The Cotswolds

Will and I had the most magical time exploring the Cotswolds last month. After flying into London, we rented a car to head out to the British countryside. We drove on the opposite side of the road, and on the wrong side of the car- it was quite the adventure! Oh what a journey it was, and I loved every minute. We kicked off our time in The Cotswolds at Blenheim Palace (Will was in heaven). Being in the fields with the sheep was like a literal Thomas Kincaid moment (like those old puzzles and paintings)! The rest of the itinerary is below, and I assure you, if you’re considering an adventure to The Cotswolds, it won’t disappoint!

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Our first stop was at Blenheim Palace. My husband has been reading about Winston Churchill. We are both big fans of history, so this was such an amazing place to explore. While we were there, we were unable to go inside the palace because someone stole a golden toilet the night before! It was quite comical, but we still enjoyed every second of the grounds.

After leaving Blenheim, we went to Stow-on-the-Wold. It was the most quaint town. When you imagine the Cotswolds, this is a picture perfect town! We shopped around here all afternoon and then had a delightful Tea Time.

Lucy’s Tea Room has a tower of delectable treats. The building is just what you would dream up for your afternoon tea setting. We ate and drank entirely too much, but it was part of the fun!!

Cutter Brooks

The Cotwold Cheese Co.

St. Edward’s Church

Our Bed and Breakfast through Airbnb was something special. It was picturesque! The hosts, Ginny and Peter were delightful. We had a great stay and enjoyed every second of our time there.

Huxley’s in Chipping Campden for a warm, cozy, and delicious dinner.

There are lots of great antique stores throughout The Cotswolds. We stopped at a handful, and I cant remember all of their names, but Station Mill Antiques is one of them, off the beaten path.


New England

Since I was a teenager, I have had this random bucket list and one of the items was “Eat Lobster on Cape Cod”. So when I met Will, and we shared some of our bucket list items with each other, New England was one of those things we had in common. We both had this trip in mind we called our “Colonial States Trip”. Last December Will surprised me with plane tickets to Boston, and said I could plan everything else! Planning is one of my favorite parts, and luckily I had a follower who does it for a living. Beyond Beacon was so helpful in confirming ideas or answering questions I had. She knows her stuff about New England! With her help and some instagram trolling, I put together the trip we’d talked about for years. It was the perfect combination of structure and free exploring.

Salem and Rockport, Massachusetts

We flew into Boston and went straight to get our rental car, and drove to Salem.

Salem was such a neat town. I am a big Hocus Pocus fan, so the Witch Trials stop was a must. We drove over to see the Hocus Pocus house as well (Hocus Pocus House, 4 Ocean Ave, Salem, MA 01970).

We had lunch at Sea Level which is in the heart of Salem, this was where Will had his first New England oyster experience. The most fresh!

I can only imagine this place at Halloween, as it was quite the treat in May. We stopped in Olde Pepper Candy Store, and walked around town. The houses are marked with years they were built, and it is amazing to see the history.

We left Salem and drove to Rockport, Massachusetts, where we stayed in an airbnb right by the water.

The Lobster Pool, I repeat, The Lobster Pool. It was one of the most scenic and unique dinners I have ever had in my life. It was quite the experience. We drove up the street to a local store and grabbed a bottle of wine (it is byob). Will got a whole lobster with fries, I got a lobster roll with onion rings, and we split the blueberry pie. Let me mention that the blueberries in New England are amazing.

The Ice Cream Store is located in the heart of Rockport, and although it is touristy, it is a must. The tiny little store is right on the water and will definitely have a line out the door. it has been there forever.

One morning we walked the beach and had breakfast at Nate’s. I had the most delicious California Eggs Benedict, and Will got the Blueberry Lemon Pancakes. It’s tiny, so get there early.

Our last night in Rockport, we ventured over into Gloucester, which is the town from the movie The Perfect Storm. Major Fishermen town! We stumbled upon the best little pizza and oyster restaurant, Short and Main - it was as beautiful inside, as it was tasty.



