It took us most of the day to drive from Memphis to Nashville. We arrived to discover that the NFL professional draft had just started – Nashville is the base this year. Well – that wasn’t part of the plan! Crowds of 300,000 are expected over the next few days, creating pressure on facilities and hotel prices to double. Very glad we booked this trip up over a year ago!
We checked into our hotel and the very helpful concierge there sorted out all the restaurant reservations for the next couple of days for us – a ‘must do’ in view of how busy the city was.
Dinner – Etch – 303 Demonbreun St. – www.etchrestaruant.com. An upscale restaurant offering creative menus that were absolutely delicious. It is made with Belle Meade bourbon, smoked simple and bitters and garnished with an orange wedge and a cherry. . The roasted cauliflower just has to be tried. The smoked Old Fashioned cocktail is also highly recommended.
We stopped off at The Parthenon en route – the world’s only full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon. The ornate structure originated as a plaster pavilion in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. It is a structure which sums up what Nashville is all about for me. Apart from the music, the “Athens of the South” is home to several prestigious educational institutions, hospitals and healthcare companies – a centre of learning and democracy. Today it serves as an art gallery and home to a gold-gilded towering statue of Athena, the largest sculpture in the Western World. Amazing that the statue of Victory she holds in her hand is 4 cubits high – the same as the average human being!
The afternoon passed quickly away visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame. Although there are some interesting exhibits here, it isn’t really a very exciting tour in my view. The audio guide for an extra $5 didn’t really add much. The museum is confusingly laid out in places and it is hard to pick up all the numbers on the route. It is worth a trip if you are a real country music fan and want to stand and admire all the the gold records in the Hall of Fame though.
Dinner: Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse 300 4th Avenue North. Very attentive service, smart decor (if a little glitzy), but the food was very expensive for what was really a basic steak and fries. There are better, more wallet friendly options. Give it a miss.
Learning the lingo: “Meat and three” – Meat and a choice of three vegetables. Unbelievably enough, Mac ‘n cheese is counted as a vegetable here?! The best place to try this is apparently Pucketts – 500 Church Street at the intersection with 5th.
Souvenir I am glad I bought: My first pair of cowboy boots – from Broadway, I never realised that boots could have soles that actually make your feet rock – they really make you want to dance along to the beat!
Glad I packed: Denim jeans. What else do you wear with a pair of cowgirl boots!
What’s on my Playlist: It has to be Dolly Parton – you just have to love her.