The Restaurant Sampler

The Sampler at Cornerstone Inn, (Lodging)

The cornerstone of a building orients and gives information. The position of the stone sets the course for the whole building, and is often inscribed with information about the building itself—when it was built, and by whom.

The Cornerstone Inn, with its commanding position on the corner of Franklin Street and Old School Way, puts guests within walking distance of dozens of downtown Nashville shops and attractions. It offers a real sense of place, with beautifully appointed rooms stuffed with real antiques and real Brown County history.

The Cornerstone experience is like going to stay at Grandma’s house. They pamper you with little touches like the Gilcrest and Soames bathroom accessories or the complimentary evening dessert and snack bar in the basement dining room. Even the front desk lady is an honest-to-goodness grandma.

The décor is a feast for the eyes. Fine art prints, old photographs of bygone Brown Countians, and little decorative flourishes are everywhere. Adding to the visual and tactile appeal are accessories like tiffany-style bronze table lamps or fringed, bell-shaped lampshades.

Our room was furnished with a huge Chippendale style armoire, fancy walnut-burled occasional tables with an antique spool motif, and a tall, empire-style bed with wooden urns carved in the footboard.

The 20 individually appointed guest rooms are so nice, one is tempted to remain there. But the location is very conducive to little jaunts around town to take in the sights. Within one block, one can find dozens of shops, dining opportunities, and entertainment.

Just across the way, where the old Nashville High School once stood (the “school” in “Old School Way”), is a warren of shops clustered around the Artists Colony Inn and Restaurant, just across the street from Calvin Place and the Daily Grind coffee shop. On down Old School Way to the south is Coachlight Square housing Chateau Thomas Winery and the Coachlight Musical Theatre. To the north up Old School Way, you will find The Ordinary, Heritage Mall, The Nashville House, and Brown County Winery. Shops line the way in every direction.

The walks to shopping and activities are short and pleasant. During the warmer months, when you want to take a break from walking, you may board the Nashville Express “train” from Franklin Street for an open-air, informational tour of the town. Horse drawn carriages are also sometimes available for hire across from the train.

It seems to me, in general terms, that we spend way too much time in our automobiles. It’s fun to take a walking tour of the town and take the time to poke your head into every interesting little shop or store, to relax wherever you find a seat, and to just drop in somewhere for a good meal.

It’s a delightful change to see Nashville “at ground level,” from the pedestrian point of view.

And, it’s especially nice, at the end of such a day, not to have to climb back into a vehicle, but to simply walk back to a warm and welcoming place and find all the finer amenities waiting for you.

Or, maybe, instead of all that walking/riding/exploring, you’d just like to go out on the wonderful second-floor balcony, pull up a tall-backed hickory rocking chair, and just watch the world go by—Brown County style.

After a long day what could be better than a bit of blueberry bread or banana pudding and a nice long soak in your in-room Jacuzzi?

The level of comfort is intoxicating.

After a good night’s sleep on a firm, high bed, the Cornerstone’s “bountiful breakfast buffet” is worth getting up for. There are: scrambled eggs, sausages, and a cheesy egg casserole; every imaginable kind of cereal; coffee, tea, milk, and orange juice; a delicious fresh-cut fruit salad; and bagels, sweetbreads, pastries.

I’m pretty sure the bread we used for toast was homemade.

The Inn features five new rooms perfect for small retreats or family gatherings for up to 20 people.

Everything about the Cornerstone Inn makes it the premiere spot for a weekend getaway right in the heart of Nashville.

The name is a Biblical reference. Flipping through my in-room “Life Application Study Bible,” I run the citations and think back to my Sunday School class. It is in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus quotes the 118th Psalm to the effect, that “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone….” The apostles Peter and Paul each repeated this teaching, citing the Galilean rabbi as the cornerstone of “…living stones that God is building into a spiritual temple….” (1 Peter 2:5).

The Cornerstone Inn is what I would call “Christian friendly” without being annoyingly proselytizing, which makes it perfect for everyone.

I heartily recommend the experience.