3 Cold Nights in Savannah trip report!

Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:02 PM
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3 Cold Nights in Savannah trip report!


Just got back from a cold rainy stay in Savannah, but still had a blast! Arrived Thurs evening, where my friend picked me up at the airport. All airports should be just like the Savannah airport, quick and easy! (having travelled through Logan and Hartsfield in the same week, I really appreciated SAV!).

We quickly made our way to the Eliza Thompson House on Jones Street. I have posted a review on TripAdvisor. When it is "cleared" I will post the link. General opinion: the best location (unless you want the river front action) but not really a good "value" it was pricey, but we split it between two. Overall a very nice place.

Thurs evening after settling in, and meeting some folks at the wine/cheese reception we went down Bull Street to the Sixpence Pub which apparently is where a scene from "Something to Talk About" with Julia Roberts was filmed. I enjoyed 1/2 roast beef sandwich with French onion soup. Great roast beef. My friend had a bowl of French onion soup. Neither of us was very hungry so we ate light. We walked down Bull St through some of the squares and around Broughton St.

Slept well in the comfy beds!

Next day we did a walking tour with Cecil. The tour company was at 336 Bull St I believe. Cecil, despite being legally blind, made a wonderful tour guide. His love of the city is obvious, and he shared much of his knowledge, about history, architecture, some ghost stories, and of course, a little gossip! The "yankee" jokes got a little old, but he was just kidding (I think???!!!). At least he didn't say "bless your heart"! There were two other women on our tour who had been friends for 40 years, I love longtime friendships and travel! The sun actually came out for a little while, and we took off our gloves.

Had a most fabulous lunch at the Gryphon Tea Room, on Bull St. I am going to continue tomorrow, because I want to do this place justice. To be continued....
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:14 PM
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Oh, traveler, you are hitting some of my favorite spots. Friends stay at the Eliza Thompson and love it (I stay nearby). Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Gryphon. It's one of my very favorite places - and I hope it was warm and wonderful on such a cold trip. Sorry you hit Savannah during a REALLY cold snap

Looking forward to the rest of the report!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:37 PM
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Hey Starrs,

I couldn't wait to get home from work today and write about the Gryphon Tea Room. It looked interesting when we passed it by the night before, we actually thought the chairs were red.

Then I was looking in my article that I had ripped from my doctors office (oops!) from Southern Living Magazine about Savannah. It had opinions of places to stay, eat, and shop from people who live there, including a caterer, gallery owner, retail store owner and President of SCAD. Gryphon was listed there. If you are planning a trip and can get that article (I'm not sure which issue), you could plan your whole trip around it because every recommendation was spot on!

Anyway...we had been planning to go to Mrs. Wilkes' after our walking tour, but turns out they were closed for vacation. So we remembered the tea room and went there.

OK, first it is such a unique environment. It is an old pharmacy and still has the counter, and apothecary drawers. There is stained glass and a low ceiling with a huge orange lamp under stained glass. It reminded me of a French bistro. Black and white pictures of magnolias are along the back walls. There is a tea/coffee menu and lunch menu, enclosed in glass.

My friend and I shared a pot of tea. The food was absolutely outstanding. My friend had a ham and brie sandwich on a baguette, with sliced apples and marinated sweet onions. OH my God, I had a taste and it was SO good. Served with a side salad of nice mesclun greens and raspberry vinaigrette.

I had the best crab cakes with the same salad. If it had been warmer I would have tried their specialty, frozen fruit salad. The server was a lovely young woman. We totally enjoyed ourselves here. So much so that we came back again the next day!

So I might as well tell you what we had the next day. It was pouring rain and cold out. I had cafe au lait and my friend had hot chocolate with whipped cream. HUGE 16 oz mugs.

For lunch my friend had a portobello mushroom sandwich with grilled zucchini, roasted red pepper and a side of pasta salad. I had the quiche of the day which was chicken, ham, rosemary and swiss cheese with a bowl (crock was more like it) of white bean and ham soup. So hearty and delicious!

We shared chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. They get their desserts daily from a local bakery. The hostess/manager was terrific. Our waiter got really busy with a large party, so she came over and took our order, which was very customer friendly and made a good impression.

We both bought mugs (only $4.00! Try getting a mug for $4.00 on "the river"! I know, I bought a cheesy Gone With the Wind mug -yeah I know, but I had to have it- for $10.) so now when I sip my tea at work I can pretend I'm at the Gryphon.

OK, that's my rave of the day LOL! Really great place.

Oh, the chairs were bright orange, not red. And when we came in they were staging a photo shoot of the day's special- a 16 oz burger with sausage, pecans and a habanero sauce. I was tempted to try it, but the sausage, nut, plus burger combo would have put me over the edge in cholesterol for a year!

More later...
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:43 PM
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I'm loving your report.
I'll see if I can find the article online.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 05:41 PM
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A word about my friend and me. We worked together 15 years ago (did I really just say that!) here in Mass, and she moved to FL three years ago. She drove up and met me in SAV.

So after our fabulous lunch we decided that since it was actually clear and a bit warm (maybe 45?) we would walk down to the river. We learned in our tour that Savannah sits on a natural bluff. We walked down stairs to the river. I can't imagine making this walk in the dark after a couple of glasses of wine! But we found out about the elevator on our way up.

The riverfront is what it is, lots of t-shirt type shops, lively are but not all that interesting. I preferred our "neighborhood", but I can see the appeal of the river area to some degree. Just not for me. Also, I kept hearing about Vic's on the River, but they had someone out front handing out menus. Why would such a great place need a "hawker"? I mean she wasn't obnoxious or anything, it just seemed odd.

So having seen the area and deciding we would stick around "our place" we headed back for naps! I love afternoon naps! We were both glad to be in sync in our travel style.

