A ‘Staycation’ itinerary for St. Tammany, day one: Around the world in eight days

A ‘Staycation’ itinerary for St. Tammany, day one: Around the world in eight days

By Kara Martinez Bachman, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

For families who have not yet taken a vacation this year, there’s still time for a “staycation” during these dog days of summer. In the spirit of Jules Verne’s “Around the World in Eighty Days,” we put together our local tourism countdown, “Around the World in Eight Days,” a running daily countdown of staycation activities on the north shore in this final week before school resumes

Although our trip doesn’t provide for exotic steamer rides or boarding of Victorian-era locomotives, those with imagination can at least feel as if they’ve gone somewhere exotic, and charge up their back-to-school batteries by enjoying family time at these travel-inspired spots.

From a visit to the beach to a trip down the “rabbit hole,” these budget-friendly ideas may help you develop a new appreciation for all that you can experience right in your own backyard.

Day One: English Tea Time

Take a trip to jolly old England by visiting one of St. Tammany’s two favorite spots for high tea, The English Tea Room in Covington or Vianne’s Tea House in Old Mandeville. Either provides opportunity to relax in anticipation of the activity-filled week to come. For a day filled with calm good cheer and the comfort of tea, consider breakfast at one, and high tea or lunch at the other.

Even before you’ve walked in the door, the English Tea Room in Covington feels as if you’ve stepped into a world that is somehow more traditional and genteel than the everyday. A real London “black cab” sits outside, as does a red telephone box. Once you’re inside, take in a bit of breakfast, lunch, or a full-service high tea. The shop sells 150 varities of tea. The English Tea Room is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is located at 734 East Rutland St., Covington.

In Old Mandeville, Vianne’s Tea House is a little cottage accessed by passing through a quaint picket fence, through a red door, and into what the tea house describes as a “world of teas,” which is great news for our Jules Verne-inspired staycation week. Vianne’s offers 120 teas from around the world, and their rooms – the Turkish Tea Room, the Russian Tea Room, the Oriental Tea Room, and the Regency Room – are decorated for, and named for, some of these exotic locations. Vianne’s is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 2:30 to 5 p.m., by reservation only. Find it at 544 Girod St., Mandeville.