Friday, June 15, 2018

Southern Tea Time Getaway - Day 6 Part III

Even though five hours had lapsed, I was still full from lunch at The Lady and Sons restaurant, but it was 4:00 o'clock and time for Ballastone's complimentary formal Afternoon Tea. It is served daily to their guests and was beyond lovely!

When I attended a World Tea Expo session taught by Alda Ellis several years ago, she made a statement I never forgot  - "Silver is the table's jewelry."  Some hostesses feel it's too formal and a bother to keep polished, but they don't realize the ambiance it creates. Ballastone is definitely attuned to silver's elegant eye appeal, but even more so the message it conveys, 'I'm serving you with my very best.'

Beautiful silver honey pot.

They serve Harney & Sons fine teas.  The sign below was in their elevator.

The tea was served buffet style, and I loved how they used their vintage silver toast racks as napkin holders.  Isn't that a great idea?

A silver basket for forks - another great idea.

Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz China.  It made me think of sister bloggers Angela [Tea with Friends] and Sandi [Rose Chintz Cottage] who have this china.

Scones with Peach Preserves and Devonshire Cream.

Mini BLT Tea Sandwiches.  Notice how they covered half of them with a damp linen napkin to keep them fresh and not dried out.  I really liked that idea.

Pineapple Tea Sandwiches.  I also liked how they used china place holders for writing the names of menu items.

Strawberry Cream Tea Cakes.

Desserts on tiered server were Chocolate Biscotti, French Macarons, and assorted Cookies.

I said I wasn't hungry, but you'll notice a plate in my hand!  ;-)

I didn't take either of the tea sandwiches - but I did take a Scone, Chocolate Biscotti, French Macaron, and Strawberry Tea Cake.  As I type this post and look at the pictures, I'm wishing I could have a couple of those tea sandwiches right now!  ;-)

We took our plates into the dining room and others went into the parlor.

[L-R:  Ann, Cheryl K., Me, and Lori]

It was a wonderful Afternoon Tea.  At 7:00 p.m. they offered complimentary hors d' oeuvres with Port and Sherry.  I didn't attend that, but those who did said it was lovely. When the evening wine and hors d'oeuvres ended and all the guests departed for other activities, Teresa - one of our travel mates - treated us to a Tea and Chocolate Pairing in the parlor. Next post...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Southern Tea Time Getaway - Day 6 Part II

As stated in yesterday's post, Ballastone Inn on Oglethorpe Ave. [historic district] was definitely one of the highlights of our stay in Savannah.  Special thanks to former blogger, Nancy C. [Two Cottages and Tea], for telling me about it.

Ballastone has been awarded the 4 Diamond 4 Star distinction, and has been featured on Good Morning America as one of the finest inns in America, with 16 luxury guest rooms.  It's been a prominent Savannah mansion since 1838.  Throughout its life, it has served many purposes, becoming a Bed and Breakfast in 1980.  The current owner purchased it in 2002.  

~ Linda and Me ~

We arrived a little before check-in time so our rooms weren't quite ready yet, but they allowed us to unpack the van and wait in their beautiful parlor. The only parking for our 15-passenger van was on the street, and finding a space large enough was no easy task.  As my hubby drove around the neighborhood searching for a parking space, Lori [who was sitting in the parlor facing the large windows] spotted a van exiting a parking space across the boulevard.  She and Cheryl H. lept from their seats and dashed across the boulevard to stand in the space to secure it while I called Jerry on his cell phone and told him to come quickly.  It was the perfect spot!

They allowed us to take pictures of the beautiful first floor while we waited for our rooms.  The room below was all set up for the Afternoon Tea we would be served at 4:00 o'clock.  [There'll be a separate post about that. It deserves special recognition.]

~ Main Hallway [First Floor] ~

They used a beautiful tea chest at their desk as a file box.

~ Second floor hallway ~   

Dining Room - Every room was like a picture out of a beautiful magazine.

Our rooms were spread out between lower-level courtside, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors.  Jerry was very happy the inn had an elevator so he didn't have to carry luggage up several flights of steps for six ladies.  Not that they would have expected it, but he wouldn't have let them.

Our room was the Hannah, a lower-level courtside room.  It was beautiful!

We had such a full itinerary that we didn't have time to use the outdoor garden court next to our room, but like everything else at Ballastone, it was lovely.

The beautiful curate stand below was in the hallway near our room.  It would have been lovely with teapots displayed on it, but not practical since they would have been jostled by traffic and luggage, and doomed to breakage.  I had never seen a curate stand quite like this one.

After getting our luggage into our rooms it was time for Afternoon Tea.  Next post...

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Southern Tea Time Getaway - Day 6

It was a two hour and 22 minute drive from Charleston to Savannah, and we had 11:00 a.m. reservations at Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons Restaurant.  You cannot visit Savannah and not go to The Lady and Sons.

The restaurant has had more than one home over the years, but the current location is in the 200 year-old White Hardware building at 102 W. Congress Street.   It opened its doors in November 2003.

We arrived a few minutes before the restaurant opened, so we went to Paula's store that was nearby. 

I only bought a cute little 'onsie' for my great-granddaughter.  Then it was time to go to the restaurant.  We were among the first diners when they opened at 11:00 a.m.  They take reservations now, so there wasn't a long waiting line to stand in.

We had the option to order off the menu or go to the buffet, and we all went to the buffet.  Like Mary Mac's in Atlanta, it was southern cooking at it's finest.

A little bit of this, and a little bit of that soon makes a very full plate!

And Iced Sweet Tea to wash it down with.  ;-)

Peach Cobbler for dessert.  Um-Um Good!

It wasn't long after opening that the restaurant began filling up with patrons.  

When we finished eating it was still too early for us to check-in at the Ballastone Inn, so we decided to walk down Broughton Street [the main shopping street in downtown Savannah].  It was Sunday, so not all of the stores were open, but we found a few to browse in.  The first one we went into was Paris Market.  

[Photo courtesy of Paris Market]

It was a very interesting store, with a café that served tea and macarons [and coffee, pastries, and other things], but we were too full to even think about more food and beverage. The café is modeled after a Parisian café in the sixth arrondissement.  I wrote the name of the store in my notes and will definitely go back on a future visit.  It's probably the closest I'll ever come to having tea in Paris.  Below was their tea display.

I had never heard of Bellocq Tea so had to look them up when I got home.  The six-year-old high-end company is based in Brooklyn, New York.

From Paris Market we meandered down Broughton Street until it was time to go to Ballastone Inn, where we spent our first night in Savannah. This inn was one of the highlights of our time in Savannah.  Next post...