Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop

Two towers adorn a Bucharest church.

Two towers adorn a Bucharest church.

When you ride through a new country, sometimes the only pictures you take are either blurry landscapes flashing before your eyes or architectural details atop buildings you see briefly seen from a back seat.  And in Romania, you can get a crick in your neck looking up at the some of the best toppers in the world.

A stately bell tower sits atop Sinai Monastery Old Church in Romania.

A stately bell tower sits atop Sinai Monastery Old Church in Romania.

Looking up at the top of Prejmer fortified church in Transylvania, Romania.

Looking up at the top of Prejmer fortified church in Transylvania, Romania.

Classy Romanian steeple -- made of wood?

Classy Romanian wooden steeple.

Look up at the WordPress Weekly Challenge: Atop for more of what’s on top!

 

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Storybook charm: England’s thatched cottages

A true storybook cottage in The Cotswolds

A true storybook cottage in The Cotswolds

Not many household adornments ooze more charm than cozy thatched roof cottages, and there’s no better place to find them than in England.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal called them “chocolate box cottages” because a photo of one them would be adorable to adorn a box of chocolates.  Made of straw or reed, thatched roofs are said to provide a cooler summer and warmer winter for residents who can pay up for what is now a luxury topper.  And, according to that same article, thatched roof homes have not only held their value, but risen in price considerably.  But during the Bronze Age when thatched roofs came into their own, thatching was just what you did to use what was on hand.

Neolithic thatched cottages at Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Salisbury, England.

Neolithic thatched cottages at Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Salisbury, England.

We first encountered thatching at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre where Neolithic cottages stood out back, a working demo, so to speak, that invited onlookers to move in close and take a look.

A couple of thatchers busy at work caught our attention, and we noted that the craft resembled basket weaving (well, sort of) since they seemed to be weaving the reeds under and over a foundation of sticks.

When you get up close, it sort of resembles basket weaving, don't you think?

When you get up close, it sort of resembles basket weaving, don’t you think?

When we left Stonehenge headed to the Cotswolds, our driver spotted a roofer in action.  Being the ever-vigilant, ever-attentive driver that he was, he screeched to a stop, and with cameras in hand we filed out of the car to catch a shot of a thatcher on his ladder hard at work.  (Not for the faint of heart, really.) When he saw us watching, he stopped a moment to wave, and then got right back to it.

Thatcher at work in The Cotswolds

Just another day of thatching!

One house, out of all the ones we saw, seemed to have it all.  We noted it in passing, and again, our driver took a U-turn so as to park right in front so we could catch this beauty. Not only did the roof with its patterned topper exude charm and mastery of design, the whole yard merited a second or third look. (And the concrete dogs weren’t too shabby, either!)

A storybook cottage with thatched roof in The Cotswolds, England.

A storybook cottage with thatched roof in The Cotswolds, England.

So, when in the Cotswolds at least, drive slowly.  You don’t want to miss these “chocolate box cottages.”  They really are as charming as you heard.  If you win the lottery, however, you can do more than just snap pictures as we did.  You’ll be living that storybook dream.

Thanks for touring the English countryside with us!  — Bert and Rusha

For more information:

Bloomfield, Ruth. “An Uptick in Britain’s Cottage Industry.” Wall Street Journal (January 27, 2017).  Retrieved from: http://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/52407-an-uptick-in-britain-s-thatched-roof-cottage-industry

Posted in Destination, England, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match

Lowcountry house and live oak tree in Bluffton, SC.

Lowcountry house and live oak tree in Bluffton, SC.

On the coast of South Carolina and throughout the Deep South, Lowcountry houses and live oak trees make good matches.  And sometimes you don’t see one without the other.

Live oaks (so called because they are the only variety to keep their leaves all year long) extend their arms to frame the property and add a touch of Southern grace to the landscape.  And then, as if that weren’t enough, live oak branches drip with Spanish moss that gently floats with the breeze.

Ah . . . Lowcountry home and a live oak tree:  a good match.

For more good matches, check out the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match. 

Posted in South Carolina, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Travel theme: Turquoise in South Carolina

Turquoise pottery bowl with turtle found in Beaufort, South Carolina

Turquoise pottery bowl with turtle found in Beaufort, South Carolina.

We were traveling on the coast of South Carolina when Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack posted her travel theme for the week:  Turquoise.  Beach towns are filled with this cheery color, so finding photo-worthy shots posed no problem.

