A Crazy Good Time with Food, Music and Fun
There is nowhere more lively to sample creative food, pours, and music than at the annual Highlands Food & Wine event (HFW) located in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Every year in early November, the happening small town of Highlands draws top chefs and restaurateurs, vintners, craft brewers, and musical artists from the Southeast who come together to showcase their talents over the course of four days. And foodies follow.
As if the fall season isn't enough of a draw to hunker down by a roaring fire, sip lustrous wine and eat your heart out at any one of Highlands bevy of excellent restaurants, the HFW event offers a packed weekend calendar showcasing the talents of 30+ chefs, 8 musical acts from country-rock to jazz to gospel, 1000+ bottles of wine, all while at elevations above 4000'. Some of the events include Truck'in, a swanky outdoor space with food trucks including Carolina BBQ from the sensational Elliot Moss of Buxton Hall in Asheville and other inspiring cuisine de food truck chefs, along with craft brews and cocktails, and music from folk-rock talent Dawes.
Other events include Saturday's Main Event with unlimited oysters prepared multiple ways, small plates, copious adult beverages and live music from soul rock group JJ Grey and MOFRO. On Saturday night, A Generous Pour offers curated wines along with live music from famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Sunday's final event is a show stopping Gospel Brunch with chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta's Miller Union at the kitchen helm, a Tito's bloody mary bar and cleansing soulful sounds from Joyful and Liz Vice. In between all of the big events, there are chef wine dinners in private homes, foodie movies playing at the Highlands Playhouse and organized Sip & Shop strolls through town.
This fabulous fun-filled weekend event is not to be missed! Highlands, NC is easily accessible from Atlanta and Asheville. HFW runs from Thursday, November 9 to Sunday, November 12, 2017. To check for available tickets and to purchase go to Highlands Food & Wine.
A Perfect Day in Tulum is nothing short of a walk on the powdery, white sand beach, a swim in the warm Caribbean waters, a lazy nap in a hammock or beach bed and above all a handcrafted mezcal sipper. A Perfect Night is an easy walk or quick taxi ride to an out of the ordinary foodie experience avoiding the non-touristy spots and typical Mexican quesadillas. We find it hard to get a bad meal in Tulum's hotel zone, but to get an outstanding meal is where insider knowledge can assist in making for a superb culinary experience. Read on for our recommendations both in food, drink and boutique luxury stays.
CHI CHI FOODIE FINDS...
Hartwood, a favorite since 2010, created by long-since-gone-from NYC Chef Eric Werner, is a must for their wood-fired specialties such as grilled octopus, locally caught seafood and local flavors. Craft cocktails are varied, interesting and powerful.
Gitano is a sultry, lush tropical scene where the beautiful people hang. Flavorful creations such as basil guacamole and truffle mushroom tacos dominate.
Casa Jaguar is also a fan favorite among hipsters and foodies alike for its sexy, jungle vibe. Go for drinks only or dinner. You'll find unique flavors in ceviche, veggies, local seafood and cocktails.
For local fare try Guerrero and Oaxaca at Pozoleria de la Mexicanita for pozole chicken or pork topped with a cucumber-lime agua fresca. Or for a more farmers-like feel, try Mercado Comunitario de Tulum for local farmers' harvests, taco stands, tulum chefs and quality produce.
For a fun beach bar filled with tourists and locals alike all seeking to sip superb mojitos on the beach, go to Batey, a trendy, artsy bar in downtown. Live entertainment from jazz to beach music maintains a happy beat.
BOUTIQUE, LUXURY STAYS...
NEST Tulum... aptly named as it is a cozy little luxury nest prepared to comfort and transform you. No fuss, but intimate with hospitality to make you feel welcome and pampered wherever you are on the secluded property.
BeTulum... Boho-chic with a little topping of crunchy best describes this luxury, eco-friendly boutique hotel situated perfectly between the jungle and the hotel zone. The beach lounge, sumptuous food, Yaan Wellness spa, and yoga-focused vibe will bring balance to your system. Splurge for a room with its own private plunge pool which will really set you free.
Content by Kristin Bowen
Photos provided by Kelley Bowen and Oliver Atcheson
Looking for an ideal place to get some romance on with plush rooms, an award-winning spa, decadent culinary creations, and five-star amenities? Aside from the long list of accolades and travel awards for this Relais & Chateaux property, you may never find a place like this also situated in a subtropical microclimate 4,117 feet above sea level on a beautiful plateau.
I raise my auction paddle and my fatigued wine glass to the committee and sponsors for yet another spectacular year. To attend this fun-filled event every March, plan ahead as tickets are hard to obtain- visit their site at High Museum for more information.