As I’m writing this in our charming parlor listening to the rain hit the windows and steps of our front porch I’ve come to a sudden realization that some would think their vacation is un-salvageable once it rains. True, this could happen in some places, but this writer would like to gently remind you that Savannah isn’t just any place.
Savannah dazzles even when we have a hint of frost. Our fair city fascinates even when she’s in atrocious downpours. Savannah is captivating even when she does not shine and there are light trickles of rain on the leaves, new azaleas, and flowers of magnolia trees. Savannah is beautiful under colorful umbrellas and rubber boots as you stroll through Forsyth Park.
Think of all the things you can do when it’s rainy outside! Take advantage of exploring the antique shops throughout the Historic district and find hidden treasures from the past. Go through the Telfair museum and look at the newest collection of art or even go on a trolley tour to learn Savannah’s history. Go to the local shops along lovely Bull street or through the beautiful squares; perhaps have lunch at a local’s hangout like Crystal Beer Parlor, Six Pence, Zunzi’s, or Fire Street Food. And when you crave something a little sweeter head over to Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor or Chocolat by Adam Tourni.
Think of the rain as a lovely symphony heard upon the roof of a private balcony overlooking the garden; the necessary white noise to quiet your mind and spirit as you nestle yourself in the arm chair of the parlor with evening wine and hor d’oeuvres. Rain is a lovely sound in the background as you read a book with tea or coffee in the early hours of afternoon.
And when the sun comes out go out and be amazed by Savannah all over again. Just because the rain is there doesn’t mean it will meddle with your vacation. Rain or shine- Savannah is the place you want to be. So, are you ready to be mesmerized?
Chosen as #5 of “19 Truly Charming Places To See Before You Die”
Whomever decided to pair chocolate and Valentine’s Day together is a genius because ( 1) It’s another excuse to eat chocolate and (2) refer back to number one, and (3) they’ve been best friends ever since. Since then chocolate has made a significant impression on everyone; your mom or dad, your girlfriend or boyfriend, spouse, grandparents, coworkers, and just about everyone else in-between!
Chocolate is the gift that keeps on giving and we know the MASTER of the craft, Adam Turoni! With his help you can find a chocolate that can fit just about ANYONE. Allow us to show you some several delicious examples:
Red Velvet Truffles: light, decadent, just down right precious! Look at the pink casing and the white piping- this is definitely the kind of chocolate to dazzle a certain someone. Heck, you could give these to your best friend and still make their Valentine’s Day in Savannah! And besides, who can say no to red velvet?
See! There’s even chocolate for the musician in your life! We try not to question the chocolate voodoo going on in Adam’s little shop of wonders but you can’t help but wonder how he makes them all look so gorgeous. And with dark chocolate crisps and hazelnut you can’t go wrong.
Perhaps you have that friend or loved one with a much more delicate palate. Maybe you had trouble picking between a bottle of wine and some artisan chocolates? Problem solved! Adam’s Rose Water and Riesling Wine Truffles can impress even the most eclectic of foodies. Light, subtle, and fragrant this truffle will leave them wanting more.
Heck, there’s even a chocolate for the recently single ( or perhaps fiercely independent woman who doesn’t need a man or vice versa) in your life! Hard to be bitter when the Screw Love truffles are so clever and delicious! 72% dark chocolate is something we can all go a little batty for this Valentine’s Day in Savannah.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers- it’s meant to celebrate love of all kinds! Tell the people in your life that you care by picking out the chocolate that’s unique as they are. We promise- Adam doesn’t disappoint. Find his shop right on Broughton Street near MLK Boulevard. Go to Adam’s Facebook page and be swept away by a master of the craft. And of course, we can’t wait to hear about your Valentine’s Day in Savannah.
Azalea Inn and Gardens, a Savannah GA bed and breakfast inn, invites you to reserve a room today to begin enjoying the best experiences in our city, which Travel + Leisure Magazine acclaimed as a “World’s Best City.”
Well, we wanted to surprise you – but let’s face it: too many surprises around this time of year and what we really need is a nice drink and some new shoes for all the holiday parties. And some retail therapy for all the “tidings of great joy” we
have to get to share. So, if you haven’t heard already – we’ve got your ticket, er, passport.
Yup, here’s another Savannah Pajama Shop Hop update for ya’ll – the December shopping event for visitors and Savannians alike. Today we’re featuring detailed discounts from the restaurants participating in our first ever Savannah Pajama Shop Hop and details to get you and your friends shopping. As I am writing I am getting an overwhelmingly great sense of a slightly not-sober pajama be-clad drinking and shopping day, ladies and gentlemen! Please drink and shop responsibly!