At Harbor Town in Hilton Head’s Sea Pines Plantation stands this bust of Charles E. Fraser who transformed undeveloped shoreline property into the tasteful development we now know as Hilton Head.  With his guidance and advanced planning, the island became a centerpiece of lovely gardens, tasteful homes in muted colors, and bike trails, golf courses, and elegant shorelines. So powerful was his influence that the Hilton Head harbor was reconfigured to save the lovely live oak under which Fraser is now buried.

Bust of Charles E. Fraser, developer of Hilton Head Island, under live oak he preserved.

Bust of Charles E. Fraser, developer of Hilton Head Island, under live oak he preserved.

Turquoise clothing caught our eyes in the front window of S.M. Bradford Co. in Harbor Town.

Colorful island wear at S. M. Bradford Co., Hilton Head.

Colorful island wear at S. M. Bradford Co., Hilton Head.

At Dufuskie Island, you can rent tiny houses near the landing.  And if you’re gonna have fun, why not in a turquoise tiny house?

Turquoise rental house on Daufuskie Island, SC

Turquoise rental house on Daufuskie Island, SC

Businessman and boat captain (who willingly shares tales of the area), Wick Scurry, purchased the old Daufuskie Island lighthouse so that visitors could finally tour it.  (Go here for more info on how Scurry is revitalizing Daufuskie.) Beside the lighthouse, turquoise stakes hold up wires where scuppernong vines will hopefully grow and prosper.

Lighthouse at Daufuskie Island with stakes set out for scuppernong vines.

Lighthouse at Daufuskie Island with stakes set out for scuppernong vines.

Turquoise doors lay open to reveal barrels of scuppernong wine in the old Silver Dew Winery house on Daufuskie. (Free tastings were available at the lighthouse!)

Old Silver Dew Winery building on Daufuskie Island

Old Silver Dew Winery building on Daufuskie Island

For more examples of turquoise, head to Travel theme: Turquoise on Where’s My Backpack.

 

 

 

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Stonehenge: The mystery remains

Gray day mystique at Stonehenge

Gray day mystique at Stonehenge

Sometimes gray days just add to the atmosphere.  At least it did the day we left London to see Stonehenge, one of those places we had read about for years but really didn’t know if we’d see in our lifetime.  As you can imagine, we were in awe of this site to see.

Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, is about two and a half hours from London, giving us time to drive past Eton College and Windsor Castle.  The Visitor Center at Stonehenge, filled with information, artifacts, and visuals, drew us in immediately with a theatre-in-the-round experience showing the stone formations in various seasons. We stood “in the round” facing the ever-changing visuals, feeling as if we were there on snow days, sunny days, and even during summer solstice when the sun appears over the heel stone.

Sun coming through an opening at Stonehenge, from a video at the Visitor Center.

Sun coming through an opening at Stonehenge, from a video at the Visitor Center.

Of course, the mystique draws everyone in.  Theories notwithstanding, Stonehenge can be appreciated for what you see as much as for what it must have meant to the people building it some 5,000 years ago.  Volumes have been written about the purpose of Stonehenge, how the stones were found and moved to the site, and how the formation was constructed.  But even with all the research, mysteries remain.

Video shown at Stonehenge Visitor Center capturing a snowy day

Video shown at Stonehenge Visitor Center capturing a snowy day

Outside the Visitor Center, an assemblage of Neolithic thatched huts offers a glimpse of the tools and construction you might see during the New Stone Age.

Neolithic huts on display at Stonehenge

Neolithic huts on display at Stonehenge

And in the attempt to answer the question of how heavy bluestones were transported from the Presili Hills in Wales almost 200 miles away, an exhibit of an oblong boulder perched atop massive timbers provides insight on “how they did it.”

Demonstration of how stones might have been moved to site of Stonehenge

Demonstration of how stones might have been moved to site of Stonehenge

After spending time at the Visitor Center, we were ready for our pilgrmage up the long, winding walkway to what loomed large in the distance:  Stonehenge.  People stopped all along the way to point and take pictures. And we did the same.

The distance from the Visitor Center to the site added to the mystique at Stonehenge

The distance from the Visitor Center to the site added to the mystique at Stonehenge

Around 2500 B. C., sarsen stones (the larger ones) and bluestones were brought to the site and arranged in two concentric circles.  A horseshoe formation of five trilitons (two large stones topped by a lintel) stood inside the circle.  Only three are standing today.  Time has taken its toll on the stones and the formations, but the basic structure remains.

