Lilly & Grant

Travel

5 Instagram-Worthy Brunch Spots in Charlotte

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Top (under $50!) | Similar earrings | Jeans (love these and they’re 40% off!) | Sandals (now under $30!) | Similar tote under $50 | Cotton bandana (the cutest accessory – I love tying them to bags. They’re cute worn around the neck too!

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If you live in the Charlotte, NC area, you’ve already heard the news. On Monday, the city passed the “Brunch Bill” – a bill declaring that we can enjoy bottomless mimosas and bloody marys on Sundays beginning at 10am instead of noon! This is amazing news for local businesses and brunch lovers! Charlotte has so many amazing brunch spots all over the city. It’s a picture-perfect paradise for any brunch goer, especially those that can’t resist sharing their delicious dishes on snapchat and Instagram! In honor of the Brunch Bill beginning this Sunday, I’m sharing the top 5 Insta-Worthy CLT Brunch spots!

300 East. Located in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in the city, family-owned 300 East in Dilworth has an extensive menu and draws you in with its cozy atmosphere. How many brunch spots can brag that the building itself is Instagram-worthy?! I suggest sitting on the outdoor patio, it’s the perfect people-watching spot!

Vivace. My personal favorite – Vivace is best described as contemporary, fresh Italian. You walk inside to a huge two-story restaurant with mod decor. Sit outside on the second story for an amazing view of Pearl Street Park. My favorites are the meatballs and the benedicto vivace! So delicious!

Little Spoon. A quaint American brunch spot, this is one of the most popular brunch spots in the city, and with good reason. The menu is different every time I go, and ingredients are always fresh and local. The dishes here are VERY Instagram-worthy. Check out their website and you’ll see for yourself. 

5Church. Contemporary and filled with incredible art, 5Church is an amazing Uptown brunch spot. The wall art alone is picture-worthy. Their drinks are amazing, and I love the shrimp & Anson Mills grits!

Georges Brasserie. My boyfriend and I are regulars here! Georges has the most incredible french brunch buffet. Their outdoor seating – complete with coveted french rattan chairs – is the picture-perfect spot. The best part? Dessert! Their beignets are incredible. 

xo Jenna

A Bed & Breakfast Staycation At The Duke Mansion

dukemansion5Last weekend, my boyfriend and I took a staycation at The Duke Mansion in Charlotte, NC. Tucked away into one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Myers Park, I had no idea such a beautiful Bed & Breakfast even existed in Uptown Charlotte until a few months ago when I decided to surprise Ed with a mini-vacation, and a vacation it certainly was. As soon as we turned into the driveway, all of the noise and bustle of the city immediately disappeared. 

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Shop my maxi dress here. It also comes in petite sizes! 

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The Duke Mansion is best known for being one of the most sought-after wedding destinations in Charlotte. With over 4 acres of lush gardens and grounds, it’s the perfect spot for an outdoor wedding or bridal shoot. Luckily for us, we happened to choose a quiet weekend – no weddings or photoshoots to be seen, so we took advantage of it and took as many photos as possible.

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We stayed in The Dowd Suite, which was even more beautiful in person than in the photos. There are only twenty rooms in the mansion, but The Dowd Suite was an obvious choice. Stepping through the front door was like stepping into a different time. I thought, “If Scarlett O’Hara were a real person, she would approve of this room.” It was luxurious and perfectly comfortable at the same time. 

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This is only a portion of the suite. There’s another set of double-doors that also open up to the porch!

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I loved waking up to breakfast in bed every morning. We did have the option of eating downstairs with other guests, but who wouldn’t rather stay in their pajamas?! We chose exactly what we wanted the night before and what time we wanted it at our door for the next morning. The staff was incredibly sweet and knowledgable. They made us feel right at home!

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I still can’t get over this bathroom, I would love to have this exact tub in my first home! The plantation shutters open up to let in the most amazing natural light, especially in the morning. 

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Our favorite part of the mansion was the sleeping porch connected to our suite that overlooks the gardens. We spent a lot of our time here, and kept our bedroom doors open to let in the breeze from the porch. This is technically a shared porch with The King Porch Room, but we lucked out because the couple beside us barely used it, so we had it to ourselves for the majority of the weekend! It rained hard for a few hours the second night, so we cuddled up in a swinging chair with wine and watched the storm pass!

dukemansion17This is actually the back of the house, manicured to perfection! The Dowd Suite and King Porch Suite are located in the top right-hand corner. 

