Concierge Louis Wood of The St. Regis Atlanta shares his tips for where to experience the best the city and the season have to offer.- By Gwyn Herbein
Louis Wood’s 15 years of experience as a concierge means that he has the inside track on the best places to indulge and unwind in Atlanta. Here are his recommendations for where to shop, dine and celebrate the winter season.
The mall may have everything you need, but Atlanta has a treasure trove of exclusive boutiques and shops stocked with gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
For unique gifts that are sure to impress, Wood recommends H.G. ROBERTSON SILVER & GIFTS. “This specialty shop sells amazing antique silver,” he says. “It is a great place to pick up a beautiful luxury trinket or a major purchase that will become a family heirloom.” (404-266-1330; hgrobertson.com)
A great place to buy a holiday hostess gift, or even a gift for yourself, is MRS. HOWARD. “Located in the elegant Galleries of Peachtree Hills, the Mrs. Howard store is a favorite among interior designers and design enthusiasts,” Wood says. “The multilevel boutique carries a sophisticated mix of antiques and updated classics for the home. Even if you don’t make a purchase, you will leave feeling inspired.” (404-816-3830; phoebehoward.net)
When the temperature drops, comfort food cravings begin—think mashed potatoes, soups and stews.
“And what can be more comforting than a delicious plate of pasta?” Wood asks. For just the right plate, check out ANTICA POSTA. “This family-run, neighborhood Italian eatery is located in a house converted into a restaurant. The residential feel gives it a cozy, welcoming ambiance.” If you’re lucky, you might also spot a celebrity or two. (404-262-7112; anticaposta.com)
Another great place is WATERSHED on Peachtree Road. First opened 14 years ago under the ownership of Grammy Award-winner Emily Saliers of the musical duo the Indigo Girls, the restaurant closed in 2011, and re-opened this past summer in a new location. “For many years, Watershed was the jewel in the crown of Decatur, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta,” Wood explains. “Now that they have transplanted in town, Watershed on Peachtree is very convenient for our St. Regis guests. The menu features upscale Southern comfort food, and on Wednesdays they offer the famous Watershed fried chicken.” (404-809-3561; watershedrestaurant.com)
For a holiday-themed happy hour, Wood recommends the ASTOR HOLIDAY RINK at the St. Regis. “The ice skating rink at our hotel has become a holiday tradition. We offer a variety of drinks including freshly made hot chocolate,” he says. (404-563-7797; stregisatlanta.com)
If you prefer a drink with an exclusive view, be sure to make a stop at the SUN DIAL RESTAURANT, BAR & VIEW, located atop the 72-story Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in downtown Atlanta. “If the weather is clear, the view is amazing day or night from this restaurant and bar in the sky,” Wood says. (404-589-7506; sundialrestaurant.com)
The best gifts to let your special someone know how much he or she means to you this season are right around the corner from the St. Regis. For the perfect flower arrangement, check out LUSH LIFE HOME & GARDEN. “This nearby florist shop offers small, personal gifts and amazingly opulent floral bouquets,” Wood says. (404-841-9661; lushlifehomegarden.com)
For something that sparkles, TIFFANY & CO. at Phipps Plaza never disappoints. “Elsa Peretti’s ‘Diamonds by the Yard’ would make an extravagant gift,” Wood says. (404-261-0074; tiffany.com)
Once the gifts have been unwrapped, hit the town for a Valentine’s Day date night to remember. Wood recommends the annual Orchid Daze display at the ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN. “A tour of the orchid houses is great for a date with your sweetheart or a family outing,” he says. (404-876-5859; atlantabotanicalgarden.org)
The COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE is also perfect for a romantic night out. Showing in February, the Atlanta Ballet’s performance of “Dracula” will make for a thrilling evening. “This dark, sexy ballet has become hugely popular with Atlanta audiences,” Wood says. (770-916-2800; cobbenergycentre.com)