Mysterious Stonehenge

Mysterious Stonehenge

People stood near the roped-off site, quietly observing all angles of Stonehenge.  Some hugged their loved ones. Others stood with families and friends.  Some found a quiet spot to stare at the formation alone.

People react differently to Stonehenge.

People react differently to Stonehenge.

We stood without talking, taking pictures and pointing at what we saw.  And we moved slowly around the circular path to check out this place we were finally seeing with our own eyes from various perspectives.

A closer look at Stonehenge

A closer look at Stonehenge

With our telephoto, we zoomed in and out, trying to get close-up shots of weathering and nature’s forces on the stones.

Ever-changing view of Stonehenge

A walk around reveals another view of Stonehenge

In fields nearby, sheep grazed while cars and tourists rolled in to the area.

The drive to Stonehenge through rolling countryside

The drive to Stonehenge through rolling countryside

The bottom line is this: Stonehenge deserves to be seen.  There are many circles in the United Kingdom — some used for burial grounds, others for worship.  Some for both.  But if you can only visit one, make it Stonehenge.

Crowds stand in awe around the formation known as Stonehenge.

Crowds stand in awe around the formation known as Stonehenge.

Whether you’re drawn to construction, artistry, mystery, or religion, you’re sure to find something to admire.  And the visual of this spot, this formation, this moment when you see it . . . will stay with you forever.

Mysterious Stonehenge

Greeting Stonehenge one on one.

The mystery remains.

Stonehenge is an English Heritage site.  For more information, visit their website.

For more posts on our travels in England, click here.

 

 

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Parting shots: London

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

St. Paul’s Cathedral at sundown

Not many people would spend such a short time in London — only a day and a half for us. And most visitors would want to see all the places marked in bold print in their tour guides.  But since we’d checked off the Tower, Buckingham, and Westminster Abbey years ago, we decided just to stroll the streets in our few short hours, picking up city vibes from the sights and sounds in the Mayfair district.  We’d round out the trip with a ride on The Thames down to The Globe to fulfill an English teacher’s dream.

What it all boiled down to for us was a glimpse at the people and places that make Mayfair and Marylebone special.  A few shots from a brief stay in London.

The Bird Man at Marble Arch

Standing in front of Marble Arch.

Standing in front of Marble Arch.

A quick walk from our hotel, Grosvenor House, landed us squarely in front of Marble Arch. The structure, built in 1825 as a gateway to Buckingham Palace and moved to this location in 1851, faces Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.  We came to see it and take the obligatory picture in front of it, noting our presence for future slide shows, I suppose.

But what we didn’t expect to see was a man feeding the birds.  So mesmerizing was the experience of watching him patiently throw out crumbs to eager birds that we took more pictures of him than of the arch itself!  Add to that, a closer look at the photos revealed notables in the background:  the back side of Still Water (largest free-standing bronze sculpture in London — it’s a horse head, by the way) and a double decker bus.  Pretty nifty London parting shot!

Feeding the birds at Marble Arch

Feeding the birds at Marble Arch

(By the way, we’ve discovered a fascinating blog detailing walks through London by Stu who dubs himself the London Wlogger.  His walking adventures like “Marble Arch to Mayfair: Streets and Squares” would make great guides to take along the next time you’re in the city.)

Carnaby Street

Call us hippies if you wish, but we really don’t have an identity tied to a particular decade. We do, however, remember the world spotlight focused clearly on The Beatles in the 60s when we were freshmen in college gathered round TVs in college dorm rooms watching the “Ed Sullivan Show.”   And later in the 60s, we were drawn to a skinny but svelte young lady from the UK who took the fashion world by storm: Twiggy.  It was a time when places like Abbey Road and Carnaby Street became household terms even for those of us who had never been to England, let alone walk the famous streets.

Carnaby Street in 2016

Carnaby Street in 2016

But here we were in 2016, and the banners just seemed appropriate.  After all, we like peace, love, and harmony as much now as we did then.  Maybe more.

