I arrived in Charleston early on a Tuesday, after a weekend visiting A&K in NY, and since we weren’t meeting as a group (9 of us) until dinnertime, I decided to take the opportunity to take part in one of my favorite activities….wandering. I wandered the streets of Charleston for a couple of hours, walking along the waterfront, taking in the amazing architecture and making a stop for lunch at a place I’d seen recommended online, Pougan’s Porch. I’d never had catfish before, so went with the catfish sandwich…delish! Cute place…I sat outside…I’d recommend!
We stayed at the Belmond Charleston Place in the historic district and it was an amazing hotel…friendly staff; really great restaurant, Charleston Grill, where we dined on the biggest rib-eye and rack of lamb befitting of our Southern locale….everything’s bigger in the South, right?! …And for some reason we were upgraded to the concierge floor, which included breakfast and a cocktail hour. Go figure!!
Every meal had already been planned for us by our fabulous cruise director, Sharon, each one better than the next! Pictures, with captions, tell the story best…here’s Charleston….
The others went on a guided tour, while I roamed the city on my own, reading all the historical information on the plaques that are everywhere…documenting the city’s historical figures, places and architectural significance . The architecture and trees are amazing!
Lunch at renowned restaurant, Husk, where we shared the best baked cheesy grits (not that I’ve ever had grits, but those who had said they were top notch…and I completely agree) So, we’re in the South and I’m going to try some weird things…hence, my choice of Crispy Pig’s Ear lettuce wraps, buffalo, marinated cucumber and red onion. C’mon you know you want to taste crispy pig’s ears in a lettuce wrap! Just as good as they sound.
A few others had their famous Husk burger (they grind bacon in with the beef) with crispy fried potato wedges or the also famous Husk fried chicken with an apple/cucumber salad. I also found out that there’s a Kentucky whiskey called Rowan’s Creek….took a pic & sent it to Taylor. We had some great laughs at that meal….”What’s Husk?”
We went back to the hotel to rest up before we reconvened for another fabulous meal at Magnolia’s, my personal favorite of the trip. We started with THE BEST fried green tomatoes. We had them at quite a few places and these were voted the best by the group. I shared a beet salad and cedar plank salmon…also delish.
Thursday meant lunch at Slightly North of Broad…aka SNOB…where we dined on their award winning shrimp and grits, more fried green tomatoes, and jumbo lump crab salad w/avocado toast…to name a few…before hitting the road on our way to Savannah.
I’m sure at this point you’re wondering how much weight we all gained?…rest assured, there was an equal amount of walking through the different areas of Charleston and Savannah, getting a lay of the land, shopping and taking in the individual beauty of each charming town, to offset our over-indulgence and Southern fried foods.
I, personally, preferred Savannah to Charleston. The moss hanging from the trees just seemed magical to me….as well as romantic. The grid of squares is charming and I love the neighborhood feel that each square evoked.
We stayed at the Brice Hotel, a Kimpton boutique hotel that was so quaint, with staff that exuded Southern hospitality. It happened to be the annual SCAD-Savannah Film Festival, so the place was all abuzz (apparently the cast of La-La Land stayed here last year when they were in town for the festival).
We took a few pedi-cabs to dinner at Collin’s Quarter, an adorable, and tasty, corner restaurant overflowing with ambience. I’ve seen pedi-cabs on my travels to NYC and actually took a rickshaw once in China, but it seems so weird relying on someone else’s legs…as opposed to a taxi…to get to your destination, but, honestly, it was sooo cool and fun and the guys who took us to dinner were entertaining as well. Again, another good call by our organizer extraordinaire, Sharon. We continued our evening with cocktails on the river at a rooftop bar, Rocks on the Roof, that someone had recommended….followed by a lovely evening stroll back to the hotel.
I, of course, decided to wander on Friday morning, meandering through this charming city. I think one of the things I love about wandering anywhere very early in the morning (even at home) is the sounds of birds chirping, the deafening quiet before a city comes to life and new discoveries around every corner. It’s like you’re the only one who decided to get up and stroll. A few shots from my meandering…
Even though they said they were booked, Sharon walked into The Olde Pink House and snagged a table for all of us for lunch…Score! The Olde Pink House is one of those iconic places that you’re told to you must go….supposedly haunted. It is a cool building, but we were more excited to get back for drinks before dinner at the cool bar in the basement. We all continued meandering the squares of Savannah and then back to the hotel.
…had to try the peanut butter and chocolate bomb for dessert…8 spoons please!
On to dinner at Vic’s on the River, where we sang along with the amazing piano player while we waited for our table. It was a fun night with another ridiculously rich and satisfying meal.
The main reason for our trip was the Kahn wedding celebration in Atlanta….a fun, beautiful, romantic end to a very memorable adventure.