Friday, June 28, 2013

Charleston Tea Party Tours

 On previous trips to Charleston, I learned of the Charleston Tea Party Tours
(no connection to the political party). 
I called Laura Wichmann Hipp for reservations
prior to our departure from home. 
Laura picked us up at 9:00 a.m. at our hotel, The Mills House Hotel.  She drove us
in a 15-passenger van with five ladies from Phoenix, a couple from New York City, 
and Austin, Glenn and me.  

We have taken many different Charleston tours and visited the area numerous times. 
I booked Laura's tour because she advertised she takes her tour participants
into historic private homes and gardens, 
a peek into the Charleston most tourists don't see. 

An early stop on the tour was The Palmer Home Bed and Breakfast 
located on the Battery, built in 1848.
The view was amazing looking out on Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbour. 
We enjoyed a full southern buffet breakfast of:
Scrambled Eggs, Cheese Grits, Bacon, Fresh Watermelon, Assorted Biscuits and Pastries 
Orange Juice, Coffee, and Tea. 

We continued on to visit antique-filled private homes and gardens
while Laura, an historian and preservationist, told us stories and 
the history of the city where she was born and raised.  

 This pool and lawn look like they could be 
a photo out of Southern Living Magazine. 

After touring homes and gardens, Laura served the group lunch
 at her home overlooking the Ashley River for lunch and tea.  

 She made a special gluten free lunch for me, 
fresh shrimp on her favorite local rice. 
 Her housekeeper assisted in the set-up and serving, but Laura did all the 
food preparations herself.  
 Dessert was almond cookies and a delicious homemade citrus ice cream
topped with a homemade blueberry sorbet.  
 Laura served a delightful Amhad Tea London English Afternoon Blend.
I can't believe I forgot to take photos of the tea.  It is a blend with the muscatel character of Darjeeling, and with the full bodied strength of Assam.  A touch of bergamot is added for a citrus taste.
Lunch and tea were served on her 19th century Cantonware. 

Our family enjoyed this unique opportunity to tour with
Laura Wichmann Hipp of Charleston Tea Party Tours.  

You may contact Laura at 
or 843-577-5896

Just FYI --
14 year old Austin thoroughly enjoyed this special history tour and tea experience! 


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