The Lady in Liberty

We remembered the store called Liberty of London on Regent Street from the time we last visited (oh, gosh, has it been that long?) 42 years ago!  But now, we think it’s just called Liberty or, as the website calls it, Liberty London.  It was a luxury department store known for beautiful scarves — and still is if the goods displayed are any indication.  As a young traveler, I was enamored with fashion, but now I gaze admiringly at architecture —  especially old architecture — and finishes such as the floors, stairwells and rails in Liberty.

But our parting shot has to be this one: a refined, yet quite fashionable sales lady who approached us quietly and demurely just to see if we had any questions or needed her support.  She epitomized salespeople we remembered from the “old days” when department stores, those bastions of customer service and fine goods for “milady,” catered to shoppers and their every need.  Her dress, jewelry, even her personal stature made a statement, and also a memorable shot of the London we had remembered,  still here at Liberty!

Poised and fashionably dressed -- the lady at Liberty

Poised and fashionably dressed — the lady at Liberty

With all its vibrancy and history and frenetic big city bustlings, London remains one of our favorite destinations.

We take a breath.  Vow to come back.  And hope it’s not 42 years from now.

Lululemon sign in London

Do you have a favorite memory of London? We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

And to read more posts on London, click here.

Happy travels — Rusha and Bert

Posted in Boomer Travel, Destination, England, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Stay the Night: London’s Grovesnor House, a JW Marriott Hotel

First impression the night we arrived at Grosvenor House in London!

First impression the night we arrived at Grosvenor House in London!

Settled squarely in the Mayfair section of London with a posh Park Lane address, Grosvenor House puts you in the center of uptown luxury.   But with a focus on gentility, service and personal attention, it’s much more than just a place to stay.

The Welcome

Nothing spoke more to us after a long inter-continental flight than what happened upon arrival.  We were greeted by a welcoming, beautifully lighted entrance and two official greeters decked out in tails and top hats.

Welcoming committee of two -- Grosvenor House

Welcoming committee of two — Grosvenor House

Even the lobby said “Welcome!” with plush seating in soft, cream-colored leather and sink-in fabrics.  Originally built in the ’20s, the hotel has undergone multiple renovations, most recently a major one lasting four years (2004-2008).

Tastefully decorated with comfortable seating: the lobby at Grosvenor House.

Tastefully decorated with comfortable seating: the lobby at Grosvenor House.

But it still maintains the appeal that we suppose it did when it opened in 1929 on the site previously inhabited by the Dukes of Westminster, whose family name was Grosvenor.

Elegant seasonal arrangement in main lobby.

Elegant seasonal arrangement in main lobby.

A welcome touch!

A welcome touch!

Today, the hotel exudes opulence but also maintains its modernity in terms of color palette and decor. With seasonal decorations like the towering central lobby table arrangement and clean, fresh Christmas trees trimmed in simple, yet elegant gold balls, we knew this was a place that valued appearances as well as comfort.

The Accommodations

If our bedroom is any indication of what the other 428 rooms are like, you can’t go wrong here.  We stay at Marriott hotels for the quality and comfort of the beds and the silky, sink-into linens that we love.

Superb linens on comfortable beds -- one reason we return to Marriott hotels.

Superb linens on comfortable beds — one reason we return to Marriott hotels.

But the bathroom was a real surprise.  Creamy white and gray marble floors and counters greeted us.  And as we looked around, we couldn’t have been more pleased with the brass-fitted shower head, soft robes, and (oh, yes!) a heated towel rack.

Would return just for the marble and heated towel rack!!

We’d return just for the marble and heated towel rack!!

Cleanliness, too, must be a top concern.  Each day, our room was put to order just the way we found it on Day One.  Imagine our surprise when we came upon a meeting of the staff responsible for all this polish — ladies that we commended for jobs not just well done, but outstandingly done.

Of one accord: staff at Grosvenor Hosue, London

Of one accord: staff at Grosvenor Hosue, London

The Extras

If you stay at Marriott hotels often, be sure to sign up for their loyalty program.  The points you earn can land you in some of the best Concierge Lounges in any city of the world — and, aside from saving you money on breakfast and evening snacks, they are comfortable places where you can dine — usually with a great view — and meet people from all over the world.

Historic documents and photos line the wall behind this gathering of guests in the Concierge Lounge.

Historic documents and photos line the wall behind this gathering of guests in the Concierge Lounge.

Part of the art display in the Concierge Lounge.

Part of the art display in the Concierge Lounge.