We touched base with the folks at the inn. Miraculously the crowd went from all over 60 the night before to all under 30 the next night! We are slightly in between. It was just kind of funny. We all talked about where we had been, what we had done, where we had eaten (anyone within earshot heard about Gryphon!) etc.

We had an 8:00 reservation at Il Pasticcio on Bull St. It was very good, but not outstanding. The best part of the meal was the carpaccio appetizer, like butter beef with shavings of cheese, arugula, lemon and olive oil. I had the pappardalle bolognese, and my friend had the seafood pasta with spicy sauce along with a glass each of prosecco.

It is funny because my pasta came with the cheese already on it, and I commented to my friend that it felt like Italy in a way in that you get what the chef wants to give you and the customer is always wrong, pretty much! She said, "yeah like the soup nazi". Well I just went and looked at a couple of reviews here on Fodors main site and one person called the owner "soup nazi"!

We still both enjoyed our meals, but not as much as lunch!

We walked back to our place, walking by some folks on a ghost tour who were hearing the story of the woman who was hanged in the square (our walking tour guide told us the facts of the story), and was said to walk the square at night looking for the baby she gave birth to before she was executed. My friend said "we should jump out and go 'Boo y'all!' LOL!

Oh here is the link to my review of the Eliza Thompson house, rather than writing it all out again:


more later!

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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 07:25 AM
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The next day we had our nice breakfast at the inn, too bad we needed the space heaters, but the coffee was very warming, and I loved the biscuits!

This was on Saturday and it was pouring out. Not just mist or drizzle but full on rain. So we grabbed our umbrellas and headed out. We were glad we had done most of our outdoor things the day before.

So what else to do in the rain but shop! Some of our favorite stores were:

*LaPaperie-Whitaker St.
*Moss-Bull St. I bought the most beautiful teddy bear for my niece here, made of vintage scarves. Lots of really unique items here
*The Christmas Shop-Bull St. Beautiful ornamenents and they were having a 50% off sale. I like to get an ornament from places I visit.
The SCAD musuem store-tons of unique pieces by the students and local artists

and my new favorite store of all time:

*The Paris Brocante Market on Broughton St. This store is unlike anyplace I have ever been, you can get everything from penny candy to a $6000 antique armoire! I was sold the minute I saw they had products from the Santa Maria Novella Farmacia in Florence Italy!!

more later...
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for the report traveler. I'm sorry it was so cold, but it sounds like the weather didn't get in your way.

We don't currently yet have a review from the Eliza Thompson House from a Fodor's member. Maybe you'd want to copy and paste your review there?

Our review is here:

I'm glad you enjoyed your tour; your guide sounded great. This tour company is located at 135 Bull Street. Could they have been the one you used?

Did you happen to see Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil before you left? I've wanted to go to Savannah ever since seeing that movie.
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Hi, Katie!

Yes, I can copy my review to the Fodors site. I have read "the book" sometime ago, I don't think I ever saw the movie though. And yes, that was the place we took the tour from on Bull St.

Continuing on...

We also went to E. Shaver Booksellers and took a tour of the Andrew Low house, that was included as part of our walking tour ticket for an additional $5.00. Well worth it, but I would not want to do more than one house tour a day. There's only so much silver and furniture I can look at in one day!

We took a walk to Forsyth Park because we hadn't seen the fountain yet. It was beautiful even in the rain. Again, I really need to make a springtime visit. We also walked a bit further up to investigate that night's possible dinner spot Local 11Ten at (of course 1110 Bull St). This was in "the article" also and sounded great.

We made a 9:15 reservation. Most of the people at the inn were going to the Olde Pink House for dinner, which I know is supposed to be wonderful, but we were pretty proud that we found a place popular with the "locals" and not well known yet by tourists.

The Local 1110 prides itself on using local purveyors, farmers and what is in season. It is housed in an old bank, and you can still see the night drop, where the vault was, and even the drive through. My friend and I both used to work in banks so we are "bank geeks".

We weren't drinking but sat at the bar to wait for our table and got a soda and water. When we were shown to our table the bartender would not take any money from us and didn't put it on our "tab" that we could tell, a nice touch.

For a starter we had grilled scallops over a sweet potato puree. Very tasty. I had grilled hanger steak with frittes and a side salad, my friend had a large pork chop with a baby pear, and I think a side salad. The food was delicious. For dessert we shared a banana napoleon with chocolate sorbet.

We walked back without incident (someone had recommended taking a cab back vs walking-if I had been alone maybe, but we had no problems). I definitely needed to walk off the meal!

Sunday morning, time to go...We had our final breakfast and left for the airport, and I even made it home in time for the Patriots/Chargers game! The Giants/Packers game was much more exciting I have to say!

We really loved Savannah, despite the rain and cold, I can only imagine how people fall in love with it in full bloom! One reason I was glad it rained is it forced me to actually go in and spend some time in the shops that I always walk by and say "Oh that looks great, but move on to another destination". I highly recommend Savannah for a getaway, friends, couples, there's really something for everyone. Kids I'm not so sure, but then again, I wasn't looking for kids' activities. The food and shopping were terrific.

It was a great first visit, and I'm sure we'll be back!
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Nice trip report traveler100, I enjoyed it all. Sorry the weather was so bad, but sounds as if you are the type to make lemonade of lemons, and it didn't phase you. Forsyth Park is actually very pretty in the rain and mist I think. You really should go back in the spring...all those bushes around the parks are azaleas. It's quite a sight!
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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I enjoyed your report! I was down there that weekend too, I bought my brother a plane ticket to show him the area and my house - I was hoping for warm weather for him but brrrrrrrrrr was it cold.

Sounds like you had a great time!
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