While there is no shortage of excellent restaurants in Hamilton County, I had the privilege of visiting Barley Island Brewing Company in downtown Noblesville recently. When I first walked in I was expecting great brews and your typical bar food ... you know, chicken fingers, nachos, etc. Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised! For starters ALL of their food is made from scratch. That means seasonings, sauces, salsas, you name it, and it did not disappoint. We started with their scotch eggs which are hard boiled eggs wrapped in homemade sage sausage with homemade spicy mustard (told you they make everything!).
Amazing. I had to make myself stop to save room for our entrees. Lucky for me, I was out with one of my friends who was open to sharing her meal! So we opted for the fish tacos and the black bean burger knowing we would split it all. Great idea since I couldn't decide which one to order. Both were fantastic and not a crumb was left over!
Of course, it was all made better by trying a flight of local brews.
Since I'm a fan of lighter beers, my favorite was the Sheet Metal Belgian wit, but if you are like the brown ales I'd recommend their Dirty Helen which is award winning!
My only regret is not having enough room to try their pint glass sundae which is vanilla ice cream and brownie with caramel and chocolate sauce all served up in a pint glass. Guess I'll have to go back, which is on my list to do since they have a line-up of live music most weekends
But tasting isn't the only sense that Hamilton County offers you. A unique fragrance experience in Hamilton County is Bath Junkie located in Carmel. My daughter and I had the chance to mix up our very own fragrance, but first we got to choose from a variety of products: lotions, bath salts, perfumes and more. I chose bath salts and she chose a drawer sachet.
I stumbled upon a perfect blend of scents with garden lily and white tea. My daughter settled for watermelon and bubble gum. Pretty typical for a four-year-old! If you aren't the creative type you can use one of their suggestions to get you started but you might need the help since they have over 150 scents to choose from. While I was there a customer came in with her favorite bottle of perfume - empty. They had recently discontinued it and her goal was to recreate her favorite scent. Genius.
Another must stop for the fragrance fan is Herbal Arts in Fishers. Specializing in retail, wholesale and even custom formulation, Herbal Arts makes all of their skincare creations by hand and with all natural products. While browsing the store in Fishers, I got to sample some of the fabulous lotions and be introduced to the wonder of a shower bomb. Everyone has heard of bath bombs, but these shower bombs are designed for those of us that don't have the time to take that long, relaxing bath. Dreamy.
I was amazed at all they offer: bath salts, lotions, lip balm, soap and even pet products!
One more reason to love Herbal Arts, if you are like me and have hard water, then you will be excited about how the fragrances and lather are designed to work especially with hard water - unlike so many of the products available today.
And a tip ... take a group of girls and set up a tour. Your visit will include much one-on-one time with creator Brian Paffien and it includes visiting the 2000 square foot production facility!
For more information on the above or additional travel ideas, visit VisitHamiltonCounty.com.