This past weekend seemed like the perfect time to head to Nashville, a city that's been on our bucket list. We had planned on attending the big flea market held there once a month and celebrate my husbands birthday eating barbecue, drinking bourbon and listening to great music.
The rare snowfall almost paralyzed Nashville with only 4 inches falling but causing many closures and cancellations including the flea market!! We still had a fantastic time because nothing stopped the music and, as always on our trips, the great people made the difference.
A nice hotel doesn't hurt either and we made the right move booking the beautiful Hermitage Hotel, recently renovated in early 2005.
Italian marble columns and walls anchor the elaborate moldings. During the latter part of the 1900's the hotel fell into disrepair. The ceiling had been painted over many times. A female artist was hired to "Michelangelo style" scrape away the paint on her back and restore all the details to their original paint colors.
The results are spectacular surrounding the magnificent original stained glass window.
The grand ballroom continues to be the coveted venue for the most exclusive weddings and events. Portraits hang of noted historical Tennesseans including Andrew Jackson. In the early 1900's William Howard Taft held a fundraiser here described as "an elegant and extravagant meal with music accompaniment by the Royal Hungarian orchestra" where the price was $7.00 a plate!! Nowadays $7.00 probably buys you a big meal at McD's !!
It must have been such fun designing the furniture for such a soaring opulent lobby. The chairs looked like something from Beauty and the Beast with those wings!!
We were told the men's bathroom at The Hermitage is "one of the top ten bathrooms in the US" so, of course Denise and I had to sneak in. The architect, JE Carpenter was hired to build this Beaux Art style hotel as a symbol of status. Carpenter, a fan of Art Deco design, felt the only place to feature his favorite style without taking away from The Hermitages grandeur was the men's room. Terrazzo floors anchor green and black glass banded walls, tapered base sinks and a shoe shine platform where, if you pick up the French phone, a porter promptly arrives to give you a shine to this day. The new mirrored door to the left hides the former speakeasy that is said leads to a tunnel connecting the Capitol building across the green. Love this historical and beautiful Art Deco bathroom.
What else could we do when the snow cancelled the flea market...pump iron!
Everything seems to be 4-5 blocks away and it didn't take us long to fall into Tootsie's, a Nashville institution. At 10:30 in the morning bloody Mary's and live music were just what we needed to get in the country mood. Tootsie's Orchid Lounge is a world famous honky-tonk bar opened by Hattie Louise "Tootsie" Bess in 1960. She was well known for her generosity towards struggling musicians and the live music plays on on 3 different floors in the rustic bar. It is known that she had a cigar box full of IOU's behind the bar from all the meals and money she handed over to the hungry writers and musicians over the years. Gifted musicians looking to be discovered play with no pay all over town so bring your dollar bills if you go for the tip bucket. Many a country music legend have manned the mike at Tootsie's and you never know who you will see there.
"Coal Miner's Daughter" was filmed inside Tootsie's.
The fun neon signs all over town could fill a book.
Kitsch and the friendly people created the festive mood.
Roger's shirt became the conversation starter again....how cute are these 2?? I mean, three!!
The Johnny Cash museum was great, small with a really nice coffee bar. (Delicious cookies too!)
We got tickets last minute to The Grand Ole Opry . I now know the Opry is a weekly stage concert radio show complete with the smooth voiced announcer reading Cracker Barrel ads. It was GREAT! Each performer does about 3 songs while the crowd has a few beers and enjoys the show. There was even a good comedian who did 5-6 minutes.
The headliner was Vince Gill who, after sharing with us his close friendship with just deceased Eagles founder Glenn Frey, found it very difficult to sing Desperado without getting overwhelmed with emotion. It was a touching and intimate moment.
The next night the band was great at Tootsie's. Within seconds of them announcing Roger's birthday a gift beer arrived from the people at the next table...so sweet. We made new friends and really enjoyed this talented group. Tina, on the violin and vocals was amazing. For a $20.00 tip they play any requests and didn't disappoint Rog when with an excellent rendition of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". She climbed up on the table and had those strings burning!!!
She came over for a hug with the birthday boy!
The best meal I ever had was at Etch Restaurant...you MUST GO!
Top right- grilled lamb loin, pomegranate walnut sauce, lemon black olive tapenade, confit pearl onions, Tunisian poached apricots, mint relish and grilled okra.
Bottom left - crispy potato salad, mustard dressing, chimichurri roja and verde
Bottom right-Venison with chili spiced sweet potato, herb goat cheese, ancho plum jam, smoked apple purée, cashew butter, okra.
Top Left wasn't at Etch but was Roger's breakfast at the hotel. Tennessee Jack breakfast sandwich. Jack Daniel's whiskey infused toast, pan fried eggs, jowl bacon and tomato gravy.
The blizzard that hit the east caused our return flight to be cancelled so we had to rent a car and drive 14 plus hours home on Sunday. Thankfully my brother in law and husband took turns driving while I stuffed popcorn in my mouth and we kept busy in the back seat. John Denver came on the radio around the right time. I called out all the passing antique mall signs but no one paid attention.
Rogeeeee!! Certainly one birthday present my husband didn't expect! After driving alongside the state trooper for miles Rog had just said "shouldn't this guy stop for donuts about now". Apparently not until he gave his autograph to Rog.
I LOVED Nashville and think if you are looking for a great weekend trip it's a must do! Preferably not in the winter. Thank you Nashville for not disappointing us even with the snowstorm. I'll be back!
At GREATHOUSE we are making room for all the continued deliveries and marking down many pieces. The ones, below are 50% and are just some of the sale items we now have. We ship nationwide so please contact me with inquiries.
Great for a girls or guest room is this vintage desk. The hardware is cool.
H 30, w 39 1/2 d 19 1/2. Marked down to $295.00
A statement piece!! Stunning 19th century Swedish Secretary 2 part piece with curved notched shelves and drawers. Beautiful inlays and original hardware in that dreamy oystery white paint that is expected with good Swedish furniture.
H 77 w 44 d 19 originally $8,900.00 on sale $4,450.00
Graceful artisan porcelain vases. The turned neck has such movement and I love the soft texture glazed in soft green over white. These are also carried at ABC carpet and Home for a much different price point. When I purchased these the artist donated a portion of the sales to end childhood hunger in the US...love that!
H 12 w 8. Originally $245 each on sale for $122 each
A vintage industrial metal desk/side table with a big drawer and functional shelf. H 31 1/4, W 27, D 22 originally priced $750.00 on sale $325.00
The aged brass mounted green metal trunk is an automobile trunk that would have been strapped on the back of the car. The hardware is so cool and now can be a side table, cocktail table or great in the mudroom.
H 14, w 30, d 19 originally $475.00, now $240.00
Vintage credenza/by Meier & Pohlman lacquered. 5 ample drawers and 2 cabinets this piece would make a great media cabinet.
H 32, w 52, d 18. Originally $3,200.00, now $1,600.00
Vintage carved occasional chairs, newly covered in a rich tonal herringbone .
H 34 W 23 d 21 originally priced $2300 for the pair , now $ 1150.00 for the pair.
In closing I would like to say I feel badly for those of you who have not signed up to follow on Instagram. We have been running big sales spontaneously (and will continue to) and I would love for all of you to have the opportunity to save big on our great inventory.....your support over the years is the reason we are able to have flash sales. Please take the time to sign up, it's easy and worth it and you can come to our happy hours as well or just be tuned into some of the fun we just have to share. Contact us....we can help!
Please note delivery and shipping is available on all items
EMAIL ME with any questions.
GreatHouse Bonny Neiman
12 Beechwood Avenue | Summit, NJ