Savor Serenity – click any image for full size
Update, July 2018: Savor Serenity has relocated. SLurls in this article have been updated.
“What seemed to be a forsaken land. Ruins of a former kind, left behind in the over grown forest. The morning dawn illuminated the waterfall. In that moment, she knew this would become the new home for her elven people. She savoured the serenity.”
So Tári Zephira (Gidgette Adagio) describes Savor Serenity, the homestead region she and her partner Tár TuT (Valleyofkings) opened to the public at the end of August 2017. Caitlyn and I were graciously allowed to visit the region ahead of its public opening, having thoroughly enjoyed a visit to Tári’s Hobbiton in February 2017.
As Tári’s introduction suggests, Savor Serenity is modelled after an Elven enclave – one which, much like Hobbiton, has been inspired by Tolkien’s Middle Earth without actually directly lifting from it. Sitting within a ring of tall mountains misted by a twilight Sun, the region presents a wooded sanctuary in which sits ancient ruins linking by partially overgrown paths and from which great Mallorn-like trees rise, adorned by high telain offering spaces for meeting and dancing, and where elven buildings and domes reside.
A visit begins in the south-east corner of the region, atop a portion of the ancient ruins. Steps descend from the platform at the for points of the compass, with the west side steps leading the way to a path passing through a tunnel made from the bent trunks of trees. The path passes westwards to more ruins among the trees, and places where couples might choose to tarry. Follow the path far enough and it will lead you to a point where you can access the centre of the region. This forms a walled pool of water, with a pavilion pointing westward, behind which a flight of steps rise to a throne sitting beneath a great dome.
This central area appears to be the remnants of a great fortification, possibly of elven origin, but now long fallen into disrepair. Steps lead up onto the tops of the walls in place, in others the walkways are broken, offering an alternative mean of accessing the darkness passages down between the walls – or a route onwards around the region. The first of the Mallorn trees rises from the banks of the waters within the walls, an ornate stair providing access to a platform where ladders provide a route up to the telain built in the branches of the tree. These are connected one to another by further ladders and stairways, with bridges arching over the gaps to telain sitting within the branches of the Mallorn growing to the north and beyond the high walls guarding the central waters.
These additional tree platforms can also be reached by a mix of ladders and stairways which rise from the open lands to the north, where the ground is dusted by flowers and the smaller trees are festooned with lights. A wooden pavilion can be found here, offering a further place to dance, while on the north side of the great wall stands what might have once been the grand entrance to the elven fortification.
To say Savor Serenity matches its name would be an understatement – it more than does so. It also enfolds everything that is quintessential about Tolkien’s elves: ornate stonework, geometry, harmony with nature, love of water, and longing for the West. There are touches to refined beauty to be found everywhere – more so than I’ve described here, so it is as well to take your time when exploring. Also, if you haven’t explored Hobbiton recently (or at all), you might find a visit to both it and Savor Serenity present and ideal double visit with which to immerse yourself in a personal look at Tolkien’s world.
Savor Serenity (River Hill, rated: Moderate)