Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pampering & Lunch with Blogging Besties

After a busy week, there are few things better than getting together with friends for a Sunday lunch date and catching up. Except being sincerely pampered by experts at L'Occitane en Provence located in Alpharetta’s Avalon shopping area. With a mimosa in hand, I was treated first to a mini facial with lovely products from the Immortelle collection which contains organic essential oil rich in active molecules that offer unique anti-aging beauty results. Following the facial, I received a luxurious chair massage from Bria Dailey of Dailey Relaxing, Inc. I felt all the troubles of the week melt from my muscles as relaxing melodies played by harpist, Julie Koenig helped clear my mind.

 What was the occasion? This was a gathering of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society arranged by VP Melissa Pelkey Hass. So as others were being pampered we chatted and played catch up as we shopped the glorious array of products available for hair, face, hands, and body care. I had a lovely hand massage which began with a salt scrub and then a soothing shea butter massage.

Before leaving for lunch, we were presented with swag bags loaded with treats: Shea butter hand cream, a Divine cream sample and certificates for a free hand massage and mini facial from L’Occitane; an adorable wine glass with a mini cocktail kit of Stirrings margarita mix and a small bottle of tequila; a candle, lavender bath soap and aromatherapy essential oils from Scout & Molly’s with additional coupons; and, and the latest issue of Dining Out Atlanta magazine. We all hated to leave the store, but had a reservation at Butcher & Brew in historic downtown Alpharetta, a short mile from Avalon.

It’s hard to say whether this spot is more brew pub or sports bar, but it indeed is both.  With the Spring weather in our favor, we chose to sit at the indoor table with doors wide open onto the patio. The space is rustic and relaxed with wood tables and chairs and an open bar that spans the length of the restaurant. Bowls of spicy popcorn were on the table as we sat and soon after shared plates began to arrive. First there were Pigs in a Blanket made with cheddarwurst sausage, puff pastry and a honey mustard, and Fried Cauliflower with goat cheese, tangy Korean BBQ sauce, cilantro and topped with a chicharon.

Next came a sampling of their “bowls” which are large and healthy options to a burger or sandwich. The Paleo included sweet potato, spinach, red bell pepper, hard-boiled egg, peanuts, broccolini, crumbled bacon topped with slices of avocado.; and, the Tropical made with couscous, mango, avocado, pickled red onion, black beans, baby kale, feta, and drizzled with a balsamic cherry glaze that made the dish.

Sandwiches were brought to the table next. We tried an “Adrian” made with slow-roasted pork, garlicky broccolini, sharp cheddar and a smear of Dijon-mayonnaise, and the “Homer” which was a vegetarian combo with garlicky broccolini, fried cauliflower, caramelized onion, parmesan and a ginger-chili mayo. By far my favorite was the B&B Burger: two patties, sharp cheddar cheese sauce, American cheese, pickles, grilled onions, secret sauce, yellow mustard, shredded lettuce…. saucy, meaty perfection on a bun! Oh, and don’t let me forget the sides of garlicky French fries, mac and cheese, uber-thin and super crisp Sweet Potato Chips, and velvety cole slaw.

We lingered for a bit and continued our chattered before the food coma started to take effect and everyone said their goodbyes before heading home to sneak in naps if possible!

Special thanks to L’Occitane of Avalon, Scout & Molly’s, Melissa Hass, Stirrings, and Butcher & Brew for a lovely day! While I received complimentary services, gifts and lunch in exchange for this blog post, all content, photos and opinions are my own.


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