1914 Farmers Cotton Gin. The oldest operating cotton gin in America, it’s designated as a national landmark and is listed in the Texas Historical Commission, and the National Register of Historic Places.

Where to Eat in Round Top, Texas

If you’re here for some serious shopping, fuel up with a quick breakfast taco and espresso at Round Top Coffee Shop. Or stop by Royers Round Top Cafe, a local legend known for its delicious food and quirky atmosphere. Order a sweet tea served in a mason jar and choose from a list of pies that will make your mouth water for days. For lunch, try their Glorified Grilled Pimento Cheese sandwich with a cup of tomato soup, perfect for dunking, or the Shrimp BLT Salad.

Stop by Royers Round Top Cafe, a local legend known for its delicious food and quirky atmosphere.

The Garden Company is a delicious eatery located in Rummel Square and always has the freshest food using only quality ingredients for their farm-to-table concept. Start off with the famous crispy brussels sprouts for lunch or the baked brie for dinner. You can't go wrong with any of their entrees, but some favorites are the Greek chicken tzatziki salad, gourmet grilled cheese, and Fungi Burger loaded with portobello and shiitake mushrooms on a Kobe beef patty.

Sometimes a little charcuterie is all one needs. The inspiring Little Cheese Shop offers an abundant supply of wonderful cheeses from around the world, along with saucisson, interesting crackers and flatbreads, and various accompaniments like olives and dried fruits. There’s even a freezer filled with take home specialties. Take your cheese to the wine bar, Prost on Block 29, a local favorite that offers a cozy intimate atmosphere and a beautiful outdoor patio housed in Round Top’s most historic building.

Hotel Lulu's intimate cocktail bar, Il Cuculo.

Located in Henkel Square, the Ellis Motel is a hip hang out for signature cocktails. You can even buy the furniture you are sitting on as well as other cool items on display. At Hotel Lulu, the area’s first full-service luxury boutique hotel, is Lulu’s Round Top, owned by Palacios Murphy of Houston’s legendary eatery ARMANDOS. Under the leadership of Executive Chef Jose Monterrosa, Lulu’s serves Italian fare in a rustic setting where the classic dishes match the beautifully minimalist interiors.

Where to Stay in Round Top, Texas

Slow down, recharge, and escape the buzz of the city at Hotel Lulu. Hotel Lulu features 14 serene guest rooms in six bungalows throughout the property (all with their own personality), a pool, herb garden, formal garden, the hotel restaurant (the aforementioned Lulu’s), and an intimate cocktail bar (Il Cuculo). The whimsical bar is the newest addition to the hotel and brings small-town comfort to new heights by transporting guests into a hand-painted surreal jungle—a wraparound mural on the plaster walls created by Houston-based artist Andrea Condara. 

The hotel's amenities include complimentary Le Labo toiletries, with a beauty bar featuring 111Skin products, and an art program curated by David Shelton Gallery that features emerging and established artists on a rotating basis. Expect dramatic canopied beds, custom upholstery, and a modern mix of furniture meet original cedar walls and structures from the late 1800’s. Hotel Lulu has also partnered with Houston-based and female-owned Studio Imli to create custom blankets with artisans in Cholistan Dessert in Pakistan that can only be purchased onsite. In addition to the hotel (and if you’re looking for something more private), there is an off-site annex with three charming cottages that sleep up to 10 guests. 

Slow down, recharge, and escape the buzz of the city at Hotel Lulu.

There are also several cute bed and breakfast rentals that have popped up due to such high demand for the 50,000 to 75,000 people that visit twice a year for the antique fair. The Vintage Round Top has four beautiful cottages, including the original cottage “No. 1450” (named after the street address) and a 2,000-square-foot cottage rightly named "Boho” for the light and modern interiors. Those two rooms are attached by a mud room, and can be rented together or separately. It also has a 900-square-foot room designed to hold workshops, retreats, and events. The other two cozy cottages are named after the owners Paige and Smoot Hull’’s children, the Pierce, the Eisley and an outdoor space called the Cameron Lounge. If The Vintage is booked, then the The Frenchie Boutique Hotel is another great option for lodging.

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