Tea at The Gryphon

1 09 2014

Exactly 1 year ago today, I was in England and had nearly reached London coming from Portsmouth. The next day we finally had tea (in Selfridges, see here), but I never got to try full afternoon tea in England. Been sort of obsessed with finding it for the past few weeks. Sadly, Jacksonville only has 2 tea places, one of which has great food but isn’t exactly traditional. Then I found The Gryphon.

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I visited Savannah, Georgia yesterday where The Gryphon Tea Room is located right across from the art college’s (SCAD’s) student shop. It used to be a Pharmacy at the turn of the century.

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On Sundays they’re open from 11 – 3. We arrived at 2. I was worried it would be on the late side but ended up being perfect (minus a few items being off the menu since they’d had a crowd that day); we got one of the best tables.

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Parking is hard – we found a lot that was free on weekends, though conveniently it didn’t say that anywhere. We only found out when someone told us after fumbling at the credit-only pay machine for 5 minutes.

mortar and pestle

mortar and pestle

books everywhere...

books everywhere…

Gorgeous!!

Gorgeous!!

The stained glass over the chandelier/lamp is so beautiful; what a centerpiece!

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The entire place is just as eye-catching. It has an old world ornateness that you almost never see this far into the south.

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Their afternoon tea is $18 per person. They had maybe 8 kinds of tea to choose from. I choose one with orange and berry tones – called a something Autumn. Don’t remember exactly.

cell phone picture, blah, but you get the idea

cell phone picture, blah, but you get the idea

The tea set-up, above,  before food arrives…

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What I’ve been waiting for! A 3-tiered vision of yumminess.

cream and jam for the scone

cream and jam for the scone

The cream was amazing – tasted like clotted cream, just like a whipped sweet butter.

cranberry scone

cranberry scone

The scone tasted fresh and was perfect with the cream and jam…though I prefer just cream.

Tea sandwich!

Tea sandwich!

2 of these (above) were cucumber; the other 2 were chicken salad.

1 of 4 little desserts

1 of 4 little desserts

I thought this dessert was a macaron at first, but it wasn’t really. It was a denser poppyseed cookie with strawberry icing in the middle. Very good! The others were a sort of shortbread cookie with a thin layer of jam in the middle, a chocolate cup with a melty caramel, and a rich chocolate mousse cup topped with a raspberry.

The bill comes inside of an old book rather than a billfold.

The bill comes inside of an old book rather than a standard black billfold thing.

I can’t get over how gorgeous the entire room was:

one of 2 couch-type areas above the rest of the seating

one of 2 couch-type areas above the rest of the seating

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This was the main event, but we did walk around the rest of Savannah. It’s very old south, old Georgia. Oglethorpe is everywhere.

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I really enjoyed The Gryphon and would recommend it to anyone. They have brunch as well on Sundays, which I’ve heard is delicious. 🙂

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Solder On

22 11 2013

It's project time!

It’s project time!


My parents dabbled in stained glass once upon a time, so I decided to play with some supplies. At a very basic level, concepts are simple:
solder

solder


First, you need some solder (pronounced “sauter” …. pretty sure I’m spelling that right even though it looks wrong). Solder is a relatively soft metal alloy that melts into this liquid silver stuff.
Soldering iron

Soldering iron


Then you need an iron like the one above. My dad made this contraption – a thing to hold the iron and a wet sponge (to clean the solder off of it). The iron starts smoking when you plug it in, which is apparently normal.
flux

flux


Then you need flux. I have no idea what this is but it’s brown, sticky, and looks disgusting. You put the flux on your copper tape (see the first picture) and it helps the solder adhere.
First I tried soldering a small piece of glass:
Step 1: wrap copper wire

Step 1: wrap copper wire


Copper tape (I keep thinking of it as wire) is thin, not too expensive, and easy to shape. You wrap the edges of the piece, folding down on either side. Because of the item’s curves, you’re going to get some bumps.
Step 2: burnish

Step 2: burnish


This may or may not be the right terminology, but you can use a burnishing tool to smooth down some of the bumps. I used the edge of a scissors, which isn’t the best, but it helped. At this stage, you’ll want to add flux with a little brush or stick.
Step 3: Solder

Step 3: Solder


Then you do the soldering. You take the heated iron and touch the tip of it to the solder wire. It will melt it and catch it (some will drip though, so do this over a piece of old wood or something – not something metal though, because metal conducts heat). Then touch the iron to the copper tape and apply the silver solder. It beads up and drips sometimes, but you can smooth it over. The item can get hot to hold, so it helps to have a clamp or something to hold it for you.
Step 4: For a pendant, add a jump ring.

Step 4: For a pendant, add a jump ring.


Because I was making a tiny piece, I decided to add a jump ring and turn it into a charm. You hold the jump ring in place with a needle nosed pliers and then apply solder to it. Remove the iron and keep holding it in place until it cools.

So, that worked kind of well. Then I had this “brilliant” idea. I purchased a bunch of ammonites and wanted to turn them into pendants for necklaces. I’m too cheap for silver bezel wire, so I thought this might be a good alternative. Why shouldn’t it work the same way, right?

Copper wrapped ammonite

Copper wrapped ammonite


So I wrapped copper tape around an ammonite and grabbed the iron.
holding the shell in place, because it's too hot to touch!

holding the shell in place, because it’s too hot to touch!


…did the solder…but it wasn’t working well. When I tried to attach the jump ring, I made a little jumpy movement, and the ring fell into the solder. On instinct, I tried to pick it up with a tool, and this happened:
Sad :(

Sad 😦


The entire copper soldered wire fell off! 😦 The stone where it had been “adhered” too was left scarred – a paler tone than the rest of the shell. It looks pretty disgusting. So, not such a brilliant idea after all.
I may have to get that bezel wire after all…








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