Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Hermitages

During our time in Nashville, we were lucky enough to stay at the historic Hermitage Hotel located in the heart of down town. This hotel is gorgeous and the definition of luxurious. The hotel opened in 1910 and was named after Andrew Jackson's estate located right outside of Nashville.

There was personalized stationary waiting for me when I got to my room, and sweet house keeping would leave me a cute note and a couple of chocolates every day. Such fun little details.

We ate at the Capitol Grille a couple of times during our stay, and it was pretty good. I had the best brussel sprouts of my life there, they were tangy sweet and roasted just right.

I loved the design of their menus it was a little unexpected for such a fancy restaurant.

Whenever there was a bourbon dessert on a menu, we made sure to get it, so when we saw bourbon pecan pie, there was no question, we had to try it.

On our second day in Nashville we visited the famous estate for which our hotel was named, Andrew Jackson's very own Hermitage.  Jackson commissioned construction of a more refined house; the original mansion was a two-story Federal-style building, built with bricks manufactured on-site, and completed between 1819 and 1821. A simple portico was added later, in 1831, while Jackson was away in the White House, he had the mansion remodeled with flanking one-story wings, a one-story entrance portico with 10 columns, and a small rear portico giving the house a Classical appearance. The back of the house is in the original red brick and the front is white this giving the side of the house a somewhat mix matchy kind of look.

The inside of the home is absolutely gorgeous! The entry hall with plank flooring painted dark is decorated with block-printed wallpaper by Joseph Dufour et Cie of Paris, depicting scenes from Telemachus' visit to the island of Calypso, from Homer's Odyssey.

If you can't tell by all the pictures, I was in love with the wall paper, it is stunning. I loved the bold. vivid colors and the extremely detailed scenes.

The house is decorated in a typical southern plantation style, brightly colored walls to help reflect the sun light, heavy bed drapery for the winters, light airy ones for the summer etc. It's a beautiful home.

Upstairs, the amazing wallpaper continued in the main hallway. There are quite a few bedrooms upstairs for guests to stay, we were told by our tour guide that often there would be so many guests that they would set up beds in the hallway and they would have a giant sleep over on the floor.

After touring the inside, it was time to explore the backyard and the grounds. To the east of the house is a 1-acre formal garden designed by Philadelphia-based gardener William Frost in 1819. Laid out in the English four-square kitchen garden style, it consists of four quadrants and a circular center bed contained by unusually long, beveled bricks and pebbled pathways. Originally, the garden was used to produce food for the mansion and secondarily as an ornamental pleasure garden. The garden is surrounded by a white picket fence 

After Rachel Jackson died in 1828, Jackson had her buried in the garden she loved. When he had the house remodeled in 1831, Jackson also had a classicizing "temple & monument" constructed for Rachel's grave. Craftsmen completed the domed limestone tomb with a copper roof in 1832. When Andrew Jackson passed away in 1837, he was buried right beside her.

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