I've got a confession: as much time as I've been city dwelling in Atlanta, this is my first time visiting Asheville. Considering that several of my friends absolutely love it there, I've been meaning to check it out for quite some time!
So last weekend, my friend Natalie and I threw our bags in the car and hit the road.
Driving the 3.5 hours northeast to North Carolina to explore the mountains, restaurants, live music, art scene, and craft breweries of Asheville.
Arriving at our cute little Airbnb shortly before dusk, we tossed our bags in and set off to explore.
We had plans for sunrise the next morning, so Friday evening was spent tamely poking around Asheville's shops and eateries, and eventually losing ourselves in a bookstore that also serves champagne.
You could say that we are nerds who love the bubbly.
Before settling in with our champagne flutes, we decided to browse a bit, easing our way around bookcases groaning with the weight of every variety of book you can think of, which were tucked into every nook and cranny in the surprisingly large, loft-like space.
The decor was imbued with rich, masculine hues of mahogany, copper, black, and pops of red and orange.
Filled with tomes that made us think, made us laugh, incited conversation, or lulled us into reflective silence.
Though there were no hidden rooms (I would have melted if there was a way to pull a book and unveil a secret passageway, omg), the place did feel like a rambling cubbyhole, winding its way up stairs and around corners, into myriad comfy seating areas or spots to study.
Surprising us with deliciously ornate artistic touches here and there.
I found my bad boy hubby, and he's kind of a Baldwin:
and caught an aerial view of the champagne bar, over a slightly hairy shoulder:
Which reminded us that sunrise was coming and that champagne wasn't going to drink itself!
We hustled back down the winding passageways of the store, trying not to get roped back into browsing the titles again.
And found our just dessert.
Which we sipped at a table shaped like a stack of books:
Because if you're going to do it, do it right.
I loved this place. Though it had a different tone than how I expected to spend a Friday night in Asheville, it turned out to be perfect. I wish Atlanta had a spot like this. Not just for the books, but for the soothing yet social atmosphere.
Customers spanned generations and interests; with the books, there was always something new to discover and the perfect hidey-hole to curl up in, without it feeling like you were in a big-box bookstore with contrived comfort.
So our first evening in Asheville was a great way to unwind after the drive, and if we didn't have to wake up so early, we'd have hit a few extra spots. As it was, it was time to prep for the next adventure!