Where: Savannah, GA
Style: 1920s apothecary cum tearoom
Tea Selection: 10 loose leaf teas by Harney & Sons
Teatimes: Monday to Saturday 11 to 6; Sunday 11 to 3
Reservations: 24-hour notice required for 11 to 4 seatings Monday through Saturday; otherwise, walk-ins welcome
Cost: $20 Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tip: Invite the fellas to the Gryphon. It’s ideal both for the ambiance (after all, the building was designed by a fraternal organization) and because you can spontaneously order brunch or lunch items along with your afternoon tea, to satisfy the hearty appetite.
Destination Tea Notes: By now, our followers know we adore the romance of taking tea in a historic venue, but we say the Gryphon’s afternoon tea menu merits our praise independent of its architecture and interior design. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) runs the Gryphon, weaving past and future together by employing SCAD students to design, cook, bake and serve in this historic space. Our young waiter proudly answers our questions about the building. We learn Freemasons originally designed it as a Masonic temple (ballrooms still remain on upper floors), whose construction was completed in 1923 and deeded to Scottish Rite, at which time the Solomon brothers opened an apothecary on the ground floor, which finally in 1998, was converted to a tearoom. The afternoon tea here focuses on doing the traditional elements well, from quality teas to freshly baked and prepared scones, tea sandwiches and pastries. There are definite gasps as the dessert course is presented, and discovering that it tastes as delicious as it looks, we dub it the star of the Gryphon’s afternoon tea.