The High Country

Our Saturday adventures included a tour of Avery County, North Carolina, before early dinner reservations at the Artisanal in Banner Elk.

The views throughout the high country are awe-inspiring.

Above, the famous Fred’s General Store at the top of Beech Mountain.

We also visited the tiny town of Banner Elk during the day.

My daytime look included a white linen cardigan from J.Jill and flat silver sandals. The white straight-leg pants by Kaari Blue™ were from Belk last year. The gray tank is several years old.

Before we arrived at the restaurant, I slipped into a pair of heeled sandals in gunmetal, similar here, changed my straw bag to a silver evening clutch, similar here, and put on my new IC Collection jacket. The jacket was a gift from my friends at My Fair Lady.

The Artisanal in Banner Elk has been one of our all-time favorite restaurants for several years.

My first course, pictured above, Alaskan King crab and shrimp cocktail.

Mr. Mickey had prawns for his first course.

These tiny bite-size rolls, fresh from the oven, melt in your mouth.

We both had the Halibut with fresh vegetables.

We shared a small chocolate ganache dessert after the meal.

Alex was a toddler when we first visited Artisanal. Now that he is nine, he loves to help his parents and is learning to be a stellar restauranteur.

We finished the evening on a bench in the park at Blowing Rock, eating a scoop of ice cream and watching the parade of people, dogs, and cars. We hope you had a splendid weekend as well.

  1. It sounds like an absolutely idyllic day and evening Susan. So many wonderful places to visit in your vicinity.

  2. What a pretty little town that appears to be. It is nice to see a community that takes pride in its appearance. Too many towns have such limited resources that things like landscaping are simply not taken care of.

  3. Thanks for sharing beauty of all sorts–nature, the scenery, the food, the young boy, and your loveliness. Uplifts me every time!

  4. What a great visit and what delicious treats you found as always. You and Mr. Mickey do live in an area with stellar locations near you so that weekend fun is within easy enough distance. They’re all so scenic and you find inspired great chefs. Enjoy!

  5. Any chance at some point you’ll do a post listing all your favorite spots, restaurants, activities? I think it could be an inspiration for our next Girls’ Trip!

  6. I noticed your new hair cut looks feminine and flattering in these beautiful pictures. Hair is so challenging in the hot, humid summer weather on the east coast. We love reading about your adventures and they inspire me to get out and about!

  7. Thanks for sharing your weekend adventures with us. Health issues prevent me from traveling anymore. My husband and I visited the mountains in your area many times, and I enjoy “visiting” them again through your pictures. As always, the sights and you are lovely. Your new haircut looks nice the way you styled it!

  8. Susan,

    You share so much information with us already that I hate to ask, but when you show us photographs of what you ordered at a restaurant, could you include text to describe what is on the plate? It all looks very appealing, but sometimes I am left wondering what I am looking at. Thank you.

  9. Just lovely! Restful day in a picturesque setting! Your jacket for dinner is stunning! The haircut looks very flattering for you Susan! Hope you are enjoying it! My tried-n-true pageboy haircut is giving me fits in this humidity – flat as a flitter and stick straight! (I’d love some of your curls!).

  10. These are beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing. I am living in Northern England in the beautiful Lake District for 2 years. I still love to see the beautiful places back home and plan to travel around the US when we move back. Europe is pretty but there is no place like home.

  11. Susan, your outfits look stunning! The all white with a touch of gray is cool and refreshing. The black evening top is gorgeous. Wish I could have purchased one, but they didn’t have a petite size. I’m saving this venue for a future trip — everything looks fun and delicious! Love your blog!!

  12. Hello Susan, just love your new hair style. I will be using your change on the go method of dressing from now on. so look forward to all of your blogs. Thank you, Pat

  13. I loved your quick change from smart casual to evening glamorous! The jacket is gorgeous – the collar so flattering.

  14. So enjoy all your posts. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. And of course you looked lovely in both your outfits. I also loved your beautiful pictures, I love photography and enjoy all the beauty that is being captured in your posts.


  15. I love how you show change from day to evening doesnt require anything but just a few quick changes! I tend to forget to not over think it too much!

  16. I have been following your page for a few months now. It is so inspiring and has helped me put my wardrobe in perspective. I also enjoy the outings and interesting places that you and Mr. Mickey go in the mountains. I am a long time resident of south Mississippi. Dressing appropriately and classy in hot humid steamy weather is such a challenge. Even our winters are warm. I have not purchased a winter coat in several years. Our weather just doesn’t merit purchasing coats. I would like to see more posts that stress warm weather clothing without a lot of skin revealed. I am 61, petite and need styles that fit my personality and lifestyle. Your blog really gets me to re think my style. I am making mental notes of all the great restaurants and places to visit in the mountains. My husband and I love the Mt Mitchell area and play golf there yearly. As the COVID era hopefully subsides soon, we are gonna head that way. We long for the cooler weather. Keep up the amazing blog and you look fabulous!

    1. I lived in Diamondhead for a few years and Gulfport for a while. I know what you mean about the oppressive heat! Light-colored cotton and linen that flowed across my body were my favorite clothing items when I lived there.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.