In 1744, a brick tavern began pouring brews on the edge of the Patapsco River. James and Andrew Ellicott bought the establishment in 1810 and added a stately home for their family. More than a century later, when Daniel and Steve Wecker discovered the former Ellicott property in 1988, it had fallen into disrepair. But, seeing the promise in the neglected building and its surrounding 16 acres of flourishing linden, holly, and magnolia trees, the brothers convinced the state of Maryland to lease them the property. Together, they restored the rooms and much of the original 18th- and 19th-century craftsmanship, transforming it into what is now The Elkridge Furnace Inn. Today, guests walk over original longleaf-pine flooring and admire the stairway’s tiger-maple spindles and the molding’s Colonial-style dogwood motifs on their way to the historic dining room, whose atmosphere helped earn the restaurant a spot among OpenTable's 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the country.
The restaurant’s lavish French cuisine plays no small part in its success, garnering laudations and media attention from the likes of the Washington Post. Daniel Wecker takes the helm in the kitchen as executive chef, burying game meats—such as rabbit and quail—and fresh seafood beneath rich glazes and beurre blanc sauces. When faced with too many choices from an encyclopedic wine list, diners can consult the menu for recommended vintages to pair with their dish.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up sprawls over 11,000 square feet of play areas and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings that populate the indoor arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts mandating dessert for breakfast. The ascending wall of the Vertical Rush challenges climbers with a hump-shaped obstacle, whereas attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun. A calendar of events details dates and times for open play and lectures on refinancing mortgages on family treehouses.
A stack of pumpkins, a penguin, and a Barbie doll rarely share an origin story, but the pastry chefs at SugarBakers Cakes have hand-crafted all three from moist cake and frosting. They create cakes that range from classic carrot cakes to lifelike 3D confections, incorporating ingredients such as chocolate mousse, lemon curd, and coconut pecan icing. Honored by The Knot, WeddingWire, and four other establishments for their 2013 wedding cakes, the chefs can tailor their designs to suit a wedding’s unique theme or a reception venue.
One of the largest furniture retailers in the country, RoomStore offers furnishings for all tastes and budgets. Browse elegantly practical seating for the dining room such as a Manhattan side chair with a faux leather seat ($129.99) or a Hancock bench, a classic medieval trestle form that welcomes soul sacks with dignity ($199.99), like the moon welcomes a handsome astronaut. Bedroom pieces are sturdy beauties, such as the Montpelier nightstand ($199.99), that have matching mirrors ($75+) to boast your own beauty. A selection of kids’ furniture, accent tables, and armoires proves RoomStore's forest of furnishings has the makings to feather any nest, birdhouse, or airy loft apartment. Reliable delivery teams ensure furniture is placed and assembled in the preferred spot, be it on the roof or nestled inside a kitchen cupboard.
Gardiners Furniture offers a variety of traditional and contemporary furniture for living rooms, bedrooms, home offices, and more in its expansive storerooms. Outfit your living room with an in-vogue two-piece ottoman ($161) by Signature Design Rayanne and a Toscana rectangular cocktail table ($179) from Ashley Furniture. Or, replace unsightly metal with stately wood in your home office with an Ashley Furniture two-drawer file cabinet ($224). Other items include a traditional handsome wooden 3-drawer end table ($242) and a Heritage TV cart by Eagle Industries ($359), ideal for taunting the floating TVs of the future with what could have been.