Grosvenor House didn’t just put out one table of fresh food in their Concierge Lounge — there were several.  Arranged beautifully, the varied offerings appealed to our senses — sight and taste.  Most items were labeled, so we knew what we were sampling. Drinks, too, were no exception.  If we didn’t see a wine or water or soft drink to our liking, the staff would try their best to find something to please.

One of several buffets at the Concierge Lounge in Grosvenor House.

An American Night buffet with breads and fruit — one of several in the Concierge Lounge.

Grosvenor House is home to several restaurants conveniently located throughout the building — all with varied menus from formal fare to casual dining. And all offered the same comfort we enjoyed in the lobby, room, and Concierge Lounge.

One of the restaurants in the main lobby.

One of the restaurants in the main lobby.

But one thing set this big-city hotel apart from others we’ve enjoyed: the advice we received from the concierge himself.  When we sought help on transportation, he suggested sites we could see within walking distance of the hotel and helped us prioritize what to see in a limited amount of time.  More specifically, he provided spot-on tips for purchasing an Oyster Card for public transportation, suggestions on how to hail a London taxi, and well-marked maps leading to all the best spots.  (Like Hamleys Toy Store for Paddington Bear.  It was Christmas, after all.) But it wasn’t just the concierge who was attentive.  All staff seemed to take an interest in guests.  The lady pictured below wanted to see the photos I took of the black doors on Park Street.  (She even understood our Southern drawls. Well, we think she did.)

At your service: the friendly staff at Grosvenor House.

At your service: the friendly staff at Grosvenor House.

If you’re looking for a deluxe stay in London with a knowledgeable, caring staff, check out Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel.  It offers a luxury stay, for sure. But with all the amenities, incomparable service, and useful advice, this could qualify as a bargain in many ways!

Elegant Christmas touches at Grosvenor House, London.

Elegant Christmas touches at Grosvenor House, London.

For more information:

Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, 86-90 Park Lane, London; +44-20-74996363; http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/longh-grosvenor-house-a-jw-marriott-hotel/

Note:  We were not reimbursed in any way by Marriott International or anyone at Grosvenor House for writing this post. All opinions are our own.

 

Posted in England, Hotels, Stay the Night, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Three things to do at Shakespeare’s Globe even when the play’s not the thing

Shakespeare's Globe, London

Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Visiting the Shakespeare’s Globe after teaching the works of the bard to countless high schoolers — some in love with the form, others just tolerant — is a rite of passage, or at least it was for me.  But visiting in winter months when there are no productions means I had to find appreciation for the structure any way I could.  It did, however, turn out to be an easier task than I imagined.

Sign at Globe Theatre, LondonTraveling by boat down the Thames River at sundown only added to the drama of the eventful moment.  There it was, just as I had imagined.  Well, sort of.  It was draped with white lights, the likes of which Shakespeare could never have foreseen. And we formed a group led by a knowledgeable, animated tour guide instead of being seated by ushers. During the off-season (productions run April thru October when weather is more favorable) the non-acting players lead bard lovers like me through the Globe. So, here’s the winter’s tale of what to do in the off-season.

1. Appreciate history.

If you join a tour, and I strongly recommend you do, you’ll sit in the seats where visibility is good and listen to a lovely recount of The Globe evolution.  What you see today is the third iteration of this venerable structure.  Built in 1599 of timber from The TheatreThe Globe was primarily owned by six shareholders.  (Shakespeare was among them but with only a 12.5% stake.)  Alas, the “Wooden O” as it was known, went up in flames when a cannon, fired during a production of Henry VIII, set the wooden beams and thatching on fire.  Rebuilt in 1614, the second Globe was shut down by the Puritans in 1642, and not until 1997 did this third one called Shakespeare’s Globe open for productions — and tours.

Stage of Shakespeare's Globe can serve as an interior or exterior setting with one or two levels.

Stage of Shakespeare’s Globe can serve as an interior or exterior setting with one or two levels.

2.  Pretend you’re a groundling.

During Shakespeare’s time (and maybe after), you could stand in the pit — enduring the elements, of course — for merely a pence.  Called groundlings, these penny payers could enjoy the same comedies, tragedies, and histories seen by wealthier counterparts, but groundlings had to endure long periods of standing snuggly together, often in the rain or blistering heat.  On tour, however, you, too, can stand where groundlings stood and simultaneously look up at the sky and ceiling of the stage.  You can imagine what it would have been like to watch a play standing upright for oh, about three hours or so.  Even today, our guide told us, theatre-goers can opt for groundling experiences.  “Just check the weather forecast,” he warned, “and be prepared with poncho or sunglasses or both.”

