This Tennessee Hotel Is One of the Oldest in the South — and Is Now Hosting Luxurious, Themed Dinner Parties

Featuring a surprising amount of seafood and an unsurprising amount of Champagne.

Exterior of The Read House
Photo: Courtesy of The Read House

The longest-running hotel in the Southeast is celebrating 150 years since it opened with a series of dinner parties that invite guests to step back in time.

Chattanooga, Tennessee's The Read House is hosting a "Through the Decades Dinner Series" throughout 2022, each highlighting a different decade of the hotel's history.

The Lobby at The Read House
Courtesy of The Read House

The dining experiences include painstaking adherence to historical accuracy. Each menu was influenced by historic cookbooks and draws from the menus The Read House served during each of the featured eras.

"The menus will feature the finest ingredients and some surprises, like the abundance of seafood found on historical menus," Jim Bambrey, general manager at The Read House, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. "Our historian tells us that boats on the Tennessee River and multiple railroad lines running to and from the Atlantic coast daily, allowed for the fresh seafood being brought into Chattanooga during that time."

The first decade-themed dinner will take place on Saturday, Mar. 26, with a nod to the culinary culture of the 1960s and '70s. In May, The Read House, one of the oldest hotels in the South, will take diners back to the 1920s Prohibition era. Another dinner in August will honor the industrial revolution and the turn of the century in the early 1900s. The last themed dinner, in November, will highlight the late 1800s, with a special tribute to the hotel's opening in 1872.

Interior of the Green Room at The Read House
Courtesy of The Read House

Guests are encouraged to show up in costume to make everyone feel like they're truly stepping through a time portal.

Dinners will begin with a short historical introduction, led by Tyler Logue, the in-house historian at The Read House. Following each event, guests are welcome to tour the hotel's famous haunted suite, Room 311.

Tickets for each dinner are $150 per person and include a cocktail reception and four-course dinner with wine pairings. Reservations for the first dinner are now available on Resy.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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