Comments : 28

DISCLOSURE- This is a very very long post with a ton of pictures- take a little coffee/wine break to enjoy….

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Hi ya’ll, I am back from Nashville/Franklin and let me tell you…..it was perfect! I am still on a high and getting to channel my inner Southern belle reminded me that there is NO WHERE like the South. I might physically be back here in NY but my heart is back in Nashville.

What a fabulous place! From the showhouse to our hotel to the charming towns, amazing restaurants, and mostly the warm, gracious people….no wonder Nashville is one of the ten fastest growing cities in the country! Not surprised one bit, I could live there in a heartbeat.

There is so much to share and tell you about that I decided to do this in two posts. I will not post my usual Seven on Sunday tomorrow so that I can post part 2 which will be all about the showhouse  and will resume Seven on Sunday next weekend.

Where to start? Well being asked to be the honorary chairperson for the O’More Showhouse was indeed an honor. It totally validates what I do and was the ultimate compliment. Thank you Joanne Haynes for not only inviting me and bestowing this honor upon me but for being the maestro to what I would consider one of the best done showhouses I have seen. Period! Click here for info, it’s on for two weeks and if you can, you simply must go!

Three great friends and myself (we turned this into a girls trip) left for Nashville on May 10th and arrived to the most gorgeous historic iconic hotel, The Hermitage. I  thank my wonderful talented dream travel agent, Sandy of You Must Be Wandering for making all the arrangements (if you have a trip in your future by all means contact her)

I was a little nervous about it being ‘tired” as so many old hotels are but let me tell you from the minute we walked in….it was opulent but understated elegance all the way. With some of the most hospitable hotel staff I have ever encountered..topped off with gorgeous rooms and incredibly comfortably beds (very important) complete with Frette sheets! It was perfect not to mention arriving to a bottle of champagne (sent by a dear reader/customer) to congratulate me was a beautiful way to get things kicked off!

We had a wonderful breakfast and spent the day touring all over the place, lunch at Adele’s, getting to walk in and out of several bars/restaurants (every meal so good, a definite foodie’s town) with live music all along Broadway (that was such a treat) went to the 12th St shopping district and got to see the darling shop Draper James (Reese Witherspoon), stopped by to the Belmont Plantation/Mansion and of course went to Ryman Hall where there is a lineup of concerts that rivals any major cities venue…wow!

So much to see and do and we did a bit of everything before we headed the next day to Franklin, here are my highlights (many highlights) Do not read this standing up, grab a seat and a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and take it all in…..LOTS of pictures here!

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First the amazing Hermitage Hotel-

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Then out and about in town-

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Lots of blue and white at Draper James including the darling dressing rooms (above)

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Love those blue doors and these blue chairs gave me an idea for PB…LOVE!

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You gotta love a store that not only thinks about pets but thinks about them in blue and white:)

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Lots of other great places for some “retail therapy”….

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And along Broadway-

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Thanks Chef Dave:)

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How cute are the musical notes bikeracks!

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Got to hear lots of great voices!

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Moving along to Fraklin/Leiper’s Fork-

Franklin would be the picture next to the words “perfect charming town” if there were one in the dictionary. I would liken it as a Greenwich,CT meets a small Charleston/Savannah with a topping of Mayberry….ultra charming, upscale, truly picture perfect.

For anyone interested in more info found this great article this morning over at the NY Times click here (worth the read)

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Fell so in love with this awning above as we waltzed in and out of the most charming shops

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The next day one of my amazingly kind “mayors of the city” readers/customers was so kind to take us on the most fabulous tour of the famous Leipers Fork where so many celebs live (Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Justin Timberlake, Vince Gill, Taylor Swift, it goes on). This area is a DREAM. Seriously I was ready to  move, the most spectacular countryside I have ever seen dotted with some of the most spectacular farms/homes I have ever seen, jaw dropping beautiful! Here is just a taste…..

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I was totally fascinated by these incredible stone walls that line the roadways, the history is as fascinating as they are beautiful. These are “dry stack walls” built without any mortar and this is all part of the famous Tennessee Trail where you can trace the steps of Indians back to the 1800’s….totally fascinating!

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Every single road int his region looks just like this- breathtaking!

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This amazing wall of stone was built by the Indians along the Natchez Trail (no mortar) and is still standing!!

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And there is one spectacular home after another…..

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Had lunch at The Country Boy where you might see Carrie Underwood or Vince Gill having lunch or breakfast right next to the local folks..

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But this one below my friends,  is where I think I could easily move and never look back:)

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Then we all had lunch in the historic and uber charming Leiper’s Fork and I fell in love with one place in particular, here is a sampling of what we saw….

