I’d decided on the location for my novel The House on Sunset Lake, before I’d even visited it. Savannah, Georgia, is a city I have been fascinated ever since I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, (which I had to re-read before I set off!) Not only is it America’s most haunted city – it’s also one of its most romantic places – all that Spanish Moss hanging off the trees, and the hot, sultry summers made it feel perfect for a Tasmina Perry novel. I am happy to report that Savannah was every bit as beautiful as I’d wanted it to be – the fountain in Forsyth Park, the leafy squares, and the old fashioned trolley buses - love it? I almost put my house on the market and emigrated. The real purpose for the trip was to find inspiration for the main setting of the novel – an old plantation house by a lake. I stumbled across Wormsloe on a drive a few miles out of the city which was perfect for my mood board. It's got one of the most impressive driveways I have ever seen – almost a mile long and fringed on either side by enormous live old trees. The actual house at Wormsloe doesn’t exist anymore but I visited the amazing Boone Hall plantation in Charleston, which I channelled when I was writing the scenes set at Casa D'Or - the grand plantation house in the House on Sunset Lake. (It turns out I'm not the only one inspired by it - I later found out that both Boone Hall and Wormsloe were used in the film The Notebook..)
Anyway - I'm now one of Savannah's biggest cheerleaders. if you read the House on Sunset Lake, I really hope it inspires you to go one day. Here are some of my favourite places.
Leopolds Ice-cream This Savannah institution is apparently one of the top ten ice-cream parlours in the world. I kept going back for the delicious lemon curd ice-cream.
The Lucas Cinema How can you not love a movie theatre that puts on a Crazy for Swayze weekend (I went to see Dirty Dancing.)
The Paris Market My new favourite shop – a bustling, beautifully curated honey-pot (think chic interiors and a million and one things you don’t need, but really, really want) on Broughton Street
Chippewa Square There are 22 beautiful town squares in Savannah’s historic district but Chippewa is my favourite if only for its starring role in Forrest Gump