If you read my previous post on the HGTV Green Home, you know that touring the home was my reason for visiting Serenbe in the first place. I'd never heard of the community until I was invited down for the tour. I was excited to see the home, but I had no idea that Serenbe would find a special place in my heart and I can't wait to share my experiences with others. I already have big plans for an after wedding, weekend trip down to relax.
If you go to the Serenbe Portal Page, you can find all of the information on the community that you could ever need. I hope to fill you in on my experiences in my short, afternoon visit. After touring the home we had about an hour to kill before we had to be at The Farmhouse for our dinner reservations. Because it's a small town and there isn't a constant stream of people on weekdays, the local business have some pretty weird hours. A few of the stores that we really wanted to try were closed for the evening and it was only 5:00.
We drove from the house to the downtown area of Serenbe. It's a more established area from the side with the HGTV home and the new General Store. This part of town has restaurants and all the boutique shopping you would want on a lazy Saturday afternoon. We were able to make it into two stores but would have loved to stop in more.
Our first stop was Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, which was closed at the time, but we were able to get inside just as the shop owner was closing up and we were allowed to purchase a 4-pack of cupcakes. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of those - we ate them too fast.
Not only was the little bakery adorable, but the menu looked superb. It would be the perfect place for lunch or brunch. If your a foodie and watch some of the million cooking shows that are on TV these days, you may recognize the bakery for a little award they just won.
Yep, just a few days before we were there the show aired announcing them as the winner of Cupcake Wars. Having tasted the cupcake recipes from the show I can tell you they deserved to win. The place was packed full of 4-pack containers waiting to be sold. The dining room was industrial chic with a giant fan overhead and exposed brick walls but it felt welcoming and warm at the same time.
With cupcakes in hand we drove another block (we were driving because we didn't know what would be open as we passed by - again with the weird hours). We stopped at The Bilt House, an adorable little shop with clothes, gifts and items for the home. They have two other locations in Atlanta and Roswell, mental note to check those out too. I found the cutest Anniversary gift for my dad and step-mom while in the shop, I'll have to see if I can find it in one of the closer stores or I'll call in my order and make a drive down to pick it up. Darn.
Some new town homes available in Serenbe.
Then it was time for dinner. We were having dinner at The Inn at Serenbe where we were lucky enough to meet Steve and Marie Nygren whose vision started Serenbe in the first place. They came down to visit a farmhouse for sale years ago and fell in love with the area. They bought the land and continued to develop it. With the help of the 1996 Olympics the Inn started and from there they developed the plan for a community that would create a sense of place for it's residence. You really get the feeling that the neighbors really know each other and care about each other. Marie was one of the nicest people I've met and to meet someone with such vision was remarkable.
The Inn itself has a few rooms and then little cottages that you can rent. I'm not sure of prices, I didn't even look. It felt so comfortable there that I'd be okay paying what ever it may cost for a weekend of relaxation, and we're not rolling in the money, believe me. There are two saltwater pools at the Inn for guests to use, this one looked like the perfect place to spend a Thursday evening.
Before dinner, we stopped at the bar and had the BEST. PEACH. SANGRIA. EVER. Would you look at these things! I wish I knew what was in them, but I know the bartender made them that day, with fresh peaches in the mix.
We ate dinner on the patio section of the dining room. The mismatched chairs at the table really made you feel like you were visiting the Nygren's home, not dining at a restaurant. Our server knew every detail of the menu and was a delight the entire evening. (The table in the picture below is not our table, I'm sitting at our table, so you can't see the chairs I just mentioned.) The patio is enclosed in glass, so no bugs to worry about, you can't really tell in the photo.
The menu is fresh each week, they serve what is available at the farm in Serenbe or other local farms. For our trip they were serving a trout or a steak. I went with the steak, a salad to start and homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich for dessert. The serving sizes were perfect, not one of us left feeling over stuffed. The food was cooked to perfection, I'm not sure any of us had a bite left on our plates either.
It was sad to drive away from Serenbe that evening, but the entire drive home we talked about how much we enjoyed it. I brought a few goodies home with me: a magnolia candle that I wish I could have constantly lit in the house, the Fig Preserves that I'm obsessed with and the cupcakes from Blue Eyed Daisy. (There are only three of the four pictured, I couldn't wait.)
I urge you to make the drive down to Serenbe or Like them on Facebook so you can keep up with the events going on around the neighborhood. I know we will be.