This is a new tour that sounds like a fun time! Our friends at Hola Cuban Café have started a new series of downtown tours that focus on food and cocktails at local restaurants and bars. The Amelia Island Tasting Tours have two tours in place with more in the works.
On the 3-hour Downtown Tasting Tour you will stroll the beautiful Historic District while sampling wonderful food prepared by our favorite local chefs. The restaurant participation changes with each tour so every tour is different.
The Mixology Tour is an on-going cocktail party through the Historic District. On this 2-hour tour you will meet some of Fernandina Beach’s best bartenders while enjoying the unique character of our local bars.
Advance reservations are required! Check out their schedule at www.AmeliaIslandTastingTours.com or call 900-979-3370 for tickets. More tours are coming including a Chocolate Tour, Dessert Tour and Pub Crawl.
Here is a brilliant example of transitioning your Fall / Halloween decorations into a Christmas motif.
Just this morning all we had was three white pumpkins, all very harvesty and very Fallish. Add a carrot nose, two eyes made out of coal (BBQ briquettes) and a Frosty hat and voila! A Christmas decoration.
Christmas decorations come early to the Addison. Tomorrow, a week before Thanksgiving, we need to be fully decorated for Christmas as we will have 700 people coming through our house as part of the Amelia Island B&B Association Holiday Cookie Tour. The decorating is done, the lights are lit and all that is left is the baking of 700 cookies. I’ll fire up the oven at 5:30 tomorrow morning and we start baking!
Today at Happy Hour we served a duet of hummus. The hummus we usually serve was paired with a roasted red pepper hummus. The grilled nan bread makes an excellent delivery vehicle.
New and big things are coming, too! We have a new ice cream/gelato machine. My favorite dish from our cooking school in Italy was the home-made tomato soup, served with a crostini topped with a scoop of parmesan gelato. If I have my way, this dish is going to be the starter of the Addison’s Thanksgiving dinner!
The purple flowers in the front are from roots that I thought were dead but I buried them next to the sidewalk hoping that something would happen. They love it there! And I love the flowers as they blow off in the wind when they are done and I don’t have to deadhead them. Behind them are some yellow flowers in a pot with whom I had a hard time getting the watering right but now they seem happy. The blue flowers in the back were planted as a ground cover but are now covering so much more and are going to need cutting back before too long.
We just replanted the annual beds out front and I’ve got some weeding to do in the courtyard. I’ll have to get it done by Monday as there are 4 yards of mulch heading our way. The weather will be perfect for spreading mulch. Low humidity, temperatures in the low 80s. That also sounds like perfect beach weather!
The Amellia Island Blues Festival kicks off this Friday and will be followed by the Amelia Island Jazz Festival in October. Jazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker, a multiple Grammy Awards winner, and monster jazz organ player Tony Monaco, are set to headline the 2014 Amelia Island Jazz Festival. Credited with augmenting the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades, Randy Brecker’s trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of recording artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, and Jaco Pastorius.
Tony Monaco, who will appear on Friday, October 17, is a leader in the revival of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. As he has been with so many fledgling jazz organists, Jimmy Smith played a significant role in attracting Monaco to jazz and retaining his interest in the music. A critically acclaimed player, Monaco consistently ranks high among organists in DOWNBEAT Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll. He has released several well-reviewed albums including his latest, “Celebration: Life & Love & Music” on the Chicken Coup Label.
If you love great music, this island is the place to be!
These are fun events, run by local servers and bartenders, that focus a LOT of fun on the local bars downtown. The pub crawls occur three or four times a year, with the latest being held on Sunday, August 31st. The bars all offer drink specials and there is live music at most of the venues. All of the bars are downtown, within easy walking distance of the Addison, and include the Palace, Green Turtle, Courtyard Cafe, Dog Star, Pablo’s Mexican Cantina and a few more. What better way to enjoy a hot, sultry, August night than to rehydrate and dance at several local watering holes. Scan the box for more information!
The 4th of July is only a couple of weeks away! A big 4th is planned for Fernandina Beach this year with an entire day of festivities, music, a parade and fireworks.
The 4th is on a Friday this year tying the holiday to the weekend quite nicely. The Freedom Festival, Fernandina’s family friendly festival will be in Central Park (two blocks from the Addison) all day with games, food, live music and fun for all ages. A parade will leave Central Park in the evening, going down Center Street to the marina. After the parade will be our Sounds on Center Free Street Concert, which is held on the first Friday of each month during the spring and summer. This month Island Vibe will be playing patriotic songs from through the decades. The concert will run between 6 and 8PM and will be followed by even more live music at the foot of Center Street. Fireworks follow at 9:30.
A big day with lots of fun for everyone!
There is another round of big changes happening to the restaurant scene in downtown Fernandina Beach Once in a while, a business will fold and people will move on. I love it when the new business opens up!
Luigi’s Trattoria was just a couple of blocks from the Addison and provided a great Italian meal served in their tiny dining room, the front porch or in the big open-air piazza in the back of the restaurant. Giovanna no longer operates the Trattoria in this location and the building was looking a little rundown.
Enter Mark and Teresa of Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop. They bake, they make cookies and cakes and they are moving into the old Trattoria. This might just be the next bright spot in our vibrant downtown where you can enjoy fresh baked goods in the shady piazza on a sunny afternoon.
The other movers and shakers in the restaurant world? Bonito Grill and Sushi closed last year and is soon to be re-opened as Palate. Raw bar up front with a full menu in the back. I know these people, they make great food.
O’Kane’s Irish Bar closed last year as well but new life is coming. A couple of local restaurant owners have decided to expand their workload and will soon open a brew pub in the old O’Kane’s location. Crazy people but they make great food and hopefully great beer.
With all the changes going on downtown you just have to hope, that when the music stops, everyone has a storefront through which to do business.
May is a great month on Amelia Island. Besides fantastic weather we have so much happening on the island. We start off with the Pirate’s parade on the first, followed by the Annual Shrimp Festival. The three-day event attracts 150,000 to 250,000 visitors to Amelia Island. We at the Addison are lucky enough to host the same roster of great guests that come back for the festival each year.
Right after the Shrimp Festival is Cinco de Mayo. If you are staying at the Addison you had best brush up on your history because, along with festive snacks, there will be a quiz at Happy Hour.
Besides the Shrimp Festival, we have the Chamber Music Festival and the Wild Amelia Nature Festival in May. Fort Clinch is hosting two major events in the month as well.
Wrapping up the end of the month, and kicking off the summer season, is the Memorial Day weekend. Even on this busy weekend there is plenty of beach to enjoy. If Main Beach is crowded there is 14 miles of sand with lots of access points each with free parking. Borrow the Addison’s beach gear and head off for a day in the sand. Don’t forget to take a towel!
This year’s musical performers for the popular Sounds on Center Free Community Concert Series has been announced and it looks like a great season ahead of us. For those of you not familiar with the concert series, the town blocks off Center Street to traffic and sets up a stage on Center Street right near the Palace Saloon doors. The concerts start at 6PM (right after the Addison’s Happy Hour!) and run through to about 8PM. The pirates are usually in attendance and people are dancing in the streets all while the sun sets over the marina. The concerts are well attended by locals and tourists and it has always been a fun evening.
This year’s line up:
April 4th. The Honey Badgers, an all Beatles music tribute
June 6th. Mike Hendrix plays top tunes
July 4th. Island Vibes playing music through the ages with a patriotic salute
August 1st. Jimmy Beats playing soulful Caribbean sounds
September 5th. The Decade Band, Amelia Island’s premier party band
October 3rd. A surprise musical guest!
Sounds on Center sounds great. See you there!