A Boerne Date Night: Valeria, Peggy's, & A Concert in the Cave
Back in April, I had a bucket list of performing arts productions in Boerne that I wanted to check out before month's end. One of those was a Concert in the Cave at the Cave Without a Name. Well, thanks to my awesome mother and father-in-law, we were actually able to do it along with dinner at Valeria Ristorante Italiano and a post-show dessert and nightcap at one of our favorite local spots, Peggy's on the Green. It turned out to be just the Boerne date night that we needed!
Since the show was scheduled to start at 7:00 and we were informed that we would need to arrive by 6:30 to pick up our tickets, we were those people who showed up for dinner at Valeria at 5:00. That early, there was no crowd which was wonderful. The atmosphere, service, and food were upscale, but not stuffy or pretentious at all. We were pleasantly surprised to find artwork from local artists hanging on the walls and wine from Sisterdale's Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards on the wine list. We opted for the Rosé de Mourvèdre and it was easy to see why the wine was nearly sold out at the winery just four weeks after its release: it was subtly sweet with just a slight nuttiness to it...even my "No way to rosé" husband enjoyed this one!
Next, we tried the Exotic Mushrooms with Balsamic Reduction, which was amazing and extra delicious with the soft-on-the-inside but perfectly-crisp-on-the-outside house-made bread. We finished with main courses of creamy chicken crepes and oh-so-tender lamb (sorry, we were too hungry and enjoying ourselves too much to make note of the actual names of these dishes). Too full for dessert, we stayed a while and enjoyed our wine with the sounds of Ella, Frank, Billie, and their friends before leaving for the concert. I jokingly told our waiter that we would leave when we heard a bad song...we were there a long time.
With full bellies, we chose to skip dessert and made the twenty-minute drive from the restaurant to the Cave Without a Name. We arrived in plenty of time to check out the gift shop, pick up our tickets, and fall into the first quarter of the line at the entrance to the cave. The grounds there are stunning, with a giant cottonwood tree (I think?) that has leaves so large they sound like rolling water when the wind blows. There are also picnic tables, firepits, and park benches available for use. An interesting sculpture and a "Gem Panning" pavilion add a bit of fun and whimsy to the park-like outdoor space. There's a lot of history and interesting scientific details to the cave that I won't go into in this post, but you can read a bit about it in a post by TexasOutside.com here.
Before we knew it, it was time to head down to the Queen's Throne Room for the concert. There are 126 steps down into the cave (which means 126 steps back up!) and parts of it are rather low and narrow. I would not suggest this expedition to anyone who can't physically climb back up out of the cave because, as our guide put it, "there's no elevator back to the top". There are, however, a couple of landings on the stairway for you to stop and catch your breath and nobody's rushing you out. If you're of average physical shape (and wearing the proper shoes), you won't have any problems and it is so worth it to see what lies beneath the surface.
The concert itself was performed by Harpeth Rising, a folk band with what seemed to me to be a hint of Celtic flair (I'd hate for them to read that if I'm wrong!). Most of what they performed were original songs, but there were a few covers of well-known pieces, each with their own unique spin to the composition. It was a wonderful show and truly amazing to see so much talent in a band with just three members. Each one of them were singing and playing multiple instruments simultaneously with their hands and their feet. We had guitar, banjo, violin, cello, tambourine, two different kinds of drums, and even cowbell. Yup, cowbell. Do yourself a favor and check these ladies out because this isn't the first time they've played at the cave and I'm sure it won't be their last.
And because I'm a sucker for everything instrumental, here's an amazing clip for you (posted with permission from Cave Without a Name).
We ended our date night at Peggy's on the Green where we enjoyed a nightcap and, of course, dessert. There was live music outside on the patio, but our carriage was quickly turning back into a pumpkin so we made our way home.
What a fantastic local date night this turned out to be! Don't ever let anyone tell you that there's nothing to do on a small town Saturday night...and if they do, just tell them they need to come to Boerne. Or on second thought, maybe don't. 😉
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