THE SAVANNAH RESTAURANTS
The Pirate’s House Restaurant is giving 10% off at the gift shop (where there are more t-shirt designs than friends on your gift list) and 1/2 off an entree with any entree purchase. You might even get spooked in the haunted facilities. On the outside of 20 East Broad Street (at Broad and Bryan) it looks like just some old house. Those looks don’t deceive – it’s actually the oldest building in Savannah, and, the ENTIRE state of Georgia. Hours: 11-9:30 Sun – Th. and 11-10 Fridays and Saturdays.
Wright Square Cafe at 21 West York Street (Between Whitaker and Bull Streets right off, you guessed it, Wright Square) is offering either 20% off purchases. They have a huge selection of chocolate confections for sale, and amazing sandwiches also! They describe their business as “a casual European cafe serving only the finest and freshest”. It’s true! Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30, Saturdays from 9-5:30. Closed on Sundays.
For a restaurant championing local and organic produce, Cha Bella is your best bet. You get 10% off your meal and with December temperatures hovering high, you can still choose to sit outside on their patio, which is always sparkling with little white lights! Go to the intersection of Broughton and Broad, to 102 Broad Street to take advantage of your passport at Cha Bella!
45 Bistro at 123 E. Broughton Street has an absolutely STUNNING atmosphere. The photo ops are unlimited: you, and your friends, in pajamas. Drinking cocktails surrounded by the finery. Get a free dessert with any entree purchase with your Shop Hop passport here! The Bar opens around 5, the Restaurant around 6. Close at 9, but they say “until” because they’ll stay open when busy and close when not.
1790 Restaurant is giving away a free dessert or glass of wine. Their website points out that Emerson wrote, of wine, that “It gladdens the heart and stimulates all that is most generous in human nature.” Now that’s a holiday tradition I can get behind! Go to 307 E. President Street (at Lincoln and President Streets). Hours: Lunch Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m / Dinner 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. The Lounge is open 11 a.m. to Midnight with happy hour from 4-7. WAIT. HOLD THE PHONE. Did I just say happy hour???
Cotton Exchange Tavern & Restaurant at 201 E River Street (where the intersection of River and Abercorn Streets WOULD be if there was one but you can enter right on Bay Street). If you get apps and dinner, the appetizer is $8.95 off (and most of the appetizers are in that range so it’s basically a free appetizer) OR, $4 off a cocktail. We even have a room with the same name at our Inn! Hours: 11 am until 10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday -or- until 11:45 Friday & Saturday. Closed Sundays.
Jazz’d Tapas Bar at 52 Barnard Street (at Broughton and Barnard underneath The GAP – giving 25% off any Pajama Shop Hoppers’ purchase) is offering 25% off Tapas and a basic martini for only $6. Hours: Everyday from 4-10, and until 12 on Friday and Saturday. Happy Hour Monday-Thursday 4-7. Ladies Night every Thursday!
I mentioned Lulu’s Chocolate Bar already in the last Shop Hop update but, seriously, this place is awesome. Dessert and booze at the SAME PLACE as a reward for all the work you put into your Pajama Shop Hop shopping? What’s not to like about that? 15% off anything you buy at Lulu’s for the Shop Hoppers of Savannah. Hellooooo. GO, reserve your room or get your toy NOW to get your passport. You won’t be disappointed. Hours: Open at 5 everyday. Close at 11 Sunday and Monday. Close at 12 Tuesday-Thursday. Close at 1 Friday-Saturday.
Mirage Restaurant is a Hookah Lounge AND a Mediterranean Bar and Grill at 20 E. Broughton Street (about halfway between Bull and Drayton cross-streets). They are giving 10 percent discount to Shop Hoppers in their PJ’s! Hours: Sunday – Wednesday from 5-12. Thursday – Saturday from 5-2:30am.
So now that you’re hungry, remember that you’ll work up an appetite WALKING all around downtown Savannah’s historic district. Don’t forget your holiday shoes! Savannah Shoe Co. is featuring the “cobblestones to cocktail” shoe right now for the season – and there is no better way to hit the pavement. Stop by downtown Savannah location at 226 West Broughton Street between Jefferson & Barnard to get 10% off your new party shoes! Get your passport TODAY and shop until December 31st!
