Thursday, March 7, 2013

Great tea time in Atlanta

Tea time at Atlanta's Swan Coach House

The last weekend in February, my husband, Chris and I spent a mini vacation in Atlanta with two of our kids, Matt and Rachel. The original purpose of the trip was to see Matt’s good friend perform at the Aurora Theater, a charming venue in Lawrenceville, just outside of Hotlanta. Of course, I wanted to seek out a wonderful place for tea –which I found at the Swan Coach House (see Detroit Tea Examiner's article:  Swan Coach House: Southern dining with tea house feel). 

In between tea and the performance, we also squeezed in a visit to The World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, the home of Margaret Mitchell, the restaurant JCT for a sampling of Southern Cooking and one breakfast at the Waffle House. (There are no WH’s in Michigan, so my daughter requests a visit anytime we’re within driving distance of one).

At the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville next to stars' billing
Set of  the play is South African tea room

 I suppose when your sensitivity is raised for a particular theme, you find it, but it was fun to see where tea showed up – expected and unexpectedly - along our travels.  It was clear we’d have tea and tea sandwiches at the Swan Coach House, but I didn't know the scene of the play we were seeing Saturday evening took place in a tea room in South Africa. “Master Harold and the Boys”, which featured my son’s friend, Hazen, is a gripping drama about the pains of dealing with a dysfunctional family, the comforts of a surrogate family and the clashing of the two under strict apartheid rules of the 1950’s.  I won’t give anything away, except that you might want to come with a few extra tissues in hand.  I will add, for this adaptation, the acting was superb!

Inside the World of Coca-Cola's tasting room
Tea, fruit and Beverly drinks 

We arrived late Friday night, but packed in a lot on Saturday. Aside from the Swan Coach House and the play, we went to the World of Coca-Cola and, it too, had an element of tea.  The Coke museum is a bit of a living commercial for the iconic American soft drink, but there’s a lot of interesting displays and memorabilia. One of our favorite exhibits was the tasting room. Here there were several kiosks that allowed guests to help themselves to a variety of soft drinks from around the world. And – yes, indeed, there were a few that fell under the “tea” category.  Nothing there lured me away from my favorite cup of hot tea, but some of the fruity beverages were pretty good. Word of caution, however - stay away from Italy’s “Beverly”. Don’t know what’s in that drink, but it’s not one you’ll want to take savor for long.

Necessary visit to the Waffle House

Walking along the path of celebrities outside the Aquarium 
Inside Atlanta's Aquarium

 Sunday, we hit the Waffle House for breakfast then headed to the Aquarium on what was the most beautiful day of the weekend – sunny and upper 60’s.  After 20 degree temps in Detroit, it was a refreshing change to walk around without a jacket.  From the amazing exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium, we took a short drive to the Margaret Mitchell House, where the famous author wrote most of Gone With the Wind. Now, of all the places we hit that day, I thought there might surely be a Southern tea connection to Margaret Mitchell, but we found more tea at the House of Coke than the home on Peachstreet.  However, Rachel and I did get to practice on a typewriter, circa Mitchell’s time. And, I can tell you, tea blogging on one of those would have taken a lot more time and erasures than my cherished laptop will ever know.

Blog will be late today due to slow typing

Margaret Mitchell House where most of GWTW was written

After that, the kids went one direction and Chris and I went another, specifically to JCT Kitchen and Bar for a taste of regional cooking. Although the tables were packed like a European bistro without a lot of personal space, it has a pretty interior with great food and service. We ate more than just deep fried this and that, but, of course, we had to sample southern fried chicken.  Naturally, it was delicious!

JCT Sunday dinner selection of fried chicken and collard greens

Our last night in Atlanta ended at our hotel lobby in front of  a big screen TV seated on leather couches watching the Oscars where we reconnected with Matt, Rachel and Hazen. 

Back at our hotel to watch the Academy Awards
If I were giving awards out, I certainly would bestow one to every site we visited in Atlanta, but sorry, Beverly, nothing for you.

Great time in Hotlanta!


parTea lady said...

So glad you had such a wonderful time in Atlanta. You certainly did pack a full itinerary into a short trip! The Swan Coach House is still on my list of places to visit. Enjoyed all your photos.

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