Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Southern Tea Time Getaway - Day 4 Part II

As promised, today's post is about the lovely High Tea Laura invited us to to enjoy at her home.  Southerner's, and particularly Charlestonians, are known for their hospitality, and Laura definitely upheld the standard.

The table was beautifully set with white linens, fresh-cut flowers, gleaming silver, and Laura's 19th century Cantonware.

While Laura and her maid, Varnetta, put the finishing touches on the meal, Laura granted us permission to take photos of her lovely home.  Below is the beautiful silver tea and coffee service that Laura used for our High Tea.

What's the difference between High Tea and Afternoon Tea?  The food is the biggest difference.  Afternoon Tea is dainty finger sandwiches, scones, and dainty desserts.  High Tea is heartier fare.

Isn't this a lovely teapot?  I don't know how many cups it yields, but once filled with tea, it would be difficult to pour from.  Better to just admire it sitting on a table.  ;-)

I can never resist taking a picture of a tea chest!

Our meal began with molded Chicken Curry garnished with a Royal Red Shrimp - the most succulent of prawns.  The lettuce was grown in Laura's garden and freshly picked.

Laura pouring our tea in photo below.  The brand was Ahmad, but the blend was her own of English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Darjeeling.

Charleston Okra Soup with homemade biscuit - Old Charleston cuisine.  It was sooo good.  I purchased the Junior League of Charleston cookbook just for this recipe.  I bought okra and roasted it today to put in the soup tomorrow.  

Tomato/Pimento Tarts [pictured below].  Laura also grew the tomatoes.  She jokingly said she's a member of Charleston's Garden Club who actually gardens.  ;-)

Varnetta shared highlights from Gullah Culture of years gone by.  Gullah is a word used to describe the Lowcountry and surrounding sea islands inhabitants who descended from Africa.

Dessert was homemade peach ice cream made with South Carolina peaches.

And wonderful thumbprint cookies.

Our meal ended with a fruit cordial made from Japanese Plums [called Loquats] that Laura fermented.  They grow in Charleston.

Our day with Laura was definitely the highlight of our time spent in Charleston.  

With the Royal wedding the next morning, Laura sent me a photo of her wedding day in a horse drawn carriage.

Laura lost her beloved 57 year-old-husband, G. Preston Hipp, in 2016 after an eight year battle with cancer.  Preston and Laura's deep faith in God, and personal relationship with Christ sustained them during the difficult time.  

Thank you for everything, Laura, from sharing your passion for Charleston, to your joyous witness for Christ, and extending southern hospitality at its best.  We will never forget the wonderful afternoon spent around your table and in your home.

To my blog readers: If you are planning a trip to Charleston, I highly recommend Laura's tour.  She can be reached at 843-577-5896.


  1. I can't believ3 this was real
    Tjis had to be the ultimate Charleston experience. The tours were amazing and this tea experience is beyond words. Such lucky ladies.

  2. What a lovely meal! Laura was such a gracious hostess. I'm impressed with how much of the food she grew herself.

    1. My sentiments exactly! Thank you for letting us enjoy this high tea vicariously, Phyllis.

  3. What a trip and what a glorious experience. You have written the details so well that one can almost believe they were there with you.

  4. I loved seeing this beautiful tearoom, Phyllis! I know you all had a wonderful time.

  5. Oh how I wish I had been there! What a beautiful experence!


Thank you for visiting my blog. If you would like to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!