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Local Insights: Atlanta | Fall 2012

Local Insights

Concierge Louis Wood of The St. Regis Atlanta shares some of the best places to eat, shop and play this autumn.

By Caroline Hatano

With 15 years of experience as a concierge, Louis Wood has cultivated insider knowledge of the best places to explore and indulge. Here, he draws on his years of expertise to recommend an autumn list of Atlanta’s must-see and must-do experiences.

Fresh Ingredients

Atlanta’s food scene is known for its diversity and history, but as Concierge Louis Wood reveals, there’s a movement toward locally sourced produce and fresh ingredients that may soon come to characterize the city’s cuisine.

Owned and operated by Restaurant Eugene’s celebrated chef, Linton Hopkins, holeman & finch public house follows the same homegrown and homemade philosophy. “They make their own sausages in-house, and they have access to the H & F Bread Co.,” Wood says. (2277 Peachtree Rd., Ste. B; 404-948-1175; holeman-finch.com)

Next on Wood’s list is Serenbe Farms, located 45 minutes southwest of Atlanta in Chattahoochee Hills. The certified-organic farm grows more than 350 varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and mushrooms, which are served in 10 restaurants, including Holeman & Finch and the farm’s own restaurant, whose menu changes weekly. (8457 Atlanta Newman Rd.; 678-764-8273; serenbefarms.com)

To finish your meal, Wood recommends you stop by LW Chocolatier, located conveniently next door to the St. Regis. The chocolate shop is family owned and uses only premium-selected raw materials to ensure quality and flavor. (3060 Peachtree Rd. #40; 404-467-8503; lwchocolatier.com)

Autumn Affairs

For a little Southern charm, Wood encourages travelers to enjoy one of the city’s much-anticipated events. Scarecrows in the Garden displays more than 100 unique scarecrows (created by individuals, schools and organizations) in the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the entire month of October. Though the storytelling and crafts on the weekends make it ideal for little kids, Scarecrows in the Garden is the perfect escape for anyone who still has a little bit of kid left inside of him or her. Wood says that the “elaborate outdoor scarecrow exhibit is interesting and fun for adults and children alike.” (1345 Piedmont Ave.; 404-876-5859; atlantabotanicalgarden.org)

A yearly tradition, the Atlanta Greek Festival allows all attendees to become Greek for a day with traditional Greek food, music and dance performances, and tours of the cathedral. “The Atlanta Greek Festival is a wonderful experience for all ages and all ethnic groups,” he says. “This year the festival is scheduled Oct. 4 through 7 and, as always, will feature Greek food, music and dancing, culture and fun.” (2500 Clairmont Rd.; 404-633-5870; atlantagreekfestival.org)

Wood also suggests guests buy tickets to the Madonna concert if they’re in town. “The Madonna concert on Nov. 17 at Philips Arena will certainly be the concert to see this fall season,” he says. Madonna’s catchy music, dance routines and costumes are sure to dazzle. (1 Philips Dr.; 404-878-3000; philipsarena.com)

Local Boutiques

For indulging in shopping, Wood recommends a short stroll to one of the many one-of-a-kind boutiques Atlanta has to offer.

B.D. Jeffries brings the exotic to Buckhead with its large selection of alligator and crocodile accessories as well as gifts from Europe. “B.D. Jeffries offers the best of just about everything,” Wood raves. “They carry antiques, clothing, jewelry, books, high-end accessories for the home, extravagant pet gifts … the list goes on and on.” (3736-B Roswell Rd.; 404-231-3004; bdjeffries.com)

The first Mrs. Howard store opened 14 years ago, and Phoebe Howard’s timeless take on style has made the store a success in several Southern cities. “Each shop in this small collection of galleries is housed in a residential-style townhouse,” he says. “The notable shops of interior designer Phoebe Howard are especially beautiful.” (425 Peachtree Hills Ave.; 404-816-3830; phoebehoward.net)

Founded by mother and daughter Nancy and Chaffee Braithwaite after a trip to Paris, Baby Braithwaite is filled with “ultra-chic” baby products that are hand-selected by its owners. Baby Braithwaite’s soft white light and pastel-colored clothes make it the perfect haven for little ones. “In the past, expectant mothers and indulgent grandmothers were forced to travel across town … Now it is an easy 30-second stroll from our front door,” Wood says. (102 West Paces Ferry Rd.; 404-869-8665; bbraithwaite.com)