9.16.19

Dinner Club: Red Hen

On Friday, my dinner club and I met for our monthly meeting—this time we went to Red Hen, which is one of my favorite Italian spots in the city. I first went with my friend Emma (who I just road tripped with!) back in March when she was in town visiting for the weekend, and I was excited to get back for a second time. I almost didn’t write a dinner club post on Red Hen because it’s always so dark in there, it’s hard to snap photos (great for the ambiance though!). But, it’s such a great restaurant I wanted to share despite the lack of perfect photos.

Our reservation was on the later side, around 9pm, so we wanted to grab a glass of wine beforehand. Since none of us are super familiar with Bloomingdale, we looked on the map and saw Tyber Creek Wine Bar & Kitchen was just around the corner from Red Hen. We were easily able to grab seats at the bar since the patio was poppin’ the night we went and really enjoyed it—the restaurant smelled so good! It’s on my list to go back and eat there sometime soon. We also drove by Big Bear Cafe and it looked so cute—that’s definitely on my list, too!

But anyway, back to Red Hen—if you haven’t been, add it to your list ASAP, and definitely get a reservation. The restaurant is on the smaller side, and both times I’ve been, it’s at full capacity. The bar and a semi-open kitchen are the centerpiece of the restaurant, and the vibe is both rustic and cozy. There’s no outdoor seating at Red Hen, so if you’re looking to dine al fresco, this won’t be the spot. However, if you’re looking for the perfect spot on a cold winter night—this is your place.

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9.15.19 1

24 Hours in Natchez, Mississippi

Y’all, I am super stoked for today’s post—it’s the first one all about the road trip my friend Emma and I took over Labor Day Weekend! Since we covered so much ground, I am going to write a post about each place we stopped so that it’s not complete information overload. Once the other posts are up, I’ll link to them below so that it’s easy to navigate to each one:

  • Natchez by way of Jackson, Mississippi (this post!)
  • Oxford, Mississippi
  • Birmingham by way of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Atlanta Georgia

We started our trip the Thursday night before Labor Day weekend and flew home the Tuesday after Labor Day. We spent a day in each location and I feel like the pace we planned our trip at was perfect—the longest stretch of driving we had to do was about four hours, but most days we drove two or three. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a good old fashioned road trip, and this one ended up being one of my favorite ones I’ve ever taken.

When I told people where I was going for LDW, I got a lot of blank stares since this part of the country is not a highly trafficked tourist destination from those in the DC area. But I’d always wanted to go to Mississippi and Alabama since I feel like it’s hard to understand the United States without understanding the American South. (Maybe that’s just the American Studies major in me!) Now having been, I would go in a heartbeat, and I hope my posts about the places we visited inspire other people to add this beautiful part of our country to their travel list.

Natchez, Mississippi was one of my favorite places we went on our trip and is now definitely one of my favorite places in the US. I learned about Natchez from my Grandmother, who loved reading about the antebellum mansions in Southern Living—but I found that when I mentioned Natchez in casual conversation, a lot of people weren’t as familiar. So I thought it’d be helpful to provide a little bit of context up front—Natchez, named for the Natchez tribe of Native Americans, is located right on the Mississippi River, directly across from Louisiana. It was a very prominent southern town before the Civil War, as many cotton and sugarcane planters owned houses in town—their tracts of farmland were located in the lowlands near the River. The proximity to the River made it a center of trade, and many of their products were taken down to New Orleans and exported to Europe.

Natchez is also the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace, the northern terminus being Nashville, Tennessee. The Natchez Trace is a historic forest trail that was created and used by Native Americans for centuries, and then later used by European and American explorers, traders, and planters. As steamboat trade expanded on the Mississippi River, the use of the Trace declined. Today, the 444-mile path is commemorated by a modern parkway that runs the historic route. We drove it for a part of our way to Oxford, and it was a beautiful drive!

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9.12.19 6

Tips for Planning a Bachelorette Party

I wanted to end the week with a really fun post—some tips for planning a bachelorette party! As I’ve shared here and on Instagram before, I’m co-MOH in my best friend Lauren’s wedding with our mutual best friend Molly. The day Lauren asked us to stand up there with her on her special day, we started quizzing her about how we could bring her dream bachelorette party to life. The three of us settled on Nashville as the destination almost immediately—for the country music, the food, the relative close proximity to the DC area—and, most importantly, the bride loves it there. After that key detail, Molly and I put our marketing and PR professional skills to work in our personal life and started planning the party of the year. (Besides the actual wedding that is!)

I could not have asked for a better co-MOH than Molly when it comes to planning this bachelorette party! Because we don’t live in the same town and often could not meet in person to party plan, we set up a shared Google Spreadsheet with tabs for a task list, items to purchase, attendee details, a grocery list, an itinerary, and money. We then had a call about once a week for an hour or so to cover off on any of the items we worked on independently throughout the week, brainstorm together, and come up with our next set of tasks. Having everything in our master Google Spreadsheet made the planning process so easy, as did having a regular cadence of calls. I’d adopt that workflow in the future in a heartbeat!

Today I wanted to share a little bit about what we planned for the bachelorette and what we learned along the way since I know a lot of others in the stage of life are on the bachelorette party circuit. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below or email me at katie@atouchofteal.com. Always happy to help!

(Also, as an aside, I’ve written about bachelorette parties before here! I wrote that post after I went to my cousin Christina’s bachelorette in Chicago. My cousin Ali, who I mention below, planned it and did such an amazing job—I took a lot of what I learned from that party and applied it to this one!)

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