Escape to Madison - Part 1
We all need a place like Madison, Georgia to escape to. We need the happy, unhurried, horse drawn carriage atmosphere of life reimagined in the early and mid 1800's; unplugging from the 21st century, even if only for a brief weekend.
There are over a 100 antebellum and period homes, beauifully restored, in Madison.
My friend, Lauren, who joined me on the trip, was here with her mother and sister from California a few weeks ago. One of the charming moments they witnessed was a horse-drawn funeral procession taking place. The sister asked, "What century are we in?"
Each year there is the Madison Holiday Tour of Homes. I can't believe that as long as I've lived in Atlanta (18 years) this was my first time attending this tour. Usually I'll go to the Atlanta Holiday Home Tour or my local Roswell Tours. We chose to stroll the candlelight tour on Saturday, which was from 5-9pm. But before we made our way to Madison we checked into the most adorable Airbnb farmhouse with a detached guest house, 16 miles west in the town of Social Circle. Don't you love that name? Social Circle. Here is the farmhouse and a photo of the guest house.
Delighfuly unhurried, this farmhouse was. Here is the link to check into this little slice of peach pie. You will be greeted by a minimum of 6 dogs running to lick your face upon your arrival, several horses in the pasture, chickens, and donkeys. The host is Gabe and his family. He was very charming and had lots of suggestions of where to eat during our visit. My husband and I have three dogs at home so I eagerly awaited those canine kisses each day. Here are 3 of them gathered on the front porch. There were 2 beagles running around somewhere, but aren't these faces adorable?
Winnie is on the right (We also have a Winnie). I don'tt remember the name of the one to her left, but it is her offspring.
The sister offspring. This is Lulu. Those eyes!
Gabe keeps carrots in the refrigerator for guests to feed the donkeys and horses. Look at this baby's face through the fence. I love the ears peeking above the top rail.
It was time to find our lunch destination so we headed to historic Covington. There is a downtown square like so many of our small towns here in the South, where many movies and TV shows are filmed. Most notably, Covington is know as the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, in the American TV series, Vampire Diaries. I've never seen the show but I know it's widly popular. We saw the clock tower that is prominent in the series and went and bought Christmas presents at the gift shop at Mystic Grill.
We chose to have lunch at the very popular City Pharmacy. It sits on the corner of the town square. The crowds from the Christmas Parade had just left so we got parking right up front. This restaurant is spectacular. The outside mural says "Tasty Eats & Classic Sips. It's Guaranteed to Cure." To repeat: "What century are we in?"
I didn't know what to expect with a name such as City Pharmacy. The restaurant had excellent reviews. I expected an old fashioned soda shop with metal bar stools but I was way off the mark. Here is your first impression as you walk in the door.
I have a fondness (strike-through) WEAKNESS, for black and white flooring and these tiles set the tone for what was going to be one of the best lunch experiences I've had in my life. The restaurant is long and narrow, complimenting the graphic pattern of the tiles. Along the back wall are documents from the pharmacy's early days in the1920's when it opened, including an original license to sell narcotics. Now instead of elixirs and cough syrups to cure what is ailing you, there is a fancy bar and upscale dining environment.
The best staff! This is Thomas and Donna. They were both so charasmatic and enjoyed working there as much as we loved dining there. There are no strangers in the South. All are kind and treat one another as family.
Here is a snapshot of the lunch menu. I had the 4th item down: the Flying Chicken. Lauren tried the Scottish Salmon, two down from that. I'll let the photo do the talking.
That's not bread it's layered on. It's a grilled, glazed donut. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It.Was.Incredible.
To be happily continued....