Sleeping and Eating in Charleston

 

Eating in Charleston has become a major league sport. As the NY Times noted in its piece on the city last week, “Charleston, a city of 126,000, is home to a concentration of world-class dining normally seen in cities five times the size.” Now, I was only in town for two nights, but every sip and morsel on the gastronomic itinerary organized by the knowledgeable people at Urban Electric Co. was report-worthy. But let me start at the beginning. Upon our arrival in Charleston we were escorted to our hotel, the very lovely Zero George.

Eating in CharlestonIn five restored circa 1804 buildings surrounding open courtyards in the Ansonborough District of the city, owners Lynn and Dean Andrews have created a unique boutique hotel experience. Melding historic architecture with modern design, the hotel offers casually elegant lodgings in a convenient location, walking distance from central downtown

Eating in Charleston

eating in charleston

with rooms of understated charm

eating in charleston

eating in charleston

I only wish there had been time to take a cooking class in the open kitchen overlooking the courtyard

eating in charleston

eating in charleston

Just opened in the spring of this year, it has already been named to the Travel + Leisure It List, establishing itself as one of the best new hotels of the year worldwide (only 6 in the U.S. made it). Lovely public spaces

eating in charlestonboth  inside

eating in charleston

and out

eating in charleston

ensure there is always somewhere cozy to sit with a cup of tea or a cocktail.

eating in charlestonAnd for special occasions, there are rooms available for private events

eating in charlestonthat you can be assured will be executed to perfection, as proprietor Lynn Andrews is professionally known as Lynn Easton, owner of Easton Events, the award-winning wedding and social events planning company.

eating in charleston

We enjoyed a delicious lunch on the terrace before we headed out for our walk exploring South of Broad that I shared last week.

eating in charleston

That evening we were driven out to the 280 year old historic Fenwick Hall Plantation. Now privately owned and in the throws of a massive renovation, it is an architectural treasure that has survived the Revolutionary and Civil Wars mostly unscathed with much of its original detailing intact. Entering the estate was like approaching Tara with a double row of majestic oaks dripping with Spanish moss. The gardens have already undergone a facelift and were ready for their close up.

eating in charleston

Hobnob Entertaining orchestrated a lovely cocktail hour

eating in charleston

with delicious tidbits by Mediterra Catering (who had also catered our lovely brunch at Amelia Handegan’s house)

eating in charleston

and custom cocktails by Jack Rudy president and mixologist Brooks Reitz,

eating in charleston

whose Hamilton Sours, concocted specifically for the occasion, were just a tad too addictive.

eating in charleston

A local grass roots family company that has taken off nationally, Jack Rudy’s goal “is to take long forgotten staples of the American bar and reinvent them, in an effort to drink like our great-grandparents might once have.” Crafted in small batches with appealing retro style packaging, they are great products to remember for those hard-to-shop-for-guys as the holidays are approaching.

eating in charlestonOur first dinner was at Two Boroughs Larder, an intimate rustic chic affair where the emphasis is on a locavore approach to the freshest ingredients combined in unusual preparations. I could have made an entire meal on the appetizers alone. It’s a miracle that I found room for that sinful chocolate agumato!

eating in charleston

eating in charleston

The next day was our brunch at Amelia Handegan’s and then after a fascinating tour of the Urban Electric Co. factory (more on that soon) we returned to the hotel for cocktails (just a sampling of choices to whet your whistle) before our dinner at The Ordinary.

eating in charelston

Located in an old bank on the main drag of King Street, you know you’re in for something special at The Ordinary just from the entrance.

eating in charleston

Even inside, its days of financial splendor are memorialized.

eating in charleston

Celebrating the seafood of the coastal Carolinas, The Ordinary “strives to support local and regional fishermen, crabbers, oystermen, farmers and producers.” The results are amazing. My gustatory partner in crime, designer Brad Ford, and I could barely speak as we hoarded what might just have been the best oysters I’ve ever had.

eating in charleston

Chased down with a crisp rosé, the spoils of crustacean degustation mounted fast.

eating in charleston

It was a festive and finger-licking good evening as we toasted all that’s right in the world of food and design in Charleston.


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8 Responses to Sleeping and Eating in Charleston

  1. okay, I’m sold! My daughter and I visited College of Charleston last spring, I think I’ll keep moving that ap to the top of her list. Love seeing the more in-depth study of this gorgeous little town.

  2. Abigail says:

    This is one of the best ever! Stunning pictures.

  3. One of the reasons my husband and I like visit Charleston is because of all the GREAT restaurants in the area and it is also just a 4 hour drive from Atlanta.

  4. franki says:

    This was “just filed” in my travel “someday soon” folder!! franki

  5. Like Emily, I’m sold. Charleston is now on top of my list of places in the US that I need to visit. It looks like you had a delicious trip!

  6. TrimQueen says:

    I am salivating! What an exquisite and elegant retreat! Your photos really take me there. Thanks for the lift on this grey NY day!

  7. Oh I have been looking forward to this post! What an amazing town. Nice to see it isn’t sleeping on its laurels but moving forward in a really authentic way…

  8. Lynn Easton says:

    It was wonderful to have you with us! Come back often and soon!

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