Today Bigelow Tea has invited Gail Gastelu, aka Lady Gayle, www.theteahousetimes.com, to be our guest blogger and tell us about her experience visiting the Charleston Tea Plantation. Take a look and let us know when you can visit!
Having visited Charleston Tea Plantation, I wanted to share my story so others will know how beautiful and how worth the trip it really is. In May, 2006, I was invited with other members of the press to attend Grand Opening festivities at the Charleston Tea Plantation. The experience was truly magical. Under a beautiful white tented area we were treated to refreshments and presentations by the Bigelow family and co-owner, Bill Hall. The passion and hard work they have put into the operations of this plantation were really felt that day as they shared with us all the details of tea growth and operation of the facility and machinery.
Driving from the Charleston area to Wadmalaw Island, where the Plantation is located, was beautiful in itself. Winding roads lined with huge trees dripping with Spanish moss created a pathway and pleasant drive. Upon entering the drive to the Plantation, the excitement began to build immediately. As soon as you enter, you are surrounded by tea shrubs. As you drive further up the road you encounter more trees with Spanish moss and more tea – as far as the eye can see.
Once the car is parked you can enter the gift shop which leads to the factory where you may observe the tea processing machinery at work. Along the tour are video presentations of tea processing and explanations of the equipment being used. It is very interesting and fun. At the end of the tour you may sample some iced tea and enjoy the vast selection of Charleston Tea Plantation souvenirs as well as some special South Carolina, low-country specialties.
American Classic Tea, produced at the Plantation, is available all throughout the South at almost every shop, grocery store, and even in the airport gift shops. It is very good for making iced tea. In fact, my sister-in-law and her family have been drinking it iced for years and love it so much they can’t get enough of it. So, when I brought them some boxes of tea back from my trip, they were thrilled, but since they make iced tea every day – quickly ran out. So, my niece says “I’m sure Auntie Gail can help us get more!” Well, I told them they can order the tea directly from the Bigelow website or the Plantation online and that was great news to them.
For anyone who enjoys drinking tea, attending afternoon tea, or simply loves to travel, this is a unique, very special experience not to be missed. Go to the Bigelow website www.bigelowtea.com for more information, hours, and directions. I, myself, enjoyed it so much that I am leading a Tea Tour, Summer 2007 to include a special time at the Plantation and surrounding Charleston area.
By Gail Gastelu, aka Lady Gayle, www.theteahousetimes.com
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