Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Peabody Hotel

Another on location shoot here in Memphis brought me to the beautiful Peabody Hotel. With it's history as long and extensive, almost as the Opheum's, it was the perfect spot for another vintage shoot. Like the Orpheum, it was built in the 1800's, torn down, then rebuilt in the 20's. It has seen the likes of just as many celebrities and iconic figures itself. 

Above is the lobby shortly after it was built in the 20's (Both photos from

A famous tradition found at The Peabody Hotel are the ducks that walk along the red carpet into the fountain each day at 11 a.m. This ritual started back in the 30's when the general manager Frank Schutt, and his friend Chip Barwick came back from their hunting trip in Arkansas. They didn't have much luck and returned with their ducks. So, after having a bit too much to drink, they thought it would be funny to put their live ducks into the hotel lobby's fountain. Ever since then, people found it to be quite amusing, and so the tradition stuck. 

Later on in 1940, Edward Pembroke of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, who was a wild animal trainer, became the official "Duckmaster". He continued for the next 50 years. Today the ducks live in the Peabody in their own rooftop suite, for only 3 months at a time, until they are released back into the wild. They have even appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

The hotel has been a place of many events and occasions. On one occasion, Elvis was spotted there with a date at his senior prom.

The special feature of this post goes to my fabulous leather bag courtesy of Urban Safari, based out of London. This isn't just any normal leather satchel. It is so much more important than that. There is endless details, not commonly paid attention to, with these individual pieces that not many bag companies understand anymore. They believe in doing things the old fashioned way, (which we share in common). They use real goat hide to bring these to life. It makes the bags durable to be used for a long time, plus it ages beautifully. Luckily with goat hide, it is more eco-friendly than most mass produced and farmed cow hide. 

To start the aging process on the bags, natural oils and sunshine is used to seal the leather, making it strong and waterproof. They are then double stitched, lined, and riveted to make each one unique. Why have a bag like everyone else? That's the great thing about these leather bags. No two will ever be the same. Urban Safari knows how to make a well made bag due to their years of craft and technique. This is the perfect accessory to travel with. There's enough space in each and every one of their bags to carry all your essentials. 

I am wearing the Henley Satchel found at this link:

To check out the rest of their gorgeous leather must haves, go to

The majority of this post was shot at the rooftop of the hotel. The rooftop has hosted some extraordinary parties and events as well. It is the perfect place to go to see an amazing view of Memphis and the Mississippi river. This fur trimmed, unique outfit I have on was my great grandmother's that she designed and made herself. I give her credit for being where I get my skills and classic taste from. I love the coat and matching dress. They are also such versatile pieces, I can wear them together or separately.

The reason I paired the bag with this outfit, while also being at this famous hotel, was to set the mood for my inspiration behind it. I believe in telling stories with my outfits. I wanted to give off the vibe that I had just arrived from the airport and wanted to check out the view from the top of the hotel. This is of course set in the 40's with what I had in mind. 

And now, what I really enjoy doing, transporting myself back in time, while enjoying all that The Peabody has to offer. They have the most adorable set up of these telephones against the wall... I couldn't resist.

Lastly, on the top floor sits a ballroom that has seen a lifetime of parties. Even CBS used to film televised events from this room. I of course had to do take advantage of having it to myself.

On my way checking out of my time here, I stopped into the quaint little cafe off to the side of the grand lobby. I was surprised to find intricately designed desserts by one talented chef, with a nice selection of specialty coffees (the way to my heart). Yes, photographs were necessary.

I had a white chocolate mocha, and for dessert, this coffee cup shaped tiramisu, one of my favorite desserts. It was beyond anything I have tasted, the perfect mix of chocolate and coffee. Highly recommended.

Overall, my time at The Peabody Hotel was a tremendous amount of fun. It is a must visit location while in Memphis. It boasts all one's historical needs plus modern amentities. If you want to step back in time and feel glamorous while doing so, this is the hotel for you. To find out more information, head to their website

Happy Holiday's from The Peabody,

~Erin Smith