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NORTH GEORGIA DAY TRIP: JASPER, TALKING ROCK, FAINTING GOATS

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 1/2/22

Join us for our North Georgia day trip to Jasper, Talking Rock, and Fainting Goats.

In front of you, the golden mountains point to the bright blue sky that’s dotted with puffy white clouds. As you weave through the hills, mountain streams bob and weave, cutting through the green grass and creating a beautiful, relaxing view from the road. Close to the mountain majesty, there’s a cozy downtown filled with warm red brick buildings that line the quaint two-lane street. Jasper has come into its own with cute shops, coffee houses, several good restaurants, and even a brewery. It is quickly becoming a hot day trip for Atlantans that want to get away for a day. Being only about an hour, we ventured up to Jasper to try Old Mulehouse for brunch, then meandered our way through the beautiful mountains to Talking Rock and Talking Rock Brewery, and our final destination at North Georgia winery, Fainting Goats.

On the corner heading into Jasper is Old Mulehouse, with a tea-light patio, and beautiful, old brick building that’s breathtaking inside! Rustic, yet industrial, the Old Mulehouse is a spacious, open-air restaurant with exposed brick and a sprawling bar area. They had transformed into The Old Yulehouse with stockings hung with care, multiple Christmas trees, and a gorgeous lounge area behind a pair barn doors. Outside, the patio is large, dotted with patio furniture and covered in case of rain. We sat near the end of the patio where you can sit and stare at the mountain views all day. There, we tried several brunch items like the salmon hash, the brunch burger, and the steak and eggs. We also opted for some unique items, the Greek hush puppies and egg nog cheesecake, as well as some of their featured Christmas cocktails.

Kicking off our brunch with a Christmas cocktail of the day, the Peppermint Martini. The one has a bit of everything from creaminess to minty to sweetness from the sugar rim and then a good hint of booze on the back. It’s definitely a cool Christmas cocktail! The other cocktail we tried is the Hayman’s Law, which is their take on a slow gin fizz, but with elderflower! It comes off refreshing, light, tangy, and a good sippable brunch drink. We know why it’s a customer favorite.

Our brunch meal was a mix of seriously good salmon hash, a hearty brunch burger, festively seasoned fries, and a savory steak and eggs. Starting with the Salmon Hash, which combined smoky, salty, tender salmon perfectly paired with earthy cooked spinach, crunchy potatoes, and a fantastic bright lime hollandaise on top. It was a spectrum of flavors that came together well. Beyond the hash, we also opted for the Brunch burger that is well-seasoned and perfectly cooked. On top, hearty pork belly adds a ton of savor, as well as sharp cheddar cheese on some nicely buttered buns. This beautiful burger came with the best seasoned fries! The seasoning is phenomenal and a good mix of crunch and potato. John loves a good steak, so he picked the steak and eggs. Now that’s one perfectly cooked and seasoned steak! It is paired with fluffy eggs and the same amazing fries.

Not only is the brunch fantastic, so are some unique apps and desserts they offer. Starting with the Greek Hush Puppies, these little numbers are house-made falafel that’s grainy and earthy just like you’d expect it with mellow chickpeas. Whatever you do, you must eat it with the sauce! It is spicy and creamy at the same time! Then, the best surprise of the whole meal was the Egg Nog Cheesecake! They have a new pastry chef, and her cheesecake of the day was this one, which was simply stellar! Creamy and thick with a mellow, sweet, and savory egg nog juxtaposing the delicate cheesecake for a fantastic flavor. The best part though must be the ooey, gooey sweet sugar cookie crust that melted in your mouth and was the icing on the cake for this dessert.

After our big meal, we took the mountainous road up to Talking Rock, GA, a quaint little town with only about 6 buildings downtown. Then, right on the railroad tracks, the main attraction, Talking Rock Brewery. Nestled in a train car, Talking Rock Brewery is not only cute and eclectic, but its beer also brings people together in this small town to watch the game or just to play some cornhole. We pretty much tried all of their beers, so here’s our take on them.

