The First December Weekend in Savannah was PACKED with Holiday Events and Festivities and your Local Concierge was out Decking the Halls in Gay Apparel in order to bring you the biggest and brightest highlights. ‘TIS the season to celebrate the Holly Days in Savannah so I’ve included my Top Gift Ideas from the Historic District for that HIP CHIC on your shopping list, (HINT, HINT!)
The Downtown Design District Holiday Open House kicked off my whirlwind weekend of festivities on Thursday, December 5th with its unique collection of antique stores, art galleries, clothing boutiques, home interiors and MORE.
My first stop of the evening was a glance at the Mamie Ruth & M. Liz Trunk Show which I discovered by following a trail of glowing luminary lanterns that lighted my way. I was greeted by owner/designer Emily Bargeron, who welcomed me with a glass of Sangria (score) and a tour of the studio.
Emily explained that the location on 20 West Taylor Street is actually her design space and not a retail location. However, Emily will do custom creations upon request so shoppers can make appointments to meet her there. You can find Mamie Ruth clothes in boutiques all over Georgia and throughout the United States including their next door neighbor, Custard Boutique.
After a great time at Mamie Ruth, I ventured over to the James Hogan Boutique to drool over the amazing selection of Couture and Ready-to-Wear Dresses and exquisitely crafted accessories. For those of you who don’t know who James Hogan is, PICK UP A FASHION MAGAZINE why don’t you!!! His clothes have appeared in Women’s Wear Daily, W, Vogue, and Town & Country as well as other leading fashion publications and his designs are carried by fine Retailers and Boutiques throughout the United States. There are only two places in the world to shop at a James Hogan Boutique and they are Worchester, MA and Savannah, GA which adds even more appeal to the experience and to the charm of our great city.
SAVANNAH HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA #2 – An electric blue JNB Design clutch from James Hogan for $60. For more gift ideas visit the James Hogan Website
The Next stop on the tour is The Corner Door, located just across the street from James Hogan on Whitaker. The Corner Door is owned by one of my favorite Savannah Locals, Elizabeth Myers, who is a master at finding UNIQUITIES to fill her beautiful store. There is SO much to see at The Corner Door you can spend hours there, and the staff are so friendly and knowledgeable.
I fell in LOVE with their great collection of Antique Jewelry and was surprised that there were many items that I could afford. If you are looking for a rare or elegant gift, The Corner Door is your destination.
SAVANNAH HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA #3 – An Antique Pendant from The Corner Door from $5 to $20. Sorry Cyber Geeks, No Website for the Corner Door so for more gift ideas visit the store at 417 Whitaker Street in Savannah, (you’ll be glad you did!)
My final stop for the night takes me down the stairs to my favorite shop in the District, Madame Chrysanthemum. Disguised as a mere floral boutique, Madame Chrysanthemum offers more to shoppers than meets the eye. Owner and Designer Michele Mikulec has an amazing talent for creation and I have admired her work for many years.
I am obsessed with her store because you will always find something that you would never think was even possible to craft – and I love that.
SAVANNAH HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA #4 – A Hand-Crafted Owl Figurine from Madame Chrysanthemum for $28.95. For more gift ideas visit the Madame Chrysanthemum Facebook Page
Now we will move on to discuss my next weekend event, The Wright Square Merchants Association Holiday Open House which took place on Friday, December 6th. City Market and Broughton Streets also had their Holiday Open Houses that same night but I have attended four of the Wright Square Holiday Parties and wouldn’t miss it for the world. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that this is their THIRTEENTH Year hosting the event, but I think that all the other open houses should take notes, (and maybe pick another night.) There were carolers and musicians walking the streets to put you in the spirit of the season and the merchants really outdid themselves on the food and beverages.
Wright Square Café was the first place I visited because I wanted to make sure I got there before all of the food was gone. One room was devoted to food entirely; with jams, chutneys and spreads galore and it was full of hungry visitors. Wright Square Café has a terrific selection of chocolates, gourmet foods and local products along with many novelty items for food and wine lovers.
I was VERY impressed with the affordable prices as many times local products can be pricey. I also discovered a new local treat that I had never been introduced to, the Olde Savannah Rum Cake. WHO KNEW? They have spiced rum, chocolate, peach, chocolate chip, pina colada, banana and even Gluten and Sugar Free options. YUMMM!!
SAVANNAH HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA #5 – A Wooden Piano Shaped Cutting Board and Wine/Cheese Set Combination from Wright Square Cafe – You’ll have to see it to believe it. Very cool gift for only $43.99. For more gift ideas, visit the Wright Square Café Website
The second store I visited on my holiday stroll on York Street was Simply Irresistible who was also holding a fundraiser to help fight alzheimer’s disease. Simply Irresistible is the perfect name for this ecletic boutique which has everything you could think of, and just as many things you would NEVER think of. If you want a place to find fun and quirky gifts for your friends, this is a good place to start looking. They have everything from Wine Glasses to Fluffy Slippers but there is really so much to see that you need to shop for yourself.
Simply Irresistible wins the award for Best Food at an Open House with a DELICIOUS selection from Chef John Nicols from the Crystal Beer Parlor. I have never seen spread like this at a Free Event! Chef John had a Hot Reuben Dip with Rye Pita Chips, Spicy Meat Balls with Tzatziki Sauce and a Sun Dried Tomato Torte which was unbelievable.
However, his Georgia Seaweed completely stole the show with its unique combination of Blue Claw Crab Meat, Mushrooms and Spinach served hot. MMMMMM, so yummy. Maybe the most useful piece of information I received all evening was that Crystal Beer Parlor and Chef John Nicols offer catering!
SAVANNAH HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA #6 – A Gift Certificate to Simply Irresistible in any amount because I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted so I want everything. For more gift ideas, visit the Simply Irresistible Facebook Page
The last stop on my Wright Square list was the Liquid Sand Glass Gallery at 5 W. York Street in the former home of the Wayne Chambers Gallery. I have never visited the gallery before and I discovered that they are Savannah’s only Gallery dedicated to American Studio Glass. I really enjoyed admiring all of the vases, lighting, sculptures and jewelry in the gallery and found some really special gift ideas for some of my friends.
SAVANNAH HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA #7 – A Hand Crafted Glass WAVE for the Surfer in All of Us. These are Really Cool! For more gift ideas visit the Liquid Sands Gallery Website
I would like to thank all of the stores and boutiques that participated in bringing these open houses to the public. I had a great time at both events and I will definitely be back next year.
Savannah is made great by its people and its businesses, thank you to all of the shoppers out there who support our Savannah economy – buy local!