My Mini Guide to Charleston, SC

Hi everyone!  My husband and I were lucky enough to head down to Charleston, South Carolina last week for some good food, drinks, and R&R.  I was totally infatuated with it's charm, history, and of course, the delicious southern food.   I'm certainly not an expert after spending two days in the Holy City, however, I wanted to write a little guide to my favorite spots on the trip.

Where to Stay:

We stayed at a new hotel called The Dewberry.  It was an old 70's style Federal building which was purchased by a man named Dewberry and transformed it into this really incredible and thoughtful hotel.  Staying true to the roots of the building and it's 1970's exterior, he really embraced that vibe and brought it into the hotel through materials and furnishings.  The beds were SO comfortable and the spa was great (got a pedicure while I was there!)   HIGHLY recommend. Here are a few pics I took and definitely visit their website to see more (and better) pics.

Where to Eat:

Hands down my favorite was Leon's, a southern, soul food joint off the beaten path.  The atmosphere was casual but cool, the food was delicious but simple, and the drinks cold and cheap.  We had the peel and eat shrimp - BEST shrimp I've ever had.  And believe me, I've had a lot of shrimp!  The fried chicken had a major kick of spice. And the kale salad - really good!  Surprisingly they have a lot of veggies on the menu to keep things light.  Had I not overdone it on the bubbly the night before, I would have had a glass here (they have an incredible list of champagne). They also have rose on tap!  Oh man I so wish we had this place in Boston because I would go all the time.

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A close second was Husk.  A more fine dining establishment. We couldn't get a dinner reservation so instead, had lunch here on our last day.  Amazing southern food.  We started with the salad (my friend swears they put ham in the dressing - it's that good), and the pimento cheese crostini.  Oh. My. God. This was one of the best things I've ever had.  I had the shrimp and grits (delicious) and my husband their famous burger. The board when you walk in shows where all their food is sourced - pretty cool. A must if you go to Charleston.

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit was our go-to breakfast joint.  Pretty self explanatory - hot little biscuits.  You can get breakfast sandwiches or sweet and savory spreads.  So good, though having them two days in a row was probably unnecessary ;)  If you're a Top Chef fan, this was featured in the Charleston season (episode 2).  I have a love/hate relationship with food pics, but these I had to share.  Yes that's more pimento cheese.

We also tried The Darling Oyster Bar.  I had the shrimp and grits here too, and they were really good.  The oysters were good but us New Englander's like them a bit saltier ;)  The vibe was great, and the food fresh.  I loved the black & white scheme with emerald green accents and the exposed brick wall.

Things to do:

Let's face it, we spent most of the time eating and drinking, but we did take a historic walking tour which was great (minus the monsoon of rain that came in).  I would recommend the tour group we went with - Charleston Sole.  Fin was an excellent guide (and a big fan of Boston).

We also strolled down Tradd Street from end to end, which is a great example of how architecture and housing changed over time from the original colony to present day.  Here are some of my favorite houses along the route.  Lots of white houses with black shutters, brick and ivy, and pink!

There's also a cat cafe (!) which my hubs was not into but a girl can dream.  It was full of snoozing kittens.  Adorable.

Strolling down Kings Street is fun and there are lots of shops to pop in and out of.  I went into a few antique and furniture stores including Mitchell Hill - a really great shop with LOTS of art and great pops of color.  Loved their stuff.

We didn't get to leave the city since we were there for 2 days, but there are beaches and plantations close by that I'd love to check out next time.

It's a great city and if you ever have a chance to go - do it!  Especially if you're a foodie or lover of history and architecture.

Cheers!

The 2017 Kips Bay Decorator Show House

I was fortunate enough to take a few days off last week and to head down to NYC.  I love New York and always feel inspired and happy just walking around, eating, shopping, connecting with family and friends, and discovering new things.

When I arrived on Monday I dropped my bags off and headed up to the Kips Bay Decorators Show House.  The show house is put on by the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and features prestigious designers who each transform a room in the house.  Visitors pay an entry fee and all proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club.  The year's home was built in 1905 by architect Charles A. Platt as a private home.  The style is neo-Georgian with a red brick exterior - very classic.  However the interior was anything but, with very bold rooms making quite the statement!

But my favorite thing throughout the home was the artwork.  I was really wowed by some of the pieces throughout.  Art covered nearly every wall and was very much an integral part of the design, showing how important artwork is in tandem with furnishings, textiles, and accessories.  Here are some photos I took while visiting the home. Unfortunately it was a dreary, rainy day, so the lighting wasn't great.

My favorite room was by Robert Stilin.  It was the most neutral room in the house (in my opinion) with lots of great color, textures, and layers.  Including the art!  Here are a few snaps of the room.

One view of the room - so much artwork in mixed mediums.

One view of the room - so much artwork in mixed mediums.

And the other side of the room.

And the other side of the room.

This strange camper / big rig piece above the sofa was intriguing.

This strange camper / big rig piece above the sofa was intriguing.

Oh you know, just Javier Bardem hiding in the corner...swoon!

Oh you know, just Javier Bardem hiding in the corner...swoon!

I love the colors in this abstract piece.

I love the colors in this abstract piece.

 Making a statement.

 Making a statement.

Down in the basement was the lounge / bar by Lichten Craig Architecture & Interiors which had a speakeasy vibe to it.  I really loved these two old photographs they used from the Staley-Wise Gallery.

A little Sophia Loren eye roll...

A little Sophia Loren eye roll...

...and some folks having a good time.

...and some folks having a good time.

I neglected to snap a pic of the artwork in this room by  Kirsten Kelli  (which had a lot of cool pop art) because I was mesmerized by this purple, velvet sofa.  Such a great color! This was probably my second favorite room behind Robert Stilin's.  Super bold and interesting.

I neglected to snap a pic of the artwork in this room by Kirsten Kelli (which had a lot of cool pop art) because I was mesmerized by this purple, velvet sofa.  Such a great color! This was probably my second favorite room behind Robert Stilin's.  Super bold and interesting.

I thought these brass and lucite lamps in the same room were very funky too.

I thought these brass and lucite lamps in the same room were very funky too.

If you're in New York between now and June 6th I would definitely recommend checking it out. It's really a creative, fun space and benefits a great cause. And here's a great write-up from The New York Times with more (professional) photos of all the rooms. 

Enjoy!