So for my first evening in the city I decided on a few things, part tourist and part traveler. I started with a visit to the nearby Front Street brewery, followed by a horse drawn carriage tour ('cos you know I love me some local history), then dinner at Caprice Bistro, followed by the nightly ghost tour (am yet to meet one though). You can walk into the brewery at any time and ask for a little tour. They sell limited seasonal craft beers made locally so your tasting would be one of a kind. The carriage tour was fun because of all the fun facts the guide was able to share. You'll see many houses of different architecture styles, colors and also notice that quite a few have little plaques up front that tell you the history of the building. Kinda cool to live in one of those but might be kinda awkward to have strangers at your gate staring at your door trying to read what each plaque says! The French restaurant Caprice was quite the surprise of the evening. Firstly, I did not expect to be eating French food here. Secondly, for what looks like an unassuming hole in the wall eatery, they are pretty darn good when it comes to food. Basically French food with a Belgian twist and bang in the middle of the historic district. Of course, French student in me took this opportunity to converse in French with the hostess Patricia Moity who also happens to be the chef's wife. Chef Thierry and her ran restaurants in Charlotte and NYC before calling Wilmington home. Glance at what I ate on the images below :) To help digest all that good food, I chose to end the night with the ghost walk tour - nowadays every city has one and they all have some local folklore attached to it. I am not into ghosts and find most stories unbelievable but its always fun to see how easily other folks fall prey to the tales. Never the less, we had a very animated guide who took us through alleys and dimly lit buildings as well as the nearby cemetery in his attempts to scare us. All of these activities were in the central city area and that is just a 10 minute walk from the inn so very convenient to leave you car and stroll around.
Drove over to Wilmington and checked into the Gravestone Inn. If you know me by now you should know I adore B&Bs. I enjoy the history and charm, the personal service, the unique look and feel and the little details that inn keepers usually ensure make your experience pleasant. This place was ah-mazing! Great location and plenty of parking. This is essentially a 1900s mansion and they have 9 rooms spread over three floors - very spacious. I couldn't hear another soul in this space. Great for some quiet me time if you care for it. Very tastefully done and recently renovated. I was in the Bellamy Jr and loved that every floor has a common seating area that guests can gather at if they want. concierge at the front desk give you all the info you need on attractions. They have a grand common dining area where they serve breakfast every morning - everyday juices and breads/fruit followed by an entree of the day. They also host wine hour every evening in the library area and should you crave for something in the wee hours then they do have a 24 hour pantry with some snacks and beverages for your convenience. I was totally blown away by the space and would go back in a heartbeat. I also love that I got to meet and speak with other guests while at breakfast or whine hour and we were able to recommend and suggest to each other places to check out or dine at. That's another personal interaction you would probably never get to experience in a big hotel. Of course, if you don't care for it then it don't matter but whats the deal of visiting any place without interacting with the people there, is my train of thought. Check out the pictures and I know you will want to stay here when you visit. They are at 100 S 3rd St. in Wilmington.
Surprising that they have studios in Atlanta GA that I have not visited but I did check them out in Wilmington. The tour is about an hour and not too much of a walk. We got to see only 3 stages as the rest did not permit visits. Not allowed to take pictures either. But I can tell you I saw the sets for Under the Dome and also for a new ABC series starring Ryan Phillippe. Even saw the spot for his car. Now if only his car was there, and he was in it, that would have made my day! So the show is called Secrets and Lies and much as the staff was not permitted to divulge that info to us, (as in disclose the name of the show) it didn't take very long for most everyone to figure it out. Apparently Iron Man 3 was the one movie that took over the entire studio and all sound stages when they were filming. FYI if being an extra on set is one of your bucket list musts then I heard that thesoutherncastingcall.com are always looking for talent. EUE Screen Gems is the largest studio complex east of California and was also where CW's One Tree Hill was shot. Other movies shot here include The Conjuring and We're the Millers. If you visit, wear comfy shoes for walking, be prepared to not be taking any photos at all, and keep your hands to yourself - you are walking in sets where production takes place sand you do not want any of those indoor sets falling apart because of you.