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The shop Serenite Mason is amazing, she has a  beautiful eye and a spectacular way of merchandising, I could have stayed there for hours!

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But THIS little place is the one I fell in love with…. the David Arms gallery is where I left my heart, oh my word…what a most beautiful gallery/shop which was set up in an old barn. It just envelopes you in a most beautifully elegant rustic way. Just an incredibly well curated shop/gallery.

Pictures cannot do it justice but when you walk in…it just takes you to another place not to mention he is INCREDIBLY talented and I hope to own one of his works one day soon. It is worth the trip just to go to this wonderful gallery-

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Step inside-

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Is this original oil not unbelievable!!

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These originals were sold (above) but these were giclees, so fabulous!

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I love this sign “There is a crack in everything, that’s for the light to get in”….ahhh to see the beauty in everything, right on David!

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Well, friends hopefully this is the next best thing to having been there!! Yes I do believe in taking lots and lots of pictures. Thank you Ann for this most wonderful tour/lunch! Now here’s my recommendations ya’ll……

TO STAY-

The Hermitage This ultra elegant hotel is like going back in time with all of today’s moderns amenities Just spectacular main lobby, very spacious, large elegantly appointed rooms, incredibly comfy beds with Frette sheets, wonderful restaurants, spa, gym, and fantastic locations.

This is most certainly the Grande dame of Nashville hands down. I would love to be back in June for the country music awards, when they will really be hopping but it’s been booked for almost a year:) A special shout out to JR and Bruce, both who went above and beyond the call of duty and made our stay as wonderful as it could have been…you guys are awesome!

RESTAURANTS-

We loved Adeles for lunch, you can go healthy or not but it was a fun and lively atmosphere, great, convenient location

The Farmhouse – Smaller, health conscious, farm to table…smaller plates, but very good and adorable atmosphere

5th and Taylor-Loved this place. went for dinner, felt like an old airplane hanger, we all had great meals and the atmosphere is fun with a great energy. Daniel Lindley the head chef has received FIVE James Beard nominations..no surprise!

M.- Loved it here, a eclectic twist on Southern food, heck yea! We loved everything we ate, and it’s no wonder it has received many awards. Chef Dave could not have been nicer, brought out an amazing slab of desserts for us and even a car service back to the hotel. Thanks Chef Dave! And one of my readers who is well connected was sure we got the VIP treatment and we most certainly did:)

Red Pony (in Franklin)  Sophisticated Southern indeed! A fantastic choice, that was recognized by the James Beard Foundation…every single dish was a home run.

ACTIVITIES-

We hardly did it all and if only we had a few more days:) Nashville is booming and the two tours we tried to get into were booked for the next two weeks so we did some on foot and drove around.

If you will be in the area in the next weeks run do’t walk to the O’More Showouse, yes it’s that good. So much talent under one roof, this is one of the best showhouses I have been to period. And I am not saying it because I was involved!  (more on that tomorrow)

Waltzing down the famous Broadway which is dotted with endless little cafes/bars/restaurants almost all that feature day and night live music. That was such fun to get to hear so many singers, and so many talented ones to boot. I loved going into the shops that sold the cowboys boots and hats…never have seen so many under one roof!

Of course stopping by the original Ryman Theater and Country Music Hall of Fame , also Johnny Cash Museum (we did not go but you know it’s gotta be good)!

Visiting Belle Meade Plantation

The 12 South shopping district, another great little area that has some wonderful shops including Draper James which was adorable and so “Reese” I especially loved her liberal use of blue and white…..of course:)

Driving to Franklin (about 25-30 min) and having lunch downtown/shopping and then driving the Natchez Trail into Leipers Fork

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Homestead Manor

In Franklin/Leipers Fork-

Inspirations on Main

Scarlett Scales Antiques

The Registry

David Arms

Serenite Mason

The West and Company

The Copper Fox  Where they feature only locally made arts and crafts, so much talent!

Country Boy Restaurant (where you just might see Keith and Nicole waltz in seated next to a local farmer) yep that’s how they roll……plus we even got to try for the first time fried green pickles!! And they were good:)

Puckett’s a local favorite, which gets mighty lively at night, music, food, anything goes!

By all means be sure you drive along the Natchez Trail..it is spellbindingly beautiful!

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Well friends needless to say I had a grand ol time…it honestly could not have been better, everything from start to finish was just perfect. I hope I was able to successfully capture the flavor of this amazing experience. On days they called for major storms, we only got a short burst of rain and then the sun came out, it was like someone above was watching over us to insure all went as smooth as a bowl of shrimp  and grits.

