Saturday, March 24, 2012


“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world and all who live in it”
Psalm 24:1

The highlight of our time in South Carolina was on our last day as we headed south from our stay in Myrtle Beach to Charleston. 





The first stop was at Hopsewee Plantation in Georgetown – a National Historic Landmark, preserved since it was built almost 40 years before the Revolutionary War – and the charming River Oak Cottage – a delightful southern tea room. 


It was a very busy day for the plantation, being on the list of visits for hundreds participating in a local church fundraiser, but nonetheless we were welcomed with that distinctive southern hospitality and enjoyed every minute of our stay.





 Greeted by Raejean Beattie, my husband and I were seated to begin our delightful experience at an elegant table for two. image


imageIt was set with Haviland china and fine linens and we were served by a wonderful lady with a lovely English accent, who we had a lovely chat with about our common experiences in the U.K.


The food was absolutely delicious and our selection included lunch, scones and tea sweets all served with our choice of a pot of one of their 17 different blends - Hopsewee House Blend – a flavored black tea with hints of strawberry, lemon and orange.


Lunch for me was a Hopsewee Tomato Tart with a parmesan-peppercorn crust topped with mozzarella, pesto and fresh heirloom tomatoes accompanied by their House Salad of mixed greens, blue cheese and pecans with chipotle-raspberry vinaigrette.  It was amazing!!


We shared a serving of Scones – one cranberry orange and one cinnamon raisin – served with lemon curd and cottage cream plus a tea-infused jelly, one of their unique specialty items.  The jelly we had was infused with their Artic Raspberry Tea and we purchased one made with their Earl Gray Cream Tea to enjoy at home!

The Tea Sweets were each incredible and included a Lemon Chess Pie, Flourless Chocolate Cake and Lemon Curd Tart served with a fresh strawberry – you’ll have to just imagine these because we were so excited to try them that I forgot to take a picture!!


To conclude our morning at the plantation, we had the privilege of meeting Margaret Weston, a sweet grass basket weaver from Mt. Pleasant, SC, who displays and sells her handcrafted items in the shop.  She has been making baskets since she was little and was delightful to talk with while she was setting up an outside display for the day’s special event.  Of course, we brought home one of her baskets too!


We left Georgetown and headed further south for the afternoon past Charleston to Wadmalaw Island in the heart of South Carolina's Lowcountry. 





I had always wanted to visit the Charleston Tea Plantation, especially since I talk about it in my tea presentations as the only location tea is grown in America.  It is a scenic location reminiscent of what I always imagined a Southern plantation to be as you drive along Maybank Highway on this unspoiled island.


clip_image020The production of tea has always intrigued me and it was a great opportunity to see the whole process from growing the cuttings of Camellia sinensis in the new greenhouse . . .




. . . to the young and then . . .










. . . the mature plants in the fields



on the educational Trolley Tour.



The Tea Factory tour provided additional information on the actual steps in the processing of the leaves to produce and package their famous American Classic Tea. 




















We also spent a lot of time in the newly expanded Plantation Gift Shoppe, where we saw this mapclip_image036of tea production around the world, sampled one of the new American Classic blends - Island Green Mint - iced and found a few treasures to take home as a reminder of the experience.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit either of these plantations I know you will be blessed.  We definitely were and we’ll be going back to both!!



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