Photo Diary: Louisville

This day two years ago was the best day of my life. Not just because I woke up to mimosas and bagels, got to wear the most insane outfit of my life, and danced the night away under the stars – although, all of those things certainly helped. August 24, 2013 was the best day because it was the day that I was able to proclaim to the world that I would love and cherish my husband, Ryan, every single day until the day I die. It was an unbeatable day.

Photo by Tracy Doyle Photography

Photo by Tracy Doyle Photography

Even though Ryan – like me – wants to go everywhere and see everything (and we generally try to visit new places whenever we have the chance), we have created a tradition of celebrating our anniversary in Louisville each year, at the incredibly romantic Seelbach Hotel. This year was no exception. We started our short drive down to Louisville in the afternoon on Saturday, and stopped for lunch at Mussel & Burger Bar before heading to the hotel to check in.

What a find! This place blew us away. The restaurant itself is large, very well decorated, with big comfy booths and incredible light fixtures made out of old wine bottles. Based on Yelp recommendations, we ordered the short rib nachos, which were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. We opted for burgers rather than mussels, and got the Mediterranean and the Southern Belle (by recommendation of our server).

The presentation was great. When I see burgers that look this perfect, I generally think that they won’t taste nearly as good as they look. I was wrong. Both burgers were cooked perfectly and packed with flavor.

Ryan’s Mediterranean burger came with sweet potato fries and a pineapple salsa that was smoky and surprisingly flavorful. We want to steal the recipe and use it on some carnitas tacos sometime in the near future. I switched out the side for my Southern Belle and opted for truffle fries with an aioli dipping sauce – divine. My burger was topped with crispy fried green tomatoes (one of my favorite things in the entire universe) and the bun held up to the cheese that was literally dripping from the burger. I’d rate the Southern Belle as one of the top 10 best burgers I’ve ever had – and I don’t say that lightly! I am the wife of a former butcher, after all.

Next, we headed to the hotel and checked in. The Seelbach Hotel is a gorgeous historic hotel in downtown Louisville, right across the street from Fourth Street Live. Al Capone used to be a frequent guest at the hotel, as was F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was so taken by the Seelbach that it inspired the setting of Tom and Daisy’s wedding in The Great Gatsby.

We’ve been to Louisville many times, so it’s a place where we can really take it easy instead of rushing around seeing the sites. We walked through downtown and caught a beautiful sunset over the Ohio River:

It  was a calm, gorgeous end-of-summer night, and it was nice to just take it all in together.

After the sun had set, we headed back to the area around our hotel, and grabbed a table at one of our favorite bars, Sway, which is located in the Hyatt in downtown Louisville. Our server, Brian, was incredibly welcoming and helped us navigate the wine menu – he thankfully saved me from ordering a super sweet rosé that I likely would have hated. We ordered two glasses of Duckhorn’s Decoy – one of our favorites – and just enjoyed each other’s company in this open-air, warm setting.

Since we were both still stuffed from lunch, we skipped dinner – something that rarely happens with the two of us! We wandered through Fourth Street Live – fantastic people-watching! – and headed back to the hotel.

The real treat about staying at the Seelbach on a weekend is that their restaurant, The Oakroom, puts on a beyond-amazing brunch very Sunday. I’m glad Ryan and I skipped dinner – I had my game face on. We were brought to a beautiful table decorated with rose petals, and greeted with mimosas and coffee. It doesn’t get better than this.

The Oakroom’s Sunday Brunch is a buffet of everything you can imagine – pastries, fruits, salads, a selection of hot entrees (including my favorite: biscuits with chorizo gravy!), omelets with all of the fixings, and a HUGE display of desserts. They have everything from oysters to pain-au-chocolat to made-right-in-front-of-you Belgian waffles. It’s divine.

You get to enjoy it in an unbeatable setting. Here’s a look at the dining room:

The brunch will keep us coming back to the Seelbach again and again.

We checked out after brunch and headed home. We were sad to leave, although nothing beats seeing this face when we get home:

What a weekend! If you’re in Cincinnati and haven’t visited Louisville, put a trip on your calendars now. It’s an easy, memorable getaway that won’t break the bank. Louisville is the perfect place for a celebration or just a chance to get away from it all for a little while!

Until next time,