Reynolda House, Gardens & Village

    Reynolda, the house and village, are named after R.J. Reynolds, but the story behind both is really a story about what a strong, determined woman can accomplish.

    Built in 1917 by Katharine Smith Reynolds, Reynolda house and farm were models of smart, sustainable agriculture, land use and preservation, as well as modern food production and sanitation. The house is now the Reynolda Museum of American Art. If you’re interested in reading more about the Reynolds, numerous publications are available through the Reynolda Museum Store.

    The art now displayed at Reynolda is worth the trip alone, but the house itself is fascinating. Like the Winchester House and Biltmore (on a smaller and much smaller – respectively – scale), it boasted modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure for its day. And many family items are on display, including Katharine’s wedding ensembles and children’s clothes.

    Spring or Summer are my favorite times to go because that’s when the extensive gardens, now Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University are coming to life or in full force.

    When a small group of us toured Reynolda Gardens, we were lucky enough to meet the Head Horticulturist (pictured below, to the left). He and his assistant showed us original garden plans. Very cool.

    Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University

    Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University

     Spring is also when the Village Farmers Market starts up on Fridays. This coming Spring (2013) will be its forth season.

    Reynolda Village Farmers Market

    Do I go anywhere without checking out a restaurant favored by locals?

    Reynolda Village, home of the Farmers Market mentioned above, is a cute spot for browsing boutique shops and a few eateries. Basically, the village is made up of cottages once used to house support services for Reynolda house and farm, similar to Biltmore Village in Asheville. See winter shots of Reynolda cottage-shops here. An overview from their website:

    The shops are housed in buildings which once supported the 1,067 acre estate of the R.J. Reynolds family. These buildings were modeled after an English Village and included dairy barns, a cattle shed, school, post office, smokehouse, blacksmith shop, carriage house, central power and heating plant as well as cottages to house the family’s chauffeur and stenographer, the village’s school master and the farm’s head dairyman and horticulturist. The buildings now house stores, restaurants, services, and offices.

    Simplyyummy, located in the far corner of Reynolda Village, is a “Cafe with full coffee bar and fresh baked goods. simplyummy offers organic coffee and teas, in-house made morning yummies and desserts, and light lunches.”


    Simplyyummy is housed in the original Blacksmith Forge. A section of the original business end of the forge has been exposed and remains so as a nod to the building’s history.


    This plaque hangs on the smoke-stained bricks, detailing the building’s history, including the name of the original blacksmith, Edward Dancy and a photo of visitors looking at the same wall decades ago.


    “A morning without coffee is like . . . SLEEP” – unknown author quoted on Simplyyummy’s “fix up your coffee” table’s front edge.


    Five of us met at Simplyyummy for breakfast. I wasn’t in the, “let me shoot all your breakfasts” mode, so I just have the picture of my granola/yogurt/fruit cup for you. See their current breakfast menu here. But remember, many restaurants do not keep their online menus updated.


    All in all, a trip to Reynolda is interesing, educational, and fun. It’s just about a 15 minute drive from downtown Winston-Salem, and makes for a great day trip from anywhere in the Triad or even Triangle areas.

    Reynolda House
    2250 Reynolda Rd
    Winston-Salem, NC 27106
    (336) 758-5150

    Reynolda Village Shops & Restaurants
    2201 Reynolda Rd
    Winston-Salem, NC 27106
    (336) 758-5584

    Village Facebook Page

    122 Reynolda Village
    Winston-Salem, NC 27106

    Simplyummy on Urbanspoon

    More on Katharine Smith Reynolds

    A slightly harsher view (interesting take) of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds