We’re thrilled to see our very own CEO, Elizabeth Nichols, featured in the December 2014 issue of Veranda Magazine! The well known shelter publication is cover to cover stunning and we are simply honored to be mentioned. This month, the glossy highlights two of well-traveled Elizabeth’s very favorite places in the world – her hometown, Nashville, TN, and her second home base, Vail Valley, CO. Get the down-low below of her must-see spots when you’re in these areas:



For more of Elizabeth’s favorite places in Nashville and Vail Valley, read below. PLUS, get more on the great places featured in the magazine too- Enjoy!


“I could suggest the obvious Nashville activities like going to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Frist Museum, Loveless Café, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Pancake Pantry or the Bluebird but someone else will tell you about these Nashville institutions.

Since I shop on Taigan and love to entertain at home, a number of my suggestions are experiential as I take you from the hills in Belle Meade to lower broad with a little twist across the river to East Nashville!”

1. “No matter what time of year, you must take a walk/hike on the trails in the Warner Parks at the end of Belle Meade Boulevard. And while you are in the “hood” stop by Cheekwood. As a former Swan Ball (benefitting Cheekwood) Chairman and member of the BOD of Cheekwood, I would be remiss not to send people to Cheekwood, but my reasons are totally unbiased. A walk through the sculpture trail is a must-do until winter sets in. During holiday season, Holiday at Cheekwood is a six-week festival for all ages that includes professionally decorated Christmas trees in the mansion, live reindeer and Santa, and music in the mansion every Saturday and Sunday.”

2. “While The Bluebird Café is on everyone’s “must do” list, go in the winter and save “Bluebird on the Mountain” for pretty weather. “Bluebird on the Mountain” is a collaboration of The Bluebird and Vanderbilt, is held once a month from May-October at Vandy’s Dyer Observatory, which is located on one of the tallest hilltops in Nashville. It’s a BYOE (bring your own everything) evening of sunset, music and stars (both kinds). After the performance the telescope is opened for a view of celestial wonders.”

3. “By appointment only, you can visit the Belle Meade home of one of Taigan’s founders for a personal on-line shopping experience and southern hospitality at its finest!”

4. “A concert, any concert, at the Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grande Ole Opry and noted for its acoustics is not to be missed. Originally a tabernacle, the pews, while down-home are not padded.”

5. “Not number 5, but number 1 on my list is to go to Robert’s Western World. Don’t stand in the line at the front door but rather sneak in the back door and sit upstairs on the rail.  Best time for music is 6-10 for the Don Kelly Band. ”

6. “Jill Scissom will give you the best blow-out in town. Hairdresser to the stars and to me, you can get an appointment with her at Parlour 3 or if you put on “the big hat,” she might just come to your room!”

7. “Have dinner with Hal Holden–Bache, executive chef and co-owner of Lockeland Table. If you sit at the pizza bar, only on Thursday night, Hal himself is cooking and entertaining. You will love every minute of talking food.”

8. “Patterson House for a cocktail – four times a year the cocktail “artists” fka (formerly known as) bartenders submit innovative cocktails that are curated by a jury to build the drink menu seasonally. You simply can’t go wrong engaging any one of the bartenders at this speakeasy style bar close to Vandy!”

9. “Marche for brunch – blood orange mimosas and French toast or whatever is on the menu, you simply cannot miss here.”

10. “Josephine on 12th Avenue South is a place to go for two reasons. They have a good vibe and the very best roast chicken (for two) that I have ever eaten – the chicken has been sous-vide and then roasted for a crispy skin and is just to die for. They only do six chickens a night so you must put in your order when you call them – the presentation is in a copper roast pan on a bed of kale in the summer and Brussel leaves in the winter (just barely cooked). After dinner step next door into Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream for a scoop or three!”

11. “For an upscale dinner go to Giovanni Ristorante – Italian, of course. I personally like to sit in the bar but a white cloth experience is offered in the dining room. Never know who you will run into here, but for sure, music industry EXECS. If “it’s” not on the menu, just ask and they will try to make it happen!!! Another option is to cozy up to an “old Nashville” type for an invitation to dinner at “the Club” aka Belle Meade Country Club!”

12. “Get a reservation for Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper* or try to get  into one of their cooking classes. *ABRSS is a POP-UP that may be held in a public location or in a beautiful home and is intended to celebrate the tradition of family Sunday feasts.”

13. “For a no-frills experience go to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and cool off  with an ice-cream at Bobby’s Dairy Dip.”

14. “Jamie – I send all the Vandy mom’s with daughters to Jamie, a Nashville institution and “sure fire” place to find a little black dress, jeans for honkey tonkin’ or a dress for The Swan Ball! You will find everything from Lela Rose to The Row to Brunello Cucinelli. Ask for Rita or Terri and tell them I sent you!!!! Great jewelry boutique in the middle of the store as well!”

15. “If you wanna be a hipster, go by Hero on 12th Avenue South – if you are super lucky you an will catch Claudia Fowler in store rather than in her Franklin outpost, Haven (which has a bigger selection).  Claudia is a stylist to a variety of music stars…..the really, really chic ones.  My daughter Mamie and I can both find wardrobe solutions from their selection of Gary Graham, Haute Hippie, Free People and Rachel Zoe.”

16. “And while you are on 12 South, stop by imogene + willie for a pair of their jeans which will be tailored just for you.”

17. “For a great hostess gift, I would go to Absolution even though it is in the Green Hills Mall. They have amazing coffee table books, great stuff for stocking the bar and their very own and most fragrant “Nashville” Candle.”

18. “For paper, Dotted Line, without question – this place is just magical and fluffy and fun.  Dotted Line is like the icing on the cake. You may find a paper and glitter crown for your New Year’s Eve party or a calendar for 2015!”

19. “For design, set an appointment and stop by the studio of Jonathan Savage (Savage Interior Design). I love Jonathan’s line of kitchen towels, aprons and table top, but you might get a peek at one of the projects he is working on or leave with a jar of his mother’s strawberry jam!”

20. “If you want the latest in cosmetics, Woo is THE place to go.  Woo is a Texas transplant to Tennessee and you will wish your skin could look only 1/2 as good as hers. If you want a makeup application ask for Diana – I never leave without the latest colors from Chantecaille! GREAT SPOT for stocking stuffers.”

21. “Estate Jewelry – Richter’s for sure is best of class…..an art deco stud set or fabulous ring for Christmas???? Dudley Richter is one of a bunch of brothers who have been in the biz for a long time…they have other stores in Palm Beach, Atlanta and so forth.”


Vail Valley:

1. “Axel’s – Definitely the most beautiful clothes made by and sold by the most beautiful people in the Vail Valley (no maybe in the U.S.) When I go into Axels I first track down Todd Donelson whom I have known for years……but my most favorite things here for me are hand made cowboy boots from Stallion Boot Co. (designed by Axel and Janie) .

I also love their PRIVATE LABEL white blouses (but I am a white blouse junkie…they are so feminine and also work well under a tailored jacket.

Axel’s Private Label Shearlings are probably the finest in the world; designed again by Axel and Janie and made in Italy they are the warmest piece of outwear in the store, yet very light in weight. Also look in the photo….Axel’s crocodile hand bag made in Italy, as well as, Axel’s sequin high heels….cha-ching cha-ching!!!

As for the guys, my picks at Axel’s would be a Boglioli sport coat, Finamore Shirt, Fedeli cashmere sweater and KITON JEANS (wish they made jeans for girls). All of these are, of course, selected by Alex in Italy…shoes, would be Edward Green. The passion behind the owners of this store is second to none.”

2. “A cocktail made by ‘mixologist’ Donovan at Mountain Standard (Old Fashioned is my preference) or have a drink at the bar in Matsuhisa, and enjoy the dramatic view of Vail Mountain in the distance.”

3. “Gorsuch – The place to outfit yourself for dinner, fishing or skiing…and your home too! This year I am going to get a new ski jacket by Frauenschuh and I always recommend a fur funnel by Glamourpuss. I also make a quick run to re-stock my bathrooms with their Lafco, Feu de Bois Soap.”

4. “I always step into my great friend Beth Slifer’s store, Slifer Designs, to buy hostess gifts to take to dinner parties during my stay. I also love to add to my collection of serving pieces from Annie Glass’ Shell Series. It’s such fun to serve cold stone crab in a big translucent shell-shaped bowl from Annie Glass on a cold snowy night!”

5. “Eat Drink for lunch or to pick up cheeses and charcuterie for my house party. They have a great little boutique wine store next door! Let Polly or Chris help you with your selections.”

6. “LARKBURGER –  Just ‘do it’ – sink your teeth into a Larkburger and you will see! I particularly love the Amy Burger, made of a portobello mushroom. “

7. “At lunchtime, ski down Golden Peak run for a Lobster Club Sandwich and Bloody Mary at Larkspur.”

8. “Liberty Ski’s – Not only MADE IN THE USA, but made in the Vail Valley. I have owned a number of pairs of Liberty skis over the past 10 years – they are environmentally ‘respectful,’ nimble, light and ‘playful.’ You can get them at the Vista Bahn Ski Rental in Vail.”

9. “SureFoot – without question, the place to get a ski boots that fit like a glove.”

10. “As to music, I love Apres Ski at the Red Lion to hear Brendan McKinney from 4-6. Additionally I always check the Vilar Center calendar for the performance schedule, but a must do is to find Helmut Fricker in some outdoor space yodeling, playing the accordion, cowbells or an Alpenhorn in his lederhosen – and bring a stein full of beer along!”

11. “The Bookworm – not only do you get the smell of a ‘REAL’ and charming bookstore, but the café is equally charming.”

12. “Spa services – Allegria at the Hyatt, hands down!”

13. “A snow-shoe picnic. Get a picnic packed by Allana at her new catering company called FOODsmith, rent snow-shoes and take the Strawberry Park lift up to the most spectacular alpine skiing/snow-shoeing course in the world! VIEWS FOR DAYS!!!”

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