Try Something New

We are always looking for a new restaurant to try or a new town to explore. Remaining curious and open to new experiences gives us things to look forward to and keeps us young at heart.

Our dear friend Gary Brown has just opened the Chef & Somm in downtown Blowing Rock, NC. He is a vastly knowledgeable Sommelier who has teamed up with the very talented Chef Sara Hord. They have created a delightful space to enjoy exceptional wines perfectly paired with delicious foods. You will find them at 1132 Main Street, Suite 102 in Blowing Rock.

We started our splendid brunch with a Cava Sparkling Wine from Spain.

The mixed green salad with white balsamic vinegar and goat cheese truffles was excellent.

Gary presented two light citrus note wines that were perfect for enjoying with our pasta dishes.

Mr. Mickey had the Spaghettini Shrimp and Crab with spring pesto.

I enjoyed the Orecchiette with roasted cauliflower, spring peas, Fennel Cream, and shaved Pecorino. It was divine!

We shared a fresh berry compote and glasses of exceptional port for dessert. We are planning our next visit to Chef & Somm very soon!

The village of Blowing Rock is one of our favorite places to visit as soon as spring arrives. The weather was cool and rainy, so the town was relatively quiet on this Sunday afternoon.

These little Japanese Chins stole my heart. They are Certified Therapy Dogs. When I sat down on the bench to cuddle with them, I could feel my blood pressure drop and every care slip away. It worked! Mr. Mickey calls me ‘The Dog Whisperer’ because they so often come to me without being beckoned.

We always stop to visit with Mark at Finely House Couture on Main Street in Blowing Rock. I had so much fun shopping with these ladies on a Girl’s Trip to Blowing Rock. The collection of vintage Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton bags, as well as a vast offering of clothing, jewelry, and scarves, enthralled us.

My look for the day included dark-wash jeans and short boots because of the frequent showers. The splashback on rainy days will ruin light-colored pants. Since temperatures were not going to get much above sixty, I also wore a Covered Perfectly top in black with a navy blazer to keep warm. I added a colorful silk scarf for a pop of color and pattern and carried a nude bag in honor of spring. My love of classics extends to cars as well. Even when they are old, they still look sharp if you choose well and take care of them.

Pants | Top | Blazer (Similar) | Booties | Scarf (Similar) | Bag (Similar) | Referral and affiliate links in my posts may generate a small commission for me at no cost to you.

  1. Susan, your elegance & style just “pop” in that picture of you and the gals. I think you were born with it and I laugh whenever I see the name of your older blog–fifty not frumpy. You were never frumpy, I am sure! Thanks for sharing. You are certainly exposing me to parts of the country I have yet to visit.

  2. It was fun to experience your adventure to Blowing Rock and the food did look delicious as well. Great pictures with the vintage handbags etc. my great wish to visit. Thanks

  3. I love Blowing Rock! I wish we could get there more often! The food looks divine at Chef & Somm! What a beautiful Sunday!

  4. High-quality wine makes all the difference. I don’t even have a headache today. That would not be the case with even one glass otherwise. European wines often are produced without commercial yeast, and they have less alcohol content than what we often have here in the states. Read more about wine and what might be added to it here.

  5. Susan, love your outfit as usual! We are planning a trip in the fall to Alabama from Pennsylvania and I am definitely going to make Blowing Rock a stop on the way! It just looks like an adorable town! My husband and I also like to do shorter trips around our state and find interesting restaurants and cuisine! Have a wonderful week!

  6. What an exciting experience for the women on the Girls’ Trip! They visited a lovely town and met you. A wonderful day for all.

  7. Susan, this is too funny! My husband and I took the year’s Spring Carolinas road trip to a number of towns rather than for a week to Charleston or Savannah as we’d done for the past seven years. How did we decide — well, it was your influence. I’d been reading your blogs for a while and suggested that we do ‘what the blog lady does’ and touch some of those wonderful towns. We decided on two-day visit to Waynesville, Asheville, Greenville SC, and BlowingRock/Boone. It was a wonderful trip driving the Blue Ridge Parkway as much as we could – 143 miles and Rts. 151 and 276 that were amazing. I intended to write you today and then saw your Monday blog from, surprise, Blowing Rock. What fun! And, there you were in front of the Town Tavern where we’d enjoyed a pause on Saturday just a day before your visit. So, Susan, here’s a big THANK YOU for inspiring me/us to put a new spin on our annual Spring vacation to the SE. Until. . .