They have a little bit of everything for everyone, like the Caboose Georgia red that’s mellow up front with a good hoppy bit on the back, yet smooth. My favorite is the Pumpkin Express Pumpkin ale that’s soft, mellow with a hint of pumpkin but not overbearing. Another good option is the Pullman Pub Ale that is a little thicker with a creamy head and mellow malt balancing the hop on the back. If you like dry Irish Stouts, you’ll enjoy the Dart that had a range of toasty, smoky, and a slight back of the throat bitterness. John’s favorite is the Party Like It’s 95 Blonde Ale that is very drinkable, light, and refreshing. He also really enjoyed the Just the Ticket Pilsner that is also light, but with slightly more flavor on the back. If you like IPAs you can’t go wrong with either the Run 8 IPA or the Polar Express Double IPA, both hoppy, while the Double IPA is hazy and juicy.

The flight empty, we headed to our final destination even further up in the mountains, Fainting Goat Winery. The second you arrive, the vineyard sprawls in front of a large chateau perched high on a hill. Below, there is a pin with several goats that are as friendly as you can imagine coming up to the gates and smiling. The day was warmer than usual, so we sat on the lawn, tasting in hand, overlooking the gorgeous view of the vineyard, watched the goats play, and enjoyed the best mountain views! The best spot is on the porch above the lawn where you can watch the sunset! This winery has been on our list for a long time! This day we both got a wine tasting, John got The White Album and I got the Crowd Pleaser. Here are our thoughts! Pro tip: get the Wednesday Night Sauvignon Blanc! We know why it’s award winning.

Of the crowd pleaser tasting, I substituted the Revere Blanc du Bois for the Sauvignon Blanc. This one is floral and hearty, a sweetness up front that finishes dry. The second was a rose called the Summer Quartz. It tastes like roses, a slight sweet peach, and finishes dry. It’s mellow and great for sipping! For the red wine, Harvesting Homes Malbec smells like plum and tastes like a light red wine with a little bit of sweetness of that plum and a little bit of chocolate. Of the White Album tasting, the Amber Fields Chardonnay is very good, smooth and buttery with a good sweetness that comes out near the end. Didn’t get any oak on this one, even though it is oak barreled. The favorite was the Wednesday Night Sauvignon Blanc. It wasn’t what we expected; it’s lemony, citrusy and dry. I typically stay away from these as I don’t like grapefruit in my wine and this one didn’t have that at all! All around a great selection of wines and a beautiful view.

We round through the mountain roads back towards Jasper and the orange, blue, and purple sun set over the cozy little downtown. A beautiful day filled with great memories.

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Hogansville: Relax in Luxury at The Grand Hotel

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/14/21

Only about 40 minutes outside of Atlanta, there’s a cute, small town that boasts a gorgeous Grand Hotel downtown opposite from some small shops, a hometown pub with food and beer, a pizza joint with slices and wings, a market, coffee shop, and a cool little driving range and bar, a short walk away. Hogansville is a small town has all the small town feels and the most charming people you’ll ever meet. We didn’t meet a stranger the entire night! It’s where stories from veterans, movie industry people, factory workers, and farmers all intermingled to create a patchwork of small-town American Life. Phones don’t work very well here, so it was refreshing to get out and actually engage people and learn more about this town and their way of life.

Back at our hotel, stepping into the Grand Hotel, your immediately greeted with a beautiful blue couch with an original, ornate chandelier hanging in the middle of the warm, wood room. The fireplace and mantle sprawl on the opposite wall as the paneling leads into the hallway and the rich, wood stairs lead up to a common room upstairs surrounded by guest rooms. Couches, tables, lamps, inhabit the common room, a spot to relax and chat with your neighbors if you will. This hotel only has about 9 rooms, and is very affordable for a weekend getaway out of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Entering room 2 with an actual key, it’s like staying in another era, a quieter, simpler time where people sat and chatted in their seating area, warmed by the fire, and turned in when the sun went down. This is how The Grand Hotel feels. In our room, you’re immediately in a sitting room with a small desk and decorative couch. To the left is the gas fireplace that emits a warm glow that you can see through the opulent stained-glass window. On the other side of the wall is the bedroom with it’s own fireplace, a large, comfortable king bed, and it’s private door to the wrap around balcony outside.

Coming back down the maze of stairs, you can either go straight into the chess room or travel to the bottom and turn left you’ll immediately move into the 1890 Room. An evening cocktail spot adorned with a beautiful fireplace, it’s very own stained-glass window, and a large piano in the corner. The bar turns out classic cocktails that fit into the hotel’s 1900s feel, like Call Me Old Fashioned with it’s bourbon and booziness, or the 1890 Sour that’s sweet and creamy, to The HVLLE, a classic Tiki cocktail with tons of coconut. If you’re hungry, they have tapas like an amazing charcuterie board stuffed with 4 meats, three cheese, and all the essential accoutrements! They also have fresh empanadas brought in from Atlanta. Even if you just want to grab a beer, that’s on the menu! The bartenders are friendly and enjoy telling stories!

