I was invited by Experience Columbus to have a weekend getaway in Downtown Columbus and have a fun Made in Cbus holiday adventure. Being parents of 3 crazy bugaboos, we often don’t get time alone (and seldom overnight), especially during the holiday season so this was a perfect excuse to have a little time away just the two of us while also knocking off tons of items on our shopping list.
1. Romantic Stay at Hotel LeVeque
Hotel LeVeque was the perfect romantic escape. This quaint boutique hotel located right in the heart of Downtown Columbus will give you all the heart eyes. Your experience at this incredible hotel begins the moment you walk through the revolving door. Everyone is informative, pleasant and attentive. Dressed up for the holiday added an even more impressive feel to this already special hotel. The theme of the hotel is celestial and one of my favorite things was the signature starry turn-down service. Our room also included an oversized bathroom, complimentary WiFi and smart TV so we were able to stream our current binge show. Other special touches included the valet parking, Watershed cocktails in the minibar which we drank in bed after throwing on the plush robes and Starbucks for the morning. If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay, look no further than the lavish accommodations of Hotel LeVeque. 50 W Broad Street. Columbus Ohio 43215 614.639.3055
2. Dinner at THE KEEP
THE KEEP is Hotel LeVeque’s on-site modern French Brasserie is not only the perfect dinner spot when staying at the hotel but it’s perfect for a romantic night out even when not staying there (although you’ll wish you were). The signature cocktails accompany the French and American-inspired menu perfectly. With an open kitchen, it’s easy to sit back and get caught in the hustle and bustle of the servers and cooks and imagine you are on set of the Gordon Ramsey TV show Hell’s Kitchen but without all the screaming and yelling. We started with some oysters and then after we ordered Chef Jonathan took a moment to come to visit our table and talk about our selections. Due to a limited theater menu, which we weren’t expecting, he sent out a few surprise dishes so we would have the opportunity to experience a range of what THE KEEP offers. Soon we got a few appetizers to try which we included the squash fries, octopus piri piri and stuffed dates – all insanely delicious. One dish not to miss is pan-fried Saddleberk Pork. I ordered the Steak Frites which was good but nothing special and my husband ordered the Saddleberk Pork and I had major dinner envy. Honestly, I could not keep my fork off his plate. With a roaring twenties feel, this would be the perfect spot to ring in the upcoming New Years’ Eve 2020! 50 West Broad Street Columbus Ohio 43215 614.745.0322
3. Breakfast at a Local Hot Spot
We knew we need some major fuel for our upcoming day of shopping and with our plan to hit many shops on the Made In Cbus trail, we made an organized map of exactly where we wanted to go. Our plan included hit a spot in town and walking to all the various shops nearby. Since we decided to start in the German Village area we knew that the newest Fox in the Snow location would be perfect. This rustic bakery + coffee shop has one of the best breakfast sandwiches in Columbus so Kevin started with the infamous Souffled Egg Sandwich and with the plethora of sweets, Fox in the Snow always makes all my sugary breakfast dreams possible. Since I need a little some to balance out all the sweets I talked him into splitting the sandwich and a custard-filled donut. In addition to the sweets and sandwich, you can also look for items like buttermilk biscuits with housemade jam, ham and swiss tarts, steel-cut oatmeal, house-made granola and more. Coffee lovers rejoice with some delicious options and for those non-coffee lovers there are some tea options – I’m a huge fan of the chai tea latte. In addition to the German Village location, you can also find Fox in the Snow in their original location on 4th in Italian Village and now New Albany. 210 Thurman Avenue. Columbus Ohio 43206 614.372.5677
4. Made In Cbus Trail
This year we decided to make a conscious effort to shop local for the holidays. Of course, we had to hit up Target to fulfill some of the wishes on the kid’s list but for everyone else, we really took extra effort this year to find something meaningful and special AND local! It helps that Columbus takes pride in the locally owned business, shops, restaurants and more. The Made In Cbus trail is a curated collection of local makers and you can snag a passport at various locations around town. When you shop and purchase something at four locations on the passport and turn in your passport to the Experience Columbus Visitors Center you will earn a free Made in Cbus tote bag. Some of the locations that we visited included: The Candle Lab (read more about my experience at The Candle Lab), Helen Winnemore’s, The Red Stable, Red Giraffe Designs, Three Buds Flower Market and so many more. During December, after you shop at any four shops on the Made in Cbus trail, you can drop off your completed guide to the Experience Columbus Visitors Center (400 N High Street Columbus Ohio 43215 OR 277 W Nationwide Blvd #125 Columbus Ohio 43215) in the arena district and you will be entered to win gift cards from many of the participating business and the grand prize of a night’s stay at the Hotel LeVeque. All winners will be notified in January 2020.
5. Lunch Local
After a very long day of shopping, we needed to refuel and keeping with the local tradition, we decided to check out a new local spot in the Short North, Ampersand Asian Supper Club. This under-the-radar spot blew us away; with huge windows bringing in gorgeous natural light and Japanese decor touches, the space is warm and welcoming just like the ramen. They even have one of the tables that sits low so you can sit at a traditional table. We opted for the bar so we could peek into the kitchen and watch them work. We were eating late in the day but we were still able to catch the lunch special which is an amazing deal. For $11 we were each able to get a cup of tea, an appetizer and a bowl of ramen (half the size of the dinner portion but large for a lunch portion). Ramen combined with the fries for me and salad for Kevin, it made a perfect sized lunch. Actually, it was so filling that we skipped dinner that night. I ordered the Tonkotsu ramen made with a rich flavorful broth (that takes them 3 days to make), noodles cooked with the perfect bite and pork that was not too fatty and mushrooms that added the perfect flavor. The entire experience is made even better with their outstanding staff – helpful, informative and knowledgeable. Don’t sleep on this fantastic spot! 940 North High Street Columbus Ohio 43201
Columbus truly is a mecca of over 20 wonderful spots to do your holiday shopping where you can find the perfect gift for anyone in your life. What we’ve learned from this overnight is that Made in Cbus is much more than that. It’s the perfect time of year to take in some of the incredible things that Columbus has – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo, BalletMet’s The Nutcracker, Conservatory Aglow, and more.
Have a favorite local Cbus spot? Have a favorite holiday tradition in Columbus I didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments so I can add it to my list.