Bitter drinks. Better South.

On our fifth wedding anniversary, my husband, Scott, planned a weekend getaway, staying at a historic hotel in Boonville, Missouri called the Hotel Frederick. It was an idyllic weekend. The restored 1905 hotel was like walking onto a quaint movie set. The bar downstairs was filled, the rooms were each unique and it felt like you were staying at your favorite aunt’s house. Quilts and antiques. Heated bathroom floors with heated towel racks. We had a fantastic weekend.

It was there that I realized the great artistry behind a truly memorable hotel experience.

Years later Scott and I had the opportunity to play host at our own Airbnb in downtown Kansas City. I never expected to feel such honor and responsibility to make each guest’s stay as warm and welcoming as possible. It was a tremendous blessing for me to be able to bless them.

I have recently mentioned the Bitter Southerner. The bitter part of their name represents their beginnings: reviewing and writing about the greatest bars and bartenders in the southern United States. Then their work expanded into highlighting the progressive movements happening in the South. I have been devouring their podcast and learning so much about the large swath of the American South that doesn’t still ‘fight for the Confederacy’ but wants to see a more inclusive and redemptive state of southern culture.

Bitter Southerner introduced me to another historic, boutique hotel, the Wylie Hotel. Wylie is set to re-open their newly renovated hotel this year. Wylie Hotel is located in Atlanta, Georgia on Ponce de Leon Avenue in the old fourth ward. Tucked within the 1929 revival hotel is Mrs. P’s Bar & Kitchen, a dignified but approachable dining lounge offering southern eats and inventive drinks. Just like our experience years ago, Wylie strives for a home-like atmosphere in the heart of Atlanta. And just like our Airbnb, Wylie is situated at the intersection of the city market and downtown events.

I cannot wait to visit this Atlanta gem.

A few days ago we loaded up the dog in the car to run a few errands around town. We noticed we’d had a few boxes delivered which I handled with indifference until I saw the box from Bitter Southerner, sent from Wylie Hotel. A new sweatshirt that all y’all need to feel. It’s soooo soft and cozy. A Better South tote bag, one of their books of collected stories and a Bitter Southerner’s corduroy hat with its fantastic logo: ‘For the sake of the story. For the love of the South.’

I will wear them with Southern pride. AND will wear them when the opportunity finally arises to travel again and stop over in Atlanta at the Wylie Hotel. Thank you, thank you for such an exciting box of goods.

Keep them on your radar, readers. Follow them on social media so you’ll be alerted, along with me, when their doors are flung open and we can meet at Mrs. P’s for a good dose of southern cuisine and bitter spirits in the better South.

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