You only have until December 31 to take advantage of all these restaurant discounts, and the other shopping discounts at the 70+ participating retailers of the Savannah Pajama Shop Hop. To participate, Reserve a room at Azalea Inn & Gardens for 2 nights in December, or, we’ll trade you a Savannah Pajama Shop Hop Saving’s Passport for a new, unwrapped toy (which will be given to the Toys for Tots program). To sweeten the deal, if you get 10 stamps on your passport and bring it BACK to Azalea, you’ll be entered into our Shop Hop drawing to win 2 nights at one of the participating Savannah Inns, including Azalea Inn & Gardens.
The Savannah Pajama Shop Hop was masterminded by Azalea Inn & Garden’s Innkeeper Teresa Scott Jacobson. Look how much fun she had convincing the businesses to give YOU the discounts! Imagine how much fun you will have with YOUR friends, too! It’s so simple to find fun things to do in Savannah – and we’re your ticket, whether you’re local or you’re visiting and want a B&B to show you how to have the best Savannah vacation in our our great city of shopping and eating delights!
Travel + Leisure Magazine acclaimed Savannah as a “World’s Best City.”
We have had the most incredible garden treats from Azalea Inn and our tomato harvest has inspired our favorite (so far) WOW recipe: Tomato Jam. I picked the last of our cherry and yellow pear tomatoes to be turned into our infamous Tomato Jam. We plan to serve the Jam on Rosemary shortbread at next week’s wine and appetizer hour. As you can see from the impish faces of Kolin and Courtney, we love our tomatoes! I am not sure how many of the garden harvested tomatoes made it into the jam, but there was enough for two more canning jars of our oft-requested jam recipe (compliments of Bon Appetite, April 2010).
The recipe itself calls for 5 large tomatoes but we have a plethora of the cherry and tiny yellow pear tomatoes and found that they worked as well, if not better, with the two-tone color. We did not skin these tomatoes as the recipe calls for, instead squeezing the seeds out whole and tossing into the saucepan, no boiling first necessary.
2 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 5 large)
2 cups granulated sugar
Generous pinch of salt
Generous pinch of ground cayenne pepper
2 or 3 grinds of black pepper
2 or 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, cut out the stem end of each tomato, then slice a shallow X in the bottom. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water until their skins loosen, about 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and let cool.
When cool enough to handle, slip off the tomato skins. Discard the water, but save the saucepan for cooking the jam. Halve the tomatoes crosswise and gently squeeze out the seeds and juice. Chop the tomatoes into 1/3-inch pieces.
Return the tomatoes to the saucepan; stir in the sugar, salt, and peppers. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure that the mixture is cooking evenly but not burning, until most of the liquid has evaporated. If foam occasionally rises to the top, skim it off with a large spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice to taste.
Ladle the jam into sterilized jars. Cover tightly, let cool, and refrigerate. The jam will keep for at least 6 months refrigerated, though it has not lasted that long at the inn!
“Sufferin’ Succotash!” was the catch phrase of Sylvester the Cat, a Looney Tunes character from my childhood. Actually, he lisped “Thufferin Thuccotash” often in his quest to capture “Tweety Bird” of “I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat” fame. So what does that have to do with Azalea Inn and Gardens? Well, our Garden’s bounty is overflowing with cherry tomatoes, green peppers, yellow and purple bush beans, eggplant and okra right now and the garden pickings were the inspiration for our take on a Deep South favorite – Succotash.
Jake has always loved the okra and tomatoes served at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House and he cajoled me into doing “something” with all the tomatoes and the just perfect sized okra. He said he would take it any way I fixed it and I am partial to the combination of baby limas, corn, tomatoes and okra, so… why not add whatever the garden was offering up?
Throwing a few slices of bacon into the skillet to render, I set about chopping a medium onion and two cloves of garlic, seeded and chopped a small jalapeno, then ran down to the garden to pick okra, tomatoes, green peppers, and eggplant to throw into the mix. While the onion softened in the bacon rendering, I sliced the okra, chopped one green pepper and one tiny eggplant to add to the cornucopia of veggies to come and ran back down to the garden to finish off the crop of beans. Once the onions were softened and the garlic lightly browned, I threw in a bag of frozen corn (eh-gads, its okay!), and bag of frozen baby limas. Next came the cherry tomatoes, okra, green pepper and eggplant, threw in the bush beans snipped and cut in half and gently cooked the conconction for about 7 to 10 minutes. Taste tests indicated a need for salt and pepper and with a small chiffonade of basil sprinkled on top, we were ready to eat! Served along side a simply grilled rib-eye steak it was easy to get Jake to commit to another 9 years with me!
