As you know, travel is a big part of Lavin Label, and I love having the opportunity to explore new cities and share my experiences with you. I am fortunate to visit some incredible places, including recent trips to Nantucket, New York City, and my last trip to Birmingham. I work closely with Cheri and Whitney, the founders of The Southern C, and am so grateful that they asked Kelli and me to tag along on their trip to Birmingham with Hoffman Media. Brian Hoffman (President/Chief Creative Officer) and Brooke Bell (Director of Editorial Operations) from Hoffman Media were both gracious and fun hosts during our visit to The Magic City! Hoffman Media specializes in publications targeted to women, such as Southern Lady, Bake From Scratch, Southern Home, The Cottage Journal and more. Their local expertise allowed us to experience all of the best spots in the city!
I have outlined all of the stops on our short, but sweet, two-day trip. What I loved most about Birmingham was their amazing food scene and the various styles of architecture. We opted to stay at The Grand Bohemian Mountain Brook because of its great location and reputable brand. We love the Grand Bohemian Collection of hotels, including the Grand Bohemian in Charleston.
As soon as we arrived in the city, we freshened up and headed out to meet the gang! We caught up over cocktails on the rooftop bar at the oldest hotel in Birmingham, The Redmont. It has been beautifully restored and has the best views of the historic city. For dinner, we ate at Roots and Revelry — in the Thomas Jefferson Tower — and oh boy, did I love this restaurant! The restaurant features traditional American fair, with an energetic and vibrant vibe. I’d highly recommend the Pork Inihaw, PB&J — made from crispy pork belly, cashew butter and quince — and the Ricotta Gnocchi. I recommend ordering a bunch of different plates for the table to share, because they are all excellent.
The next morning we grabbed coffee and headed to the Hoffman Media headquarters. We toured their office space, recording studio, props closet (which was much more like a warehouse) and even their test kitchens. This was one of the highlights of the trip because it was so fascinating to see behind the scenes of a publishing company. Tasting desserts there was literally icing on the cake! We then headed to the Pizitz Food Hall, which is located downtown. This isn’t your typical food hall — they have everything from a Biscuit Bar to Israeli cuisine and Belgian waffles to an authentic Roman noodle house. all of the restaurants operate around the Louis Bar where they’ll carefully pair a cocktail with your meal. If I could eat there everyday, I certainly would with all of the varying options.
After lunch, we got a taste of the shopping scene by heading to Atmosphere Home Essentials and Cantley & Company. Located in the Southside, this area had a bunch of charming boutiques to explore. Lastly, we drove to Brookwood Village where we stopped in Cotton & Quill. I learned about Cotton & Quill at my first Southern C Summit, so it was wonderful to finally meet Mary Catherine and see all of her beautiful designs in person! While we were in Brookwood, we stopped for coffee & chai at Church Street Coffee and Books and enjoyed their delicious chocolate chip cookies!
We continued shopping on Canterbury Road in Mountain Brook, and stopped in one of my favorite jewelry stores, Ex Voto. I have two of their cuffs and love them so much that I wear them almost every day! I actually spotted a Christmas gift for Casey in their boutique that I’m going to order for him when the time comes!
Later that night, we met up with other Southern C alums in the English Village at Vino Gallery Bar. We drank rosé and mingled with new and old friends. I love how the Southern C always brings together such a creative group of people. If you’re not familiar with the Southern C, I’d definitely recommend checking them out. They have an upcoming retreat in Watercolor and 30A, Florida. I’ll be attending to get my dose of social media, entrepreneurship and PR. The Southern C Summits are hands down the best way for me to reinvest in my business — please let me know if you’ll be there in the Fall!
For dinner, we headed to Chez Fonfon! I absolutely loved this place as soon as I walked in. The decor, vibe and activity — just make it THE restaurant to go to on a Friday night. This restaurant is one of Brian’s favorites (for good reason ;)) — so all of the good vibes rubbed off on me and I think that you’ll feel it too when you dine here. I’d recommend the Omelette and Hamburger Fonfon and any of the cocktails!
We spent the rest of our time in Birmingham exploring the nearby neighborhoods thanks to the recommendations of Caroline Bramlett of LCBStyle.com.
We enjoyed Birmingham and all that the city has to offer, thanks to our wonderful hosts! We can’t wait to return!
Kelli Boyd Photography exclusively for Lavin Label.