Wilmington really is a unique place to shoot photos of such a delightful friend. Jennifer is a breeze to photograph. And we laugh so much.
Delicious Wilmington: Coastal Cupcakes
I think every other cupcake business in Wilmington needs to just close up shop and that Coastal Cupcakes needs to bake more cupcakes.
Best cupcake I’ve had, hans down. I’ve had cupcakes in Chicago, RDU, Publix (which are a favorite of mine), TN, CO. Cupcake bakeries and “shoppes” are all the rage right now, so there seems to be one on every corner. They do it right!
A friend and I share the coconut with cream cheese icing and coconut on top. The most moist, fall apart, not dry at all cupcake. Flavorful and just melt in your mouth. Most cupcakes I’ve tasted in bakeries taste like they are frozen. I would have though these were baked right before we walked in (though the icing wasn’t melting, so I know they weren’t). The coconut wasn’t hard. The cream cheese frosting was just bliss.
I would love to have tried all of them, and the shop clerk that day was so kind and gracious to let me come behind the counter to not have the glass in all the pictures!
Thank you Coastal Cupcakes! Keep baking! I will return!
Taste of Wilmington: K38
This placecame highly recommended and it is out of the downtown area, so parking is not a problem.
1. Great decor.
2. Low-key (yes, I know it was the off season)
3. Had a great waitress who allowed us to stay there pretty much as long as we wanted (a little over 2 hours)
4. Bottomless free chips and salsa (a must for any good Mexican restaurant)
5. The best restaurant salsa I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot.
6. First time with Mexican sushi (ok, not really, but look at the picture, doesn’t it look like sushi). I had the Cabo: blackened shrimp and avocado. Nuf said!
7. Homemade, fresh, daily, corn tortillas.
8. And many vegetarian options, which I definitely liked.
In my opinion, a little overpriced for mexican, but not outrageous. And definitely well worth it.
Wilmington Getaway: Stemmerman’s Inn
Back in the summer I went on a photo shoot with a friend and we got invited to an event at 128 South, it was fabulous. 128 South is a hall/room/venue attached to the Stemmerman’s Inn. For the same price you can get a medium-grade hotel room, you can stay in a unique loft-style, kitchenette including, brick-exposed, unique room with a view of the Cape Fear and a little porch. Now, granted, it was 35 degrees or cooler when I went, but hey, what’s a girl gonna do. I gotta get my river fix!
These may not be usual “inn” pictures that you will find in most reviews, but what I care about are the details. This green vase was my favorite part of the main floor, and I stared at it every time I went by. The bathroom was the bathroom: with a white pedastal sink to go with the old-inn feel. The kitchenette was well stocked with everything you might need for a cozy dinner for 1 or 2 when dining at the little cafe type table in the eat-in kitchen. If seated at the table, you can gaze out the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the porch and look out onto the Cape Fear. The sunset was amazing last night.
If you make your way up the L-white spindle staircase, you will find a huge, welcoming king size bed. Again, I loved the simplicity of the headboard. There was a small open closet, a flat screen (with cable), and a night stand with lamp. That was all, oh, and a small dresser. So. Simple. I LOVED it.
This room (#7) also came with everything you might find in a generic hotel room and even a washer and dryer. How’s that for handy?
The staff was courteous and gave me plenty of options for dinner (The Stemmerman is within walking distance to restaurants of any ethnicity and price-range). It was quieter than I thought it was going to be, too (which I was very glad).
Check-in time is 3pm, check out time is 11am and there is parking (street parking you have to pay for in Wilmington, so I was thankful for their free lot).
I would go here again in a heartbeat. May make it a yearly birthday tradition. Downtown Wilmington (when not tourist season) is fabulous, because of its history, fashion, and beautiful churches (not to mention great food).
So, if you get a chance, go. Stay. Love the Stemmerman as much as I did. Fall in love with the details.
New Must-See places in NC
The next 6 weeks are going to hold many adventurous and fun things to do for me in NC (after a quick trip home to FL for Christmas). But, with the birthday coming up, a little middle of the week trip to the coast, some time in Charlotte and every place in between…here are some fun places I get to go to in the Tarheel State. What places would go you go to? What places do I need to hit up or try out? What do I need to eat?
A roomie-birthday trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art which is just down the street for the Trotman exhibit.
I just saw this in a NC magazine and need to go here in January… Sip…a new wine house in Cary. Tastings, cheese, affordable wines…should be a pretty tasty place.
The Stemmerman Inn – yes, I went here already, but this time I get to stay. My Mother’s Birthday present to me. I can’t wait. This is such a pretty and old inn on the river! And Wilmington won’t be so packed since it is winter. Looking forward to 24 hours away.
I get to go back to the String Bean in Belmont, NC (by Charlotte). Looking forward to tasting some more of their yummy food. Such a fabulous little place.
Another fabulous French place in Charlotte that I get to go and prepare for a women’s conference I’m doing is called Amelie’s Bakery. I’ve heard their croissants are out of this world! I’ll let you know when I go!
And to go with all this eating, I get to run a 5k on New Year’s Day in Cary. Great way to start a new year, hoping for a PR. Gotta have one!
Wilmington Event: 128 South Fall Preview
JJ and his team at 128 South (with the adjacent, red-highlighted Stemmerman’s Inn which was established in 1855) put on a wonderful event highlighting some of the city’s local vendors that are available for events and weddings. Some of the vendors who were showcased that evening were indigosilver who had done a brilliant job displaying portraits of work shot. They also rent out their studio and provide what you might need for a photo shoot. Social Butterfly Events’ owners were such gracious hosts to their corner of the building. Talkative, informative, passionate about their work, these two ladies know what they are doing when it comes to designing cards and invites for any occasion and coordinating weddings, along with many other events or needs you might need. Heather and Charyl have a knack for the industry. 128 South had other vendors there but those were the specific ones who I had a chance to interact with.
The food was delicious and satisfying. A spread of heavy hors d’oeuvres which included crab cakes, crab dip (so much than the lunch I had that day), chicken marsala, asian meatballs, grilled asparagus, goat cheese (which is always a winner with me), and an open bar kept the patrons and seekers satisfied.
128 South is available for events of many different natures. They can hold 120-150, have an upstairs, bar area, beautiful downtown Wilmington view, and a courteous staff and owners. It was a pleasure to be there that evening.