Down the street from the hotel, is Drive Bar. Owned by James, a Navy Vet, is THE spot to try the latest, local craft beer, and hang out in the bays and hit some golf balls. Almost like a small-town top golf, golf aficionados or friends that just like some friendly competition gather to enjoy the company, the beer, and play one of the many games they have online. They use top golf technology for smaller markets and driving ranges so you can see how far your ball goes and can compete with others on a myriad of games like who can drive it the farthest or hit a target. They are by the hour, affordable fun with a great selection of beers from everyone like Line Creek to Wild Leap and food trucks at night for hungry customers.

Other things to do in Hogansville is the Pub for a burger and a wide selection of drinks, there is also Karvela’s pizza where you can grab a slice for lunch or wings, Brett from Drive Bar said, “you can’t do Hogansville without going to Karvela’s.” After a fun night listening to stories, sipping on cocktails, and eating wonderful food, we headed back to the traffic and busyness of the city. We won’t forget Hogansville, though. It’s a great little town to get away from it all.

WILDWOOD REVIVAL RETURNS TO THE FARM WITH AN AMAZING FIRST ROUND LINEUP, OCTOBER 8 – 10, 2021

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/29/21

The 7th Annual Gathering at Historic Cloverleaf Farm Will Feature Jenny Lewis, Sharon Van Etten, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Hiss Golden Messenger, John Moreland, White Denim, The Bones of J.R. Jones, Tré Burt, Elizabeth Cook, Packway Handle Band, and More 
General Admission and VIP Tickets Options on Sale Now
Wildwood Revival, a thoughtfully curated and intimate gathering and festival, has made good on its pledge to return to Cloverleaf Farm with the release of its first round of artists for the seventh installation, October 8 – 10, 2021. Embodying the magic of a Deep South setting out into the wildwood while celebrating Athens’ storied music scene, this year’s lineup will have hands counting the days until they can return to the Farm.  Wildwood Revival’s exploration into music, food, and friendship, this coveted festival is a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll, and everything in between.
With tickets on sale now, the initial lineup for 2021 has been released, and it is the most exciting to date. This year’s performers will keep fans guessing and dancing from Country, Blues, and early Jazz to Gospel, Soul, Rock n’ Roll, and beyond. Featured performers include Jenny Lewis;  Sharon Van EttenSt. Paul & the Broken BonesHiss Golden MessengerJohn MorelandWhite DenimThe Bones of J.R. JonesTré BurtElizabeth CookPackway Handle BandEarly JamesSuzanne Santo, and The Pink Stones. Fans can catch performances at the Pecan Grove as well as inside the farm’s open-air barn. Beyond the stage lights, there are late-night picking sessions around the campfire where the best stories are often sung.
The festival also features a dynamic artisan market with vintage clothing, antiques, printmakers, woodworkers, 1800’s-era tintype photography, leather makers, handmade crafts and more.  Celebrating what’s old is new again, Wildwood Revival  embraces its history as a cultural revival; making it a true antithesis to what people have come to think of festivals. Around the grounds, festival goers can experience great food, cold craft beers from Creature Comforts Brewing Co., and meals made with local produce.  In addition, this is a plastic-free experience with no plastic single use cups or bottled waters, with YETI offering festival goers stylish drink ware options. All the water is filtered, cold and free. Camping is encouraged for the full experience, but if guests prefer a king bed and AC to a shady patch of grass, there are plenty of lodging options in nearby Athens.
All tickets to Wildwood Revival include three full days of music. VIP tickets include access to a 7,000- square foot historic mansion; featuring chef-driven catered meals, multiple bars, and lounges with craft cocktails; Creature Comforts Beer and wine, private restrooms, outdoor lounges, experiential programming and entertainment, and all food and beverage options. Layaway ticket options are also available to secure your tickets without having to pay the total upfront. The farm opens Friday at 12 p.m. and music starts at 4 p.m. Tickets start at $112. To purchase tickets, visit https://wildwoodrevival.com/tickets. Stay connected via Instagram and Twitter at @wildwoodrevival and Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildwoodrevival.