Endless talk of all things sparkly.

Jewelry Road Trip: Circa 1700 Goes to Tennessee!

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Circa 1700 recently went on an awesome road trip to Texas and on up through Tennessee.  She graciously takes us on her journey through these two antique-filled states and let’s us in on her finds!  Let’s travel along as she brings us on this TWO PART blog adventure: (click here to read about Texas)

After Austin, we hopped on a plane to Nashville. Our first stop was The Loveless Café for the best biscuits and waffles I’ve ever had. But the deliciousness came with a wait that was not for the starving or the faint of heart – seriously; the wait is a minimum of one hour and forty minutes.

We had nowhere to be and there was a little antique store adjacent to the café. I found a beautiful antique watercolor that captured my imagination. After breakfast, we drove to Antiques at the Factory, a large antique venue on the outskirts of Nashville in Franklin. Thanks to his Kindle library (I owe you one, Amazon!), my husband was entertained in the car while I explored the vast collection of jewelry, both old and new. 

That night we had dinner at The Capitol Grille inside The Hermitage Hotel. The food was beyond divine and Chef Brown uses an innovative means to “link the farm and the table”. In addition to the food, a visit to the men’s deco bathroom is in order – if you’re an architecture or history buff, you will not be disappointed.

As 2013 came to an end, we celebrated the coming of the New Year (and our anniversary) with about eighty thousand of our nearest and dearest at the Bash on Broadway. Since we’re not amongst the hardest of the hardcore so far as parties go, we woke and managed to avoid the normal rush at The Pancake Pantry and then visited The Parthenon, a full-scale replica that was built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. Definitely not to be missed!

We then drove for a bit and snuck on to the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation before we hit the road for Memphis. Along the way we made numerous stops, including Loretta Lynn’s ranch where we discovered that she built a replica of her Butcher Holler, Kentucky childhood home. And the farm cats are very friendly once they get to know you a little.

Our first stop in Memphis was The Peabody Memphis hotel. The concierge set the right tone for this leg of our trip with his awesome antique crest ring that has been in his family for over 200 years. An, upon hearing that I was on a gem hunt, he handed Erick a straight-up roadmap to the Holy Grail – the Memphis Antique and Art Guide. 

This guide led us to the Antique Warehouse Mall. Again, thanks to Kindle and his iPhone, Erick waited in the car while I went digging for treasure. Patience is a necessary virtue here, as there is lots of great stuff, but you have to look for it. From there, we headed to Tut-Uncommon Antiques where I found a vast selection of Victorian jewelry. If gold-filled pieces are your thing, this is the place to visit. 

The next stop was Palladio, where they have a terrific selection of antiques as well as a wonderful little café where we enjoyed a tasty lunch. Honestly, I barely scratched the surface of the antique shops listed in the guide. But we had to make time for both Sun Studio and Graceland before heading back to LA.

Best fact of the whole trip: Rock ’n’ roll exists because the Delta River Kings broke their amplifier on the way to record Rocket ’88 at Sun Studio. Sam Phillips wadded up sheets of newspaper and shoved them under the dangling speaker cone. Thereby creating the guitar distortion that was the cornerstone of Rock from then on. Or so the lovely tour guide told us!

To hear more and to see the acetate master of the first Rock record, visit Sun Studio. I promise you won’t regret it.

And to close on a culinary high note, Flight is a must-eat destination. It’s an OpenTable top-100 restaurant and all the food, drinks and desserts come in flights of 3! So, if you can’t make up your mind, then go crazy and experience multiple different but complementary yummy dishes while being waited on by an incredibly attentive and patient staff.

 In closing, I’d be remiss not to mention the daily march of the Peabody Ducks. These are The Peabody Memphis’s resident ducks and they do a daily march from their penthouse suite to the reception area fountain. This tradition started in 1933 when a group of (drunk) hunters brought a bunch of ducks into the hotel as a joke – and the rest is Memphis history!

And be sure to check out Circa 1700‘s shop on Ruby Lane!  She has some gorgeous staple pieces within the Circa 1700 jewelry line, as well as one-of-a-kind antique jewels and lots of conversion pieces that were once pins or brooches, made into wearable necklaces, rings and bracelets.  You can also find pieces from her road trip for sale!

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