Kennebunkport, Maine

We made a day trip up into Maine, and the drive was great. We drove through lots of little port towns and stopped in Newburyport along our way. We spent the majority of the day in Kennebunkport. This is a must if you’re going that direction.

We first parked near the Colony Hotel and then walked down the sidewalk of Walker’s Point (The Bush Estate). The church and grounds leading up to the point are so gorgeous. It would make for a great bike ride too! We headed back into town and ate lunch at The Clam Shack. We got there around 12:15 and the line was already crazy long. It is an iconic spot in town. The Lobster Rolls were delicious! There was also a cart where you could corder freshly squeezed lemonade. So good! After lunch we shopped around town and explored.


Boston, Massachusetts

When we left Rockport, it was Memorial Day, so we stopped in Lexington and Concord to see where the Revolutionary War “began”. This was a very neat experience, as they were doing soldier reenactments and honoring the fallen. It was so interesting to see the places you read about in books growing up. Once this stop was over, we drove down to Boston to spend a few days in the city. We did so much, I am listing it out below, but with that said, I feel as if we barely scratched the surface.

We stayed at the Boston Park Plaza. It was a great hotel and was central to everything.

Boston Public Garden

Quincy Market

Eataly

Dinner at Gaslight, the best little French place. The Escargot were delicious!

Boston Tea Party Museum

Bunker Hill and The USS Constitution 

Harvard Campus

MilkBar

Paul Revere Cemetery 

The State House 

We stopped at Omni Parker House for Boston Cream Pie. The pie originated here and the hotel is very historic! We ate lunch here one day and it is worth the stop. Supposedly JFK and Jackie got engaged here!

Red Sox Baseball Game, was so much fun! This was Will’s Utopia, and he loved every minute. It was a neat experience, and I enjoyed seeing the Big Green Monster.

 
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Cape Cod, Massachusetts

On our way out to the Cape, we stopped off at Plymouth Rock. Seeing the area was so eye opening. We went to the Mayflower museum.

When we arrived in Cape Cod, we were hungry for a bite, so we stopped at Hallets. This is a cute local Ice Cream Shop, Hallet’s. It has been there since 1889. We got BLT’s and Clam Chowder.

Our next stop, was to check-in at The Inn at Yarmouth Port, which was our bed and breakfast for the remainder of our trip. There aren’t enough words to describe how much we loved the inn. This was such an amazing experience! The Inn was by far, one of the best places we’ve ever stayed(we chose to stay in Yarmouth because it was the middle of the cape, I am so glad we did). There were warm cranberry and chocolate chip cookies waiting on us and the room was to die for. The breakfast was such a treat each morning. Kathleen whips up something fabulous, and we loved everything we ate. Kathleen and Chuck are amazing hosts. They go above and beyond!

After checking in, we headed over to Chatham to check out the town and see the light house. I recommend going to see Chatham Bars. It is quite the resort!

That first night, we had dinner at The Old Yarmouth Inn which is just down the street from out Bed and Breakfast. This place was established in 1696. It has a gorgeous traditional New England exterior, and is like something out of a story. The Lobster Bisque and Flourless Chocolate Cake were my favorites. I highly recommend!

Antique Center of Cape Cod, this is a mega antique store with so many lovely pieces. We explored in here for a while.

Lunch at Sesuit Harbor Cafe. So delicious! This is the kind of place that you imagine when you think of New England! It is a must on the cape.

We drove out to Province Town to see the tip of the cape. It was such a great drive and the protected land along the way was stunning. The dunes are the biggest I’ve ever seen. Did you know the Pilgrims actually docked outside Province Town before settling in Plymouth? Lobster Pot is a favorite spot and makes for a great photo op. On our way back, we stopped by Cahoon Hollow Beach, this was such a cool experience. This is the largest beach I’ve ever been on, and at one point, we were the only ones on it. We saw seals swimming the coast and turkeys in the brush as we drove back to Yarmouth.

Antiques by the Bay in Brewster, was a random little house with an Antique store in the back. I found some great oyster plates there that I took home with me!