I cannot recommend a trip to Nashville/Franklin enough. So much so that I am talking to my husband about a quick trip there sooner than later, as I know he would love it. To my friends thank YOU for coming along and celebrating with me, it would not have been the same without you by my side. You seriously are the best!!

A special thanks-

Above all the natural beauty, the wonderfully curated shops, the winding storybook roads, majestic gorgeous homes and farms, the outstanding restaurants,  it is the people of Nashville/Franklin who make it what it is. It almost brings tears to my eyes to think of how kind and gracious everyone was…..I felt so happy to have been able to experience that even for 4 short days.

I cannot thank each and every one of you enough from shopkeepers to waiters, to the amazing hotel staff and all those involved in the show house (especially the doyenne of it all Joanne Haynes) to Susan who sent me a bottle of champagne to my room, to Ann, the most amazing friend/tour guide, it goes on…..I hope one day you will allow me to reciprocate the kindnesses you bestowed upon me and my friends. I will be forever grateful and hold this special trip near and dear to my heart forever. Thank goodness I have all these pictures to reflect back on. Until we meet again Nashville……

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow, the gorgeous Showhouse!! (click here for info)
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Francie on

Love how much you enjoyed your time in my town, and it was great to meet you at the Show House. Come back soon!

elizabeth on

Dear Tina, I am so happy you enjoyed your stay here. It was so much fun to finally get to meet the beautiful girl behind the blog! You are as pretty as you are warm and gracious, just like I expected and hoped.
I love your powder room and agree that the whole showhouse was really well done. Next time you are here, give us some notice, I would love to arrange a small dinner or lunch in your honor! Also you will have to go to Sinema (one of our favorites) and for breakfast you must go to Biscuit Love, you would love it.
Elizabeth (the one who came twice)

Emily on

Tina, thanks for all the photos, you have me making plans to to visit this area soon since I haven’t been there in a while. I had planned to drive up and hoped to meet the lady that has renewed my love for blue and white but as timing would have it I was headed south to the beach. So glad you enjoyed your trip down south, it is a wonderful place to call home. I look forward to seeing part two tomorrow. Great post!

Leslie @PrettyPetals on

Tina, you had me smiling this morning with all these pictures (love your endless energy)!! Congratulations on your nomination! You’ve earned that for sure;) We are planning a Nashville trip soon ~ hopefully within the next 6 months or so. I am saving this post and will use it as a guide! I’ve heard the food and music is great and I’ve can’t wait to see Draper James. Aren’t those totes adorable? Nashville has become a vacation destination and I can’t wait to go. Thanks for sharing your trip photos!

Denise Schnitzer on

I went to school in Nashville and it’s always been one of my favorite towns ! So glad you enjoyed it.

franki on

WOW o WOW…now I need a navy blue saddle!!! Looking forward to tomorrow’s inSTALLment!! franki

Karen T. on

Thanks for visiting my state! The Nashville/Franklin area is indeed beautiful and vibrant! I have family there. Guess it’s time for a little vacay 🙂

Gayle on

Great post! I can’t wait to visit. The quote is by Leonard Cohen, from a wonderful song!

Sherry on

Such a treat! This post was grand! I attended college in Nashville, and I met my sweet husband there! Loved the beautiful city from the time I first saw it! So, I enjoyed your tour down memory lane. Thank you. I look forward to seeing the show house. Can’t wait!

Donna R on

Tina, I’m so disappointed I didn’t get by the Showcase Home to personally meet you. I’m proud beyond measure how you have showcased my town, Franklin, Tn. We are VERY blessed indeed to call Tennessee our home! And your absolutely correct, it is the people that make Nashville great! I’m happy you enjoyed your stay and now you know why I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Y’all come back soon.

Lori Scott on

Dear Tina, I am your blog & shop stalker (;o)) from Grand Cayman and this is my first comment! I lived in Nashville for 9 years as a child and have an aunt who lives there and I told her she must go to the show house after you posted about it. I was reading your post today and knew I recognized that artwork. My aunt has one of his paintings in her home and I just called her to confirm that and caught her eating at a restaurant in Franklin on the way to the show house. Anyways thanks for pre planning my itinerary for my next visit! So many fabulous suggestions.

I love your blog – it’s a little peaceful moment in my day as a busy mom.

Sending sunny smiles from the tropics! Lori

Lily on

Fabulous post! Loved every picture.

