Time flies when you’re having fun. . . and when you’re traveling or having visitors almost every week! My recent travels brought me to Duluth, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, where I attended the launch of Sonesta Hotels dual-branded hotel.

You can read about Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta and Sonesta ES Suites Gwinnett Place Atlanta on the Sonesta blog! I also blogged about the delicious dining experiences I had while on-property. . . and I have so much more to share!

The weather in Atlanta during my visit was glorious, sunny and in the high 60′s, so exploring the area was a top priority.

Duluth Georgia Wine Bar

Downtown Duluth Georgia is a short drive from Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta, and it is adorable! I had done my food blogger research and knew that Epicurean Cafe was where I wanted to start my exploration of Duluth.

Located on the town green in a charming old mansion, the cafe exudes Southern hospitality while featuring intriguing works of art and wines from around the world.

Epicurean Cafe

 

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The mouthwatering menu choices were fun to read through, but I kept going back to the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Pimento Cheese. . .I have never met a fried green tomato I didn’t like! I got my veggies in with a tasty slaw and greens that topped my sandwich. I devoured every bite of this and washed it down with sparkling pink bubbles from Francois Montand. Delightful!

lunch in Duluth Georgia

Completely full and decidedly enchanted by my lunch experience at Epicurean Cafe, I set out to explore the rest of Duluth’s little downtown and discovered it’s a spot for arts, food, and community. From street art to local galleries, pops of color and beauty dotted the landscape in Duluth, and I’ll be sharing more photos on the Sonesta blog soon.
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The focal point of downtown is the fountain, which serves as a gathering place for concerts and other events, in addition to being a great spot to soak up some sun on a fall day. I can only imagine how fun and festive the area is during summer concerts and other events.

Downtown Duluth Georgia

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The Dream Keepers 9/11 tribute is touching and filled with beauty and hope for the future. Definitely take a moment to appreciate the incredible detail in this piece. You can read about it here.

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Duluth’s goal of being an art destination is certainly shaping up! It seemed I found something whimsical and worth admiring around every bend!

 

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In addition to art, Downtown Duluth is home to a ton of places to eat! A BBQ restaurant, adorable coffee shop, chocolate shop, and donut shop, were just a few businesses I passed by, and a brewery should be opening very soon! All in all, this little area of sprawling Duluth offered a character all its own, and with the work being done on the streets and some businesses, it’s easy to tell that it will only get better over time!

Duluth Georgia Brewery

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I swear the weeks are flying by faster as each month passes, and I don’t know where the time has gone since my last blog post. My travel schedule has been pretty hectic, and my husband has also been traveling a ton for work. As a result, lots of other things have gotten put on the back burner. I miss my Boston blogging community!

One thing we have made an effort to do is to venture out of Dorchester for dining out, which can be difficult, especially when it’s dark and cold and Dorchester has so many great restaurants. Boston has such a great dining scene these days that it can be overwhelming, so we have been keeping a list of places to visit.

Where in Boston have I been lately?

Haley Henry

A catch-up date with an old friend at haley.henry wine bar was the perfect way to while away several hours on a blustery November night. The space is so cozy, and while our food was a bit hit-or-miss, I was a huge fan of the wine tots and pickled vegetables. The wine, however, is really where it’s at here. We went with staff recommendations for all of our wines, and they steered us in delicious directions.

While I don’t normally love Gamay, I have been thinking nonstop about one we tried from Isabelle & Bruno Perraud. It was the perfect suggestion, and it would be an incredible Thanksgiving wine.

Haley Henry

haley.henry is definitely a place I could see myself spending wintry afternoons, especially as a respite from holiday shopping.

Haley Henry

With all of our travel, fitting in date nights to reconnect have been more important than ever, and finding good places close to the airport has been helpful. I had been dying to visit Reel House in East Boston, and after a recent airport reunion, we fell in love with the beautiful space, great service, and delicious seafood.

Reel House

Tiki drinks and twinkling white lights and nautical decor won us over. Seafood charcuterie was a fresh and creative treat, perfect for sharing. The service was super warm and friendly and made us want to stay forever. This will definitely be a new favorite post-business-travel spot.

Reel House

anoush’ella in Boston’s South End is a place I now crave regularly. I kind of knew I would when I started to read the menus online, but it was truly love at first sight and first bite.

anoush’ella

I love the casual atmosphere of the space and the quick arrival of the food, which doesn’t take away from a relaxing experience. I sipped a delicious whiskey and grapefruit cocktail while devouring delights from their labne and m’anoush menus. I absolutely love yogurt in savory dishes, and this labne is super thick and tangy with perfect toppings.

anoush’ella

A sweet m’anoush to end the meal was stuffed with marshmallows and Nutella and was gooey and warm and perfectly delicious. I saw many people coming into anoush’ella for takeaway orders; if I lived in the neighborhood I would be tempted to go in several times a week!

anoush’ella

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For the past few weeks, I wasn’t sure if blogging about my September visit to Sonoma County would ever be appropriate. As the fires began to be put out and evacuations were lifted, however, it became clear to me that sharing a place I love, shouting it from the rooftops even, could be one tiny way I can help the region heal and move forward.

When it comes to dining out in Sonoma County, Stark Reality Restaurants  are some of my favorites. Sadly, Willi’s Wine Bar, where I have had many great meals, was destroyed in the fires, but the owners plan to rebuild.

On our September wine country trip, we dined at two Stark restaurants, including Bravas Bar de Tapas, which is a consistent favorite that I discovered on a Savor Healdsburg food tour.  I was excited to bring Healdsburg first timers to their patio on a gorgeous day for a delicious lunch.

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 Tapas with friends is one of my favorite ways to eat, especially when paired with a chilled Hanna Winery  rosé.

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Plate after plate of food made its way on to our table, a beautifully presented gazpacho, a Spanish and local cheese plate, to-die-for bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese, goat cheese toast, a classic tortilla. . . we just kept eating.

 

 

 

 

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Every bite at Bravas is delectable, and the dining experience is just what you would hope for on a wine country getaway, relaxed, coursed out perfectly, and difficult to leave.

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One Stark restaurant I hadn’t been to, Bird and the Bottle, was at the top of my must-try list for this trip, and again, it turned out to be perfect for our group of five. The only downside was that I was impossibly full when we left!

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I passed over the creative cocktail list in favor of a glass of bubbly since it had been a day of wine, but I would love to go back and make my way through the list.

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We shared cold and briny oysters on the half shell and hot and garlicky local Dungeness crab to take advantage of the West Coast’s bounty.

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And I will never turn down macaroni and cheese, especially studded with fried kielbasa and crispy kale. So good!

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Local corn with miso mayo and fried potatoes were our vegetables. :)

 

 

 

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If I could have eaten more, I would. Going back to Bird and the Bottle to sample the rest of the menu is a priority for our next Sonoma County trip, which will hopefully be soon!

Sonoma County is largely open for business and could use food and wine loving tourists’ visits or wine purchases to help boost the local economy and beautiful spirits.

 

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