Parnassus Book Service in Yarmouth. Will is a big reader, so this was quite the experience for him! This store was lined, floor to ceiling with books. You name it, they had it, and as old as you cam imagine. It was so interesting flipping through pages of books, like Mark Twain originals.

Yarmouth Bay for beach exploring. Hidden gem!

One night we laid low and it was one of the most fun evenings! We ordered a pizza and played scrabble while enjoying a bottle of wine. Kathleen had the radio on my favorite- Traditional Easy Listening and Jazz. The Cape is all about slowing down, and this was so relaxing.

On our last night on the Cape, we had dinner at a local spot called The Pheasant. It was such a cozy setting with delicious New England food.




 
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Nantucket

We did a day trip out to Nantucket, and it was wonderful! We took the Hyannis Ferry to Nantucket, PSA Be there an hour early. You may have to go to the off-site parking lot and they will shuttle you over. Grab a Mimosa for the ferry ride!

When we first got to Nantucket we walked the streets and through neighborhoods, just taking in the houses and scenery. I could’ve done this all day.

We had lunch at Millie’s on the opposite end of the island from where the ferry docks. I highly suggest the lobster quesadilla and the chowder!

After lunch, we walked down to the beach that is closest to the restaurant. It was still a bit breezy, so we just sat and enjoyed the sunshine for a few hours. The beaches are so large and quiet that time of year (pre-tourist).

Our next stop on Nantucket was Juice Bar! Oh my heavens. This place is amazing- I got the grape nut and blackberry, covered in sprinkles. Can’t go wrong with Juice Bar.

We shopped and explored all of the antique and art shops the rest of the afternoon.

Our ferry left at 5:30pm, and I had CRU on my list for apps and cocktails. It was the BEST! It is right beside where the ferry docks, and the view is perfect. Two salty dogs later, and I was ready for the cruise back to Cape Cod.

 
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Our Last Day in Cape Cod was short and then we headed back to Boston to fly home.

We ate breakfast at The Inn at Yarmouth Port, and then made a pit stop at The Happy Fish Bakery for delicious souvenirs for our family.


For more snaps and details from our trip, check-out my instagram story highlights of New England (tiny lobster watercolor).

Cherry Scones with a Maple Glaze

While sharing our journey through Europe with y’all, my goal is to do one recipe for each city! I am a little late getting this one out there, but these cherry scones are topped with a scrumptious maple glaze that will make you speak with a British Accent! All I am missing is a helping of clotted cream, but I don’t think I can do it any justice, so these will do for now. Cheers!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

  • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder

  • 1/2 Teaspoons Salt

  • 1/4 Cups of Sugar

  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened

  • ½ Cup Dried Cheeries (pit free)

  • 2/3 Cup Whole Milk

  • 1 Large Egg

Maple Glaze

  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

  • 3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup


INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees

  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar using a whisk.

  3. Next, you will add the butter to the dry ingredients using a hand mixer.

  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the milk and egg. Whisk well.

  5. Set aside 2-3 tbsp for egg wash. You will add the remaining egg/milk combination into the dry ingredient mixing bowl.

  6. You will fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Next you will add the cherries, slowly do this as not not make the dough tough.

  7. Place dough to a lightly floured surface. You will knead it a few times until it starts to form until a natural disk shape. Still be careful as to not over-knead, so you don’t make the dough tough.

  8. Roll the dough out about an inch thick and use a 1.5 inch thick biscuit cutter. Roll out any scraps again, you should end up with around 8-9 scones.

  9. You will place them on your greased or lined cookie sheet, and then begin your egg wash.

  10. Bake on 420 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. While they cool you will begin your glaze.

  11. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, powdered sugar, and maple syrup. Mix well and drizzle over top each scone.

  12. You can then enjoy with jams, butter, or clotted cream or let them sit for a while.

Paris

Oh Paris… Have you ever been anywhere that made you feel like this place was intended for you? Then once you’ve gone away you have cravings for the sights, flavors, people, and sounds of the city? That is Paris for me. If you told me I could go tomorrow, I would be on the next flight out! There is something so romantic, yet harsh and delicious about Paris. Too many fabulous things to list. Enjoy our snaps and a few highlights from our trip! I can promise you, I will be back in Paris sooner rather than later!

