10 Jul TRAVEL – Nashville: Wine, Women & Strings
I recently traveled to Nashville for a girls getaway trip with my Mom and to say we had a good time would be an understatement! In case you are planning a trip to Nashville in the near future I wanted to share a few of the highlights from our trip. Whether you are interested in the music history of Nashville, want to explore the culinary hot spots or just take in a show there is something for everyone.
The newest addition to the Nashville music scene is The Gallery of Iconic Guitars (The GIG). Home to the largest collection of vintage guitars in America, The GIG also happens to be one of the country’s best designed museums, where visitors can check out more than 500 string instruments, including a 39 Martin, a Gibson mandolin signed by Lloyd Loar, and a 1960 Les Paul Standard. GIG was designed by the Nashville-based Advent, one of the country’s leading an experiential design firms. The curved spaces and warm woodwork of the museum set off the cool lines of the instruments. If you time it right, you might just be there when the instruments come alive in the performance space when artists, including country legends like superstar artists Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs, pick them back to life. Take a quick tour by video here: https://vimeo.com/216065303
EAT & DRINK:
Looking for a delicious cocktail with some light fare before taking in a show or Predators hockey game? Check out Merchants Restaurant on Broadway in the heart of the action. They have 3 floors but we opted for the more casual bistro first floor and were not disappointed. If you ask for one of the window seats–they are the perfect place to people watch while you enjoy their southern cuisine. Definitely try the Baked Pimento Cheese or Double Deviled Eggs along with one of their creative cocktails or local brews. Dating back to the late 1880s this building was the home to many businesses and in the 1920s it was a hotel where many famous musicians stayed while performing in Nashville.
Looking for fine dining in the music city? There is no shortage of upscale dining in Nashville so, with just a few nights, I chose to go to the highly recommended Etch Restaurant. Chef Deb Paquette is the brains behind the deliciousness that awaits you at Etch. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Deb not only has over 30 years of experience but was also the first woman in TN to qualify as a certified executive Chef. We started the meal with her roasted cauliflower that I still dream of to this day which was followed by the scallops with porcini & caramelized onion farro. The wine list is notable with great bottle selections and an impressive number of wine-by-the-glass choices too. The restaurant is walking distance from the Ryman and the honky tonks on Broadway as well as the Bridgestone Arena.
We attended a benefit concert called Georgia On My Mind at the historic Ryman Auditorium. The Grand Old Opry was housed at the Ryman Auditorium until it moved in the 1970s. The Ryman remains a must visit while in Nashville as it is the heart of the downtown music scene. Built in the late 1880s as a place of worship it was transformed in the 1920s to what some refer to as the Carnegie of the South. The Ryman has been home to music greats like Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley and is also where Johnny Cash met June Carter. They offer tours daily so even if you can’t take in a show, you can still experience the Ryman!