Savannah oozes southern charm with its manicured parks, antebellum architecture and genteel hospitality.
Day 1: pm
Arriving in the afternoon, we took a drive out to Bonaventure Cemetery. Famous for being featured in John Berendt’s 1994 book In the Garden of Good and Evil, and later in Clint Eastwood’s film of the same name. It is very atmospheric with its gravestones and oak trees with Spanish moss hanging off their limbs.
Heading back into town we stayed with friends on Broughton Street. Nightlife starts early in Savannah. And midweek in November, it was buzzing. First we went to The Olde Pink House(€€/€) 23 Albercorn St. The restaurant is in Savannah’s only 18thcentury mansion. So, it is a pretty historic site for there. We entered the fairly large bar in the basement where at 5.30pm the only seats left were right in front of the fire. Every table was packed and virtually everyone was eating. They do dinner early around here. After a couple of tasty cocktails, we walked upstairs to see the restaurant. Spread over at least 3 floors, again all the tables were packed and still is was only 6.30pm. Serving typical Low Country classics, our hosts confirmed that the food there was good.
But we were having dinner at Chive Seafood Restaurant and Bar; 4 Broughton Street. (€€) It was 7pm and there were just 3 seats left at the bar so we grabbed them. We decided to order more cocktails and wait for a table. I had an amazing Mezcal, chili and lime cocktail that was a perfect balance of smoky and spicy. After a couple of those I was nearly sliding off my stool! Luckily a table came free and we sat down to eat. The dining room was very glamorous with large glass beaded chandeliers and deep blue velvet curtains and booth seating. The atmosphere was both sophisticated and intimate. I had the She Crab Soup followed by the Chilean Sea Bass – both absolutely delicious.
Day 2: am
The next morning, for breakfast, we went to The Collin’s Quarter; 151 Bull Street. (€€) Exposed brickwork, marble table tops, red leather banquettes and large windows. This Melbourne style café is bright and breezy with great coffee and modern Aussie brunch classics such as Avocado Smash. That came with beetroot hummus and I hate beetroot so I had the Crab Cake Benedict which was yum. Got some good ideas for if we ever open our own Aussie food place!
As our time was limited, we decided to do a Trolley Tour in order to take in as much of the place as possible. Normally a guided tour is something I steer clear of. However, this turned out to be an absolute highlight as our driver talked non-stop in an almost cartoon Southern drawl. As well as giving us information about all the beautiful buildings we passed, he also filled us in on his personal history. This was so entertaining that rather than hop-on and hop-off as one can, we did the tour from start to finish to keep the same driver!
After that we were hungry and on the Riverfront. So, we went to Vic’s on the River; 26 E Bay St (€) for some classic Southern cuisine. I had Fried Green Tomatoes and Redfish with rice and beans. It was fine but Darren’s Wild Georgia Shrimp & Smoked Cheddar Gritswas better. It was very busy in there and we had a bit of a wait, but there was a bar. So, a Bloody Mary helped out with that wait.
After lunch we hit a couple of SCAD exhibitions. SCAD is the Savannah College of Art and Design, they bill themselves as “The University for Creative Careers” and their influence is visible everywhere. We went to the SCAD Museum of Art, a contemporary art museum that houses various exhibits. The ticket that day also included entry to temporary exhibit, Guo Pei: Couture Beyond. Guo Pei is a Chinese fashion designer who designed Rihanna’s trailing yellow gown for the 2015 Met Ball.
Drinks & Dinner
In the evening we went for some cocktails and snacks at the Bohemian Hotel’s rooftop bar: Rocks on the Roof (€/€); 102 W Bay St. € Watching the sunset over the Savannah River was a great way to end a fantastic stay.