Oh, Charleston. If you’re a long time reader in these parts you know how much I love that city. I was lucky enough to visit this past October (you can read my recap of the trip here) and just fell in love with everything about it. The people, the architecture, the food, the culture.. I could go on. It’s actually really funny because during the three short days that I was there, I made so many new friends (which made this trip that much more fun… I got to see quite a few of them.) It’s a little bit scary to say it, (because I love New York so much too) but I could see myself moving there in a few years. It’s a beautiful city and the quality of life is so much better.
But anyways… back to our trip. My mom turns sixty tomorrow and my sister and I wanted to do something really special to celebrate with her and plan a fun girls weekend away. Charleston was kind of just a no brainer. Just a ninety minute flight from New York (Boston too), with the yummiest food (in case you can’t tell we are a HUGE food family… my parents are restaurateurs and we share a massive appreciation for good food.) and lots to do.
We stayed at The Planters Inn in downtown Charleston. I love this hotel. It’s so cute and in a great location, and the staff was so friendly and nice. When planning trips, I always look for smaller boutique-y hotels which was one of the reasons we chose this one. But really… the entire staff was just so nice. Our flight ended up getting canceled on Sunday night and they were able to accommodate us for an extra night… but more than that they were just concerned with making sure we had an amazing time.
We arrived late on Thursday afternoon. We pretty much dropped our bags, washed our faces + cleaned up a little bit and headed out to dinner at FIG. FIG stands for Food is Good, and it is the business. The cocktail list is out of this world. (I went with the Kir Revision, a citrusy take on the classic that involved Sloe Gin and zucca.) The highlight of the meal was the Mackerel (to the right in the photo – pardon the blurry iPhone pic!) They had just caught it that day, sliced it open and made the most delicious, buttery sashimi dish. Usually I avoid mackerel as it can be a bit oily/fishy but this was perfection.
After dinner, we stopped by the Peninsula Grill (in our hotel) to share a slice of heaven: their coconut cake. Oh my god. Even if you don’t like coconut, this cake is heaven. You can actually order it (here) which is kind of tempting.
On Friday, we met my close friend Chassity for lunch at The Park Cafe. I had been before, during my last trip (the homemade ricotta is HEAVEN.) This time around, I had the avocado toast with half a grapefruit. So. yummy.
After lunch, we spent the afternoon just wandering around the Battery (a really cute part of historical Charleston) and seeing the sites. My mom and sister loved seeing “Rainbow Row” above, which had been a big highlight for me last time around.
Also during our roam around town: we stumbled into The Commons, which was one of the best housewares stores I’ve ever been to. It’s tiny but Erin (the owner) has the best eye… think gorgeous porcelain dishes, elegant copper mugs and tumblers… everything is just so lovely & perfect. She has an online shop, which I definitely recommend checking out!
Friday’s dinner was at The Macintosh (we also ate there last time around and it was my favorite meal of the trip.) We split several appetizers (including a homemade gnudi + duck confit) and then shared the vegetable plate and the deckle (a cut of beef, if you aren’t aware.) The deckle is insane. There are no words. I hate saying it (for fear of hurting my chef-father’s feelings), but it’s my favorite steak in the world. After dinner, we met up with my friend Deirdre (of Candy Shop Vintage and Charleston Rice Beads) for cocktails at The Belmont. It was fun to catch up and hear what she’s been working on… and the cocktails were really yummy!
On Saturday, we wandered around a bit (stumbling into the cutest antique shop called Curiosity), and then had brunch at Husk. I’d heard SO much about Husk (I swear, anytime I instagram about Charleston, five people would tell me to go!) and had been very eagerly anticipating eating there. We split the yummiest pimento cheese crostini, and then I really went for it… getting the fried chicken sandwich (my mom and sister each had the shrimp & grits!)
My new goldbugs!
After brunch, we spent the afternoon on King Street (where all the good shopping is!) We visited our friends at Croghan’s Jewel Box (look at all the new Goldbugs pieces!!) and then popped over to Hampden to see my friend Stacy (read my interview with her here!) I did a bit of shopping… I ended up getting a few things… including a dress for my mom and this Toucan Clutch for me. Oops. I’d originally told myself I could buy one thing. Oh well.. fashion week is coming. I’ve talked a lot about Hampden over here but it is one of my favorite boutiques (ever – not just in Charleston) as it stocks the most amazing selection of clothing and accessories!
After all that shopping, our friend Rhett (from Croghan’s) had a bunch of us over for drinks at her beautiful home and then Rhett and Stacy took us to Cannon Green for dinner. Cannon Green just opened a few months ago this past December and is currently (according to all my local friends!) the new hot spot of Charleston. And I can 100% see why – the food was exquisite and the space was absolutely beautiful. I ended up sticking to lighter fare (oysters + salad) as I was still so full from our brunch but we shared several appetizers and each thing was more delicious than the next.
Over dinner I received news that my flight back home was cancelled. I spent dessert on the phone with JetBlue (unsuccessfully) trying to switch flights. Alas, nothing could be done so I decided to just embrace it.
The next day, we wandered around a bit more and then I spent the bulk of the day at St. Alban, doing some work and such. St. Alban is Brooks Reitz’ latest venture (he also does Jack Rudy Cocktail Company and Leon’s Oyster Shop) AND dates Erin from The Commons (coolest/most talented couple ever?) It was the nicest day… catching up on emails doing a bit of blogging, all the while sipping rosé and enjoying a slice of their (homemade) nutella-stuffed banana bread.
After dinner my sister and I went to Leon’s Oyster Shop for… (what else?!) oysters and brussels sprouts (and more rosé of course!) I’d heard so many good things about it from friends and it completely lived up to my expectations.
On Monday, I spent the bulk of the day working from the hotel (and a cute coffee shop called Black Tap Coffee where I had a scrumptious lavender latte) but my sister and I did go to 167 Raw for what was one of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever had. Yes, you read that correctly.. ever. (And being from Cape Cod, I consider myself a lobster roll connoisseur of sorts.) Yum.
Bottom line. We came, we shopped, we saw… we ATE. Oh, did we eat! I’m already planning my next trip back (the last weekend in April, if everything goes well!) but in the meantime, I need to spend some quality time with the treadmill (and some green juice.)
Our trip in bullets:
Where to Stay: The Planters Inn
Where to Eat: FIG (Food is Good) // The Peninsula Grill (rated one of the top restaurants in the country… but go for the coconut cake!) // Park Cafe (homemade riccotta and avocado toast!) // The Macintosh (the deckle!!) // Husk (they also have a really cool bar with amazing traditional Southern cocktails) // Cannon Green (currently the new “hot spot,” and one of the most beautiful spaces in the city) // Leon’s Oyster Shop // 167 Raw
Sipppps: The Belmont
Where to shop: Croghan’s Jewel Box // The Finicky Filly (a really cute store with lots of stripes!) // Hampden Clothing // The Commons // Curiosity // Candlefish (I could have spent the entire day smelling the different candles from their “library wall.” They also have candle making classes which sound really fun.)
(Be sure to check out my October post for even more recommendations!)