So two weeks ago, we swapped Sheffield and the UK for Savannah, Georgia, and the US. We’ve moved for my fiancé’s job and I’m going to spend the first couple of months finishing off my PhD. This move has been a long time in the making and with that, packing up our flat and trying to work on finishing up my thesis, has meant that my blog has been a little bit neglected recently. I thought what better way to get back to writing (and to show off this new blog look I’ve been working on) than to share a few places we’ve enjoyed visiting in our new home city so far.
Telfair Museums operate across three sites and I’ve yet to visit all three, but I started with this beautiful building right in the heart of the Historic District, overlooking one of Savannah’s twenty-two squares. It deserves a post in its own right, but I wanted to talk about it briefly here! What fascinated me about the Telfair was not only the fact that it is the oldest public art museum in the South of the US, having opened in 1886, but that it was the first museum in the whole of the US to be founded by a woman.
That woman was Mary Telfair. Mary’s brother Alexander had commissioned the house from English architect William Jay, and she ended up inheriting the house, which she left to the Georgia Historical Society. It was bequeathed with the instruction that it would be created a museum. In fact, when I visited, there was a wonderful exhibition on the architect William Jay and the buildings of Savannah.
My favourite part of the museum was the Rotunda Gallery you first see when you wander up the stairs. I really enjoyed the art in here, particularly this Thomas Wilmer Dewing portrait of Edith Cooper Bryce, executed in 1886. It’s so Gilded Age and isn’t the colour of the dress absolutely stunning? It almost seems to emit light!
Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthplace
Juliette Gordon Low, known as Daisy, founded Girl Scouts in the US and as I’ve been a member of Girlguiding UK since I was five years old and have made many Girl Scout friends over the years through international exchanges, I was so excited to visit her birthplace.
We had a wonderful tour around and I learned so much about Juliette and her life: she was such an interesting woman. I’d love to write about her in a separate blog post, but here are a few of the things we found out when we visited: Juliette was an incredibly talented artist and evidence of her work is on show around the house. Looking at the sculptures she produced was absolutely amazing. Juliette married for love but her husband, William Low (who’s father, Andrew Low, also had a house in Savannah that you can visit), was a philanderer. They split their time between Georgia and England and after William’s death in 1905, Juliette travelled extensively, eventually crossing paths with Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts in England. She returned to Savannah and began the very first group of Girl Scouts.
In the middle of Downtown Savannah, you’ll find a lovely park that is also home to the iconic fountain you’ll see on all pictures of Savannah. At the moment, the fountain is dressed for Christmas and is so lovely! My favourite spot in the park is the Fragrant Garden, which is full of roses and relaxing places to sit and read.
Busy but full of fun places to eat and shop, including River Street Sweets, which does the most delicious pralines. Also I love walking along the water front, where there are boards explaining the history of Savannah, the development of it as a city and the port.
Favourite food spots (so far…)
We’ve done a fair bit of food exploring since we got here (isn’t that the best way to get a feel for a place after all?), and here are some of our so far favourite spots:
- Café M: light and bright and French inspired, I had a blueberry and cream cheese croissant alongside a lavender and earl grey tea latte (the ‘London Fog’). The quiches are also incredible!
- Little Duck Diner: all stylish and 1920s and 1930s inspired inside, there are some gorgeous Southern dishes on the menu as well as quirky around-the-world inspired meals! We had tacos and grilled cheeses and it was so great!
- Vinnie Van Go-Go’s: the BEST pizza in huge slices – what’s not to like?