by adwells on May 9, 2011
I love the Delta. I can’t quite explain it, but there’s just something so peaceful, calm and simple about it. Life seems slower and more low-key.
Our wedding anniversary was back in March. It was a crazy busy time, so a whirlwind getaway was the only way to go, and what better place to unwind than the Delta? It was calling our name. Greenwood is only a quick drive from Jackson, so we were there in a jiffy for our one night stay at The Alluvian Hotel.
Greenwood is your typical Mississippi small town. I drive through it and imagine what it was like back in the mid-20th century and before. I can imagine the bustling streets, the soda shops and the ladies lunching. Now, like a lot of small little towns, there are empty storefronts and once-stately homes that have been abandoned.
But thanks to the Viking Corporation calling Greenwood home, the town is experiencing a lovely little renaissance (thankfully, like a lot of small towns these days, I might add). The only way to describe it is charming.
The Alluvian, with its unfussy decor and understated Southern charm added to the sense of serenity that we were going for.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and spent a few hours wandering around the town. I’m a sucker for a quaint bookstore, and Greenwood has one of the best in Turnrow Book Company.
Turnrow has a great selection of Southern writers and cookbooks galore as well as a lovely little coffee shop upstairs.
We browsed the Viking Cooking School’s store, where we ooohed and ahhhed over the vast amount of kitchen gadgets. Let me just tell you, I may be a sucker for bookstores and antiques, but the husband will go wild over silicone spatulas and pepper grinders. It’s any home cook’s dream.
Tucked away in tiny little Greenwood, Mississippi, we stumbled upon the fine antique jackpot. Russell’s Antiques and Fine Jewelry blew my mind. The insane amount of silver service was unlike anything I imagined. I have a serious thing for antique flatware and I could have gone crazy in this place.
I mean, really, how gorgeous is this stuff? I can’t even get started on the furniture. They just don’t make it like they used to, that’s for sure.
That night, we had reservations at Giardina’s, right next door to The Alluvian. Here, we sat in our own little cubbyhole, reminiscent of the prohibition era, where people could discreetly sip their beverage of choice behind a closed curtain. You just push a button for service. It’s delightful.
We had a phenomenal waiter who appeased me by telling me the full-on history of the place. What a gem.
Giardina’s brands itself as “Delta Casual,” and is one of Mississippi’s most historic restaurants. In the late twenties, Sam Giardina, a member of the family that hailed from Cefalu, Italy, opened a small grocery store in downtown Greenwood, where he would also serve plate lunches. His brother Joseph wanted to follow in his footsteps and opened Giardina’s in 1936. It was originally on Park Avenue and was a drive-up place for sandwiches and quick take away entrees. Business boomed and Giardina’s became the best in full-service fine Delta dining. Now in its new location, you still get the same traditions and to-die-for food.
Giardina’s specializes in steaks, oysters and fresh fish. Much like the Delta itself, the food is rather simple, which is really why it’s so good. You pick your fish (I picked the red) and your sauce (white wine sauce, please!) and enjoy. Delicious and the atmosphere was very cozy.
The next day we headed back to Giardina’s for a Mardi Gras brunch and mimosas before we visited the Alluvian Spa (yep, also a sucker for a spa day). My favorite thing about the spa it’s state-of-the-art services with a charming Mississippi Delta twist. They offer sweet tea-infused treatments as well as Mississippi clay masks. You’ll also dunk your hands into a McCarty bowl, a Delta favorite, for manicures. Love it!
It was such a great, quick getaway. I definitely recommend Greenwood for a dose of luxury done the Delta way. So good in fact, that we may make it an annual tradition. Next time, though, we’ll be sure to squeeze in a cooking class at The Viking Cooking School.