Happy March! Over the weekend my husband and I drove down to Charleston, SC for a long weekend getaway. Two of our friends from Chicago met us there and we had a blast. We even brought our dog, so I have lots to share with you. Let me just start by saying, Charleston is everything good everyone says it is. We were not disappointed! It’s the perfect mix of southern hospitality and a busy city, something that two Chicago transplants love. Not to mention all the incredible food, sights, and shops. Here’s how we spent our weekend eating, sleeping, and playing.
If you’re a foodie, then go to Charleston! We had some amazing food while we were visiting, but it wasn’t entirely budget or waistline friendly. Make reservations as early as you can! We tried to make some reservations two weeks early and a lot of places were booked.
On Friday we dined at Circa 1886. Circa 1886 is frequently listed as one of the best restaurants in the city and it’s obvious why. It is a charming coach house on the same property as the Wentworth Mansion (where we stayed). Guests of the mansion get a three course menu for $49, so that was an easy choice. I didn’t take a ton of pictures during our dinner, but we had some great food. My husband started with the Rabbit Confit Cassoulet and I had the 61 degree celsius Farm Egg. Both were delicious, although mine was a little messy to eat. For our main courses, I had the Duck Au Poivre and my husband had Chimichurri Beef. Again, both were great, but very rich and filling! Can’t forget dessert – my husband had the Apple Crisp Souffle and I had the Elvis Fluffernutter. I can’t even answer who’s was better, both were so great but we were stuffed.
As guests of the Wentworth Mansion we also enjoyed breakfast at Circa 1886 and it was so delicious. They have a small courtyard for dining so on Saturday we got to bring our dog with us. The pastries and fresh fruit were delicious and I enjoyed a fresh frittata both mornings.
Our lunch on Saturday was at Kitchen 208 which is really nothing to rave about, aside from the dog friendly patio. Be aware that on the weekends, it’s just a brunch menu, and the regular lunch menu is not served.
Dinner on Saturday night was at Poogan’s Porch, which is also dog friendly! We left our guy back at the hotel since he had a busy day on King Street, but saw other diners with their besties. We sat outside on the back patio and had a great time. Definitely start with the Pimento Cheese Fritters! We also shared the Fried Green Tomatoes and our friends split the She Crab Soup which they said was fantastic. We all enjoyed our entrees and decided to skip dessert since we were so full.
We also checked out Poogan’s Smokehouse on Sunday for a late lunch. Again, it was a brunch menu, not a lunch menu, but we enjoyed it all the same. We had to get the Pimento Cheese Fritters again, but also shared the cornbread. Two of us had the Tennessee Hot Chicken Sandwich, my friend Lisa had the Shrimp and Grits, and my husband had a BBQ platter with ribs and pulled pork. We again left stuffed. Poogan’s Smokehouse has limited outdoor seating that is dog friendly.
Sunday night we took the recommendation of our hotel and went to 39 Rue de Jean, a French bistro off of King Street, for dinner. We brought our pup and sat outside on the heated patio. Unfortunately, we were all stuffed from our lunch, so we didn’t try any of the entrees. I’m allergic to shellfish, but everyone else shared two rounds of mussels and said they were fantastic. I enjoyed onion soup and some edamame. This place also serves sushi. When our server brought out one bowl of mussels, she accidentally spilled a bunch of mussel juice all over my friend (and her Burberry coat!). She felt bad so treated us to this fantastic dessert that is a house specialty. Although we were all stuffed, we made room. 😉
The four of us all stayed in Charleston through Monday so we grabbed a quick and delicious breakfast at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. I loved it! The biscuits were buttery, dense, and flavorful. I tried a bacon biscuit, cheese and chive, and a cinnamon stuffed biscuit and recommend all of them. Plus, Callie’s serves biscuits morning, noon, and late-night (on the weekends).
We splurged a little bit and stayed at the Wentworth Mansion with our dog. It was beautiful, hospitable, and relaxing. We can’t recommend it enough. We had a garden room with a king size bed. I’ll let the pictures do the talking for this. We also had our own private entrance and a small patio that looked out on the garden.
Aside from the room, the mansion was amazing. Like I said, as guests, our breakfast was included daily at Circa 1886. In addition to that, happy hour was from 5 – 6pm daily and included wine and delicious snacks. I mean, check out this charcuterie board!
The Wentworth Mansion also helped us make reservations and ensure we did everything we wanted while we were visiting. The turndown service includes chocolates, too. If you stay here or visit, be sure to go up to the coppola for 360 degree views of Charleston.
King Street – our time shopping on King Street was limited since our husbands didn’t want to partake, but it was fun to be in such a bustling area. As small town residents, I miss all the good stores! I could have stayed on King Street all afternoon and if you’re looking for some more unique shops, check it out.
Mead Tasting – have you heard of Mead? It’s fermented honey with water and yeast and it’s been around longer than wine! The Savannah Bee Company (on King) offers Mead tastings for $7. It was really fun and we’d recommend it.
Ft. Sumter – visiting Ft. Sumter was pretty cool. I’m not a history buff, but it was still really interesting and beautiful. The boat ride out there is a great way to see the city. However, it was a little buggy at the fort, so be aware of that. The tour was 2 hours and $21 per person.
Waterfront Park – we walked down to waterfront park on Saturday, but easily could have saved this for Sunday, before or after our tour of Ft. Sumter. Regardless, it’s a cool place to walk around and if you want to be near the water, worth it. It would be a great place to picnic and relax.
The Vendue – there are mixed reviews here. I didn’t like it, but we went around 9pm. Charleston is not known for it’s skyline, so the view from the roof didn’t impress me. I think during the day it would be a lot more stunning. I felt as though the drinks and atmosphere was no different than something we could have gotten at a street-level bar. Our friends liked it though.
The Gin Joint – we didn’t go to the Gin Joint, but our friends did and said it was a cool place with good cocktails, and a great giant pretzel with sriracha mayo for dipping.
Rainbow Row – our last stop in Charleston was rainbow row, a colorful row of historic homes on Bay street. A fun thing to stop and see.