We stayed at Hôtel Eiffel Trocadéro which is on Rue Benjamin Franklin. Fun fact, Benjamin Franklin Lived in Paris off and on for years and this was an area he loved to hangout. I only know this because my husband recently read a book on Ben Franklin. There was a statue of him erected just in front of our hotel. I HIGHLY recommend Hôtel Eiffel Trocadéro! The staff was amazing, especially Dora, she was the daytime concierge. The hotel is very boutique, with cozy quaint rooms, and a marvelous view of the Eiffel Tower. The view from our bed was breathtaking at night! It is a short walk to the metro and a few minutes walk to a variety of cafes and bistros.

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Food:

  • Café de Flore 9, this is a MUST! We ate here for an early lunch one saturday. Great food and an authentic Parisian atmosphere. I met blake Lively nextdoor at the little bookstore. ha!

  • Poilane, Ina Garten’s favorite bakery.

  • Boulangerie Pâtisserie Coudrier Geffroy, this was just down the street from our hotel and was THE BEST croissant I’ve ever had. They had darling angel macarons and eclairs with wings on the ceiling.

  • Café de la Poste, did not try but was recommended for lunch.

  • La Maison Rose, Famous for photos, this is near Moulin Rouge.

  • Laurent Dubois, Buy Cheese and take to picnic at the Eiffel Tower

  • Le Nemours, we ate here after visiting The Louvre area. It was delicious! We ordered croque sandwiches. I got the Monsieur and Will got the Madame. The drinking chocolate was out of this world.

  • Cafe Charlot, Recommended by Julia Engel, but we did not try it due to schedule!

  • Le Bristrot Paul Bert, we were unable to get a reservation here, but will try again next time!

  • Le Bon George’s, This is out of the downtown area, but worth the uber. Definitely order the Shepherd's Pie if they have it! And also ask for a jar of pickles.

  • Le Champs De Mars, this restaurant has a low rating, but it was one of our MOST FAVORITE meals we had during our trip. We stumbled upon it one night and decided to give it a whirl. SO delicious. It is expensive since it is right near the Eiffel Tower, but it was great! We ordered escargot, garlic bread, a salad, the filet with frites and lots of wine! The staff and experience was lovely.

Sweets:

  • Laudree, we went to the location near The Lourve! So iconic and delicious.

  • Popelini

  • Pierre Herme, many Parisians say these are the best macarons.

Activities:

  • Eiffel Tower / Carousel - Saturday

  • Luxembourg Gardens

  • Norte Dame

  • Arc de triumph

  • River Boat Tour

  • Musee de L’orangerie or Musee de Orsay

  • Sacré-Cœur/ Moulin Rouge

  • Take cheeses and a bottle of wine to the lawn of the Eiffel Tower and watch it light up.



Shopping most stores closed on Sunday:

  • Le Bon Marche, Department store in the 6th arrondissement also has a lovely supermarket attached.

  • Rue St. Honore and Avenue Montaigne, where all of the designer stores are located

  • St. Germain area, love this part of town, lots of cute shops.

  • Porte De Vanves, Flea Market- A MUST, LOVED THIS!

  • There are SO MANY cute shops on every corner. Just have fun exploring!

Getting Around:

  • Uber – We used this the most in Paris!

  • Le Metro – After the first day we started to figure out the metro. Much more difficult than London, obviously due to the language barrier.

  • Walking – We did A LOT of walking. Such fun exploring! 

 

 


London

Wow! I still don’t feel totally back in rhythm from our trip, but I have definitely been missing pieces of Europe. I am going to go city by city for my blog posts on our trip, because they all deserve their own feature.

