Tuesday, February 10, 2015
So, schedules cleared and reservations secured, up the stairs we went to the impressive second floor tea room proper. My wife selected a hat and sat down to chat with a special tearoom guest while we waited for our table. We’ve met her here before, but have been asked not to mention names …..
On Wednesday Carol Allen and her crackerjack staff provided a special menu. You can see it here on the right. Chuck full of goodies. Click the small image to open it into a more readable size.
Can you imagine? “Cherry green iced tea”? I couldn’t. Fortunately my wife -- she of more eclectic taste -- gave it a try and encouraged me. Well! It was good. More than good, really. A perfect beginning for this special meal.
Now, if “Spring Cherry Green Iced Tea” hasn’t surprised you, check the “Pot of Mango Chili Tea” just below it. Mango Chili? Oh my. I had a cup. But Junko finished the rest. Even said she enjoyed it.
Now, I’m no fanatical consumer of salads. They’re fine. Usually. I’ll eat them when served. But mostly to be polite. All the while looking forward to more substantial offerings. Most sit-down-type restaurants start you off with some sort of salad. Ho hum.
Well, if you share my indifference to any dish that requires a “salad” label, click on the photo above. take a close look at the salad Laura’s Tea Room serves with High Tea. This was really good. The lettuce was fresh. Seriously fresh. As was everything else! So, when you go for High Tea, don’t ignore, or just pick at, the salad. It’s part of the experience.
Same with the soup. Perfect flavor. I can’t imagine that any part of that cup of soup ever saw the inside of a can. It sure didn’t taste like what I was raised on.
All of this leads up to the Main Event: Savories and Sweets. They’re listed on the menu above. Too many to summarize here. All sorts of things.
You have to see it – and taste it – to believe it. Nothing there from a box. All prepared right in the Tea Room kitchen downstairs the night and morning before.
So, there you have it. If a confirmed meat-and-potatoes fellow like me can look forward to High Tea at Laura’s Tea Room it will suit anybody.
Sometimes it’s possible to get in for High Tea without a reservation, but not usually. Call ahead and let the staff know how many will be in your party.
Reservations are at 803-337-8594. And visit the Tea Room Facebook page by clicking here. Carol keeps it up to date.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Edisto Beach State Park is about right for my tastes any time from about late November to early April. I know; I know. Normal people …. Well, Tastes vary. And I meet a surprising number of campers who visit Edisto only in the winter. So ….
The photo above is of the site of the Park’s Bache Monument out behind the Nature Center. An important historical marker. Named after a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin. Alexander Bache invented the “bar of invariable length” that finally allowed accurate geographical measurements. Read all about it here. http://goo.gl/yHOLrI
Here’s a short video compilation of photos I’ve taken at and around Edisto during winter visits. Enjoy.
Monday, January 12, 2015
South Carolina's Edisto Beach State Park is beautiful even on a rainy winter day.
Click each photo for a larger image
Just outside my campsite.
There's something about this place. Come have a look for yourselves.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Last Sunday we visited Laura’s Tea Room in Ridgeway, South Carolina, to see the Christmas decorations. Had lunch too, of course. I don’t know how Carol and her staff find the time to do all of this.
The photo above [click it for a better view] is the first floor viewed from near the door. Here’s where you’ll have lunch if you don’t have time for high tea upstairs.
Every table’s a treat. And some of the special designs are even for sale! We try to sit at a different table each visit.
Fair warning. If you eat downstairs, all through lunch you’ll tempted by must-have gifts lining the shelves and counters on both sides of the first floor. So don’t choose the downstairs café just to save a few dollars. That’s unlikely to happen!
Climb the stairs to the second floor to reach the heart of Laura’s Tea Room. Pass by Manuel, on leave from Fawlty Towers, and you may be joined by special guests. Our last visit, for example, we were surprised to be joined by ….. Well, never mind. We’re supposed to keep quiet about it. And all guests are special at Laura’s Tea Room.
Upstairs it’s even more beautifully decorated than usual. The Christmas spirit in full swing. Look at this place setting!
Everything perfectly arranged. Each setting waiting to impress a Tea Room guest.
I don’t know how long Carol and her staff will keep these Christmas decorations. So hurry on over before it’s too late. Remember to call 803-337-8594 for a reservation, though, if you’re planning to eat upstairs. This is a popular spot for folks from Columbia, Charlotte, Charleston, Atlanta … And even some international guests. So call ahead or you’ll be eating downstairs. With all of those temptations lining the walls….
Friday, December 12, 2014
Next time you visit Keowee-Toxaway State Park, or even if you’re somewhere else in the Western part of the State, take some time to enjoy the scenery up and down Scenic Highway Eleven.
It’s a remarkable stretch of road. Two lanes of blacktop all the way, with nice wide shoulders, as you see above. A 55 mph speed limit most of the way. And, even better, remarkable views of Western South Carolina’s forests and mountains around every curve.
Late this afternoon I spent a few hours driving toward Table Rock State Park on this remarkable strip of road. The Long Shoals Wayside Picnic Area is well worth a stop.
Plenty of parking in two areas, and a trail down to Little Eastatoee Creek. Not for folks with mobility problems. But I made it down and back up with no difficulty.
Here’s the sort of thing you get to see at the bottom. This time of year the creek’s low enough to display much of its water-worn granite bed. A photographer’s delight. Wish I’d had more time.
Remarkable. No wonder the CCC selected this area to quarry the granite they used when creating Table Rock State Park, just a few miles down the road.
And, speaking of Table Rock, here’s a view of it and the “Stool” that I snapped from the window of the truck. Pulled well over on the shoulder, of course. How could anyone resist?