A Chattanooga restaurant is allowing guests to experience a holiday dinner straight out of the 1600s.
Polly Claire's, a tearoom and event space off Bonny Oaks Drive, is offering a Colonial-era style dinner on Saturdays from Nov. 30 through Dec. 28. Polly Claire's staffers will don full-period garb as they serve a traditional Christmas feast by candlelight.
There are three seating times each night at 6, 6:30 and 7:15 p.m., with children admitted to the 6 p.m. seating only.
The tearoom is housed in the last standing antebellum home in Chattanooga. The tearoom specializes in afternoon tea and only serves dinner during its "Christmas feast" events, which the business hosted for the first time last year. The idea sprang from a dinner hosted for a Michigan tour group, who enjoyed the experience so much they encouraged owner Rashelle Stafford to consider planning other nighttime events.
When looking over recipes for a historically themed dinner, she said the Colonial period — the era of U.S. history from 1607 to 1776 preceding the Revolutionary War — really stood out.
"The recipes were so fresh and pure," she said.
The feast begins with appetizers and cider, and those who want alcohol can get a glass of port or shot of rum to spike their cider. That's followed by a choice of peasant soup or seafood chowder, and then the main course of New York strip, fried chicken or maple glazed ham along with eight sides. Top off the meal with a choice of desserts: blueberry cobbler or figgy pudding and bourbon sauce.
"It's very creatively done, and the presentation is really fun," said Stafford.
The fully costumed staff serves dishes family style on big platters for each of the seven large dining rooms, which each fit about 30. The house is lit only by candlelight and oil lamps, and there is live music to add to the festive atmosphere.
Last year's Christmas Feast was a huge hit, selling out all four nights. That prompted Stafford to add an extra night in 2019.
People drove from all over to attend last year, with one family of seven flying in to stay with family specifically to attend the event, said Stafford.
She recommends reserving early, as spots fill quickly.
The cost is $65 per person.
Polly Claire's is at 6178 Adamson Circle and can be reached at 521-4832.
Email Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.