Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Historic Hotel’ Category

Once you see my photo of the renowned Hot Brown Sandwich at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY you will know why we HAD to stop here for lunch en route to Cincinnati. Does the word NOM come to mind? nom!

Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

We were on a deadline to get to The American Sign Museum and had but a scant few minutes to race through the Brown Hotel, and did a quick race around to snap some photos.But in that short time we knew that this was a place we’d love to stay, so on the map it goes!

Built in 1923, closed in 1971, restored and reopened in the early 1980’s, the Brown is on the National Register of Historic places.

Entering the empty lobby and hearing the disembodied sounds of piano music coming from an un-manned grand piano, we thought we perhaps had slipped back into a ghost-decade of the hotel’s historic past. AKA The Best Feeling Ever.

Lobby and Piano The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

The opulent two-story lobby has a hand-painted, coffered ceiling, Bottocino marble flooring, finely carved mahogany furnishings and Palladian-style windows. The Georgian-Revival style exterior is trimmed in stone and terra cotta. The Brown Hotel’s ornate hand-painted plaster relief ceilings, intricately carved railings, decorative crown molding, and other classic architectural details make her one of the finest hotels in the South.

Here’s Retro Roadhusband being tres elegante in one of the many pieces of period furniture in the lobby.

RetroRoadhusband in the Big Chair At The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

A big Thank You goes out to the swell lady behind the counter, who instead of chasing us meddling kids away, gave us brochures about the history of the hotel – and their famous sandwich – and encouraged us to check out some of the rooms on the floor above.

I loved the empty, yet still wallpapered booths that once held payphones. Young readers may not remember pay phones, or The New Yorker Cartoons that illustrate the wallpaper, but they’re both wonderful evidence of the history and longevity of the hotel.
Empty Pay Phone Booths The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

But enough about architecture, wallpaper and payphones, says Retro Roadhusband – let’s get one of those SANDWICHES!!!!
RetroRoadhusband Says Lets EAT! The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

(You can see additional of the great details of The Brown Hotel here at the Photo Gallery link on their website, which includes a number of 360 Virtual Tours.)

Thanks to the great folks at the Roadfood.com “Where Should I Eat?” forum, we knew that the Hot Brown was a not miss delicacy on our breakneck trek through Louisville.

Butter + heavy cream + Romano cheese + roasted turkey breast + bacon + omatoes + texas toast +salt & pepper = NOM!

Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

(This totally reminds me of a little something my dear, great-aunt Agga would assemble in her small apartment kitchen when I’d come over to help her organize her stuff. Wonderful memory and wonderful tasty food.)

Here’s the history of this treat From The Brown Hotel’s description of their signature sandwich:

In the 1920’s, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. In the wee hours of the morning, the guests would grow tired of dancing and retire to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Diners were growing rapidly bored with the traditional ham and eggs, so Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests’ palates. His unique creation was an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce.

The sandwich was rich and delicious, and while we tried to be healthy/frugal and ordered one to share (along with a salad) I totally wish we had indulged and gotten one for each of us. The Brown gives the recipe for this Hot Brown delicacy on their website, so once the weather cools, we may try to recreate them at home.

While this was too short of a visit to truly absorb the wonderfulness of The Brown Hotel and their killer lunch, hopefully we’ve shown you enough to encorage you to visit when you’re in Louisville yourself!

Brown Hotel & Famous Hot Brown Sandwich
335 West Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 583-1234

Read Full Post »

While w would have loved to stay at the posh Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, TN we did  scurry ourselves over there to witness the daily parade of ducks as they make their way to the fountain in the lobby, as they have every day since the 1930s!
Peabody Hotel BookThe place was an absolute madhouse of families and tourists all lined up on the red carpeted path from the penthouse elevator to the fountain, but it was fun to be part of this tradition. We managed to catch a quick glimpse of a duck butt or two as they waddled quickly to their aquatic destination, and I could not help but laugh at how quickly it was over. We did catch a glimpse of the elevator that takes the ducks from their penthouse suite to the lobby, and lo and behold, there’s an egg.

The Peabody Duck Egg Memphis TN

We decided to return to the Peabody later in the day when it wasn’t so crowded, and I’m glad I was able to get some shots of this glorious downtown hotel. As well as the ducks, up close and personal.