"Groundlings" taking pictures during tour of Globe

“Groundlings” taking pictures during tour of Globe

3.  Close in on the stage.

If you come during the season of productions, you may not get up close and personal with the stage since you’ll be in the stands or in the pit watching the action.  But winter tours allow you to stand and look longingly at the stage itself.  You can examine faux-painted columns, hand-painted backgrounds, and a star-studded ceiling.  It’s here that you can lose yourself in the bard’s words, letting your imagination take you back to the time you quoted Macbeth’s soliloquy for senior English:  “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage . . .”

Or not. You may just want to enjoy the structure.

Ceiling of Shakespeare's Globe and glimpse of sky from Wooden O

Ceiling of Shakespeare’s Globe and glimpse of sky from Wooden O

If you’re lucky enough to visit London and Shakespeare’s Globe, don’t strut and fret over the lack of productions in winter.  Take a tour and enjoy the scenery.  Where else can you form a picture in your mind of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet or the tragic events on the Ides of March?

Ah, yes.  The play’s the thing.  But Shakespeare’s Globe is fun to see all on its own.

Shakespeare's Globe at sundown as seen from the Thames River

Shakespeare’s Globe at sundown as seen from the Thames River

For more information:

Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London; box office: +44 (0)20 7401 9919; tickets: tickets@shakespearesglobe.com

Shakespeare’s Globe Summer Season 2017.

Posted in England, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

Solitude

Sometimes being alone doesn’t literally mean ALONE.

Sometimes solitude is carving out me-time in the midst of worldly things.

For more expressions of solitude, move quietly and singularly to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude and check ’em out.

Posted in Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Clancy’s — repurposed and classy!

Look closely, and you'll see the handsome coffered ceiling and classy bar at Clancy's.

Look closely, and you’ll see the handsome coffered ceiling and classy bar at Clancy’s.

A recent Knoxville event, Chef’s Table Tour, came with a surprise . . . an unexpected one.  After strolling downtown sidewalks listening to bits of history from our guide, we ducked into Clancy’s Tavern & Whisky House ready for good food and a sip of the Irish.  But what we saw redefined this downtown corner for us.  What was now Clancy’s Tavern had been — at least for all the years we’ve lived here — Clancy’s Optical, a venerable establishment known for quality eye exams and glasses.

The way it was: Clancy's Optical. (Photo from Google Images.)

The way it was: Clancy’s Optical. (Photo from Google Images.)

Clancy’s Optical stood on the corner of Gay Street and Clinch Avenue for 75 years in a building that has a storied history.  Before offering fashionable eye wear, Clancy’s had been the location of a bank, J. C. Bradford’s, The Shamrock, and The Exchange Restaurant.  But it’s been Clancy’s Optical as long as we could remember.

Members of Chef's Table Tour file into Clancy's, ready to be surprised!

Members of Chef’s Table Tour file into Clancy’s, ready to be surprised!

In 2014, however, owners Danny Clancy and Josh Turbyville renovated and “repurposed” the old corner building for what it is now — the richly appointed Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House.

The richness of handcrafted ceilings by Art Clancy at Clancy's Tavern in Knoxville

The richness of handcrafted ceilings by Art Clancy at Clancy’s Tavern in Knoxville

The classiness greets you at the door.  You can’t help but notice the rich browns and artful craftsmanship of coffered ceilings and restored wooden floors.  Designed by Art Clancy (family, of course) of Clancy Custom Woodworking, the old-world interior speaks to the elegance of fashionable members-only clubs and taverns known throughout Europe.

It’s a tribute to what’s happening now in downtown Knoxville — a renaissance marked by tasteful renovations and purposeful “repurposings” that are transforming the city into a destination in its own right.

Clancy's Tavern & Whiskey House, Knoxville, TN

Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House, Knoxville, TN

Thanks to new owners with a vision and savvy woodworking crews, the new Clancy’s is Irish done right!

For more “repurposed” locations and things people have posted, check out the DailyPost Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose. 

For more information:

Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House, 602 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN; 865.219.1266; clancystavernknoxville@gmail.com

East TN Tourshttp://www.easttntours.com/

 

 

Posted in Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments