Enjoy learning this craft with Margaret Weston who will teach you the traditional row upon row method of coiled basketry with sweetgrass, pine needles and palmetto. While learning how to use the "bone" to divide the sweetgrass and build the next row, Margaret will delight you with stories of the art of sweetgrass. All materials are included and each student completes a small basket and takes home a cherished memory.
Many people spend the day with us, beginning with a morning tour, lunch or tea, and then making a basket with Miss Margaret. While the cost of lunch or tea is not included in the ticket price, all guests receive a $2 credit to the tea room for purchasing their tickets for the class in advance. In addition, guests can also choose to get guaranteed seating in the tea room on the day of their tour along with their tickets.
What Is Not Included?
- Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is required, as space is limited in each class. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased using a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- Are there any age limits?
- Children should be able to work patiently for about three hours. We recommend children be over 12 years old to participate in the basketmaking class. However, all participants, even children are required to have a full-priced ticket in order to attend.
- How far are you from Myrtle Beach?
- We are located about 50 miles south of Myrtle Beach on Highway 17. Just follow the signs like you are going to Charleston and you will find us 12 miles south of Georgetown on the right hand side of the road.
- How far are you from Charleston?
- We are located about 50 miles north of Charleston on Highway 17. About 10 miles north of McClellanville, you will cross the Santee Delta. Turn left immediately after the second bridge, into our front gate or turn at the second opportunity onto Crow Hill Road which parallels US 17 and come in our back gate.
- What about rainy weather?
- We usually hold classes on the porch of the tea room. If it is rainy or too chilly for the porch, the class will be held inside the tea room.
- How long is the class?
- The class lasts about 3 hours.
- What if a class is sold out? Is there a waiting list?
- We do not provide a waiting list. If a class is sold out or you are interested in taking a class on a different day, there is a chance that we will add another one for groups of two or more. Please click on the "Contact Hopsewee" link to let us know what date you are interested in.
- Will I learn how to make a starter?
- For this class, starters are provided. Starters are often the most difficult part for beginners and we want participants to spend the majority of the time on making their basket instead of just working on a starter.
- Does is matter if I'm left handed?
- Yes, a left handed person will sew their basket in the opposite direction than a right handed person. Participants must let us know in advance when booking the class whether anyone in their group is left handed so we can be sure to provide the appropriate materials.
- What should I wear? What should I bring?
- We suggest that guests wear comfortable shoes but if you would also like to do the plantation tour do not wear high heels, as they can damage the hardwood floors and are not ideal for walking the grounds during your visit. Also, since the plantation is located in a beautiful natural setting, there are unfortunately mosquitoes. We do spray for mosquitoes regularly, but insect repellant is helpful for those who are sensitive.
- Is the class handicap accessible?
- The area where the class is taught is wheelchair accessible. However, please note that while the plantation grounds are flat and clear, there are no paved pathways.
- Do you allow photography?
- You are welcome to take pictures during your class. Please share them with us!
- Can I make a reservation for the tea room on the day of my class?
- Yes, when purchasing your tickets, you can also select an option that will guarantee your seating in the tea room on the day of your tour. This option also gives you a $5 credit per person towards your purchase in the tea house, so including the $2 credit for purchasing your tickets that's $7 toward lunch or tea. A seat should be purchased for everyone in the group including all children, except babes in arms. When selecting this option, be sure to indicate your preferred reservation time, either before or after your tour. If you plan to dine before your tour, please allow about an hour for your meal.
- Is the plantation open all year round?
- Public tours of the house and plantation are available from February through November. At other times of the year, tours are available upon request. As we get requests, we will post the tour availability on the calendar. If you don't see a tour available for a time you can join us during December or January, please click on the "Contact Hopsewee" link to discuss availability.
- When is the tea room open? How do I make a reservation?
- The tea room is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from February through November. Guests can enjoy the tea room anytime from 10am to 4:30pm, Tuesday - Friday, or 12pm to 4:30pm on Saturdays. The last seating is at 3:30pm. We ask that our guests finish eating by 4:30pm so our staff can close on time. During December and January, the tea room is also available for groups of 10 or more by reservation only. If you'd like to make a reservation, please click on the "Contact Hopsewee" link and let us know when your group is interested in coming.
- Do you have a gift shop?
- We have a small gift area in the tea room which includes Sweetgrass Baskets, tea items, cookbooks, jellies and other hand-crafted items. Guests are welcome to stop and purchase gifts before or after their class.
- Can I bring food and drinks to the Plantation?
- No food and drinks are allowed in the Plantation house and we recommend stopping at the tea room if you are in the mood for a bite or need to quench your thirst. We have soft drinks and a moderately priced menu. If you prefer to dine outside rather than in the tea room, we will be happy to pack your meal for a picnic on the grounds.
- Is there parking available?
- Yes, there are a couple of parking areas available. There is parking available near the tea room as well as in front of the slave cabin near Highway 17. We just ask that people obey the signs and do not park on the grass.
- Are pets allowed to come?
- No, other than service animals, pets are not permitted.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Yes. If you are interested in purchasing a gift certificate for a class, please click on the "Contact Hopsewee" link on the left side of the page.
- Do you offer private classes?
- Yes, if you and your group in interested in a private basketmaking class, please click on the "Contact Hopsewee" link to discuss setting up a private class.
The present owners, Frank and Raejean Beattie, purchased Hopsewee in 2001 and although it is still a private residence, guests are invited to enjoy a guided tour of the plantation house as well as the plantation grounds. In 2008, the built the River Oak Cottage Tea Room so that guests can also enjoy lunch or a Full Southern Tea in the tea room while taking in the natural beauty of the grounds. The tea room is ranked in the top three tea rooms in South Carolina by Teamap.com.
Margaret Weston has been sharing her basketmaking skills at Hopsewee for several years. She grew up in Georgetown and has sold her baskets at a stand on Highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant for many years before coming to Hopsewee to sell baskets and teach classes.