A Londoner’s guide to Nashville

I Believe In Nashville mural

Now, I’m by no means a ‘Nashville expert’, or even someone who travels to America frequently (in fact, I hadn’t travelled out of Europe for nearly five years until my recent trip to Nashville) but after visiting the city this past week, I thought I would share some of the places I enjoyed the most during my stay.

My favourite thing about Nashville is the local community, you can walk into a restaurant or shop and find the most fascinating stories about the owners (or even meet them yourself, if you’re lucky!). Living in London means I’m used to people minding their own business and keeping their heads down, so my visit to Nashville was a refreshing break from that and I feel like I got a real feel for the city during my stay.

If I’m honest, a week just wasn’t enough, and as the city is rapidly building and growing, I’m sure next time I visit there will be a whole host of new restaurants, cafes and shops to discover. Anyways, lets get into my favourite places I visited while in Nashville (ps. if you’re flying from London, British Airways fly direct from Heathrow which is a lot easier than having to navigate a connecting flight once you land in the US).

Parnassus books shop
Parnassus new Fiction

Parnassus Books – 3900 Hillsboro Pike

This gorgeous book shop wasn’t actually on my ‘must visit’ list, but once I arrived in Nashville my sister tipped me off about it and as a lover of physical books I just had to stop by to see why it is so well loved. Parnassus Books is an independent bookshop co-owned by Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes, and you can find signed copies of Ann’s books towards the front of the shop.

If you’re lucky, you’ll also spot Ann’s dogs roaming around the shop – super cute! Parnassus Books also host regular readings and Q&As with authors (who will then sign their books) so it’s a great spot to visit if you’re a book lover, you never know who will pop up there. I picked up two books while I was there, and I can’t wait to get reading them!

12th Avenue South mural
I Believe In Nashville mural

12th Avenue South

If you’re looking for some great photo opportunities, then 12th Avenue South is the best place to visit! From cute coffee shops (Frothy Monkey, I’m looking at you) to murals, there’s plenty of places to snap some photos for the ‘gram.

The ‘I Believe In Nashville’ mural is probably one of the most famous ones, and it’s worth stopping by to visit, but there’s also plenty of other’s that are less busy, and so easier to pose in front of!

Vui's Kitchen Chicken Pho

Vui’s Kitchen – 2832 Bransford Avenue

This is probably the best Vietnamese food I’ve had for a while, and I feel like I’ll be thinking about it for a while! There’s loads on the menu, but I opted for the Chicken Pho and it was just so delicious. The ingredients were really fresh, and the broth was full of flavour. You can sit outside here when the weather is nice, and it’s a really lovely spot for some food and drinks.

Rolf and Daughters restaurant
Lawyer Up cocktail
Marscapone and 'nduja pasta dish

Rolf and Daughters – 700 Taylor Street

We actually booked a table at Rolf and Daughters before we left for our trip – it’s super popular so worth booking in advance if you want to visit! It’s quite a pricey meal out, but 100% worth it because the food is delicious, as are the drinks.

Their cocktail menu is actually one of my faves, and I opted for the Lawyer Up one, which included two of my faves – gin and tonic! In terms of food, I went for the sourdough with seaweed butter to start, then a pasta with marscapone and ‘nudja before finishing with a mini coffee ice cream bar.

Music City Thrift Nashville

Music City Thrift – 3780 Nolensville Pike

I think thrift shopping is a must-do when visiting America, I always find amazing things when diving into the rails and rails of clothes! This time I cam home with some wedged sandals, killer snake print black boots, navy velvet midi dress, velvet checked oversized shirt and a vintage floral printed midi dress. My total was $31, so I definitely got some bargains there!

Special mention – Prince’s Hot Chicken, 5814 Nolensville Pike

I heard about this place via Buzzfeed, and they were recently featured in an article in The New Yorker so I just had to try their chicken while I was in Nashville! We went in the evening, so I didn’t take any photos of the place, but if you are visiting Nashville it is 100% worth going there. I went for the Mild spice level, and I definitely could have gone up to Medium, but the Mild was really tasty still! They also have Hot, X Hot and XX Hot so if you’re a spice lover this is the place for you.