We enjoyed a complimentary trip and stay in the Hickory Metro area of North Carolina, courtesy of Hickory Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. All opinions are my own.
The Bed and Breakfast
What might be a little sweeter than sweet tea? Southern hospitality — most notably the hospitality of innkeepers Patricia and Ralph Hatch at Sweet Tea Bed and Breakfast in Conover, North Carolina.
Built in 1920, the home was first a dwelling place for Ray and Myrtle Hunsucker and their four sons. Ray Hunsucker was a businessman and only 25 years old when the house was built, showcasing his wealth for that time period.
After the Hunsuckers moved out west, the house was inhabited by Anne Shuford, a woman with around 70 fur coats. She converted the cedar-lined nursery into a coat closet, which has since been renovated into a bathroom (the one that came with our room) at the B&B.
In 2017, Ralph and Patricia opened Sweet Tea B&B and served the best breakfast the home has ever seen (I’m convinced). With around 40 years in the food industry, including serving as head chef at restaurants, Ralph makes a breakfast that rivals most. From breakfast soufflé to good ol’ southern grits, the breakfast food was TO DIE FOR. We won’t blame you if you book a stay just to eat breakfast.
The other guests we encountered at the B&B were repeat customers, which speaks volumes about the B&B and the innkeepers running the place.
Our time exploring Hickory, North Carolina
Sad to leave the large wrap-around porch, we were equally as excited to explore the Hickory, North Carolina area, thanks to Hickory Metro Visitors Center and Bureau.
Our venture began on Friday with a fabulous dinner at Vintage House Restaurant (pictured above), an establishment serving pasta, steak and seafood dishes in a beautifully renovated circa-1915 home (older homes are obviously our jam). From the yeast rolls to the crème brûlée, our meal was one of the best we’ve had during our travels.
On Saturday, we traveled back in time to the 1800s during our visit to Hart Square Village’s 37th Annual Living History Festival. Hart Square heralds a collection of 103 historic log structures, all open to the public during the festival. The festival features artisans and historians demonstrating what life was like during that time period.
During our time in Hickory, we also explored the quaint downtown area, making stops at Olde Hickory Station and Market (if anything, stop by for one of their bakery items), the farmers market, Taste Full Beans coffee shop, Life Doesn’t Succ plant shop, Aqua B Boutique, Ella Blu and The Natural Olive.
Our dinner Saturday night included three Hickory staples. Our night started off with cocktails and appetizers at Charolais Steakhouse, a restaurant operating in its original location since 1969 and for good reason — if we lived closer, we’d visit often.
The second stop was Mas Amor Cantina for dinner. Homemade tortillas and scratch-made sauces are my love language, and when they come in barbacoa taco form, it’s a lifelong love affair. Between the trendy, upbeat atmosphere and the amazing Tex-Mex, this is one place you have to visit.
Our final stop of the night was Cafe Rule & Wine Bar. Let me make this simple for you — order one of each of the pumpkin cheesecake, carrot cake, s’mores cast iron cookie, and popcorn (yes, popcorn) ice cream. You won’t be able to decide which one to order, and life is short, so you might as well order them all.
We had a wonderful time exploring the Hickory area and enjoyed every minute of our stay at Sweet Tea B&B. Thank you so much to our friends at Hickory Metro and Sweet Tea B&B for having us.
Looking for another bed and breakfast in North Carolina? Check out our visit to Benjamin Ellis House in New Bern, and don’t forget to follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see where we’re heading next!