It’s summer and all I can think about is throwing lots of parties with my dear friends. And when there is a party, there should always be dessert. The wonderful homemade, melt in your mouth, making memories kind of desserts.
All week I have been dreaming about fluffy cakes with fresh cream and fruit, ice cream swirling with berries, sorbets that make your mouth pucker and popsicles that bring reprieve from the hot sun. What is it about summer that has us craving for decadent sugary goodness? Maybe it’s the giggles that pair with each delicious bite. Or maybe, it’s the ease that drifts in after sharing sweet confections with a friend. Whatever the reason, it’s the season for sweets and sunshine. And I am pretty damn happy about it.
My favorite dessert books are Lomelino’s Cakes and Lomelino’s Ice Cream by Swedish dessert blogger Linda Lomelino. Her desserts are so good it’s almost absurd! The books are full of breathtakingly beautiful photos, easy to read recipes and delicious sweets that will have you singing from the rooftops. If you are looking for inspiration, look no further. Lomelino and her decadent desserts will take your ordinary day to something quite special.
” Learn step-by-step how to decorate with frosting, stack multiple layers, create perfect ganache, and make the most of seasonal ingredients. Be inspired to layer your cakes with fresh fruit, top with fresh flowers, slather with buttercreams, and even play with color, ombré style.”
“Lomelino’s Ice Cream is your guide to all things sweet, creamy, icy, indulgent, and homemade. Learn to make sinfully smooth ice creams, cool sorbets, and chunky-nutty-chocolaty frozen treats; not to mention ice-cream cakes, floats, sauces, meringues, and crumbles to top it all off.”
If you live in Nashville or anywhere in the South, you know that come mid-June the weather is going to suck the life out of you. With temps rising above 90 degrees and 100% humidity, many of us will be shutting-in like it’s the dead of winter. But instead of heavy snowfall, it will be sweat running down every inch of our bodies in the most unattractive way possible. And guess what?! This is only the beginning.
Instead of standing in front of the AC vent all summer long, embrace the great outdoors and jump into a refreshing body of water. One, of course, that serves cocktails, fresh towels, has divine lounge furniture and is bug free – also known as the glorious hotel pool. For all you nature folks, more power to you for choosing the lake and river. But for me, humidity, bugs and water moccasins are not my ideal way to cool off. Swimming should be a carefree experience, not a battle against nature.
When searching for the right hotel pool, do your homework. Recently, I stayed at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency downtown. Although the hotel was nice, the outdoor pool was not. The pool was on the lower level of the hotel and was completely shadowed by the surrounding buildings. Most of the day the pool was without sunshine. And a pool without sunshine is a very sad thing. So research, find photos, look for a place that has a lot of style, and ask the hotel about all of their poolside amenities and policies. A pool that prohibits alcohol would be just as bad as the lack of sunshine.
Not a hotel guest? Although hotel pools are for “guests only”, you might be surprised that many of them offer day specials to the general public. For instance, the Omni Nashville Hotel Pool gives access to the pool Monday through Thursday if you buy one of their spa packages. In New Orleans at the Le Meridien, the hotel opens their rooftop pool to the public on Sundays from 11am to 5pm for $10. And in Atlanta at the W Hotel, you can buy one of their weekend day tickets.
So wherever you are this summer, and for however long, find a gorgeous pool that serves fantastic cocktails and beat the heat in style.
Below are my favorite hotel pools in the south. Enjoy!
Nashville: Omni Nashville Hotel Rooftop swimming pool with beautiful views of downtown Nashville. Enjoy the lounge, cabanas and the seasonal bar & grill. And for all you locals, buy a spa package and enjoy the pool M-TH.
Atlanta: W Hotel Wet Deck & Wet Bar Atlanta’s only all-weather rooftop pool and bar. Sip as you dip into the zero-edge pool and enjoy the panoramic views. During the summer, you can purchase a weekend day ticket and enjoy games and cocktails on Saturday, or chill pool side and do a little yoga on Sunday. Tickets are $18.
New Orleans: Le Meridien Relax in a rooftop cabana, order a delightful lunch and enjoy the warm Louisiana sunshine.This hotel has beautiful views and luxurious amenities. Sundays are Adult Swim, which means the pool is open to the public for $10 from 11-5pm.
Dallas: Joule Hotel Looking for an exciting swim? Experience the glass-fronted pool that cantilevers eight feet beyond the hotels structure. Enjoy your meals and cocktails poolside, or bask in the sunshine while lounging in their luxurious modern furniture.
Miami: Delano Hotel 7000 sq. feet of pure luxury in the glorious South Beach Miami. Enjoy a swim in the deep end or dine in the shallow end of the pool. Direct access to the beach, a decadent assortment of cocktails and a long list of outdoor amenities. This is the perfect modern oasis.
Alys Beach: Caliza Pool Although located in South Walton Florida, you will think you’ve been transported to an exotic oasis. The Caliza pool area has a 100-foot saltwater pool, a shallow family pool, a 75-foot lap pool, a spa whirlpool, private cabanas, beautiful outdoor furnishings, and an open-air restaurant/bar – a breathtaking experience that is worth every penny. The pool is only available to Alys Beach vacation renters and home owners. But! The restaurant and bar is open to the public for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
If you missed my 12th & Broad piece last week on Wilder and Pennyweight, this is a must-read!
Josh and Ivy Elrod of Wilder continue to break the mold in the Nashville retail scene. Less than a year old, the contemporary design boutique in Germantown has already been featured in W Magazine and the New York Post. Progressively innovative, always connecting, and giddily pushing boundaries with non-obvious pairings – Wilder is transforming the traditional market place in our fair city.
