You are invited to join me for an amazing day trip to Serenbe, a hamlet nestled in the Chattahoochee Hills, just an hour south of Atlanta. With the exception of the main course, you can plan your day any way you’d like! Pick and choose your appetizers and, if you choose to stay for dessert, you’re likely to be rewarded and enchanted by the resident fireflies.
In my mind, the ideal trip offers a little something for everyone and I think this trip does just that. On the menu: tasty morsels from several area restaurants, fresh air and exercise downtown and on Serenbe Farms’ 30 acres, retail therapy for the shopper, culture in the form of art galleries and an outdoor production, and some history and unique architecture in downtown Newnan. Or, if you want some R&R, spread out a quilt beneath a shade tree and read a book or enjoy being a kid again and try your eyes at cloud spotting (there’s even an app for it).
Serenbe was the first hamlet built in Chattahoochee Hills, a 40,000 acre city with an overlay plan that calls for preservation of a minimum of 70% of the acreage. Serenbe’s founders, Steve & Marie Nygren and Rawson Haverty, have created an urban model promoting walkability and community living, with private residential homes, commercial space, art galleries, original shops, stables, and a 20-room inn with conference facilities. Serenbe has devoted 30 acres to farming—the Serenbe Farm is certified organic and biodynamic with a thriving CSA program and Saturday markets. The community is home to three thriving restaurants—Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop (the nation’s smallest Silver LEED certified building), The Farmhouse (which has received national critical acclaim in Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, and is consistently featured in local publications), and The Hil (owned by executive chef Hilary White, and has received national critical acclaim in Food and Wine magazine, and was named a Best New Restaurant by Atlanta Magazine and the Atlanta Journal Constitution).
Read more about Serenbe at these links:
- Visit Serenbe Farms
- Shop in Serenbe:
o The Bilt House - Serenbe is excited to have one of Buckhead and Roswell’s favorite shops at Serenbe! Part-time Serenbe resident Jan Bilthouse’s store features her well-loved mix of women’s clothing, novelty items, furniture, jewelry from local designers, handbags and shoes. Visit the website: http://www.thebilt-house.com/serenbe.html
o Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop - The Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop is a Serenbe neighborhood staple, offering everything from fresh country breakfasts to sandwiches, salads and soup specials. The bakeshop is stocked with scrumptious treats such as cupcakes, pies, cookies and tarts. Head baker Candi Pittman and former employee Lorre Jacobs-Daniel won Cupcake Wars in 2012: http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2012/06/27/local-bakers-win-cupcake-wars-and-share-recipe/
Visit the website: http://www.blueeyeddaisy.com/
o Fern’s Market - Fern's Market provides a community farmers' market experience in a general store environment. We know that you want to know where your food comes from, and so Fern's priority is to source from local farmers and producers whenever possible. It is also our goal to discover and promote foods and products from small companies that are as passionate as we are about food, the environment and social responsibility. In keeping with this mission, Fern's brings you products from small-batch producers, farmer-owned, family-owned and employee-owned businesses. Visit the website: http://fernsmarket.com/
o Honeycomb Consignment - Honeycomb Consignment is an upscale consignment boutique specializing in women's clothing. Whether you have an enviable closet in need of culling, or are looking for a special wardrobe piece at a great price, Honeycomb Consignment can help.
o Repurpose - Owned by Gloriosa owner Keith Robinson, Repurpose is a consignment boutique of sorts, with found objects that have been restyled or “repurposed” for a new life. Imagine a store where each object is unique in some way – age, patina, quirkiness, usefulness, beauty. From rare and fine décor to objet d’art to simple gifts that inspire a smile.
o Twig @ Serenbe - Create your home-place with candle fragrances, pillows, charming accents, useful containers, personal embellishments and luxuries, wonderful gifts to give others, special papers to record your presence in life, among many other charming surprises. Twig is your destination to find unique products from local and regional artisans and crafts people.
o TWOvital - TWOvital is located at the Art Farm in Serenbe. Artist/Owner Dwayne Bass creates sculptures and furniture from construction waste and other reclaimed items. You may find him teaching some of the curious children at Serenbe how to recycle billboards into great painting canvases or how to make birdhouses out of reclaimed wood. Please sign up on our website to keep informed of the classes that will be offered at the Art Farm. Visit the website: http://twovital.com
- Visit Callaway Gardens (on the way to Serenbe)
- Explore Newnan’s historic districts - Newnan’s six historic districts, all on the national register, contain some of Georgia’s most beautiful houses and commercial buildings. The houses are represented by the antebellum and Victorian styles that dominated Newnan’s early and mid-19th century development. Buildings that make up the Central Business District comprise several architectural styles, including Neoclassical, Italianate, Classical Revival, Romanesque, and Victorian. Historic districts include: Coletown, College – Temple, Downtown, Greenville – LaGrange, Newnan Cotton Mill and Mill Village and Platinum Point. For a list of 110 things to do in Newnan, download the brochure.
Main Course: (dinner is at 6:30 p.m.)
The Farmhouse at Serenbe, one of Atlanta's original farm-to-table restaurants, serves regional cuisine using locally grown, organic ingredients from the restaurant's own garden as well as from Serenbe Farms and other area producers. It has received national critical acclaim in Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, and is consistently featured in local publications. Proprietress Marie Nygren’s famous fried chicken (only available at lunch) was voted Best Pick, August 2012, by Martha Stewart Living magazine. The menu changes weekly to highlight the freshest, seasonal ingredients available.
Dessert: (performance is at 8:30 p.m.)
A Walk in the Woods, by Lee Blessing, directed by Harrison Long
Enter at The Farmer’s Market Clearing, 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268
General Admission: $25.00 ($26.87 w/service fee)
Purchase tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/326510
Revealing conversations, profound frustration, and deepening understanding… Two superpower arms negotiators, a Russian and American, meet in the woods of Geneva to negotiate nuclear disarmament. The elemental differences in their two systems of government will continue to exacerbate as long as the real power rests in the hands of those burdened by the bitterness of the past…. Can a major CHANGE happen with a simple Walk in the Woods?
About Serenbe Playhouse:
Serenbe Playhouse believes that theatre is an art form with a unique power to illuminate the human experience; and does so by producing artistically rich, open-air theatrical performances for audiences throughout Greater Metro Atlanta. By reducing the barriers between audiences and the artists-in-residence, the playhouse provides numerous opportunities for engagement, conversation, and collaboration.
Serenbe Playhouse is a pioneer in modeling Green Theatre Practices by producing plays with a commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. All productions are performed outdoors, in concert with Nature; repurpose existing structures; and use natural light and 90% LED theatrical lighting. Sets are designed for disassembly and constructed with reclaimed and recycled materials with the goal of minimizing a production’s waste and impact on the environment.
Note: There are no restroom facilities at the venue; use facilities in town prior to entering the performance.
Carpooling is a wonderful way to get to know people. Use the comments section to make arrangements with others. With dinner as the main course, you can choose to come down for a half day or an entire day. If you're staying for dessert, you might want to consider booking a hotel for the evening and driving back the next day and stopping off at Callaway Gardens.