Matilda’s Cottage & City Hotel

This past Friday night, I was heading home from my sister Kate’s house.  Instead of taking the back roads like I usually do, I made a left out of her subdivision and then a right onto the main stretch, better known as Alpharetta Highway.  Normally I never go this way, and I’m not sure why I did this time, but I was definitely rewarded.

As I drove towards home, the threat of a huge storm was evident in the grey, darkening sky – the kind of storm us Southerner’s swear we can smell on the wind.  It was going to be a whopper.

That’s when I passed this cute little galerie (Galerie Matilda) I’ve seen a million times before…except this time it was at night, in the dark – and it was lit up like a fairytale carnival.  The OPEN sign beckoned me from my car and I had to make a U-Turn as fast as possible.  I turned in, but with the amount of cars in the drive it was impossible to park – so I ventured down the road a bit to the McDonalds and parked in their lot.  On foot, I walked as briskly as I could towards the galerie.

I rounded the corner coming into the driveway and realized that it was Matilda’s Cottage that was open for business.  There was a crowd of people in chairs on the lawn, and a small tent set up.  Because I wasn’t sure where to go, I went inside the little house with the OPEN sign glowing brightly, and encountered three gentlemen with instruments inside.  They gave me directions on where to go.

Mary Jane was her name, and she graciously allowed me to photograph her event facility while City Hotel gave me the thumbs up to take as many pictures as I wanted.  Mary Jane’s only warning was I’d better be quick – it was about to storm.

And storm it did, while the band kicked up the music, the storm kicked up it’s intensity and soon we found ourselves (the crowd and BAND) piled up on the small porch while the band played on.  And when the lightning cracked just a small ways away and the thunder boomed with the force of a fighter jet – we all packed inside this small two room house.

And the band played on.  I loved it.  Twenty to thirty people stuck in two rooms listening to the most divine music – no speakers – just music, pure and unedited.  Lightning cackling outside and the lights flickering on and off – it was magic.

I was stuck until the rain subsided, but if there was ever a place to be stuck – that’s where I’d like to be.

You guys really were amazing.





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  • Mary Potter - Wow… You have a good eye.. Those are some great shots… I will pass them on to the band…. Thanks for stopping by and capturing the moment… I hope to see you again soon….ReplyCancel

  • Elaine Sloan - I was at that concert–I have known Aaron Zimmer (band member) all his life! The concert was great and these are fabulous pics!ReplyCancel

  • Amy D. - Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing:)ReplyCancel

  • Debra Chambers - Thanks for such a great review – we let the weather scare us away and regretted it, but your description made me feel like I was there! Sounds like a magical night!ReplyCancel

  • Sonia - Wow Meg, you are wonderfully talented! You have captured the spirit of Waltzing Matilda’s!ReplyCancel

  • mmporter - Thanks all! It really was the most fun I’ve had in a bit – just meant to be!ReplyCancel

  • The Kiernan Gallery – Encore: A Look at Music » Meg Porter Photography - […] I happened to enter some of my photographs that I took at Matilda’s (in Alpharetta) of the City Hotel band performance a few months […]ReplyCancel