Seduced by Savannah

I’d been wanted to visit Savannah FOREVER, especially after reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

So when DJ announced he had a work conference in Florida – a mere six hour drive from Savannah – I was desperate to make a side trip.

DJ has never read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and never really given Savannah as a destination much thought, but he agreed to the epic journey anyway.

He initially suggested we stay in a generic hotel to keep costs down, but I said noooooooo, if we stay in Savannah it has to be somewhere with CHARACTER.

I could tell he was skeptical, especially when he heard the room rate, but he was totally blitzed when we arrived on the doorstep of Kehoe House after dropping our rental car at Savannah Airport, because it was GORGEOUS.

The Kehoe House was built in 1892 for a Mr and Mrs Kehoe and their 10 children. It was eventually sold by the Kehoe family in 1930. In the 30 years following the sale, the property was used as a boarding house, funeral parlour, and held for a time by Alabama and New York Jets football star, Joe Namath.

We walked through the divine front doors of Kehoe House to be greeted by a receptionist who asked us to sit down and have a glass of homemade lemonade while we decided what we’d like to have for breakfast the next morning (we chose the Southern eggs benedict), and got the rundown on all the bed and breakfast’s special features, which included wine and nibbles every night from 5pm to 7pm.

And then we were taken to our room, which was beyond lovely. I think the approximately $250 a night room tariff was too bad, considering some of the crappy accommodation you get for that price in Australia. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Kehoe House if you have a visit to Savannah on the cards.

On our first night, DJ came up with the left-field suggestion of going to a duelling pianos bar called Savannah Smiles. It was hilarious. We loved every minute, though it was a bit disturbing when the paramedics arrived and strapped an unconscious, middle-aged woman onto a stretcher and wheeled her out.

Have you ever been to a duelling pianos bar? There are – obviously – two pianos on stage and two very versatile pianists who take requests (when accompanied by tips). They know the words and music to EVERYTHING. Grease, Frozen, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, various country music classics I’m totally unfamiliar with …

Such a fun night out.

On the second night, we asked the Kehoe House receptionist for a recommendation on a bar with a view since I’d gone to the trouble of frocking up and donning red stilettos I bought a few days earlier at an outlet mall Orlando.

Her suggestion on a bar was brilliant: Top Deck, at the Cotton Sail Hotel. Originally built as a cotton warehouse in 1859, it’s located on historic River Street – with its solid brick exterior, stone ballast accents, exposed ceiling rafters and arched openings between bays, the venue has retained much of its historic charm.

We sipped white wine while looking out over the lights of the city and harbour. Gorgeous.

By day, we went on a trolley tour of the city and wandered around checking out the atmospheric local cemetery and amazing architecture, including Mercer House from the Midnight book.

The city is crawling with tourists – it must drive the locals mad – but it still manages to retain loads of character.

We totally loved our weekend there.

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