Richmond with Amanda Nisbet

Interior designer Amanda Nisbet escorts us around her adopted city during the holiday season when Richmond, Virginia, is at its festive best and shares her picks for living well all year long
Amanda Nisbet sits at a table holding a cup of coffee, smiling as she talks to a friend
Amanda Nisbet at Taste, one of her favorite places to grab a bite in Richmond, Virginia

After 25 years in New York, Amanda Nisbet, the interior designer known for her captivating use of color and rooms full of sophisticated comfort, was ready for a change.

“I have a long history and fondness for Virginia, and I have a large nexus of friends in Richmond,” she says. “I feel at home here and suspect that I am a Southerner at heart! The city has welcomed me with open arms, and I get to have a garden, at last.”

Nisbet is drawn not only to Richmond’s historical charm and art scene, but also to its quirky side, which she says may surprise some people. “Richmond is a great city to explore,” she says. “It continues to charm me in unexpected ways.”

Next time you visit Richmond, whether during the holidays or any time of year, let Nisbet be your guide to the best shopping, dining, and sights the city has to offer, beginning with where to stay.

Where to Stay in Richmond

The ornate lobby of The Jefferson hotel in Richmond, Virginia, is decorated for the holiday season with a soaring traditional Christmas tree
The Jefferson

If you are looking for a classic Richmond institution, head downtown to The Jefferson—a historic Beaux Arts gem that goes all out at the holidays. It’s a tradition to have afternoon tea in the Palm Court lobby, or if you want something with more punch, stop at Lemaire for an 1895 made with Jefferson’s small-batch bourbon, orange bitters, a brown sugar cube, and an orange twist.

A white Christmas tree decorated with silver and red ornaments and white lights in Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. The light and airy lobby features a vaulted ceiling.
Lobby of Quirk Hotel. Photo by Alston Thompson

On the other end of the spectrum is the Quirk Hotel, a hip boutique-style hotel in Richmond’s arts/design district. Its signature color is pink, which is my personal feel-good color. The bartenders mix amazing cock­tails, and there’s a rooftop spot for socializing when the weather is nice.

Next, Amanda Recommends

→ Best Shopping in Richmond

Home decor, flowers, and locally made goods and gifts

→ Where to Sip and Savor in Richmond

Coffee, cocktails, and restaurants for every occasion

→ What to See in Richmond

Art galleries, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and Monument Avenue

More Scenes from Richmond at Christmas

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Wreath, poinsetta, nutcracker, and other Christmas decor at a cozy seating area at The Jefferson Hotel
The Jefferson
A evening view of the large glass conservatory, with the surrounding grounds covered in holiday lights
Holiday lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. See more places to visit in Richmond. Photo by Tom Hennessy
A table at the shop Palette Paint and Home bears an gathering of small colorful Christmas trees
Palette Paint and Home decorated for the season. Find out where else to shop in Richmond.
Historic brick home decked with garland and Christmas tree topiaries on either side of the front door
A merry street scene on Monument Avenue
Dining at The Jefferson

Amanda Nisbet (right) and Caroline Ellett dine at Lemaire at The Jefferson. Find out where else to sip and savor in Ricmond.

Produced by Alice Welsh Doyle | Photography by Sarah Walor

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