Part of Sandy Springs' cultural renaissance, this 14-acre $229 million combination city hall and performing arts center is being posited as a jewel in the city's arts crown. Visitors can enjoy a black box theater, an 1,100 seat auditorium and a lineup of lectures, music and performances as well as a city green with outdoor concerts and performances. Even cuter, City Springs boasts a very Southern "porch" entrance complete with rocking chairs, not something you see at a city hall in every city. A mixed-use development of apartments, restaurants and boutiques rings City Springs for plenty of pre- and post-concert offerings including another location of the French-style patisserie Cafe Vendome.
A mother and daughter gingersnap empire that has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, CNN and The Today Show, Susansnaps is the brainchild of mother Laura and daughter Susan Stachler. Laura was looking for a cookie that would help with nausea when Susan was battling cancer. Her cookie research led to gingersnaps which the now cancer-free entrepreneur Susan produces with her mother in a variety of flavors (Cocoasnaps, Pnuttersnaps, Citrussnaps, Alohasnaps and original) in their cheerful red, white and black combo storefront and bake shop in Sandy Springs (next door to Calyroad Creamery, another great local foodie destination). Susansnaps ships all over the country, but why not stop in at the cute brick and mortar shop to try the free samples and pick up some bags of this locally produced delight?
An unusual concept, Calyroad Creamery in Sandy Springs is both a retail shop and an artisanal cheesemaking business that produces an impressive variety of both cow and goat cheeses. Visitors can sign up for a cheesemaking class, tour the behind-the-scenes cheesemaking process or just drop by for a tasting of the house-made cheeses paired with wine or have a beautiful cheese board with a selection of handcrafted cheeses, jams, dried fruit and chutneys or pickles delivered to their hotel. Personable owner Robin Schick loves to share her passion for cheese and cheesemaking and can help you put together any combo of condiments, cheese, wine and other goodies your heart desires. The shop has a curated selection of local craft beers, wine, jams and other artisanal goods for a one-stop locavore foodie destination. Next door Susansnaps makes this little shopping area a great place to pick up an edible Atlanta souvenir.
Il Giallo Osteria and Bar in Sandy Springs is a chef-forward Italian experience located close to all of Atlanta's action but with the unusual appeal of plenty of free parking (yes, it is a big deal in this valet and paid parking-crazy town) in a handsome, open space. Chef and co-owner Jamie Adams features fresh, homemade pasta in his open-kitchen for diners who enjoy a little cooking show entertainment with their meal. Adams' agnolotti with brown butter and sage has been featured on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, but there are plenty of other culinary delights on offer including polpette turkey and duck meatballs, a distinctive calamari studded with capers, and a short rib ravioli and a rotating cast of pasta dishes that make this a local favorite. With a talented pastry chef onboard, desserts are just as notable and some of the stars of the show, including the strawberry jam and mascarpone strawberry pizza, bomboloni and a decadent hazelnut bar like a European candy bar with a haute twist.
There are endless restaurants in Atlanta specializing in farm-to-table, meat-and-three, soul food and other variations on Southern fare. A homespun, unpretentious entry in those ranks is Southern Bistro, a comfort-food centric spot from husband and wife Nancy and Colman Goodrich who do especially well with down-home appetizers with a Southern flair like boiled peanut hummus, a solid pimento cheese served with toast points, ham and collard green egg rolls and, of course, the in-house variation on fried green tomatoes served with goat cheese and sweet pepper jelly. Don't expect fancy, cutting-edge foodie fare, but do expect good at this neighborhood spot especially good for a quick lunch.
More international offerings just outside of Atlanta, the French destination pastry and coffee spot Cafe Vendome has two locations and is filled with expats enjoying some of the best croissants, eclairs, caneles, Madeline, macarons and a French take on the petit fours in the city. Run by an engineer-turned-patisserie owner, Cafe Vendome is the product of extensive research into French bread and pastry-making and a kitchen helmed by a Brittany native. Grab a locally-famous baguette on your way out, or a selection of breakfast pastries to wake up to or just enjoy lunch and pastries in-house.
A reminder that Atlanta environs can suddenly go from concrete jungle to tree-filled, natural oasis in a split second, this longtime area standard, Ray's on the River is an especially worthwhile stop in good weather (i.e. spring or fall) when you can dine on crab cakes, lobster mac and cheese, shrimp and grits and other high-end spins on comfort food with a relaxing view of the Chattahoochee River. Ray's is especially beloved as a buffet-style brunch option and while the prices are high and service can be uneven, for a special, scenic meal that takes in the city's natural beauty, it can be a worthwhile stop.
A bench by the door in the entry mudroom of this New Hampshire beach house provides a spot to take off sandy shoes, and individual hampers beneath it offer a place to stash flip flops or beach towels. The bold blue wall introduces the color palette that unites each room of the house.
The pool house kitchen often serves as a wet bar and food prep station for the family's pool parties, so the small galley kitchen has been decked out in Ann Sacks tile and custom shelves. The tile backsplash gives the room a textured feel, while the open shelving helps keep the modern look of the space.
A gallery of botanical prints adds color and visual interest to this neutral, transitional living room. The gray rolled arm sofa is flanked by matching end tables and paired with a sleek wood coffee table.
Sunny yellow walls create a beach-inspired look for this cozy bedroom. Black-and-white curtains add contrast to the space, while a trellis pattern is repeated in the area rug and nightstand lamp. Soft, subtle floral bedding creates a clean, fresh look to the space.
Warm woods combine with soft neutrals in this traditional master bedroom. A woven wall hanging makes the bed the focal point of the room, while a comfortable leather armchair is the perfect spot to read a book.