I grew up in a large family, so it was no surprise that I had leftovers – lots of leftovers. This morning I added a bit of raspberry wine vinegar to the succotash and with Jake’s tastebuds declaring it a winner have incorporated it into tonight’s appetizers which our guests will enjoy – served cold on chips – a Salsa Succotash.
Azalea Inn and Gardens takes the locavore route to all things served at the inn – join us this summer for a taste of home-grown cantaloupe and Galia melons, pickled cucumbers, tomatoes served a dozen ways and the refreshing courtyard pool with waterfall creating a perfect respite in the warmth of a Savannah summer. Book online or call us at 800-582-3823 today to reserve your spot at our “farm table” in historic Savannah, Georgia’s best bed and breakfast!
Guests and Savannah’s SAFE Shelter benefit from this downtown Savannah Inn’s harvest
Savannah, GA – Azalea Inn & Gardens brings on the greens and encourages you to leave the blues behind. Who’d imagine an inn located in a quiet historic urban neighborhood in Savannah, GA would support their own mini-farm? But with astute planning from Adam Mentzer, passionate local farmer and owner of Adam’s Farm, the bounty is blooming at Azalea Inn and Gardens. Knowing that her mini-farm would produce beyond the needs of the guests, Azalea Inn & Gardens owner, Teresa Jacobson, set out to find a place where needy recipients could benefit from the garden. Having had friends benefit from the help of shelters for abused victims, Jacobson settled on the Savannah Area Family Emergency (SAFE) Shelter for abused people to receive produce from her garden. Today, both Mentzer and Jacobson are supplying the shelter’s clients with excess fresh-grown food from their garden while teaching graduates of the SAFE Shelter program how a small-space garden can produce big benefits.
The Azalea Inn & Gardens has a long history of gardening fame. Their award-winning flower gardens have received media accolades for years. Yet never one to settle for status quo, Teresa Jacobson decided she wanted a bigger garden in 2011 when she was motivated by a “Meet Your Maker” dinner (where local artisans’ and growers’ produce, cheeses, meats were showcased.) It was here she made the acquaintance of local farmer Adam Mentzer, and soon the concept of the Azalea Inn mini-farm developed. While skeptical at first at what could be accomplished on a small lot in downtown Savannah, Mentzer refused to be daunted, knowing raised beds and container gardens could produce plenty. What followed was phenomenal: [nggallery id=20]
The list of varieties of herbs and produce growing in the mini-farm is astounding. Careful planning has allowed a long list of varieties to be grown, the likes of which you’d expect to find on a ten acre rural Georgia farm, including:
Hybrid Squash 8-Ball Hybrid Melon Galia Hybrid Melon Athena
Gourd Cucuzzi Snake Tomato Amana Orange Hybrid Tomato Supersweet
Okra Clemson Spineless Gourd Dipper Long Handled Hybrid Cucumber Tasty Green
Hybrid Tomato Morning Light Hybrid Tomato Brandymaster Pink
Tomato Cherokee Purple Hybrid Pepper Anastar Hybrid Pepper Aristocrat
Hybrid Zucchini Squash Kentucky Blue Pole Bean Yellow Bush Bean
Purple Bush Bean Fennel Zefa Fino Swiss Chard Magenta Sunset
Arugula Daikon Radish Miyashige Hybrid Turnip Scarlet Queen Red Stems
Greens Mache Strawberries Sequoia Strawberries Quinalt
Eggplant Black Beauty Eggplant Ichiban
Rosemary Oregano Stevia
Texas Terragon Onion Chives Lemon Balm
Curled Parsley Cilantro Potpourri Lavender
Spearmint Peppermint Rosemary
Fernleaf Dill Spicy Globe basil Thai Basil
Lemon Basil Opal Basil Sweet Basil
“I’m not sure what I’m more excited about,” smiled Teresa Jacobson when asked about the new mini-farm, “all of this glorious produce and herbs, my new partnership with Adam or being able to offer those who’ve had to leave everything behind the taste of freshness from my garden,” finished Jacobson. The response from the SAFE Shelter staff and clients has included an outpouring of gratitude.
