Tribeza’s Guide to the Fall Round Top Antiques & Design Show
Take a road trip from Austin to Round Top this October to shop this famed antiques and design mecca
Aligning with Tribeza’s architecturally themed issue, we debut our guide to the phenomenon of Round Top. The Fall 2023 Round Top Antiques & Design Show unveils October 14 through 28, and 100,000 home-design, antiques, art and style seekers will descend upon the charming historic hamlet of Round Top (population 88) and surrounding towns, flocking from across the country.
With 20-plus miles of antiques and design venues and a half-century tradition of a storied show, this is Mecca for designers, as well as a draw for savvy influencers and those seeking an escape to the country — all a mere 90 minutes from Austin. Much of the life of Round Top year-round revolves around this 19th-century German community’s three squares — Henkel, Rolland and Minden — and town center. All need to be on your Round Top radar, come showtime.
There are venues that line miles and miles of Texas Highway 237. Every Round Top veteran has on their list The Original Round Top Antiques Fair (October 23 – 28) the show that started it all, founded by Emma Lee Turney in 1968, and its sister property, Blue Hills (October 14 – 28). Venture to designer fave Marburger Farm Antique Show (October 24-28), the most curated venue of all, where you’ll sight such tastemakers as Liz Lambert, Jenna Lyons and Kelly Wearstler combing through treasures.
At Henkel Square, investigate these buzzy new stops: famed Western retailer Kemo Sabe’s first Texas outpost, facing the newly expanded Humble Donkey Studio and Lower40 Found Objects, and Merritt Meat Company, brought to you by the folks who own Truth Barbeque. Every trip to Round Top must include Ellis Motel, the local watering hole that is not a motel at all. Look for vintage fashion (Dior, YSL, Vuitton and more) at Modern Marla. Pick up sweets treats at Lollitop Sweetshop and Royers Pie Haven (its Henkel pie stop is the cousin of the iconic taste of Round Top, Royers Cafe on Main Street).
The design crowd beelines to Round Top Antiques & Design Center, holding court at Henkel Square. Henkel’s Mill & Live Oak Building is home to Southern Beasts, with its fresh take on beautiful vintage fabrics transformed into taxidermy, as well as Sapana, a haven for handwoven textiles from India and Nepal translated into coats, quilts and totes. Across the street, Lulu’s Restaurant and Il Cuculo at Lulu’s bar are the place for a cultivated experience — L.A. meets “La Dolce Vita” à la Round Top.
On an antiques quest? Stop by The Georgie Rose, with its focus on European finds, textiles and artisan-crafted objects. Before you leave the town center, recharge and revive at Mill Street Café for healthy fare including smoothies, salads and gluten-free baked goodies.
Also recommended: Minden Square for a cold one and delightful bites at nano-brewery and taphouse Round Top Brewing, followed by retail therapy at Townsend Provisions for Americana, memorable town-branded merch and vintage cowboy boots, and Tré for the Gathering for distinctive tabletop. Rolland Square is a good bet for caffeine libations at Round Top Coffee Shop and dining destination The Garden Co. — Feed & Firewater with its spectacular tree-lined patio and bucolic vistas. Score a perfect Round Top bag at Curate by Stash, an ode to made-in-Texas leather goods.
We never miss The Compound, developed by Mayor Mark Massey, with its handsome barns; newcomer Jardin de France for pedigreed antique European garden furniture and plantings; and Cisco Village, founded by the late furniture maker Cisco Pinedo of the handcrafted furniture empire Cisco Home. The 550 Market is home to Rockabilly Baroness’ fabulous ranch wear and two exciting new arrivals: antiques and interiors destination Martin Driskill (stocking Farrow & Ball) and Viva Denverado, fashion-forward retail from the town’s music impresario, Denverado. It’s part of a complex that includes beloved and reborn eatery/drinkery The Stone Cellar with intimate Jon Perez Lounge, Round Top Dance Hall and clubby private watering hole The Mark.
Then there’s Paul Michael’s recently expanded Market Hill — double its size, thanks to a sparkling new 125,000-square-foot space brimming with unique purveyors including Susan Horne Antiques, Vincent Peach, M. Naeve, Shabby Slips, Moxie Interiors, Architectural Artifacts, The Select Pick, Urban Vintage and more. Directly across 237, you’ll find The Arbors, whose splendid tents stock home goods, fashion, jewelry and antiques.
Finally, check out The Halles, World HQ (wink) for PaperCity magazine and Round Top Publishers, with its design-focused lineup including featured artist George Sellers, creator of neoclassical busts and columns (and fave of Lady Gaga), plus a pop-up by celebrated Dallas luxury retailer Forty Five Ten.
Save these dates:
- Hatmaker of renown Teressa Foglia at Marburger and the dramatically expanded Horseshoe venue joined by curated friends on Monday, October 23.
- Friday, October 20, the Dance Hall stages its sizzling Round Top Runway featuring couture Western wear on the catwalk set to music by Western Jelly.
- Round Top Dance Hall hosts a classic Texas lineup of musicians including Gary P. Nunn — composer of the Lone Star anthem “London Homesick Blues” — on Saturday, October 21.
- Speaking of fashion, Lela Rose of the eponymous brand is honored at The Halles Designer Dinner Sunday, October 22, followed by a talk and book signing Monday, October 23.
- Partake in Blue Hills’ Dinner in the Hayfield prepared by Houston restaurateur chef Victor Torres of Eloise Nichols (Saturday, October 14; Friday, October 20; Tuesday, October 24).
- Bader Ranch’s foodie dinners return with chef in-residence Nick Middleton Pacheco of Y Comida crafting a Shopping Shindig dinner party Tuesday, October 24, followed by a late-night fashion extravaganza.
- Head to Cisco Village for the second installment of its Western Vintage Fashion Show Thursday, October 19, benefiting the gardens and grounds of one of the world’s top music conservatories, Round Top’s own Festival Hill.
- Wrap your country-time adventure disco-style at Zapp Hall on Thursday, October 26, with Apocalyptic Disco: Beyond Thunderdome Alley; and dive into dance fever Friday, October 20, again at Zapp Hall, when local celeb Denverado hosts an ’80s Night Dance Party that’s not for the tame-hearted.
VIP Tour of Round Top: Also, take note that you can join two of Round Top’s most seasoned experts, Interior Stylist, Leah Ashley and Interior Designer, Claire Zinnecker for a VIP tour through the best of Round Top. Their Round Top Shopping Tour takes place on October 22 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Learn more & sign up.
For much more info, visit our sister publication RoundTop by PaperCity.