The Madcap Cottage gents know the days get shorter but the fun doesn’t

By Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke

Mad for Martinis  

A recent Wall Street Journal article proclaimed that millennials are eschewing wines for marvelous martinis. And why not? Our most favorite martini has to be at go-to staple Ryan’s in Winston-Salem. Classic. Easy. Olives on the side. Paired with spot-on service. And at 1703, also in Winston, a cool martini in their super-chic green-hued dining room is absolute perfection

Think of England!

The layered, timeless English country house style is top of mind and not just because we spent a few weeks in August bopping from one National Trust property to another in Norfolk and Hampshire. Or that we savored a long weekend at English-inspired Highlander Mountain House in Highlands, North Carolina. Think antiques married with the contemporary, heaps of portraits, a raging fire, muddy wellies by the front door, and floral prints paired with tartans and Indian hand-block fabrics. Bring the look home, and capture a relaxed, easy-breezy vibe.


Grand Millennial Gorgeous  

More of more is absolutely more. After years of beige and linen hues taking center stage, we have finally broken through the fog into a tantalizing world packed with prints, patterns, and color. Hurrah! And layering is back. Embellishment. And trim. So bye-bye, minimalism. It was mediocre knowing you. Bust out and bring on the wallpaper. After all, if you want to live in a museum, well, good luck.


Why Don’t You? 

Paint your front door a bright color. Wallpaper a powder room. Open a bottle of champagne — just because. Run a bath and add two extra helpings of bubble bath. Turn up the stereo and do a spontaneous dance. Color your hair. And install a disco ball in your living room.


A colorful display of a vintage Croquet set

Love and Other Outdoor Sports 

During the pandemic, so many outdoor sports had a resurgence — from golf to pickleball and bocce. But we have fallen under the spell of a favorite lawn game that we hadn’t played in years, croquet. Croquet is the new black and orange. So hit the court. Just be forewarned: We play the game like the gals in the classic ’80s movie Heathers. Says John, “We love that you can sip a little rosé between strikes.” 


Tip, Top, Throwback  

Throwback restaurants are having a big resurgence, possibly because we could all use a spirited dash of nostalgia in these crazy days. In Manhattan, there’s Donohue’s Steak House on Lexington. In Palm Beach, the locals flock to Ta-boo. In Atlanta you will find us at The Colonnade. And London celebrates Maggie Jones’s.

More locally, you will find us happily savoring spaghetti with meatballs at Kitchen Roselli in Winston-Salem-adjacent East Bend (well worth the field trip). The shock of the new is truly so overrated. We prefer places where they know our name and the menu rarely changes.  OH

Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke are the duo behind Thomasville-based Madcap Cottage.

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