The Conyers Convention and Visitors’ Bureau had kindly offered to host the AFLBS to a red carpet guided tour of this charming small city south east of Atlanta. Did you know small towns and small cities are popular destinations for tourists who want unique experiences including special insights to local lifestyle and culture?
This is a sponsored post in partnership with the City of Conyers. The tour, meals and wine tasting were complementary, however all opinions are those of the author.
It was my pleasure to work with Teri Haler, Conyers’ CVB tourist and hospitality specialist, to create a unique visit to showcase local attractions along with Olde Town restaurants, shops and businesses. We were even treated by the mayor’s wife, Cindi Evans, to a private tour of the Paula Vaughn Black Box Theatre.
In addition to its rich history and thriving community, Conyers was home to The CW’s “The Originals,” a spinoff of “The Vampire Diaries,” and served as the setting of the New Orleans French Quarter for filming of this popular series.
Monastery of the Holy Spirit
Early the morning of our visit Rochelle, Cassandra and I piled into Teri’s SUV and were off to our first stop – the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. The monastery is famous for its Monks Bakery, gorgeous grounds, exquisite church and fascinating Bonsi tree exhibit. However, it’s the peace that one feels upon entering the grounds and the quiet serenity of the Abbey Church that draws visitors back again and again.
We were especially excited that our visit included a private tour conducted by Brother Callistus Crichlow, OCSO. Brother Cal, greeted us from his golf car (really!) –
– and then we made our way to the little cafe that is part of the Monks’ Bakery. We were treated to freshly baked biscotti and Abbott’s Table Coffee.
Although the biscotti had an almond flavor it was unlike any I’ve tasted. It wasn’t crunchy but was rather like a coffee cake with cherries, blueberries, cranberries, almonds, pecans and pistachio nuts. So good especially with the Abbott’s Table Coffee which was rich but not the least bitter. A Perfect way to begin the day!
In addition to biscotti the monks’ make fudge and fruitcake. Brother Cal told us the fruitcake was exceptionally moist and like the biscotti full of dried fruit. The Monks’ Bakery goods and the coffee are available in the gift shop and online. Of course these uber cool monks would have an eCommerce site!
All around were reminders of nature and a simpler life. With a back drop of the smell of freshly cut grass, we watched an interesting film that helped put the Monastery of the Holy Spirit into an historical context and answered many of our questions. The community is part of the Benedict order and currently houses about 40 monks. We were introduced another special monk who was in the film – Brother Thomas who at age 91 has called the monastery home for almost 70 years.
After seeing the Bonsai exhibit and the original structure we climbed on Brother Cal’s golf cart for a quick ride up the hill to the majestic Abbey Church. The church combines traditional with modern architecture. The stain glass, made by the monks, overlooks the chapel pews and is a source of true inspiration. Just beautiful!
Brother Callistus’ joy and passion in sharing the history of monks and of course the evolution of this special monastery were evident. He was the perfect guide! Too soon our time at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit ended. After giving Brother Cal a hug and our heartfelt thanks we we off to explore Olde Town Conyers.
Monastery of the Holy Spirit is open to the public and warmly welcomes visitors of all cultures and religions.
Address: 2625 Highway 212 SW Conyers, GA 30094
Olde Town Conyers
As we walked through the streets of Olde Town Teri told us about the development vision to include more locally owned restaurants and shops. I was surprised and delighted to see two-story pastel painted buildings, some with wrought iron balconies, that hinted of NOLA and brought an unexpected playfulness.
Our first stop was lunch at the Tin Plate, a restaurant which felt like a modern version of Cheers “where everyone knows your name.” As the owner told us, as many of the ingredients are locally sourced including grass fed organic beef raised in Georgia. There is also an interesting selection of craft beers brewed in the area.
However, don’t let the casual menu of burgers, sandwiches, fries and salads throw you a curve ball. The menu is creative and can hold its own against any urban restaurant. Loved the PB&J Burger and the homemade ginger ale is a Must! Note: click the tweet below to expand the photos.
Divalicious and imaginative food at @tinplateconyers Surprise –
ginger ale was amazing! Thank you Teri Haler for hosting this @AtlFBS FAM tour. @VisitConyersGA @OldeTownConyers pic.twitter.com/2plOXbQvq5
— Diva Foodies (@DivaFoodies) April 29, 2018
From the Tin Plate’s mission: our ultimate mission is to provide our community with the most delightful food and drink experiences imaginable. I’d say you succeeded!
