Last week, Husband and I went on a date. But, not just any date…a safari. A sunset safari to be exact. A sunset safari in the rain with unlimited drinks and food to be even more exact. It was the best. Remember my review of the Music City Food and Wine Festival last year? Yeah, it was about a billion times better than that.
The Sunset Safari is an annual fundraiser for the Nashville Zoo. It’s a glamorous night of the city’s best food, and drinks, live music and even special animal guests. Everyone dresses semi-fancy (“safari chic”), which I was a little unprepared for, but it didn’t really matter. This year’s event was to celebrate the opening of the spider monkey exhibit coming next year.
It rained from the moment we pulled into the parking lot, till the moment we left, but it honestly didn’t bother us a bit. Sure, washing and blow drying my hair for the first time in a month was all in vain, but after a few drinks, I didn’t seem to care. Plus, I got to put my boots and umbrella to use. We started our night in the Patrons Party and VIP Lounge where I was immediately handed a glass of champagne and some sort of amazing sweet potato and brussel sprout dish. There were so many servers walking around handing out drinks and hors d’oeuvres that I couldn’t eat and drink fast enough. I’m pretty sure it was like glimpsing into heaven.
After tasting every single dish we made it outside to the “main event”. This is where the party actually began. We were able to walk the trails of the zoo at night, in the rain while enjoying food and drinks from some of Nashville’s top restaurants. Does it get any better? Oh yes, it does. We also got to get up close and personal with owls, a kangaroo, a tortoise, a bird, wild dog (related to a dingo) and look at the flamingos. It was such a romantic atmosphere.
Some of my favorite vendors were Acme Feed and Seed, City Winery, Frothy Monkey, El Jimador Tequila, The Local Taco, The Melting Pot, Nordstrom Sixth and Pine, Padrino’s Pops, Pickers Vodka, Watermark, Sambuca and Whiskey Kitchen, just to name a few. Every vendor had a beautiful setup to display their gourmet treats and cocktails. It was easy to eat our fill and then some.
The Safari Sunset has got to be the best fundraiser in town. It’s pricey, yes, but you get your moneys worth in food and drink. Beyond the unlimited treats, you also get to enjoy a very unique night out at the zoo. It’s unlike any other food and wine festival I’ve attended, and while it’s much smaller, I think it’s comparable to Disney’s food and wine festival, as far as atmosphere and food quality goes.
If you missed this year’s Sunset Safari, have no fear, it’a an annual event! Hope to see you there next year!