Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Southern Belle Tea Tour

If you follow my blog you know I coordinated a Michigan Tea Tour last fall.  We had so much fun that I'm putting together another tea tour this fall - only this time we're heading south.

It's a 10-day tea tour spanning September 11-20 and will be for 10 participants.  I won't do the tour unless I have that number for cost-effective purposes.  So far six ladies have confirmed, and I'm posting it on my blog in case any readers/followers might be interested. Below is the fabulous itinerary. Day 1 is a travel day departing from Warren, MI taking us as far as Williamsburg, KY for the night. The fun begins on Day 2 when we arrive in Chattanooga, TN.

At 12:00 o'clock noon we will have Afternoon Tea at Polly Claire's tearoom in the 163-year-old historic home on Dent Plantation - Chattanooga's only surviving plantation.

We will stay overnight at Terminal Station - a hotel now owned by Chattanooga Choo-Choo Company.

Day 3 we'll have tea at 11:30 a.m. at the English Rose tearoom that has been featured in Tea Time magazine, and is right across the street from Terminal Station.

Then we depart for historic Madison, Georgia.  On Day 4 we'll have tea at 11:30 a.m. at the Madison Tearoom before departing for Charleston, South Carolina.

Day 5 is a tour of Charleston's historic private homes and gardens by a licensed city guide, concluding with an Afternoon Tea in the tour guide's home [ending 1:30 p.m.].  Tour guide June McKnight tells me Charleston is beautiful in September.

I've tried to include tea events in as many venues as possible, so we're also having tea at 4:00 o'clock at Twenty Six Divine - Charleston's prominent tearoom.

At 6:00 p.m. we'll take an evening carriage tour of historic Charleston.

Day 6 is a tour of the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, which is owned by Bigelow Tea.  It boasts of being the only tea plantation/garden in the United States.

We'll return to Charleston to have Afternoon Tea at 1:00 p.m. at Belmond Charleston Place Hotel.

Day 7 we'll depart for Savannah, Georgia.  At 3:00 p.m. we'll take a 1 1/2 hour trolley tour of Savannah, highlighting sights of Paula Deen's career.  The tour concludes with a buffet dinner at her restaurant, The Lady & Sons, in VIP seating [no waiting line].

Day 8 will take us to 'The Tea Room' when it opens its doors at 10:30 a.m.  It used to be a full-service tearoom, but is now a tea shop selling loose-leaf teas and tea equipage.  The interior and exterior design of the tea shop is taken from renowned architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who designed five tea rooms in Glasgow, Scotland. Bruce Richardson featured 'The Tea Room' in his book, The Great Tea Rooms of America, so we have to see it if only briefly while we're in Savannah. 

It's not far from the Gryphon tearoom where we'll be having tea at 11:00 a.m. The Gryphon is in a beautiful old apothecary in Savannah's Madison Square, on the campus of Savannah College of Art & Design.

~ The Gryphon ~

At 1:00 o'clock we'll take a 1 1/2 hour narrated tour of Savannah's Historic District, which has 100 points of interest.

At the conclusion of the trolley tour we'll be transported to the Ballastone Inn where we'll spend the night and have Afternoon at 4:00 p.m.  The inn was built in 1838 and is a luxury Victorian B & B located in the historic district near Forsyth Park.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In addition to Afternoon Tea, the inn has a 'social hour' for its guests where hors d' oeuvres are served.

On Day 9 we will leave Savannah, but not before making a quick stop at the Pie Society - a traditional British bakery in the City Market, to get some sausage rolls [or whatever] to take with us to munch on in the 15-passenger Mercedes high-top van that will transport us as we begin our journey back home. We'll stop in Corbin, KY to spend the night.

On Day 10, the final day of the tour, we'll travel to Indianapolis, IN where we have 1:00 o'clock reservations for Afternoon Tea at the L.S. Ayres Tearoom reconstructed at Indiana State Museum. L.S. Ayres was Indianapolis' department store like J.L. Hudson's was ours. It closed in 1992. Below is a photo of the reconstructed tearoom.  After our tea we will travel back to Warren, MI for an anticipated arrival time of approximately 8:00 p.m. 

As you can see, it's a tea lover's tour that's action packed.  If you have an interest in joining us, e-mail me privately for details.

P.S.  All photos used in this post are Internet sourced.



  1. Sounds like a tea lovers dream come true!

  2. I see so many places here I'd love to visit - unfortunately I can't take that much time off at that time, but I "might", just might, be able to meet up with you in Chattanooga one day. I would dearly love to meet you!

  3. Oh gosh Phyllis, thanks for letting me know about this. I would love to go, but did visit Savannah and Charleston last year. Please keep me in mind for any more tea travels that you arrange.

  4. This sounds wonderful! I wish I were free to join you!!!


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