Savory – and sweet – samples at the Mercer Museum

What better place to have a party than the Mercer Museum? The Doylestown landmark is known for its early American collection of artifacts and its grand concrete building, all the creation of Henry Chapman Mercer. Now, with the new wing open its even more grand and the setting for the 34th Annual Savory Sampler, a benefit for the Mercer and Fonthill Museums.

We went last year for the first time and I was totally unprepared. As you wander through the museum, glowing with soft lighting, tables of food greet you at every turn. Restaurants like Earl’s Bucks County, Marsha Brown, McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn, the Joseph Ambler Inn, Vine & Fig Tree Bistro and more offer samples of their best. Imagine looking one moment at an early American kitchen utensil and the next at mini-cupcakes or artisanal ice cream. Everyone is dressed up for this black-tie event, and even the drinks – including a surprise signature drink – are available for the asking. It’s fun. And it’s all for a great cause.

I spoke with Jane Mitchell, chair of the event, to find out what’s special this year. The new wing, of course, is a big focus with it’s beautiful, airy Great Hall where the Patrons’ Preview Party will be held. The museum’s façade will be lit up with a spectacular light show. Barefoot Wines, Pravda Vodka and Philadelphia Distilling, which produces vodka, gin and other spirits, all distilled in Pennsylvania, will be pouring this year (local vodka – I’m all for that), as will Chaddsford Winery and Sand Castle Winery. A gilded harvest theme adds a touch of elegance to the event, as do the decorations by local florists and garden centers, all of which transform the museum for the evening. Dancing music this year is by the local favorite band, Where’s Pete?

Who else will be serving tasty things? Doug’s Cakes, The Lucky Cupcake Company, Goodnoe’s, oWowCow Creamery for desserts. Cafe Alessio, Café Underground, Genevieve’s, Memorable Affairs Catering, TASTE by the Sand Castle Winery, The Waterwheel Restaurant, and Wegmans for savory samples.

If you’re interested in attending, see the museums’ website to buy tickets, call 215.345.0210, ext. 132 or stop by the museum. The Patrons’ Party begins at 7 pm, the main party begins at 7:30 pm.  The Mercer Museum is located at 84 South Pine Street in Doylestown and is open for viewing seven days a week, with or without savory samples.

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