On the Road: Charleston (Day Three)

Happy Halloween, all!

I should be posting an adorable pic of B in a cute costume, but I don’t have one. We put her in her bunny costume this weekend to attend the Halloween festivities at the zoo,and she wasn’t having any of it (although Tracy made an adorable carrot!). I’m thinking that I’ll spare her further distress, and share a bit more about our adventures in Charleston instead.

Sound good? Okay!

So, there are quite a few noteworthy pastry shops in Charleston. Of course, we had to made it a point to try a few…even if it meant having dessert for breakfast.

We headed to Sugar Bakeshop, a small-batch bakery that is kind of off the beaten path in a residential neighborhood. B and I kept it simple and went for mini vanilla and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and Chester got the Lady Baltimore cupcake (a mini version of the classic cake, which is layered with chopped nuts and dried fruit and topped with Italian meringue). We grabbed gigantic chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies to go, which made for excellent snacks later on.

cupcake face

Cupcake face!

We wandered around the quaint streets of downtown Charleston for awhile, stopping by the City Market to pick up a few souvenirs, including sweetgrass baskets.

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Getting up close and personal with a horse named Earl.

After that, it was already time for lunch!

Husk appears on all of the “must-visit” restaurant lists that we consulted when planning our trip. We were excited to get a reservation for lunch, since late-night dinners were out of the question. We asked for a seat on the second floor porch—it felt like a very Southern thing to do!

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Checking out the menu

James Beard Award winning chef Sean Brock puts a new spin on traditional Southern dishes, through a creative use of locally sourced ingredients. For example, the pig ears are served in a lettuce wrap and feature a soy-flavored sauce, for a slightly Asian flair. I picked one of the more traditional things on the menu, the cornmeal dusted catfish. I loved being able to have one final taste of summer for the year, since it featured sweet corn and smoky-sweet tomatoes. For dessert, we shared the buttermilk chess pie. There were some delicious sounding chocolate items on the menu, but I have no doubt that this pie was the best choice. It was a simple and not to sweet way to end the meal, which was definitely our favorite of the trip.

After lunch, we drove back out to the plantation district for a visit to Middleton Place. Like Magnolia, the property has been in the hands of the same family for generations (fun fact: Arthur Middleton was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence).

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The plantation house

We skipped a visit to the house, which was fine because there was so much to see outside. We started our visit in the plantation stable yards, where artisans recreate blacksmithing, carpentry and other crafts that were practiced when the plantation was in operation. And, of course, there are the animals.

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Also, like Magnolia, the gardens are the major attraction here. Middleton’s are much more impressive, in my opinion, with a  more sculpted/planned look, sort of like the show gardens we have visited on other trips (for example, Victoria’s Buchart Gardens). The vistas are spectacular and many of the elements, including the curved terraces, archways made out of hedges and hidden walkways evoked memories of The Secret Garden (which, incidentally, is one of my favorite books. I can’t wait to share it with B!).

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We wrapped up our day with a stroll along the Battery, so named because there was a defense artillery battery on the site during the Civil War. Now, it is just a popular area for a waterfront stroll and is also the neighborhood of stately antebellum homes.

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As we had done throughout the trip, we stopped for takeout on the way home, this time at Five Loaves Cafe. I can safely say that I had the best veggie burger of my life—even B liked it!

Alright, I’m off to see if I can find some already discounted Reese’s products. We usually get exactly zero trick-or-treaters at our house, so I’m stocking up on the good stuff for myself!

Read more about our Charleston trip here and here.

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