Summer is pretty much synonymous with travel. You know, along with pool days, barbecues and ice cream. But to be totally honest, we normally don’t travel a ton in the summer… mostly on account of the aforementioned pool days. After a year without going too far past the confines of our neighborhood, it’s been nice to get out and explore a little… even if it’s just to somewhere within a day’s drive.
The team at Cincy Experience invited me to spend a day in their neck of the woods and I jumped at the chance to do a little girl’s night with my friend Lottie and check out Mariemont, a beyond adorable village just minutes from downtown.
I’ve been to Cincinnati countless times, for everything from weddings to baseball and football games to just hanging out with friends there. Usually those trips involve something specific though, so it was nice to take a break from my alarm clock and responsibilities for the day.
We spent our 24 away in Mariemont, the most charming English Tudor town in Hamilton County. It’s about 15 minutes from downtown but it feels like you’ve been transported back in time. It has a very Pleasantville vibe (in the best way possible) and I can only imagine how perfectly Americana it is during 4th of July weekend. The town was founded by Mary Emery (yes girl!) as a “National Exemplar” in practical town planning, which is clear upon arrival. The town center is easily walkable with shops, a school and parks all within walking distance. There’s even an old school movie theatre right in the middle of the square with an old-school Graeter’s next door.
We stayed right in the middle of the action at the Mariemont Inn. The hotel was built in 1929 and is full of history and character. Don’t let the “history” part fool you though, the rooms are homey and cozy with upscale touches. Personally, I loved how the TV was hidden in our room behind a faux painting to maintain the historic authenticity of the space.
The Mariemont Inn’s restaurant, the National Exemplar looked amazing and has the prettiest flower lined patio. There were plenty of umbrellas to keep you shielded from the sun while having brunch or a cocktail.
We opted to do dinner down the street at Emery which was a treat. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming but the food is anything but basic. The menu had inventive takes on classics and the starters were all the perfect size for sharing and getting a taste of a bunch of their specialities. We tried the mussels, crab cakes and, my favorite – the whipped feta. Anything with marcona almonds is a win for me but the creamy feta with the fig jam was out of this world. We split a baby kale caesar salad and the Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin for dinner and they both were wonderful. The pork especially since it was served as medallions alongside seasonal veggies giving it a much more delicate feel than your standard pork entree.
No dinner is complete without dessert but we opted to head next door for a scoop at the oh-so-Cincinnati Graeter’s Ice Cream. Unlike the Graeter’s here in Louisville, this one felt more old-school and had a full bakery with cakes, pies and cookies. Didn’t get to try any of those but they looked delicious.
After a great night sleep at the Mariemont Inn (the bed was very comfy and the linens are super nice), we did breakfast and mimosas at Scramblers before a little shopping around town. If you go to Scrambler’s, which was similar to Wild Eggs but had WAY more options, get one of their special mimosas. I had the blueberry lemon one and it was a treat. Not too sweet but the perfect tartness.
As for the shopping, my favorite of the shops we stopped into were Capsule and Pomegranate & Lime. Capsule is female- owned shop by a Chicago-transplant and is a curated mix of chic dresses and tops, casual basics and delicate jewelry. The staff was super friendly, which isn’t always the case at boutiques, and gave us tips on other places to shop in and around Mariemont. I ended up getting a cute top and candle before we headed just around the corner to Pomegranate & Lime. This fun gift shop felt like an upscale Work the Metal with a touch of Lexington prep. It had a little bit of everything from pretty Chinoiserie vases to statement earrings to baby gifts.
If you head to Mariemont, definitely recommend blocking out time to wander around town and pop into all the shops and boutiques. It’s also a good spot to do a little food crawl since there are a bunch of cute restaurants within walking distance of one another.
We honestly had such a fun, albeit short time in Mariemont. I would love to come back and explore more of the parks and check out more of the restaurants. Would be a great place to stay if you’re coming in for a baseball game or wedding but I’d recommend it for a great couples weekend away or a fun girls trip. There’s a cute pilates studio in town next to Rooted Juicery or a really nice Barre 3 down the road, so you can make it into a little wellness retreat.
Basically, I spent the entire time there talking about how adorable it was and before leaving we drove through the neighborhood looking at all the gorgeous homes, most complete with an American flag out front, and stalking Zillow.
Loved getting the chance to explore a new-to-me part of Cincy and can’t wait to go back.