Address: 914 Commercial Street Conyers, GA 30012
Beasley Drug Company
Feeling very happy after our divalicious lunch Teri put on her tour guide hat and off we went to explore more of Olde Town Conyers. At the end of Center Street we came to Beasley Drug Company which opened its doors in 1934 and is currently owned by Ora Beasley, 3rd generation of the original founders. The round ice cream soda tables on the black and white tile floor gave a feeling of stepping back in time.
But the “Please refrain from using cell phone while ordering! Thank You!” sign below the menu brings you back to a world of tech reality.
From Beasley’s, as the locals fondly say, Facebook page: We are a pharmacy in Old Town Conyers with an old fashion soda fountain.
But Beasley’s is so much more. It’s a reminder to when southern hospitality was not an adjective but an action verb. It’s a place for neighbors to meet up and catch up. It’s a restaurant where you can buy an ice cream sundae for $2.95 – when was the last time you had an ice cream sundae?! It’s also a step into the future while an anchor to Olde Town past.
In this video Ora Beasley kindly told me what still makes Beasley’s relevant and special in 2018… and beyond!
Third generation owner of Beasley Drug Company tells the story of this 'back in time' drug store that is one of the anchors of Olde Town Conyers
Posted by Diva Foodies on Friday, April 27, 2018
Thanks for the cool retro Beasley Drug Company t-shirt Ora!
Address: 933 Center Street Conyers, GA 30012
Corks and Curvee Wine and Gift Shoppe
When we were on our way to Beasley’s we pasted a shop, that even from the street, seemed to be modern, hip, savvy and can I use the word feminine? I thought it might be an interesting boutique.
As we entered Corks and Curvee Wine and Gift Shoppe I knew their branding was spot on. It was exactly that and more. The venue is designed with soft colors including blush pinks and white. Owner Regina Jones Jackson was as gracious as befitting her shoppe.
Corks and Curvee is where you want to meet up with your girlfriends and relax in an environment that is as pretty as the wines are delicious. You can even book private GNO wine tastings. Regina has a passion for teaching about wine. She treated us to a wine tasting explaining each wine as we savored each sip.
In this video Regina gives a preview of what you might learn at a tasting of French wines.
Thanks to Teri Haler City of Conyers, GA for a spectacular visit to Olde Town Conyers and the Monastery of the Spirit. Regina thank you for your southern hospitalty! Corks and Cuvee Wine and Gift Shoppe – a beautiful shop and a perfect place for GNO wine tastes!
Posted by Atlanta Food & Lifestyle Bloggers' Society on Friday, April 27, 2018
Address: 923 Center Street Conyers, GA 30012
(e) Station Conyers
Fortified and rested from our visit at Corks and Curvee, Teri wanted us to understand the city’s support for small business owners. It was back to Commercial Street to meet Scott Hartsell, who launched (e)stations Conyers, a co-working space and incubator.
The space is open and airy with a high tech vibe. Exciting time time for entrpeneurs in Conyers!
Address: 909 Commercial Street Conyers, GA 30012
Las Flores Olde Town Mex
Our last stop was dinner at Las Flores Olde Town Mex. A very cool iron sculpture of musicians greeted us.
Walking up to the restaurant I immediately had a sense that this restaurant was going to be fun. And it was! The food was great too – fresh ingredients and delicious. Though in all candor the service was on the slow side.
Address: 957 S Main Street Conyers, GA 30012
My road trip to Conyers, GA was amazing. I must admit I was surprised at the diversity and quality of restaurants, shops and ‘off the beaten path’ activities this small city offers. As Teri proudly told us – there is still so much more to see and do!
Thinking about my visit to this sweet city I realized there was more than a burger or an ice cream sundae. There was a thread that ran through every stop we made and every person we met. Can you guess? It was a genuine sense of Southern Hospitality and Kindness that made me feel right at home. I guess that’s why Conyers, GA tag line is…
Celebration of Community
Big virtual hugs to Teri Haler and the people of Conyers, GA for a very special experience!
Connect With Conyers, GA
Connect With CVB/Olde Town Conyers, GA