First stop on our trip was London! I had been once before, but that was ten years ago and I did not appreciate the beauty of it, due to my age! We were so lucky to visit our friend Jonathan on this trip. He lives just out of the heart of London, in Earlsfield. It is a quick walk to the tube, (which we became really good at) and then just a ride downtown, or wherever you’re wanting to go! While we were there it became, as they say it, “proper fall’ in London, and it was wonderful. The streets are so lovely, every other building is covered in florals. So rich with history and full of culture. Will and I are both big fans of The Crown (I have always been a royal family lover, but that show made it worse). it was such fun to see some of the locations in real life. London was a day dream! I hope these snaps give you a little taste and be sure to checkout my highlight for London on my instagram page.

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FOOD:

Egg Break- Great trendy breakfast spot.

Beigel Bake - Our friend Jonathan loves this place, get the salt beef bagel with spicy English mustard for a snack one day! it is a Shoreditch novelty on Brick Lane.

Pret A Manger- Great little lunch spot on the days you are exploring. We combined this one with our day we had afternoon tea, because it was light.

Granger and Co.- We stopped in here for lunch our first day in London. it was bustling and has a very modern style. We ate at the Chelsea location and it was delish!

Dalloway Terrace - Inside the bloomsbury Hotel for afternoon tea. THIS WAS AMAZING. I felt like I was in a day dream

The Halfway House Pub- Yummy fish and chips with a modern British flare!

Chuchill Arms- Lovely pub with fabulous floral display, and a good spot for a drink.

Gordon’s Wine Bar - One of my most favorite things we did while in London. This is an underground wine bar that is thought to be the oldest in London. It was established in 1890. They let you select your items for your cheese board like a Buffet and the wine was great. Authentic local spot!

Dishoom- If you like curries or Indian/Pakistani food - need to have one while you're in London. They are everywhere and very good! Remember India was a colony of England’s until late 1947.

The Ivy Chelsea- good cafe, another "picturesque" restaurant.

Pizza East- great vibe, and in an outside part of London called shoreditch. Some of the best pizza I have ever had.



ACTIVITIES:

Alice’s and Portobello Market

Hyde Park

Kensington Palace

Peggy Porschen Cakes

Harrod’s

Primrose Hill- (right near Chalk Farm tube) for one of the best views of the city (it is the tip top of Regents Park), loads of nice cafés along the crescent towards Chalk Farm.

Buckingham Palace, Changing of the guards at 11AM but get there at 10AM to have a good view.

Tower of London

St. Paul’s, Great rooftop bar called Madison, right next great views, is worth a stop.

Trafalgar Square

Churchill War Rooms- If you like WWII history you will LOVE this, but your tickets in advance.

Westminster Abbey- A MUST

Big Ben, (Under Construction) but you can still see a lot of Parliament.

Horse Guards/White Hall

There are a million more things to do in London, but we were only there two days, so this is a High Points list!

30A Trip

It is a rainy morning in Birmingham today, so I thought a few snaps from our beach trip might cure the rainy day blues! We needed a vacation in a bad way when this trip came around! So much delicious food, cocktails, and sunshine...it was a perfect trip! 

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We stayed in Rosemary Beach but shopped around Seaside one morning before we headed to the beach!

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We had some amazing meals at The Pearl, Bud and Alley's, Wild Olives, and George's!

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If you love a good Sunset Bud & Alley's is going to be your favorite spot.

Key West and Nassau, Bahamas

We had such a great trip celebrating our 2nd anniversary. We wen't on a cruise to Key West and Nassau, Bahamas. Five days of food, cocktails, and sunshine! I've put together a  list of go-to places from each city. 

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The first thing we did when we arrived in Key West was the Conch Tour. We saw things we wouldn't have seen on our own, and it helped us navigate later in the day!

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We went to lunch at Blue Heaven! Y'all, this place was out of a dream. Get the bloody mary, shrimp melt, and key lime pie. Such a wonderful atmosphere.

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I would love to tell you we had key lime pie once...but sorry, we had it twice in one day. Kermit's Key Lime Shop right near the water go in and grab a slice. We took ours down to the dock!

