Well, it’s official. I am head-over-heels for Charleston, South Carolina.
Warm in temperature and spirit, aesthetically stunning with a raging and sophisticated foodie culture?
Take me home, country road
I had no choice but to fall truly, madly, deeply!
There’s no question my affection for the town is also colored by the AMAZING time we had celebrating Frances’s bachelorette. One of the bridesmaids went to College of Charleston (jelly beans!), and she offered to organize the weekend!
This lil’ one, named Winn, snagged us a beautiful house right by the beach, and my heart was all a-flutter as soon as I saw the water and palm trees.
The weekend was a blast from its tippy-top down to its toes, and I want to share it all! So I’m gonna try to button my lip as much as possible and let the pics do the talking!
On Friday, I arrived early to Charleston around 11 am, and Winn graciously picked me up from the airport. As soon as we got to the house, we switched into our bathing suits and headed to the beach!
Picture doesn’t do this beach justice; it was so beautiful with pristine, white sand
We spent the afternoon soaking up the glorious rays (SPF was passed around but it was some strong sun), and headed back around 4:30 to shower, relax a bit, and start preparations for the night!
We were still waiting on two members of the bridal party to arrive, and we were all in need of some R&R after the work-week, so we decided to grill out and have Frances’s lingerie shower at the house.
Giant, beautiful zucchini and squash, ready for the coals!
The SCRUMPTIOUS finished product: Peel n’ Eat Shrimp, brown rice pilaf, marinated chicken, grilled veg and a the Best Salad Ever: mixed greens, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, pears and chopped red onion (eek picked that out), balsamic and olive oil
Awesome trick, courtesy of the Mother of the Groom: Marinate your chicken breasts in Ken’s Lite Caesar Dressing, at least 1/2 hr but preferably overnight. Cook however you like—so unbelievably delicious.
We enjoyed all of this along with some yummy Sauvignon Blanc and cold Blue Moons, and then came the Lingerie Shower! Unfortunately, I gotta censor most of my pics, but suffice it to say the bride was a happy camper!
Bride to the right, table o’ marital argument-prevention to the left.
I think she has a new found respect for her bridal party :).
We ended the night with some girly bachelorette games and hit the hay relatively early, exhausted but excited for the day to come!
Whiiiich was pretty much spent in its entirety at the beach!
Every single one of us was in serious need of a vacation, and nothing sounded better than packing some snacks, grabbing our towels and relaxing in the sand.
This giant fresh cantaloupe accompanied us to the beach–we were amazed at how perfectly the melon fit into the container whilst maintaining its form (doesn’t take much)
The blazin’ sun wore us down around 4 pm, and we headed back to the house to begin getting ready for our big night on the town!
Winn was incredible and planned a FABULOUS night for us, which started (AND ended!) with a champagne toast.
At 6 pm a cab took us into the heart of Charleston to a gorgeous hotel rooftop bar overlooking the water.
Old and new friends!
If I wasn’t smitten yet, this breathtaking view SEALED.THE.DEAL.
We spent about an hour here, enjoying the hotel’s specialty martinis and relishing each other’s company.
I gotta feelin’…
Eventually, we left the bar and meandered through the gorgeous streets of Charleston to HUSK RESTAURANT!!!!
I’ve heard drool-worthy and impressive reviews of Husk for years, and I was THRILLED at the opportunity to eat there.
Husk sources ALL of its food from the Southeast, taking care to use the freshest, highest-quality ingredients available. As a result, the menu is always creative and always changing! From the horses mouth (website):
“At Husk there are some rules about what can go on the plate. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says [chef and owner] Brock.”
Everything about our experience at Husk was perfection, from the friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff, to the sophisticated but inviting decor and of course, the knock-your-petticoat-off DELICIOUS food!
We ordered a variety of appetizers and entrees, all of which were stunning, but here’s the best of the best (in my opinion):
Freshly baked and buttered Benne Seed rolls, served with SOFT butter (so rare!). Melted in the mouth like cotton candy!
Pimento Cheese Dip with Benton’s Bacon Jam. Hands-down best item and one of the best gol durn things I’ve eaten in a long time!
TX Wagyu Sirloin, German Butterball Potato Puree with Roasted Baby Carrots, Oyster Mushrooms and Marrow Jus. Fall-apart-tender meat, and the jus had been cooked down till it was almost a sweet syrup. This was my favorite entree of the night.
My choice!: Red Grouper from Mark Marhefka, Heirloom Eggplant, Summer Squash and Pole Bean “Sofrito”. Soft, flaky fish and a lick-the-bowl-clean tomato-based SAWCE made for one scrumptious dish.
I think you get the idea?! Husk was everything I expected and MORE. Definitely the highlight of the night for this chick!
We opted out of dessert since we had a long night ahead and no one wanted to get too droopy, but fingers crossed I make it back here one day to try the Lemon Espresso: Lemon Curd, Mocha Chocolate Ganache, Graham, Marshmallow Meringue.
At the end of dinner, the star of our show donned her accessories for the night, and we headed out to some downtown Charleston bars!
She managed to rock this Limited Too look. I mean, can you just imagine how stunning she’ll be on the big day?
We ended up visiting two different bars; both of which had some great tunes goin’ on, and we basically danced the night away!
Not only was it so much fun celebrating Frances’s wedding-to-come, but the entire bridal party hit it off and became insta-friends over the weekend.
Truly a wonderful group of impressive women, and I think we all grew more excited to reunite at the wedding with every passing hour!
We worked up a sweat on the dance floor till about 1:30 am, and called it a night with final champagne toast for our Queen Bee.
To lasting love!
We snagged a cab home, fell into bed, and got up early bird special on Sunday to clean and get our butts outta the house by 10 am. I had a 1 pm flight, which gave me just enough time to join the rest of the crew for brunch at the well-known and VERY Southern Charleston Cafe.
Almost everyone’s entree came with an amazing homemade biscuit (they offer whole wheat!) and “Chippers” which are thinly sliced and kettle-cooked potato chips!
A few people went with the signature “Potato Casseroles“:
Dewees Island: turkey, bacon, & cheddar topped with
spicy tomato cream sauce. Holy mountain of food! Looked scrumptious though.
Frances and I both opted for one of the day’s specials and it was SO FLIPPIN’ GOOD!
Black bean cakes with two eggs over medium, fresh avocado, diced tomato, scallions and salsa!
This and several cups of coffee completely hit the spot, and I headed to the airport with a full and happy belly…and heart :).
All in all, this was truly the PERFECT bachelorette weekend. Everyone had a fabulous time—there were activities and options for every personality throughout the weekend, so you could make it a “rager” if you wanted to, or keep it purty low key (one guess for the route I took). It didn’t hurt that I wasn’t alone in my adoration of our selected city—I think everyone was blown away by how marvelous it is!
And most importantly, the bride enjoyed herself and left Charleston even more thrilled for her wedding weekend than ever before, if that were possible!
I snapped a pic of these cocktail napkins on our first night, and carried this motto with me throughout the weekend.
And we really did, y’all!!! Reunion 2013?!
Now take this with you as you head into the day and have a wonderful Tuesday!