If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my feed flooded with Charleston pictures last weekend and you got a glimpse into the amazing weekend the CBV and Chassity hosted for myself + 7 of my favorite blogger friends. To say the weekend was anything short of amazing would be an understatement. I already knew all the girls going into the trip since it randomly ended up being a group of mostly NYC and Texas girls (funny that when we started planning the trip I was in the former, but by the time the trip rolled around I fell back into the later category). If you aren’t already following these girls, you should -> Amy, Carly, Grace, and Mackenzie (the New Yorkers) + Amy and Mary (from Texas) and I can’t forget Jamie (from North Carolina) and our host, of course, Chassity (from Charleston).
Mary and I were the first to arrive on Saturday morning so after settling in to our rooms at the historic Mills House Hotel, we grabbed a quick sandwich at the Bull Street Gourmet Market and didn’t waste anymore time before hitting up the shopping on King Street!
Everyone else trickled in Friday afternoon and we all met for a fun little kick off at the hotel bar before hopping on the rickshaws and starting our progressive dinner! I have never actually thought to do a progressive dinner when traveling, but it is pretty genius when you think about it. There is never enough time to taste all the amazing restaurants in a culinary city like Charleston when you are only there for a weekend trip so why not eat your heart out one night? This might be my new thing! (If I can be as organized as Molly!)
First stop was The Daily which isn’t normally opened for dinner, but they welcomed us with wine and appetizer and sent us home with amazing pastries for the next morning (how cute were the ‘carbs for later’ bags?!) Be sure to check them out for coffee next time you are in town and explore the Upper King Street area. It is a newer, evolving side of town that you don’t want to miss! Next stop was The Grocery. The service and atmosphere were just as amazing as the southern food – my favorite was the fried okra! By now I was feeling pretty full, but I had been to the last stop, Macintosh, before so I knew to save room because it is just too good to pass up. Well, I didn’t pass on anything and every bite was worth it. I honestly don’t even have a favorite here, but the burrata, the deckle (what they are known for) and the scallops were all perfection! I should also mention we had two girls with dietary restrictions (gluten-free + vegetarian) traveling with us and every restaurant had amazing options for alternatives to the standard menu. By now we were all pretty full and tired from the day’s travels (or maybe it was just a food coma) so we decided to rest up for our full day ahead and turn in to the hotel. I slept like a baby because I knew my baby wouldn’t be waking me up (and he was in good hands at home with his DaDa).
We kicked off Saturday morning with a 2 hour walking tour with Bulldog Tours. I can’t recommend this enough. A walking tour really is the only way to explore Charleston, in my opinion. There is so much detail to be seen strolling the cobblestone streets, peeking into some of the oldest churches in the US and lusting over all the beautiful homes, gardens and piazzas (porches).
Chastity hosted us at her amazing home for lunch. It was seriously out of a magazine! The table setting and invitations looked more like a wedding than a brunch and we all just walked around and stared in amazement. I am pretty sure Chassity may have us showing up at her door a few times a year because we couldn’t get enough!
After all that, we had some free time to explore on our own so I v-lined to Hampden Clothing (I told you about here). I played dress up in the fitting room and finally decided on one treasure! Then Stacy walked us down to Crogan’s Jewel Box. Crogan’s is a King Street staple that has been there for over 100 years and is now being run by the second and third generation. They have an incredible vintage jewelry selection curated from pieces hand selected from around the world and they also have adorable gifts and their very own jewelry line, The Goldbug Collection, designed by granddaughter Mariana.
Speaking of the Crogan’s, they were actually our host for dinner Saturday night at their beautiful home in the historic district. We walked through their beautiful garden to a band playing on the piazza and Brooks Reitz (famed mixologist, restaurateur and founder of Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic) mixing drinks at the bar. I ordered the Bee’s Knees and I knew it was going to be a good night! Cru, another can’t miss restaurant, catered dinner and it was delicious! We ended the evening with cocktails at the rooftop bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the CVB sent us off in style Sunday morning with one last hooray – a beautiful brunch on the roof of the Mills House Hotel. Many of the talented local designers were in attendance and I loved getting to meet so many inspiring women and see how they all pull together and support each other. If you haven’t heard of these gals already, expect to soon! Lindsey Carter is the talented clothing designer behind Troubadour Clothing, Lauren Lail curates a beautiful vintage collection at Library Fashion, Deirdre Zahl’s brought back Charleston Rice Beads and also sells vintage jewelry at Candy Shop Vintage, and I was so excited to finally meet, Jane Pope Jewelry (who made my all time favorite #FrederickKnox necklace!)
A huge thank you to Molly of the Chareleston CVB for an incredible trip. You truly know how to create an incredible experience in your amazingly charming city! Thank you, thank you!
photos by Gray Benko + my iPhone