A Visit to the Hostess City
Savannah is magical. I have been fortunate to travel a good bit and have visited some special spots but I have to say Savannah is one of my all-time favorites. Having gone several times before with my husband, earlier this fall, I was able to experience this quintessential Southern city, also known as the Hostess City, in a different way. Joining some of our TSC friends for a girl’s getaway – Holly with The English Room, Monica with Lavin Label and Kat with Waiting on Martha – my TSC co-founder, Cheri Leavy, and I enjoyed a few days away from the office experiencing all the charm of Savannah and it truly has charm to spare! Working with Visit Tybee Island and Visit Savannah to craft a trip tailored for our group, we implemented many of their insider recommendations and tips to maximize our time there.
Our home away from home was the lovely, historic Whitman Mansion overlooking Forsyth Park. Built in 1895, The Whitman has undergone an exquisite and thoughtful renovation and is absolutely charming. No detail has been left undone. We reserved the entire house which has rocker-lined porches, five bedrooms, the most perfect kitchen (wish I could replicate it in my own home), a media/game room, outdoor terrace with a fireplace and the cutest guest cottage.
Upon arriving, we had a delicious lunch waiting on us – refreshing tea served in catstudio’s signature designed Savannah glasses, marinated cedar planked salmon, mixed greens and watermelon salad with a citrus viniagrette, and creamy rotini pasta and vegetable salad, followed by a peach cinnamon pound cake I am still dreaming about. Lucky for me, they graciously shared their recipe!
Peach Cinnamon Pound Cake
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees and spray tube pan with Pam non stick spray and line with waxed paper.
1 cup butter, softened,
1.5 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup canned peaches in juice ( chopped)
Mix above ingredients well.
4 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix until incorporated.
Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until toothpick is clean when removed.
Let cool, remove from pan onto serving plate.
For the glaze: in mixing bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1.5 tbsp of milk and stir until thick and creamy then pour over cake.
Afterwards, we hit the ground running as we had lots to see and lots to do! Our wonderfully talented friend, Savannah based photographer Kelli Boyd, also turned out to be the most efficient and patient ringleader for this merry band of gals and she made sure we didn’t miss a thing! We kicked off our afternoon with stops at Chocolat by Adam Turoni, for artisan chocolates that are really works of art and that look too good to eat but trust me, you want to eat them – they are divine, and Satchel, for beautifully fashioned and hand-crafted leather goods. I found two cuff wraps that I wear most every day. A quick trip to Parlor Blow Dry Bar, had us all refreshed with the perfect do’s as we headed to cocktails at Emily McCarthy’s jewel box of a shop.
Dinner followed at The Collins Quarter where I felt like I was in a chic New York eatery but with the southern charm that Savannah offers. With walls of windows overlooking downtown, it was fun to people watch, too. The local, fresh and bright farm-to-table food was divine and the lavender martini is something you have to experience.
Afterwards, we went to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar to meet our friends Cindy and Stephanie, the co-founders of Sapelo Skincare. Lulu’s is the most cozy spot with brick-lined walls and a multi-page menu of decadent desserts and hand-crafted cocktails. By this time, The Whitman was calling my name as were my Lake PJ’s and PillowGrace pillow case.
After the night before, coffee was definitely on our agenda and was first stop of the day at the charming Mirabelle Café. I had the chai tea with almond milk and the most delicious, melt-in-your mouth Belgian waffle. We chatted with Savannah based artist Jessica O’Neill whose work and story I equally love. She is an inspiration and definitely an artist on the rise.
Next we boarded one of the trolley services and heard some interesting facts about the city. Conveniently offering hop-on, hop-off stops throughout the historic district, this made moving our group easy and entertaining. We cruised up and down Broughton Street, then met our friend Ellie McNevin for a one-of-a kind “ladies lunch” at Gryphon Tea Room and got to peek into some of SCAD’s downtown facilities where the creative electricity is in the air! We did a little shopping at the ShopSCAD gallery retail space that features unique selections from those in the SCAD community before hitting Broughton Street, Savannah’s main shopping district. A wonderful mix of shops, we stopped in at some of our favorites including Kendra Scott, The Paris Market, 24e Design Co and Zia Boutique.
As if we hadn’t indulged enough we just had to stop in for a sweet bite at Leopold’s Ice Cream. Don’t go to Savannah with making a stop – the waffle cones are amazing and the lemon custard ice cream is the yummiest. The end of our busy afternoon found us at the amazing Telfair Museums Jepson Center for the Arts where we got a quick peek at the Mystical Arts of Tibet – Sand Mandala Residency closing ceremony. And being a big Elvis fan, I especially loved the Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer exhibit which includes approximately 40 photographs printed from the original 1956 negatives which coincided with the 60th anniversary of Elvis’s first concert in Savannah, which was held on June 25, 1956.
That evening, we enjoyed some of the most delicious and cleverly crafted cocktails at The Grey, a former Greyhound bus terminal that has been transformed into a sleek and chic spot for lunch and dinner. It’s super cool with a Rat Pack feel and art-deco vibe. Dinner followed at the famed Elizabeth on 37th, a Savannah institution serving classic coastal fare where Lettees founder, Winslett Watson joined us for a glass of wine. Our dinner was superb as was the company and time spent with these girlfriends.
As we talked and laughed about our whirlwind trip filled with fabulous food, marvelous museums, and stellar shopping, we vowed a return trip is definitely in order to continue working on our Savannah bucket list. We could have stayed a couple more days and still not gotten to do it all! Savannah, until next time…
(photos by Kelli Boyd Photography)