  8. I drive Mercedes, too ! I got married in ’82, bought a Mercedes and have been driving them for 37 years ! I’ve only had 3, named Baby, Goldie, and Bella. I had Baby until she was 18 years old and had 332,000 miles ! My friends kept telling me that didn’t I know you’re supposed to let your Baby go, when she reaches 18 !! so I did ! PS: I love Blowing Rock as well………..

  9. Thanks for scouting out something new in Blowing Rock. We love going there as well and will look for the new restaurant!

  10. The food photos and descriptions are divine! Isn’t Blowing Rock supposedly the setting for Jan Karon’s Mitford series?!

    1. Fold a 51-inch square silk scarf on the bias. Wrap it around your neck with the center in the front, bring the ends back to the front and tuck them into the front section.

  11. I agree with you that a proper diet is important, but unfortunately some of us have limited budgets, and have high medical, prescription bills. I see from your blogs you live well, eat well, dress well, drive an expensive car. That’s wonderful, but when I shop, I have to watch every dime. Sadly, all the stuff that’s healthy is expensive. I’d love to buy salmon, but no can do. Fresh fruits and veggies are too much for us. Chicken, pasta, potatoes, will have to do.

    1. Substitute the pasta for kale (a one-pound bag at Walmart is about $3), buy sweet potatoes instead of white. Don’t limit your possibilities or your health by believing you can’t improve your life.

    2. Hi, I’m a health educator and work with people with chronic health problems and limited budgets. Just wanted to say that frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh and may be more budget-friendly. If you buy canned fruits, buy the ones packed in juice rather than syrup. If you do buy fruits packed in juice, rinse them with water before you eat them. Hope these ideas are helpful.

  12. Dear Susan,

    My heart jumps with joy!!!
    You are having cava Codorniu… a wine from my homeland, Catalonia (Spain)… if you liked and have the opportunity as for “Anna de Coroniu”.. is even better.

    Thanks for sharing

    Warmest regards

  13. Hola Susan,
    Me alegro mucho de que ya estés completamente repuesta del sarpullido.
    Me parece apreciar incluso que has perdido algo de peso…, el cambio del desayuno?
    Sigue disfrutando, es lo que todos podemos desear.
    Un saludo,

  14. I enjoy your blogs about places you visit. The food you photo makes it entertaining. Thanks for the wardrobe tips. I jut received my 2nd top from ShopMyFairLady. Love their clothes. I would never have known about them if you didn’t mention it in your blogs. Thanks.

  15. I find inspiration in your posts and read any that I come across.

    I agree that a scarf is a valuable accessory. My neck is very short and my shoulders wide, I can’t find a good way to wear one.

    I’m just under 5’2” with an hourglass figure. Your tips on proportion are helpful, but can you dress a short friend to give women suggestions specific to our challenges.

    1. Treat those scarves as long and flowing drapes rather than wearing them around your neck tied. I will try to round up a petite friend to help me with this project.

  16. Good Spring afternoon to you ladies,

    This visit photo shot is even more inviting than usual!!!!
    I love the idea of a girl trip!!!!! MMMMM maybe some day…….

    I had recently purchased what I call your Zebra scarf and was delighted it arrived in time for my trip to Michigan State U. for my gr dt.’s graduation this past weekend! It was just perfect on flights, in restaurants, and in their huge auditorium for 2 ceremonies.

    Your charming site is so uplifting…. please continue for a VERY LONG TIME!

    Much love from Texas!

  17. Cute outfit!! I live in Cary, NC so next time I’m in Blowing Rock, I will have to stop for dinner!!! Look delish!!

  18. I thoroughly enjoy seeing the beautiful fashions and especially the location! My husband and I enjoyed living in that planned community for twelve years!
    He was the chairman of the Lakes Committee and had the fountains installed! Had such wonderful neighbors! SC

  19. You look beautiful, as always! I’m guessing you have naturally curly hair and the damp weather made it look curlier than usual. I have to say, I really love it! You got a Marilyn Monroe look to many of the shots – especially by your vehicle! Blowing Rock is my most favorite place and I go there whenever I visit my Mom. Love your blogs! They help this Eastern-born gal get through a blah life in Wyoming!

    1. Fold the scarf on the bias (instructions here). Put the middle at your bust, bring the ends around the back of your neck and to the front. Tuck those ends into the front and adjust the scoop.

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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.