While the focus has always been on locavore cuisine at the Azalea Inn & Gardens, the new mini-farm will bring the property even closer to a totally sustainable model. Food scraps will be composted in 80-gallon Earth Machine compost bins and rainwater for watering plants is collected in 55 gallon cisterns, allowing nature’s bounty to be reused to create healthier plants and a healthier planet. Additionally, low-volume irrigation and low volume water baths are utilized outside and in. At Azalea Inn, Earth Day is every day.
Inside, cotton/bamboo blend towels delight guests with their soft and eco-friendly texture. All lighting utilizes energy-saving CFL bulbs and plastic bottles for bath amenities have been replaced with dispensers for high quality eco-friendly shampoos, shower gels and conditioners. Guests are given the option to re-use towels to cut down on unnecessary detergents and energy use and as many papers and plastics as possible are recycled.
The décor of the inn emphasizes nature, and rooms have been designed to allow as much natural light as possible. Most rooms feature private balconies or patios allowing guests to “bring the outdoors in”.
About Azalea Inn
Deliciously relaxing and lighthearted, the Azalea Inn and Gardens is a casually elegant Savannah bed and breakfast mansion offering vintage and award-winning gardens and its new mini-farm, historic 19th century architecture (complete with soulful imperfections) and a scrumptious, new and traditional southern cuisine breakfast. A hidden garden courtyard pool, modern comforts and free on-site parking sets Azalea Inn & Gardens apart and makes staying here easy and relaxing. Located in the Historic Landmark District of Savannah on brick-cobbled Huntingdon Street near Forsyth Park (Savannah’s central park), the inn’s atmosphere is characterized by fun, with an adventurous and decidedly eco-friendly focus. Yet the ultimate allure of this daffodil-colored Queen Anne Italianate inn is its owner’s 21st century, whimsical and outgoing personality. You’ll arrive ready for a break and leave with a new great friend.
For those seeking a green urban refuge, the Azalea Inn & Gardens is a delight. Learn more at www.azaleainn.com.
These and other photos available in high-res from Azalea Inn. Misty DeBlasio photos
I’ve never been a fan of waiting…for anything. But in order to get a seat at Savannah’s ever-popular Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room on West Jones, I had to. However, once I reached the table overflowing with Southern delights, I forgot all about my wait and dug in eagerly.
Kolin (you know, Azalea Inn’s chef…and my man-candy AKA husband) and I had been to Mrs. Wilkes’ for my birthday last year and couldn’t wait to share the experience with some of our family and friends. So, when his mom and sister came for an extended weekend, we made sure to make time for it. A line forms early every weekday (they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays as well as the ENTIRE month of January) until the doors open at 11 am. Folks are shuffled in and seated as tables become available. Strangers share a HUGE Southern meal family-style and are friends by dessert, a tradition begun when the restaurant was a boarding house.
President Obama dined at Mrs. Wilkes’ this past year and the lucky patrons on-hand had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While we can’t guarantee that you will dine with THE President, you just never know who might be sharing a table with you; after all, Savannah is a premiere filming destination. You could be eating with the likes of Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), Julia Roberts (Something to Talk About), Will Smith (The Legend of Bagger Vance), and let’s not forget Robert Redford sightings during the recent filming of The Conspirator.
Mrs. Wilkes’ is definitely one of my favorite places to eat in the low-country (and may very well top my list). Come with a hearty appetite and schedule time for a nap after!
Distinctive bed and breakfast lodging for the April NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens of Savannah Georgia is best savored at Azalea Inn and Gardens, also a select property on this year’s tour. We were honored with the invitation to be a part of the Garden Club of Savannah’s annual fund-raising event, and Jake, of course, was ecstatic! Despite the heavy freezes (and subsequent loss of vegetation) we have experienced this year, he barely blinked as he assured me that we would be ready by the scheduled dates, April 29 and 30, 2011. True to his meticulous nature, Jake has begun working on a map of the grounds marking the locations of the different flora and fauna so we can have identifying signs throughout making the tour of our gardens even more enlightening.
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Did you hear about the Soul Food Showdown in honor of Black History Month? I can’t believed I just learned about a FOOD event only days before it winds up. Well FED Magazine is the sponsor and the event is easy to join. Simply eat at one of the following locations, then vote for your favorite restaurant, either in person (at your fav spot), via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Facebook. Cast your vote and you might be the recipient of a gift certificate to the winning restaurant.
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A true underground phenomenon, Lotus has built an army of fans worldwide with their show stopping performances and the international success of their three albums (Nomad, Germination, Strength of Weak Ties).
www.wagatailpresents.com for more information and to secure tickets.