Here’s the beautiful centerpiece of the lobby, the Italian travertine marble fountain where the ducks swim daily:

Fountain at Peabody Hotel Memphis TN

And a closeup of the webfooted fiends and their little friends:

Peabody Ducks and Kids

So how did this tradition of the Peabody Duck March of the ducks start?

Funny enough it started with the General Manager returning from a hunting trip and thinking it would be funny to leave their live duck decoys in the fountain (much to the delight of guests). This tradition was given the added pomp and circumstance of the march when a bellman – who happened to be an ex-animal trainer for the circus was put in charge of the ducks. He trained the ducks to march (more like scurry) to the fountain to the strains of the Sousa King Cotton March and it has been a tradition at 11am and 5pm ever since.

This has also become a tradition at the Peabody hotels in Orlando and Little Rock.

Now onto the hotel!

The Peabody Hotel we see today was built in 1925, continuing the tradition and history of The Peabody hotel that had been on a different location in Memphis from 1869-1923. Built in an Italian Renaissance style it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Peabody Hotel Lobby

A destination in its heyday, The Peabody was famous for it’s rooftop “Skyway” venue – one of just three national locations for live radio broadcasts during the 1930s and 1940s.

Peabody Hotel Skyway Postcard ebay mikeleach

I may sound like a broken record when I remind readers of the dark times that many of these historic downtowns went through in the 1960s and 1970s, and Memphis was no exception. The Peabody closed down in 1975 but then was luckily saved and restored, to once again serve the public in 1981.The reopening of The Peabody is considered by many to have been a major inspiration for the downtown revitalization that continues to this day in Memphis.

One of the many interesting thing to note about the Peabody is that it has 13 floors – not a particularly lucky number to many. Because superstition is so strong about this number in many hotels, the Peabody has replaced the number 13 in their elevators with the letter S – for Skyway. Bad luck avoided!

House Phone

So if you’re in the mood for some silly swimmers or a swanky swig at the Grand Lobby Bar (named by Esquire as a Top Ten Best Watering Hole in America) waddle on over to the Peabody!

The Peabody Hotel
49 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 529-4000

Read Full Post »

Summer’s officially here and I am so very excited for all of the fun we have planned – like our stay at the lovingly restored 1950s Caribbean Motel in Wildwood, NJ.¬†There’s us, in line for a hot dog, in this vintage photo from the Caribbean, courtesy of our pals at RetroStockPix.com.

Caribbean Motel Wildwood NJ Vintage Photo Cookout RetroStockPix.com(don’t you just love my turban and sunglasses? Trying to keep a low profile, lest I get mobbed by fans!)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Built in 1886 The Driskill is the oldest operating hotel in Austin – and rumored to be haunted! This is a first for us. We did not stay here (it’s ultra swanky) but we got to tour around a bit during South by Southwest this spring. Come on along and we’ll show you what we saw!
Driskill Hotel Austin TX

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Since today is our wedding anniversary (9 years!) I was reminiscing about ways we had celebrated this day in years past when it occurred to me to share one of the most fab ways – at the wonderfully cool Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, CA. We spent a glorious long weekend at this historic Hollywood hotel and will never forget it!

Chateau Marmont Entrance

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Built in 1923, beautifully renovated and reopened in 2009 after laying dormant for 40 years, we had the most elegant stay of our trip at the historic King Edward hotel in Jackson, MS (now called the Hilton Garden Inn.)

hilton-garden-inn-jackson-ms

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Union Station in downtown Nashville TN is one of a handful of beautiful old train stations converted into hotel space (remember the Lackawanna Train Station Hotel in Scranton we went to a few months back?) Built in 1900 it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. It’s quite a grand sight along popular Broadway in Downtown Music City USA.

Union Station Hotel Nashville TN Exterior
While RetroRoadhusband and I were not able to stay at Union Station the folks there were very gracious in letting me snap a few photos, and gave me some brochures detailing the amenities of this luxury Wyndham Grand Hotel (also one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s designated Historic Hotels). You can tell the scale of the architecture by just looking at how dwarfed RetroRoadhusband is when compared to the fireplace and clock above!

Union Station Nashville TN Fireplace (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: