British Influence on Savannah: 5 Old World Spots
Many people have commented on Savannah’s European feel, which isn’t surprising considering its retained the Old World charm General Oglethorpe imported from England. Our fair city’s walkability, antiquity and slower pace help keep Oglethorpe’s vision for Savannah intact–and help it continually land on Travel+Leisure’s “World’s Best Cities” list.
During our food tours, we share many tidbits about Savannah’s history and British influence, and we also recommend these five stops to experience Britain in Savannah.
#1: Oglethorpe Monument, Chippewa Square
Savannah owes so much of its historic charm to General Oglethorpe, who was born in England and came to establish the colony of Georgia. This happened in a large part to provide protection for Carolina from Florida, which was controlled by Spain at the time. Although he left Georgia after only 10 years to return home, he laid the groundwork for the historic city we call home today.
This huge, eerily beautiful cemetery holds secrets and stories that date back 300 years. Many of Savannah’s early residents were buried here as well as soldiers that fought in the Revolutionary War. Duels in Savannah claimed the lives of several British-born soldiers and leaders, and one of rumored the dueling grounds lies just outside the cemetery’s gates.
#3: Pie Society (part of our First Squares food tour)
This authentic British bakery offers traditional meat pies like steak/ale and chicken/thyme along with sausage and cheese rolls, loaves of bread, and of course, some sweets. Edward and his mom are British born but made the move to Savannah in 2013 to open Pie Society. He’s been known to start baking all night to prepare the next day’s items.
Like Pie Society, Churchill’s owner Andy Holmes is also a British expat. Holmes opened Churchill’s in 1996. Since then, Churchill’s has been offering Savannah locals and guests a taste of England with items like fish and chips, Guinness meatloaf, and shepherd’s pie alongside locally-sourced American dishes like street tacos and loaded mac + cheese. Their huge mahogany bar was also imported from the Mother country.
#5: Six Pence
You can’t miss Six Pence–just look for the iconic red phone booth and British flag out front. This intimate spot offers Welsh rarebit, bangers and mash, and The Ploughman’s lunch (crusty bread, soup, salad, wedge of cheddar, pickled onion and Branston pickle). They also serve two-brew drinks like Snakebites (lager + cider) and Black Velvet (Guinness + cider).
You might also enjoy BBC America’s “10 British Things About Savannah, GA.” Cheers!