So it is was no surprise when they announced the summer long collaboration with the incredibly talented stylist, blogger and creative consultant, Elise Joseph of Pennyweight . A three-month Pennyweight pop-up curated by Elise Joseph at Wilder. This is what I call summer bliss!
The pop-up kicked off on Tuesday, May 26th and will run through Sunday, August 16th. Just a few weeks in and the response from the public has been incredible. The pairing of this dynamic trio has created a lot of buzz not only locally, but nationally as well.
“As soon as we met Elise we knew she was a natural person for us to collaborate with,” said Josh and Ivy Elrod, owners of Wilder. “The most exciting part of developing Wilder has been the energy and inspiration we get from encountering new people and vibing together.”
The Nashville native is also collaborating with designers to create several limited edition pieces, exclusively for the event. “It is such a dream to be able to take aspects of what I do online and share it in person – to connect with people in a more authentic way,” said Elise. “I’m thrilled beyond words to team up with Ivy and Josh, and think my collection will pair nicely with their cool, modern aesthetic.”
“We want Wilder to be a place that sparks us as people and as artists, and incorporating Elise’s keen eye into the mix is layering a dynamism to the already lively conversation,” said Josh and Ivy.
So don’t walk, run to Wilder. This limited edition of decadently high-quality goods won’t last long. I can tell you from experience, a trip to Wilder will not be disappointing. The shop is more than a room of beautiful objects, it’s a transcendent experience.
All Seasons Garden & Brewing Supply Co is one of my favorite Nashville stores for gifts, gardening and home goods. A family-run enterprise, All Seasons is the quintessential mom and pop shop. Chock-full of eclectic handpicked treasures, creative displays, and the most incredible customer service.
When I owned my home décor store many years ago, I rarely had time to shop for myself. And when I did, I found that many of the Nashville shops were uninspiring. The products were all the same and the element of surprise was lacking. My husband, a home brewer, had mentioned All Seasons to me numerous times. And like a good wife, I completely ignored him. I knew they carried a plethora of beer gear and gardening supplies, but what did that have to do with my hunt for a good gift shop? Well, all I can say is that I am bummed that I didn’t go in sooner. All Seasons was exactly what I was looking for – a charming local shop that provided high-quality products and service, with a passion for discovery, healthy-living and sustainability.
Co-owner, Emily Thompson, is an incredible buyer and has quite the knack for blending nature and interior style. Her eye for scouting unique goods and turning them into beautiful displays is what makes the gift and gardening portion of this shop so special. With brilliant attention to detail, every portion of the shop has something to dazzle you. An enchanting style mixture of vintage, modern, and rustic goods with an excellent selection of uncommon plants and trees.
Although Nashville’s retail scene has changed dramatically for the better, All Seasons is still on my top 5 local places to shop. It’s one of those places that you become a regular. If you haven’t had the pleasure of shopping in this lovely store, please make a point to stop in soon.
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:
1. Air Plants & Tiny Succulents: Every shape, size and species that you can imagine, they have in abundance.
2. Hanging Planters: From modern to traditional, they carry a wide range of unexpected planter styles that hang from the ceiling and uncommon wall hooks.
3. Wall Art: Fun, graphic art that has a bit of cheeky humor. My current favorite wall hanging says “Kiss My Grits”.
4. Plants for the not-so-green-thumb: If you are a serial plant killer, this is the place for you. All Seasons has a large variety of hardy plants that can survive almost any kind of neglect.
5. Gifts: Decadent candles, sculptures that happen to be planters, hanging mobiles, books, home décor, lighting, wall-mounts – there is a lot to see here.
In April, I conducted an interview with the enchanting Andra Eggleston and her new textile line, Electra Eggleston. In her interview, she mentioned the collaboration with Otis James and the bow-ties she would be debuting for Fathers Day. Well, the dynamic fashion accessory line has finally arrived and no surprise, they are gorgeous! With bold colors and vivid patterns paired with beautiful craftsmanship, they are a true work of art.
The bow-tie has a lot of meaning to Andra, as it represents the start point of Electra Eggleston. Years ago, Andra took one of her father’s drawings, created a textile and then fashioned a bow-tie for her father, William Eggleston. From there, she began the journey of creating a remarkable textile line founded on rich heritage, storytelling and a means to deepen her relationship with her father.
Collaboration | Electra Eggleston
“I met Andra Eggleston of Electra Eggleston two years ago at a pop-up photography exhibit here in Nashville. She knew of my work and already had the idea for this collaboration in mind. While I knew of her father’s photography, I wasn’t yet familiar with her company. Neither of us were ready, however, to take on this project at that time. It wasn’t until a year later that we finally sat down and began hammering out ideas and logistics. This was the first time I laid eyes on her gorgeous prints, and I fell hard in love. Fast-forward another year, and here we are… presenting the first of our collaborative efforts together: a stunning collection of limited-edition bow ties.
These bow ties embody a lively mix of fine art, storytelling, and craftsmanship. The fabric is a delightful silk+linen blend– smooth to the touch, with a subtle sheen, and just a hint of slubbiness (what’s a good linen without a few slubs?!). Ties up like a dream and holds its shape all night.
The four styles are bold and colorful, with undertones ranging from sensual to whimsical. The designs belong to Andra and are inspired by the paintings and drawings of her father, renowned photographer (and bow tie wearer) William Eggleston. The details and construction are mine, from our standard hand-stitched buttonholes to the unique shell buttons and custom-printed labels to the superfine wool interlining. A lot of time and attention has gone into these ties, and they are truly one of the most special creations I’ve ever put my name on. Only 10 are available in each design. Click images below to see more photos, find more information, and purchase.” – Otis James