The Olde Pink House

 

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As I planned activities for my trip to Savannah, Georgia, one restaurant kept popping into my awareness…The Olde Pink House in the heart of the historic district. When I checked out the online menu and found a vegan burger, I made a lunch reservation for day three of my trip.

I’m glad I did. This property is so much more than a restaurant.

The Olde Pink House title

Why is The Olde Pink House…Pink?

There’s a reason for the name of this restaurant. The property began life as a house and the color was unintentional.

In 1771, James Habersham Jr began construction on an elaborate mansion on Abercorn Street in Savannah. The exterior of the house was made from red bricks, that were then covered with white plaster. It’s not known whether the bricks were poor quality or whether the plastering job was faulty, but the red from the bricks bled through the plaster, turning the house a distinct shade of pink.

Fearing he would be ridiculed for living in a pink house, Habersham continually painted the exterior white, as did many different owners over the years. Whenever the pink began to show through, a fresh coat of white paint was applied.

However, when the new owner of the house bought it in the 1920s, to open a tea room, she chose to not fight the inevitable. She painted the house pink and pink it has been since.

The Olde Pink House fireplace
One of many fireplaces in The Olde Pink House

The History of The Olde Pink House

James Habersham Jr was one of Savannah’s most important cotton brokers and a founding family of the city. He occupied the house until his death in 1799.

Habersham House, as it was known then, survived the Savannah fire of 1796 that destroyed 229 other properties. In 1812 the home transformed into Planters Bank, the first bank in Georgia.

After the Civil War, the property changed hands several times, becoming an attorney’s office, a bookstore and Alida Harper Fowlkes’ Georgian Tea Room.

Jim Williams, the famous owner of the Mercer House and featured in the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book, purchased the property in the 1940s and restored it. By 1970, the house underwent another renovation that included upgrading the foundation. Twin fireplaces were uncovered in the basement. These fireplaces were part of the original cooking kitchen and are now a highlight of the basement tavern.

The restaurant opened in the building in 1971 and continues today with the addition of Arches Bar, located on the south side and Planters Tavern in the basement.

The Olde Pink House brick fireplace
One of 13 dining rooms in The Olde Pink House

The Ghosts of The Olde Pink House

It turns out, not only is The Olde Pink House a fine place to eat, it also makes the list of haunted locations in Savannah.

The ghost of James Habersham Jr is said to appear in the restaurant, wearing his Colonial clothes while drinking an ale. He is often seen in the basement tavern, people watching as guests enjoy what used to be his home. Some have even supposedly had a conversation with Habersham, only to have him disappear suddenly.

Employees of the restaurant see Habersham’s ghost. He’s been known to straighten table settings and push chairs into place. He is also blamed for lighting candles on tables throughout the restaurant.

Other The Olde Pink House Ghosts

A friendly Revolutionary War veteran spirit visits the bar and asks visitors to raise a glass for a toast. A sobbing female ghost lingers on the second floor.

Former servants appear wandering throughout the house. Frequently patrons get locked into the women’s restroom. And children who died from Yellow Fever can be heard in the basement, playing tricks on guests or even hitting the bartenders and wait staff.

The wait staff are very happy to share ghost stories about The Olde Pink House and encourage diners to tour the house and tavern after they finish their meals.

Check out more Savannah Ghost Stories.

The Olde Pink House basement seating
Seating in the basement tavern at The Olde Pink House

Tips for Enjoying a Meal at The Olde Pink House

The restaurant is located at 23 Abercorn Street, on Reynolds Square. Reservations are required. Click this LINK to make yours. I recommend making reservations well in advance of your trip to Savannah.

There are 13 dining rooms throughout the restaurant, in various rooms of the original house. You can also dine in Planters Tavern, which is only open in the evenings.

Casual wear is appropriate for dining at The Olde Pink House although you can also dress up if you wish.

The Olde Pink House offers southern influenced cuisine and features a large selection of fish, beef, pork and chicken entrees. Crispy flounder with apricot shallot sauce is their mainstay meal. Other favorites include fried green tomato BLT and braised pork. Their signature praline basket filled with berries is the perfect way to end the meal. They also offer a vegan burger and salads. See their menu HERE.

The Olde Pink House ballroom
The Olde Pink House ballroom, where I dined.

My Experience at The Olde Pink House

I arrived ahead of my lunch reservation so I could take photos in Reynolds Square and capture the outside of the property. When I entered the foyer, I was seated immediately in the upstairs ballroom.

I enjoyed a vegan burger for lunch along with crispy onion rings and the wonderful praline basket with berries for dessert. My waiter was attentive and full of interesting historical facts about The Olde Pink House. He also shared a number of ghost stories with me and invited me to look around after my meal. Although the basement tavern was not open yet, he gave me permission to walk around there.

It was fun to explore the house, peeking into the various dining rooms. The beautiful house structures are still there, along with time appropriate antiques and art.

There were four other people in the basement tavern when I first enter that area. By the time I explored the old wine cellars, now converted to intimate dining areas, I was alone in the tavern. As I turned to exit a cellar, something smacked me hard on the forehead. I stopped in surprise and raised a hand to my head as I peered around. No one was there. Nothing hung low from the ceiling that I’d run into. My only explanation is that one of those mischievous ghost children in the basement played a trick on me!

The Olde Pink House cellar
I had just exited this cellar when an unseen force smacked me in the forehead.

Will You Dine at The Olde Pink House on Your Trip to Savannah?

I highly recommend this restaurant in Savannah, not just for the food, but for the historical importance of the property and for the fun possibility of encountering a ghost!

It’s a beautiful house to explore and the wait staff are eager to share stories as they deliver your meal and keep your glass filled.

Next time I’m in Savannah, I intend to dine in the tavern, where live music is often performed. And this time, I’ll be watching those shadowy corners for a wee trickster ghost.

Will you dine in The Olde Pink House when you visit Savannah? Or have you enjoyed a meal here?

Intimate dining room
One of the smaller dining rooms.

 

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Whit’s Fur Ye’ll No Go By Ye: Scottish Inspiration for Life

 

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One of the aspects of travel that I most appreciate is learning about a new culture. The people, the language and the customs all reveal more about a country.

Scotland is dear to my heart. I’ve visited that beautiful country more than any other. And during my visits I’ve collected a variety of proverbs, sayings and expressions that are equally dear to me.

These are some of my favorite finds, Scottish inspiration for life…mine and others.

 

Scottish Inspiration for Life title

 

Scottish Inspiration for Life

I’ve embraced my Scottish heritage, from practicing afternoon tea to wearing my clan’s tartan to adopting Scottish expressions. For sure, there are many humorous Scottish sayings, with some that cause non-Scots to scratch their heads in bewilderment.

This collection shares some of the deep wisdom from the earthy, practical people of Scotland while maintaining their unique wording and yes, their wit.

We’re A’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns

Translation: We are all God’s children, all created equal.

Jock Tamson is the Scottish term for “everyman”. No one is better than anyone else and every person has value.

This saying originated in the 19th century with a much loved Scots minister, Reverend John Thomsan. He was fond of calling his congregation his “bairns” which means children.

Failin Means Yer Playin

Translation: It’s better to try and fail than not try at all.

Some add “ye cannae win if yer no in the game”. You’ll never know what you can do if you don’t try!

Get this inspirational saying on a tee!

Scottish Inspiration for Life Royal Mile
Scottish Inspiration for Life – the beauty of the Royal Mile in Old Town.

A Nod’s as Guid as a Wink for a Blind Horse

Translation: Explain yourself well and make your meaning clear.

Make your words precise and clear and then don’t worry if some don’t understand your meaning or agree with you. You may not change people’s minds but it’s not worth the stress and hassle to argue. Say what you mean and stand by your words and then move on.

A Lie is Half-Way Roon Scotland Afore the Truth Has Its Boots Oan

Translation: Watch what you say. Bad news, lies and gossip travel fast.

Speak the truth. A lie not only catches the liar eventually, it spreads much faster than the truth. And be discerning with what you hear or read. It may not be true.

Scottish Inspiration for Life Edinburgh Castle
Scottish Inspiration for Life – Edinburgh Castle

It’s a Lang Road That’s No Goat a Turnin

Translation: It’s a long road that does not have a turn.

Don’t lose heart. Things won’t go on in the same direction forever. Even during challenging or dark times, don’t give up. Keep going. This will pass and things will get better.

Keep the Heid

Translation: Keep calm and carry on.

Everything will be okay. Don’t get anxious or upset. Stay level headed. You will get through this.

Scottish Inspiration for Life Dean Village laundry
Scottish Inspiration for Life – laundry drying in Dean Village

Yer a Long Time Deid

Translation: Seize the day and live it to the fullest.

We are all mortal. Death comes soon enough. Don’t wait to do the things you really want to do in life. Pursue what brings you joy, with no regrets.

Lang May Yer Lum Reek

Translation: Good luck and good fortune to you, in the future.

This phrase is typically used during New Year’s as a toast to one’s health and a wish for long life. The phrase literally means “long may your chimney smoke”.

Scottish Inspiration for Life John Knox House
Scottish Inspiration for Life – John Knox House on Royal Mile

Whit’s Fur Ye’ll No Go By Ye

Translation: What’s meant for you will come to you.

This expression is my current favorite. It’s similar to the expression “what will be, will be”. I love it because the expression reminds me to stay in the flow of life and trust that what is meant for me, will come to me at the exact right time. If I stay open, then I can’t miss what’s for me. And if it’s not for me, it won’t happen. I can accept that and let it go.

This saying is on a shirt as well. I’m ordering one!

Which Scottish Inspiration for Life is Your Favorite?

I’m sure I’ll keep adding to this inspirational list. Every time I visit Scotland, I jot another one down. And when I read these, I hear them spoken, in my head, with a thick Scottish accent.

You can find more fun Scottish sayings HERE.

Which one of these expressions is your favorite?

Scottish Inspiration for Life Thirlestane Castle
I dreamed of seeing this castle all of my life. It didn’t go by me. I’ve been to Thirlestane Castle three times now.

 

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