Welcome guest writer Gee Sharp. She has prepared a guide to dining at The Peabody for a grand, Southern Thanksgiving!

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Gee:

As Americans, celebrating Thanksgiving Day is, quite simply, something we do. It’s as natural as waking in the morning and going to sleep in the evening. It’s both a time-honored tradition and a modern-day extravaganza. Though many prefer to celebrate the festivities in the comfort of their own homes, there are others who would opt to be in the midst of family and friends without the labor-intensive cooking duties on their shoulders. For the latter, what better choice than the historic and elegant Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis?

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Since 1869, The Peabody Memphis has awed guests as one of the South’s finest hotels. Built by wealthy Memphis businessman Robert Brinkley, The Peabody was designed to be “an oasis of elegance and good taste where local gentry, wheelers and dealers could congregate in comfort to wine and dine on the finest foods and rarest wines.” Today’s Peabody still offers fine foods and elegant ambiance, and for Thanksgiving 2013, guests can choose from three dining experiences: the popular and enormous Thanksgiving Champagne Brunch on the Mezzanine level, Thanksgiving meals in Capriccio Grill and Thanksgiving dinner at the upscale Chez Philippe.

Thanksgiving Champagne Brunch

“For many years, we held the large holiday brunches in the Grand Ballroom, but about five years ago we decided to make it feel more quaint by assembling the food buffets around the entire Mezzanine level and having the seating in four smaller ballrooms off the Mezzanine,” explains Daniel Bamrick, Director of Food and Beverage at The Peabody Memphis. “Our guests have really enjoyed the ambiance of being in the historic part of the hotel with a view of the Grand Lobby and ducks.”

The Peabody Thanksgiving brunch will include a traditional Thanksgiving feast served in addition to The Peabody’s special brunch favorites. “The idea of not having to cook or clean is one that appeals to many,” Bamrick says. “Couples without children and small families especially love that because shopping for a Thanksgiving feast can be expensive if you’re preparing dozens of dishes for just a few people. And then you’re stuck eating leftovers for weeks. At a huge brunch like ours, you can sample hundreds of items without having to lift a finger, dirty a pot or eat a single leftover.”

In addition to the food, this year’s festivities will include a harp player on the Mezzanine level in each ballroom to serenade guests while they eat. Champagne Brunch hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The brunch is $59 per adult and $22 for ages 5 to 12. Children under 5 are free. To make a reservation for The Peabody Champagne Brunch, call 901 529.3668.

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Thanksgiving at the Capriccio Grill Italian Steakhouse

If you don’t want to be bound by a brunch schedule, the hotel’s Capriccio Grill is open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. This year’s Thanksgiving prix fixe menu is a four-course meal with three choices for the entrée course: roasted turkey and pineapple glazed ham or, if you would like to veer from the traditional, a filet mignon or the pan-seared snappe­r. The adult Thanksgiving meal is $50 per person (plus tax and gratuity). The Capriccio Grill also offers a children’s prix fixe Thanksgiving menu (for guests 5 to 12 years old; children under 5 are free) for $25. To make a reservation at The Peabody’s Capriccio Grill, call 901.529.4199.

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Thanksgiving at Chez Philippe

Thanksgiving dinner in Chez Philippe will consist of a gourmet meal created specifically for Thanksgiving by Peabody Executive Chef Andreas Kisler. The menu will include pumpkin soup with crispy sage, a haricot verts salad (French green beans), maple brined turkey breast and a crêpe of turkey leg confit, souffléd stuffing, sautéed Brussels sprouts and for dessert, sweet potato cheesecake. To make a Chez Philippe reservation, call 901.529.4188.

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Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

For the truly decadent, have an overnight at The Peabody and wake up to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, with various events that take place from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on November 29.

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The annual Christmas Tree Lighting day will include:

11:00 a.m. – The famous Peabody Duck March takes place.
11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Guests will enjoy the music of local choirs and a special performance by Ballet Memphis
5:00 p.m. – There will be a second Peabody Duck March.
5:00 p.m. – Santa will appear to light the tree in the Grand Lobby.
5:00 to 6:15 p.m. – The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will perform.
6:15 to 7:15 p.m. – The Christmas Tree Lighting event ends with entertainment by the Paul McKinney Quintet.

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Thanksgiving To-Go from The Peabody

For those who would like to celebrate at home, The Peabody offers a full, traditional meal that can be picked up the day before Thanksgiving. Might we suggest eating out, but also ordering a Thanksgiving meal to-go … no fuss and no mess, but you still get to enjoy holiday leftovers all weekend!

The take-home meal serves four to six people and it is fully cooked; simply reheat before serving. It includes a 12-pound turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and pumpkin pie. Order no later than November 25 (and pay at the time you place your order). Pick up is at the hotel entrance the Wednesday before Thanksgiving between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The ready-to-serve meal is $125 (plus tax). Call 901.529.4183 to place your order.

Consider letting yourself be catered to rather than doing the catering yourself by dining at what is still one of the South’s finest hotels—The Peabody Memphis—where traditional favorites and modern-day creativity come together in three dining venues for Thanksgiving 2013.

Thank you, Gee!

Make your reservations soon:

The Peabody Champagne Brunch, 901 529.3668

Capriccio Grill, 901.529.4199

Chez Philippe, 901.529.4188

Thanksgiving meals to-go, 901.529.4183

For more information and complete menus, visit peabodymemphis.com.

To see a fun video of the gigantic Christmas tree in The Peabody Grand Lobby being assembled, click here: www.youtube.com.