Bahamas 

Our day in the Bahamas went by way too fast, but we had plenty of fun to tell you about. We did an excursion on Blu Lagoon Island. This spot was picturesque! The boat ride out there was fun in itself. 

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Our boat stopped at a few places on the way back to Nassau. Can you believe this water?

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Spring Break Must-Haves

I have a serious case of Spring Fever. I've never been more ready for white jeans, Easter decor, and the beach as I am right now. We have a trip coming up mid-March that I started online-shopping for this week. I've found some great must-haves if you're headed on vacation in the coming months. I think you'll love these as much as I do... enjoy your shopping!    xo, CB  

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Weekend in Dallas

I took a short trip to Dallas for work last weekend and loved the city! It was my first time to Dallas, so I did a little restaurant scouting beforehand. I was given some wonderful restaurant suggestions that I want to share with y'all. Dallas has so many delicious places it was hard to choose, but enjoy a few snaps from my trip!

Meddlesome Moth  is located in Dallas' Design District. They have at least 40 beers on draft and plenty of delicious cocktails. I went for lunch and got the lamb gyro. Delicious place with a great atmosphere. 

Meddlesome Moth is located in Dallas' Design District. They have at least 40 beers on draft and plenty of delicious cocktails. I went for lunch and got the lamb gyro. Delicious place with a great atmosphere. 

HG Supply Co.  is at the corner of Prospect and Greenville. This is definitely a reservation place. We went on a Sunday night and still needed a reservation. If you go order the Moscow Mule. They have great cocktails but this one is their specialty.

HG Supply Co. is at the corner of Prospect and Greenville. This is definitely a reservation place. We went on a Sunday night and still needed a reservation. If you go order the Moscow Mule. They have great cocktails but this one is their specialty.

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Cheddar Bacon Burger with Avocado

Cheddar Bacon Burger with Avocado

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad

Joy Macarons  is right across from HG Supply! Such a fun little dessert spot. They have a wide variety of flavors and ice cream sandwich macarons. The lavender honey was my favorite.

Joy Macarons is right across from HG Supply! Such a fun little dessert spot. They have a wide variety of flavors and ice cream sandwich macarons. The lavender honey was my favorite.

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R+D Kitchen  is part of the Hillstone Group. If you are familiar with this chain you know it didn't dissapoint.

R+D Kitchen is part of the Hillstone Group. If you are familiar with this chain you know it didn't dissapoint.

Any place that serves  sushi and french fries  is an instant favorite of mine! Needless to say I've added R+D to the favorite list. 

Any place that serves sushi and french fries is an instant favorite of mine! Needless to say I've added R+D to the favorite list. 

Our last meal in Dallas was Brunch at  Bread Winners . Everyone we talked to raved about this restaurant and the food. It is known to be a favorite of George W. Bush and now I know why. The inside is so quaint. You feel like you've just entered a cafe in Paris.  I ordered the Eggs Benedict with  Jalapeño Bacon  instead of Canadian. All I can say is  YUM.   The interior is historical and the food is even more memorable.

Our last meal in Dallas was Brunch at Bread Winners. Everyone we talked to raved about this restaurant and the food. It is known to be a favorite of George W. Bush and now I know why. The inside is so quaint. You feel like you've just entered a cafe in Paris.  I ordered the Eggs Benedict with Jalapeño Bacon instead of Canadian. All I can say is YUM. The interior is historical and the food is even more memorable.

If you ever head to Dallas I hope you'll try one of these spots! They were all great experiences with delicious eats.  CB 

 

Meddlesome Moth  - HG Supply Co. - Joy Macarons - R+D Kitchen - Bread Winners

GG Jubilee, Charleston SC

We got away to Charleston for the weekend at the beginning of December. Need I say more? This city never ceases to amaze me... The food and the beautiful architecture are enough to satisfy but we also enjoyed a day at Garden & Gun Jubilee! This was our second time attending GG Jubilee and like last year it did not disappoint. From the fabulous eats from Blackberry Farm to the delicious "New Fashion" from Blade and Bow the day was a dream. Tickets go on sale in August, you should go!