Thursday, August 19, 2010




With its lush gardens, stately town houses, and sprawling plantations, Savannah is the epitome of old Southern style, and who better to give you the grand tour than Paula Deen, the city’s most famous resident and anointed Queen of Southern Cuisine?

In this gorgeous, richly illustrated book, Paula Deen shares a full year of Southern living. Whether it’s time to put out your best china and make a real fuss, or you’re just gathering for some sweet tea on the porch at dusk, Savannah style is about making folks feel welcome in your home. With the help of decorator and stylist Brandon Branch, you’ll learn how to bring a bit of Southern charm into homes from Minnesota to Mississippi. For each season, there are tips on decorating and entertaining. In the spring, you’ll learn how to make the most of your outdoor spaces, spruce up your porch, and make your garden inviting. In the summer, things get more casual with a dock party. Sleeping spaces, including, of course, the sleeping porch, are the focal point of this chapter. In the fall, cooler weather brings a return to more formal entertaining in the dining room, and in the winter, attention returns to the hearth, as Paula and her neighbors put out their best silver and show you how they celebrate the holidays.

loves getting a peek at her neighbors’ parlors, so she’s included photographs of some of Savannah’s grandest homes. From the vast grounds of Lebanon Plantation to the whimsically restored cottages on Tybee Island, you’ll see the unique blend of old-world elegance and laid-back hospitality that charmed Paula the moment she arrived from Albany, Georgia, with nothing but two hundred dollars and a pair of mouths to feed. And she isn’t shy about giving you a window into her own world, either. From her farmhouse kitchen to her luxurious powder room, you’ll see how Paula lives when she’s not in front of the camera.

Packed with advice and nostalgia, Paula Deen’s Savannah Style makes it easy to bring gracious Southern living to homes north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line.


Paula Deen was born and raised in Albany, Georgia. She later moved to Savannah, where she and her two sons, Bobby and Jamie, started the Bag Lady catering company. The business took off and evolved into The Lady & Sons Restaurant, which is located in Savannah's historic district and specializes in Southern cooking, as well as Uncle Bubba's Seafood, which co-owns with her brother. Paula is the author of Paula Deen’s Kitchen Wisdom and Recipe Journal, Christmas with Paula Deen, Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin', Paula Deen & Friends, The Lady & Sons Just Desserts, The Lady & Sons Too!, and The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. She publishes a bimonthly magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen (Hoffman Media) and is a regular guest on QVC, where she sells her books and food products.

Brandon Branch is Paula Deen's creative director and personal assistant. His column Style Secrets with Brandon appears in Cooking with Paula Deen magazine. He lives in Savannah, Georgia where he enjoys gardening and spending time with his two Dachshunds Simon and Charlie.


Who doesn’t love Paula Deen? From the moment you see that twinkle in her eye, hear that sweet southern drawl, or smell something cooking on the stove that is sure to have lots of butter in it, you know you are home with Paula! PAULA DEEN’S SAVANNAH STYLE is a lush, gorgeous, and amazing book about a year in Paula’s beloved Savannah. As she says in the dedication of the book, “This book is dedicated with love to Savannah, Georgia, my home. Savannah gave me a second chance at life, and the beauty, history, and hospitality of the city continue to inspire and sustain me.” In Paula’s new book, she gives the readers the beauty, history, and hospitable warmth that is Paula Deen as she introduces readers to “her town”.

I must say up front that if you are looking for a cookbook, this is not it. This is rather a book that takes you as close to living a year in Savannah as anything can without actually being there. Paula shares all that she loves about her hometown and her home from the porches to the pantries, from the book nooks to the bedrooms. Overall with the expert photography and of course, with Brandon Branch, Paula’s personal assistant and co-author, who adds so many “how-to-do” something hints and points out intricate details, the book is superb and points out what makes this city so special.

As so many who may visit towns like Savannah walk around and admire the homes and their uniqueness and style, so does Paula. The difference is that Paula takes you inside these beautiful homes and shares the d├ęcor and craftsmanship that lies within. In a three-hundred-year-old city, believe me, there is so much to see and Paula shares the best of the best.

The book is organized into 4 sections with each one representing a season. The chapters in each “season” highlight parts of the homes and gardens and how they look at that time of year. Beginning with Spring, you can find such ideas like, “If you live in a city and don’t have a garden, using wrought-iron pieces indoors can lend a Southern garden feel.“

Also, I can just hear Paula talking about Summer when she writes about foyers setting the tone of your home as a preview of what is coming up. She writes, “Your front hallway should match the rest of your house in style and mood. I like to think of a foyer as the handbag for a new outfit”.

She gets bright and bold in the Fall when she talks about color. “Dare to be different. Paint the ceiling a bold color, or use a bold wallpaper design.“

Finally, she ends with Winter and one thing I particularly likes that she shared was a money saving beautification tip. “For your flowers, use several tiny bunches instead of one big expensive arrangement. You will get the same look for less money.“

The amazing photographs just about tell a story on their own but with Paula’s narration, they really come to life and pop. The end includes a source guide with descriptions of places you can find items including their telephone numbers, as well as a handy index to reference one particular thing you may want to go back to. This is indeed a great coffee table book that you will read over and over again and want to refer back to for some !

Thank you to Dorothy and the good people at Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours for my copy to review.


bermudaonion said...

I thought it was wonderful getting a peek into the homes of Savannah! I think I could live in one of Paula Deen's guest cottages!

Dorothy Thompson said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Karen!

g.g. said...

What a lovely looking book..and who doesn't love Paula Deen!