Chances are, you’ll be unlikely to find yourself in rural Alabama, somewhere on the way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. But sometimes, you stumble upon a place that’s just too lovely to share. I mean, sure, I like useful posts and itineraries and travel inspiration and such. But sometimes I just want to talk a lil bit about a really nice place I’ve experienced and share some pretty pictures, and hopefully at least inspire others to seek out the little, hidden spots. Because they might just bowl you over.
And if you ever do happen to be in Mentone, or you’ve stumbled across this post while searching for the cafe (top SEO work, Mills), you should totally definitely visit the Wildflower Cafe. Because it kinda bowled me over.
We’d been given a tip-off to visit the Wildflower Cafe by our abseiling instructor in the Great Smokies – we definitely would have never found this place otherwise. Mentone is a small town with a population of under 400 (as of 2010, at least), but what it lacks in citizens, it makes up for in charm by the bucketload.
The Wildflower Cafe looks like a small hut, with carved bear statues and lots of greenery surrounding it. Inside, the room is split into smaller eating spaces, giving it a real cosy atmosphere. We were given a friendly welcome by staff (we’d booked, so they were expecting us), and shown into a small room at the back of the hut.
The dining areas inside were such cute little spaces – intimate and filled with character. Local musicians often play here, which fits perfectly with the hippy, happy atmosphere of the whole place. Fairy lights adorn door arches, art hangs from the walls, and underneath the glass of the tables, you’ll find business cards from local services, creators and even visitors from further afield. The whole cafe just has such a community feel, which made me smile a whole lot. This is exactly the kind of place I love discovering.
Cold and refreshing, deliciously sweet strawberry lemonade made with real strawberry puree appeared, with our glasses being consistently re-filled when they were empty. Which, on a hot day, was rather a lot. For my main, I ordered a chicken ranch wrap, which came packed out with generous and fresh fillings. I also tried some of the Tomato Pie, which was SO good. Everything just tasted like it was hand-made with real love and attention.
We didn’t order dessert, but the cafe staff bought us a couple to try out between the group – their Peanut Butter pie was an actual dream.
Once we’d filled our stomachs with the amazing food, we spent some time wandering around Wildflower, and finding an array of things for sale. From ceramics to knitted ponchos, everything was so wonderfully made. Like the food, it certainly seemed like a lot of love went into the creation of the cafe’s wares.
If you happen to be in Alabama and nearby (it’s a big ol’ place), GO TO THIS CAFE. Chances are, most of you won’t – but when you’re travelling and need to choose somewhere to eat, try and pick somewhere like it once in a while. Put down TripAdvisor and Yelp, and ask locals face-to-face for their recommendations. Hell, ask any old person on the street if you like. Sometimes, the best kind of places are the ones you stumble upon in the strangest of ways. Just like this one.
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