Southern Chat: TASTE the Event plus Sweet Baby Birds at the Hines

Durham and Chapel Hill are about to put the spotlight on its culinary scene. This Thursday, I cannot wait to attend The Grand TASTE Experience at DPAC in Durham, N.C. It's going to be three solid hours of sipping & savoring samples of chef offerings, pastries & sweets, wines, local craft beers, spirits & coffee.  A lot of my favorite chefs and brewers will be there plus I look forward to discovering new favorites, too. Also, part of the proceeds from from ticket sales will be donated to the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (Food Bank).

TASTE the Event in Durham and Chapel Hill

TASTE the Event is a five-day foodie celebration sponsored by Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine. There will be lots of special dinners, and fun for the entire family from April 23-April 27. 

Tickets are still available for the Grand TASTE experience. HineSight Blog readers can use the code: TASTESponsor10 for a 10 percent discount when purchasing tickets

Tickets are limited to the other scheduled events, but when I checked in with organizers they did tell me that tickets are definitely available for the Grand TASTE Experience, the Drinks and Desserts Reception at Piedmont, and the Gospel Brunch on Sunday at the Carolina Inn. 

If you go to the Grand TASTE experience, be sure to tweet me @hinessightblog and perhaps I can pop over to say hello. You're likely to find me at the TOPO Distillery booth. Esteban McMahan knows how to make some good cocktails. 

And finally, I want to leave you with a little photo I captured from my foyer steps. We have baby birds. I've not been able to view them yet, but I saw daddy bird feed them this morning. The mama bird gets a little nervous when we move around in our foyer area. That's her guarding the nest as soon as she heard me. 

Baby Birds

Have a blessed Easter! 


Win Two Tickets to See Sandy Duncan in N.C. Theatre's "Driving Miss Daisy"

Actress Sandy Duncan is coming to Raleigh to star in the N.C. Theatre's Production of "Driving Miss Daisy" which will run May 2-11, 2014 at Fletcher Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. I am giving away two tickets to the matinee performance on Sunday, May 11 at 2 p.m. 

Sandy Duncan has had an illustrious stage career that spans five decades, making her debut performance at age 12 in The Dallas Summer Musicals’ production of The King and I. She earned rave reviews with her starring role in the Broadway revival of Peter Pan. 

Sandy is widely recognized for her television roles such as in The Hogan Family and an iconic string of ads as the Wheat Thins Spokesperson.

Driving Miss Daisy, written by Alfred Uhry in 1987, is a story about the relationship between an elderly white Southern Jewish woman, “Daisy Werthan,” and her black chauffeur, “Hoke Colborn.” Winner of the Putlizer Prize Award, and an Academy Award- Winning film, the story explores race relations set in the backdrop of the inequality and civil unrest of the American south in the late 1940’s. The play originally opened off-Broadway on April 15, 1987 and has since been performed around the world. 

For tickets to NC Theatre’s productions, visit www.NCTheatre.com or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Also coming up this season: Disney’s The Little Mermaid July 29 – Aug. 3, 2014.

Enter to win two tickets to the May 11 performance at 2 p.m.

A winner will be selected at random on  4/28/2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Drinks and Birdhouses at Chapel Hill's Carolina Inn

One of my favorite local hotels, The Carolina Inn, has joined Instagram. I know. I have lots of favorites here, but all my luxury hotels are truly different in the area, and all offer something exceptional and unique. The Carolina Inn is a beautiful, historic, antebellum-styled hotel in the heart of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus. When spring rolls around, it's the perfect place for drinks on the porch.


The popular Fridays on the Front Porch will kick off on April 25 and will run through early October from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Every Friday, there is live music with a different band, and Carolina Crossroads offers picnic offerings and drinks for a per person charge.

Chapel Hill is about 45 minutes from Raleigh with traffic, but I am going one Friday when the kids aren't in school.

@Hinessightblog Instagram Account 

One of my most popular Instagram photos came from the Carolina Inn when I was there last fall to see some of the new renovations.

Every April, the Inn hosts its annual Birdhouses on Parade. I've not seen birdhouses in person for a couple of years now, but they are truly spectacular. The Inn's pastry chef, Sarah Thomas, made one for display this year. Most are made by N.C. artists.

@TheCarolinaInn Instagram Account 

The birdhouses will be on display through Easter then the Inn will get ready for UNC graduation events and Mother's Day. The Inn is truly a special place to have afternoon tea, too. The Spring Afternoon Tea is served in the lobby Thursday through Sunday and features The Carolina Inn’s popular floral teas such as Carolina Blueberry and Vanilla Apple Hibiscus. Chef Clark prepares a medley of savory tea sandwiches, assorted sweets and chocolates, followed by a grand finale of warm scones served with fresh lemon curd, English Devonshire cream and jam.  And take it from me, the scones are good. 

Exterior of The Carolina Inn 

The Inn is also in its busy bridal season. My friends at Southern Bride and Groom told me that the venue probably does more weddings than any venue in the Triangle. The Inn completed a fabulous guest room and ballroom renovation last year. I've attended two weddings at the Inn. 

And if you're going to the Inn for an reason then do Valet Parking.  It's worth it. Parking is not easy to find in Chapel Hill. It can be done, but be prepared to walk. 

Do you have a great Instagram travel story to share? Read the linky rules below and join us this week (but don’t forget to grab our logo {here} and link to at least one of hosts in your post). If you are not a blogger, but have an Instagram account tag your lovely travel moments with #IGTravelThursday. No blog, no Instagram? You can still join in the fun by reading our IG-related travel stories and by giving us some feedback love!  If you want to host the IG Travel linky on your blog so that your readers can easily find our posts, you may use this,  get the InLinkz code.


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