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Dress (limited sizing) | Similar dress | Shoes (on sale!)

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We ran from the gardens to the front of the house when we spotted the most beautiful rainbow that appeared after the storm. I’m so happy we got it on camera!

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Neither of us were ready to leave when we handed in our key Sunday afternoon. The Duke Mansion was unbelievably beautiful and relaxing. If you live in Charlotte and are looking for the perfect staycation, look no further. If you’re planning a visit to Charlotte, consider staying here for a perfect southern getaway if you don’t want the hustle and bustle of uptown! You can even come for tours during the day if you can’t stay overnight.  

A helpful tip when booking a room: book as far in advance as possible! It’s a popular Bed & Breakfast, so you’ll want to start looking at dates as soon as you decide to go. We’re already planning our next stay, I’d love to see The Duke Mansion during Christmas! 

xo Jenna

Riu Palace Bavaro Review + Outfit Round-Up

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If you follow me on Instagram or snapchat (jennatrop) you know that recently I went on a week-long trip to the Riu Palance Bavaro! This was an incredible all-inclusive resort and it was my first time out of the country, so I’m really excited to share my review and experience with you guys! 

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The Riu Palace Bavaro is an all-inclusive resort on the Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana. Let me tell you, I’ve never experienced anything like this before. The beaches, the hotel, and the food and drinks were amazing! 

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Bracelets c/o | OPI ‘Tiramisu for Two’

There are several restaurants you can choose from for dinner – Italian, Sushi, Steakhouse, etc. and an amazing buffet area with all kinds of local cuisine. My favorite were the fruit and coffee – all locally grown! We ate at the buffet for breakfast every morning and it was so good. There were tons of options and everything tasted fresh! The service was also one of our favorite parts about the trip. The waiters and bartenders were super friendly and fast. 

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This being my first time out of the country, I really had no idea just how beautiful these beaches would be. The water was crystal clear, perfect for snorkeling! We did that for about four hours on our last full day. Our backs were SUPER sunburnt but it was absolutely worth it! (I think I have a hundred photos of the beach on my phone. The sunrises and sunsets were so picturesque.)

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This is the view from our balcony. We stayed in a oceanfront villa and absolutely loved it – sorry, I didn’t take pictures of the hotel room but you can get them online! The room was gorgeous – very spacious with a king-size bed, large bath, and a jacuzzi on the balcony. The best part was walking right out to the beach or the pool from our room, especially when we wanted to wake up early to watch the sunrise. 

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We decided before the trip to do a few excursions (but actually we booked all of ours through the hotel while we were there, it’s super fast and convenient!) I saw photos of Hoyo Azul on Instagram and knew immediately that I wanted to go. The pool, located at the foot of a cliff, is turquoise and crystal clear. Swimming through this water was surreal and definitely my favorite part of the entire week. It was an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life!

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I was lucky enough to snap a few shots of the pool before the group we were with dove in! It was so difficult to not take photos the entire time. 

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We also decided to do a Monkeyland excursion. We drove about 45-minutes with our tour guide into the mountains of the Dominican Republic, which was incredible experience in itself, to an enclosure where we fed and interacted with squirrel monkeys. They were so friendly and cute! I wanted to bring them all back with me.

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Afterwards our tour guide took us to a local woman’s home where she showed us how to make the local coffee, which was incredible! I’m a huge coffee drinker so experiencing that process in a different country was unforgettable. 

I also wanted to round up a few outfits I wore on the trip for you guys! I actually didn’t have the chance to wear half of the things in my suitcase, I was in a swimsuit much more than I had anticipated, which I was definitely okay with!

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Similar jumpsuits here and here | Earrings | Clutch | Shoes 

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Swimsuit (the cutest crochet detail and very flattering!) | Shorts | Earrings | Hat

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Top (SO soft and I love the bell-sleeves) | ShortsEarrings | Sunglasses

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Similar tops here and here | Shorts | Shoes (under $100)

If you couldn’t tell already, we had the most amazing experience at the Riu Palace Bavaro. The beaches were picture perfect, the food was amazing, the people – from all parts of the world – were so fun, and I’d go back immediately if I could! I definitely recommend staying 4 nights at a minimum. We stayed for 5 but would have stayed longer if I weren’t traveling to Peru in 2 months! 

If you have any questions about the resort or traveling in general, please let me know! Thanks for reading!

xo Jenna

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