Dec 23, 2014

48 Hours in Nashville

By some stroke of luck (ok, and deliberate planning), I was able to spend a few days (or 48 hours, to be exact) in Nashville for the second time this year. I must say, going in December is far more pleasant than being there in the thick of summer when you could cut the air with a knife. While a lot of the places I visited this time weren't necessarily new to me, since I was on a work trip the first time, I was able to enjoy everything in a different context this time around. But in short, I love spending time in Nashville and hope this mini-guide will be helpful for anyone who plans on visiting soon. [Disclaimer – if you're looking for music recommendations, I'm afraid this isn't the guide for you. If you're looking to eat well, read on!]

We drive straight to Pinewood Social after landing at BNA. You won't find a space like this in NYC. The place is massive with multiple seating areas and a bowling alley in the back. Along with the Pot Roast Hash and Buckwheat Waffles, we try a Windsor Fleet, a cortado with bergamot, vanilla, and demerara – surprisingly good. We finish and grab more coffee to go.

We make the 14-mile drive south to Loveless Cafe on Highway 100. This Nashville classic known for its biscuits and thick cuts of country ham is well worth the trek (if you can even call it that). Four of some of the best biscuits in Tennessee for under $3.00 with your pick of jam? Again, you ain't finding that in NYC.

We find ourselves taking a little detour to historic downtown Franklin, just another 20 minutes southeast of Loveless. We walk through the holiday fair and some of the cute small businesses lining Main Street.

We're back in Nashville shopping our way through Imogene + Willie, where it's a sight for sore eyes all around. I bought a pair of jeans from them back in June and they're still some of the most comfortable I've ever had.

To cure a serious case of hanger, we head to Hattie B's Hot Chicken. What is widely considered as Nashville's signature dish, hot chicken is pan-fried chicken in a skillet with a cayenne pepper-paste, which gives it that brick red skin. The wait can be long, but it's worth it. I get a side of greens for balance of course.

We check in to The 404 Hotel, one of the only real boutique hotels in Nashville we could find. There are only five rooms, and each has a loft space with a seating area. I love the mix of modern design and vintage furniture, but the only real downside is the lack of natural light in the rooms. There's a narrow window near the top of the room, but that's about it. I do, however, appreciate the extra-roomy bathrooms and soft towels. We digest our hot chicken as fast as we can.

Dinner is at City House over in Germantown. Open since 2007, this was one of, if not, the restaurant that kickstarted the new wave of restaurants in Nashville. Pizza and pastas highly advised, but save room for desserts.

For a nightcap, we find ourselves at Patterson House. It's a beautiful space and a quiet way to end the night. The cocktail menu is lengthy and there's something for everyone. Had our trip not fallen on a Sunday-Tuesday, our first dinner would have likely been at The Catbird Seat, which sits above Patterson House.

First things first. Coffee. We head to East Nashville for the original location of Barista Parlor. The space used to be an old transmission shop, so it's super open and a bit warehouse-y feeling. We chow down on a biscuit with ham, egg, cheese, and chile-infused maple syrup. Not complaining about that.

I am excited to visit Elizabeth Suzann's studio and try on some of her clothing in person. I had admired a number of her pieces online and it was great to meet Elizabeth herself. I pick up these (crazy) pants and sweater.

We're not remotely hungry, but we man up and head to lunch at Husk. Located in an 1895-era house in downtown, Husk Nashville is the second location of chef Sean Brock's acclaimed restaurant in Charleston. We have a little reverse price shock at the lunch menu and have a total eyes-bigger-than-stomach moment. We order, like, 80% of the menu and watch table after table get turned over as we continue to stuff our faces. (Only half of the food we had is pictured here.)

Regret. Pain. Must unbutton jeans. And I need more coffee. Since my last visit, a second location of Barista Parlor in the Gulch opened up, so we check it out. I'm sipping my cortado in a dire food coma when I bump into Tiffany, which makes that the second accidental time seeing her in Nashville (when the girl doesn't live there either!). It's a very small town.

We attempt to get hungry (come on, metabolism). We visit a few more shops, like White's Mercantile and Cadeau, both well-curated shops with a great selection of homewares and gifts.

Still reeling from lunch, we head to Rolf & Daughters, where we meet up with the lovely Chelsea of Fenway Journal. We start easy and just have a few drinks, which are all cleverly named, so you're ordering something like a 'Silence of the Lambrusco' or a 'Nothing Camparis 2 U' (well, I got a real kick out of them). Don't miss the pastas here.

We end our night at Pinewood Social with Ferraris (Fernet and Campari, that is) and dessert. Please don't ask me how many calories were consumed this day.

One final coffee before our flight back to NYC. Crema is my other go-to for coffee in Nashville (they also provide the coffee at Pinewood Social). Until next time, Nashville!


  1. Oh these are beautiful photos, Alice. Looks like so much fun! :)

  2. looks like an awesome food adventure. I'm amazed at how you much you ate in 48 hours! :D

  3. Love this timeline :)

  4. Yeah, so I need to hop on a plane and get to Nashville immediately...

  5. That sounds like an awesome 48 hours in Nashville. I've was only there once, but I had a great time.The food there is excellent!

  6. I have always wanted to visit, and it is on my list of to-go places as soon as I make it back to the US for the next adventure. Lovely composition of images x

  7. I was surprised at how much I loved Nashville as well! If you do go back and want to go to a honky tonk for some music, you have to check out Robert's Western World! Cool music and vibe.

  8. I love how your trip revolved around food! :)