Mary on

What a lovely post and oh my goodness, the photos!! What a treat to see Nashville through your eyes. When I was a child, riding down these beautiful roads to visit my grandparents, I always believed that Middle Tennessee was the garden of Eden. I think your photos captured that feeling beautifully. Even now, as an adult living outside Nashville, I still am awed by the beauty of the countryside. Can’t wait to read part 2. And ya’ll come back.

Weezie on

I was born and raised in Nashville and ,yes, it is a beautiful town with warm, hospitable people. If you are interested in staying in the Franklin/Leipers Fork area vs. downtown Nashville, there is a wonderful home on VRBO called the Franklin Battlefield Inn. My sister, who lives just past Leipers Fork, lovingly and painstakingly restored her husband’s birthplace/family home into a rental home. She laughingly refers to it as the FBI. It is within walking distance to the Square/shops and restaurants. So far all or most all of the reviews have been 5 star. Another upscale restaurant to try in Downtown Nashville is called Etch. Anyone wanting Southern fried chicken, country ham and biscuits and homemade preserves must make time to eat at Loveless Caf?, which has been around for over 50 years. Lastly, Franklin is picture perfect at Christmas time!

Donna Clark on

Being southern born and bred here, we all know the secrets of living in the gorgeous South here and why so many people from other regions of the country want to come live in our beautiful South! That being said, it always amazes us when those people marvel at our lifestyles and beautiful countryside as if they didn’t expect that we do indeed live so well in the South. We have come a long way since the Civil War!?

Kathy on

Where is your travel agent located. We are planning a Nashville trip in November and would like someone to preplan part of our trip and reservations for entertainment.

AMy on

Hi what a fantastic post! I lived in Nashville for most of my life until I moved to Atlanta for business- my mother-in-law was able to stop by and meet you I’m not sure if you remember her, Susan we are both big fans!

She sent me a picture of the two of you together and she said you are not only very pretty but are as sweet as sugar. So glad you loved your trip- hope you will get back there soon. Enjoy your blog very much Tina , keep up the great work!

Sherry on

Beautiful photos. Never been to Nashville ,but now this is a must. I can tell with all the shops and restaurants, I will need lots of cash because this is a major shopping trip lol !

ApRil on

Pictures are fabulous. Makes me want to get back for a visit.
Beautiful Nashville. Will never forget all its wonderment. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Leslie on

So glad you loved Franklin!! One of my favorite places close by to enjoy! Love the Iron Gate and you will have to try Moe’s Original BBQ in Franklin–one of our favorites– or Gray’s on Main for breakfast when you are back. Too many fabulous shops off the beaten path in Franklin to begin to list. Come again!! You are always most welcome in our part of the South!

Leona on

Once again……….THANK YOU…..from the bottom of my heart for taking me on a magical ride to the south. I am soon in love with Southern Homes. I loved all the “eye candy” shops you posted. I have no doubt that some inspiration for your second home came from this trip. I will keep all your thought of staying there under my pillow of dreams.

carol H on

Tina,

What a great post!! We visit Nashville/Franklin 4 times a year but we haven’t seen a third of what you managed to squeeze into your visit. My sister lives in Franklin – so I’m sending her your blog post. I can’t wait to visit in the fall and head to some of the restaurants/shops you mention. Thanks for all the pictures and details!

elizabeth@pineconesandacornsblog on

Tina this looks like a fabulous trip with the girls. I am in awe of all of the fabulous shopping! And those paintings!!! I cannot wait to see more.

Pretty Pink Tulips on

I think you may have single handedly boosted Nashville’s tourism with this post…b/c I’m dying to go now!!! I have a friend whose daughter will be starting at Vanderbilt in the Fall and I might just have to tag along some time.

My grandfather went to Vanderbilt Medical School and my mom went to Peabody, which was absorbed into Vandy. I don’t know why I haven’t been back since my cousin’s wedding nearly 20 years ago!!! Time to get me to Nashville. Good thing I know exactly what to do now.

xoxo E

Michele@hellolovely on

what an amazing trip! i love nashville, tina. in another life, i went with my sisters every spring to basically hang out with music executives, attend award shows, and dance at afterparties. it was such a fun chapter! franklin is def my favorite, and if you ever have the opportunity to be at the governor’s mansion (i think that’s what it was called), you must. a few of us had dinner and then living room concert with michael w smith and discovered the place is haunted! give me a heads up next time you’re headed there, and i’ll cruise over. 🙂

Sandy @ you may be wandering on

Ahhhh…Tina, I feel like I have been transported to Nashville with this post! Your photos are stunning! I am so happy you loved the hotel (and thank you so much for the shout out!) Now I NEED to get to Nashville! And, next time we need to get you to Blackberry Farm. Enjoy the rest of your week!! xoxo

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