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Nashville’s hottest haunts

Nashville is cool right now, especially through the filter of Genifer Sohr who, along with husband Benjamin, is turning the city into a stylish destination with their design studio Pencil & Paper Co. Here, she gives us a tour of her favourite haunts and Instagram posts.

Whether you find yourself mingling with the hipsters in East Nashville or whooping it up in our world-famous honkey tonks, there really is so much to love about Nashville right now.

Our amazing little town is having such a growth spurt: in no time at all, it has gone from a country music Mecca to a haven for all things fabulous and new.

Folks are arriving in their droves and bringing with them fantastic food, new music and different perspectives.

Jack White, Kings of Leon and The Black Keys have all decided to call Nashville home. Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon chose to launch her new retail concept Draper James here (and invited us to collaborate on the store design).

We also have a vibrant food scene with a great mix of old school southern favourites from the likes of Elliston Place Soda Shop and new southern classics – hot chicken from Hattie B’s.

Chefs Jonathan Waxman and Sean Brock have each planted a culinary flag in Nashville and, not to be missed, are Rolf and Daughters and Mas Tacos Por Favor.

In short, folks are discovering what we’ve known for years: Nashville has a fantastic heritage, beautiful countryside and the friendliest locals. Southern hospitality is alive and well here so come say ‘howdy’!

Below are some of our favourite Nashville hotspots:

  • Pretend to be a real local with an early morning run at Percy Warner Park, before refuelling with good coffee in Barista Parlor or Biscuit Love.
  • imogene + willie represents all that is wonderful about Nashville, wrapped up in one amazing package.
    Owners (and husband and wife team), Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, are the purveyors of ‘cool’. If you’re in the market for perfect-fitting jeans, this is the place!
    Their shop is located in one of our favourite hoods, 12th South, in a great old gas station.
    Along with their private label line and vintage finds, they also carry brands like Warby Parker and Aesop.
    If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the ‘supper + song’ series, there’s nothing better than catching a show in the store’s amazing backyard.
    And if you’re really lucky, the renowned Mas Tacos Por Favor food truck will be parked out front serving delicious tacos.
  • White’s Mercantile is another great spot located in 12th South.
    It’s owned by musician Holly Williams. Not only is she an amazing artist (and daughter of country music legend Hank Williams Jr.), but she also has a wonderful knack for hand-picking the perfect mix of vintage treasures and beautifully curated gifts.
  • You can’t come to Nashville without making a stop at the legendary Hatch Show Print.
    Since the late 1800s, they’ve been making hand-printed wood block and letter press posters for all of our favourite musicians.
    Pay a visit and you can watch posters roll right off the press! You won’t leave without a Hatch Show Print original.
  •  Another of our must-visit picks is Kayce Hughes.
    Not only is she a dear friend, but one of the most stylish and talented women you’ll ever meet.
    And her store is everything you would expect: pink walls with playful bamboo furniture and the perfect vintage floral sofas. It’s like walking into your best southern girlfriend’s living room.
    And, of course, Kayce’s store is filled with colourful classics for women and children. It’s my go-to spot for the perfect playful accessory.
    This busy mum of seven, designer and business owner makes it all seem effortless. We only hope a bit of her magic rubs off when we wear her signature preppy-meets-vintage designs.
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the historic mansion at one of Nashville’s oldest and most beautiful homes: Cheekwood.
    Now Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, the collection includes 600 paintings and 5000 prints, as well as a contemporary art collection including works by Andy Warhol and Robert Ryman.
  • Come evening, there’s great music at the Ryman, described as ‘the mother church of country music’, The Station Inn or Robert’s Western World.

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This article appeared in issue 20

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