Have I ever told you how much I love surprises? I think I’ve mentioned it once or twice before, but I would like to reiterate the fact that I truly do love surprises. Our good friend is great a surprising his girlfriend, and thankfully, he has included us in one of his surprises (he was living in Japan for 6 months and for her birthday, he sent us an iPad to give her). Josh and I were both so excited to be there with her when she opened it. Since her birthday wasn’t for another month, she had no idea she was in for this treat when we went to grab ice cream. It was totally worth it.
So when Josh called me at work last Friday and asked if I wanted to go to Charleston with him for the weekend, I couldn’t help but freak out. What a true surprise! Of course I wanted to go to Charleston! Of course I wanted to spend the weekend like Allie Calhoun and Scarlett O’Hara. Even though we had so much to do before we left for France, I agreed. And I am so happy I did.
We really had an amazing time walking down King Street, eyes wide at the mansions, eating peaches from the farmers market. We bought amazing Lowcountry spices that have created quite the mouth-watering smell in my kitchen – plus cornbread to match. I am excited to get back to cooking just to remember the smells of Charleston.
We also had some amazing food – dare I say better than New York City? Husk, just off King Street, is a 1800’s city house transformed into a beautiful restaurant with floor to ceiling fireplaces and a wrap around porch (with a swing!). The food was also fantastic for a late lunch. We ordered sesame chicken wings and fish sandwiches. We also stopped by Husk’s bar later that night before dinner for a beer. There, I found my new favorite – The Love by Starr Hill. And since we were on vacation, we stopped at a little wine bar to share a bottle before the dinner. The wine bar was French inspired and the bartender was actually from France! It was just a little prep for the week to come. That night we went to Magnolia’s down in the Latin Quarter. Our waiter was the friendliest man in the world and told us exactly what to order and what restaurant to go to for our next dinner. I ordered fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, because, hey, I’m in the south! It was amazing. Sunday we snacked throughout the day and then headed to Macintosh on North King for some amazing (amazing) pork, gnudi, scallops, succotash, and pecan chocolate dessert. Every bite of food we had at this restaurant was to die for. Plus the service was impeccable!
Throughout the day on Saturday, we shopped around and took in the oil lamp lit alleys and garden cemeteries in the downtown area. The shops and art galleries on King are adorable and endless. I wanted to buy everything in sight (and I did buy quite a bit, including a vintage Cleveland Indians shirt for by brother – but shhh..it’s a surprise!). We also bought some small jars of honey from this adorable shop.
On Sunday, we hopped in the car and drive to a few plantations in the area. This was the only thing Josh wanted to do! We learned some amazing things about Charleston and the history. Like, did you know that true plantation houses that you see in movies aren’t really how the farmers lived? They lived in small, wooden farmhouse (not unlike what we see today) but Gone with the Wind gave the world a new impression. In any case, these houses and gardens we visited were gorgeous. The history of the old homes and the people who lived in them is priceless and interesting to learn. While at Boone Hall Plantation, we learned that the house was really used in The Notebook and pictures of the oak trees (the most beautiful in the country) were used in Gone with the Wind.
Essentially, we fell in love with Lowcountry and all that it entails; the food, the atmosphere, the history. I would love to visit again! Have you ever been there? Is there anything we missed?