Call it kismet, but Afternoon in the Country seems to fall on a perfect November Sunday year after year. The sky is always cloudless and blue and the air just cool enough to make you want a sweater. White tents dot the lawn at the Inn at Serenbe; inside them, some of Atlanta’s most popular chefs (Rathbun, Gillespie, Quatrano) assemble samples of braised lamb belly, beef short ribs, and honey-apple cake. Meanwhile, wine distributors and microbreweries pour generous tastings as a live bluegrass band plays. It’s all produced by the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, which donates event proceeds to local charities such as Georgia Organics. My husband and I have been to many Atlanta food and wine festivals over the years; this one is hands-down our favorite.
We first experienced Afternoon in the Country six years ago, when our daughter was still small enough to fit in a carrier around my torso. The moment we arrived, I realized I was overdressed: I was in a skirt and heels while everyone else wore jeans and boots. Worst of all, I had eaten a late breakfast, and I could only make it through one of the three food tents before I had to throw in the towel. Still, I was hooked. I had eaten my fill of incredible food, and now I was outside, sipping wine under a bright sky and bouncing my daughter to the sounds of a fiddler. This festival, I decided, was worth returning to. My husband felt the same.
We haven’t missed a year since that day in 2009, and now we’re pros: We wear comfortable (and loose-fitting!) clothes and eat the lightest of breakfasts before we leave home. We walk each tent before we begin sampling so we can prioritize what we want to try. We have two children now, and they love coming with us–there are goats and rabbits to pet, swings to check out and hayrides to hop on. And of course, there’s a perfect fall Sunday to enjoy.
The Fifteenth Annual Afternoon in the Country takes place November 8 from 1-4 pm at Serenbe; purchase tickets here.