Oh, there is so much to enjoy in Charleston and I had so little time. This was an “in and out” trip that did not afford me the the time to truly soak in this beautiful southern sea town. What really prevented me from the full exposure to this city was it’s unseasonably COLD weather as this tourist likes to explore downtown by foot and was an absolute wuss due to cold, wet weather.
Getting across country takes some doing these days and this was no exception. I landed at the itty bitty airport of Charleston and was welcomed to a very cold, dreary, windy winter March day. Luckily, I picked up some friends in Dallas on my layover who were headed to the same conference as I was. That always enhances a long trip and adds a layer of fun. However, the weary travelers do not know my real identity and we ended up for a spell at the hotel bar for Martinis and Tapas. I know, blasphemy. Yet, I am a pretty big Dirty Vodka Martini nut and it was a free drink. No, that was not on the agenda but after a long day it was welcomed.
The next day I rose earlier than Dawn as I wanted to explore this city. Yet, the sunrise was far later than this Northern Cal girl is used to and that meant the early morn temps were bone chilling and the skies were dark (Sunrise was at 7:30). Not optimal at all. Yet, I pressed on to do a tour of the architecture. From old churches, to the Daughters of the Confederacy…YES I SAID THAT…it still stands, to the original (and haunted) Jail, Fort Sumter-named after the Revolutionary War hero and the site of a great battle of the Civil War and the heart of the city is home to many great old architectural spectacles. I was romanced in minutes, in awe in seconds and frozen in less time. Thus my tour was by car but gave me a beautiful introduction.
This was a place where a woman said to me to come in and get warm not realizing it was a church.
Below is St. Michael’s.
The Haunted Prison…I did not go in nor was incarcerated. This is Charleston’s most haunted and sitting outside its walls was chilling. Quite the change from above:)
On to the Mary..
I had done my “research” beforehand and many reviews brought me to the destination called Husk. Which is also listed in my places to try in Nashville. This location is in a historic building and is dark and semi romantic for a historian. Harkening back to the late 1800s, it infuses the Victorian design with modern conveniences and style. It was an old Mansion during that late 1890s and it has all of the ambiance you could ask for. #iheartthesouth. There are two structures. One demonstrates the grandeur of the South which is home to the restaurant with bold and advanced Southern food and resembles a Plantation style home.
Want a quick meal and good drinks? Head over to the dark cellar-esque two story bar called “The Bar at Husk” that was built in 1831. It has a candle lit, brick exposed, old world style interior. Perfect for the traveler in me and on a rainy night. Candle lit tables provide warmth, romance and a feel of what it must have been like in the olden days. It’s the French district so you will see gaslamps lining the streets and providing a glow to the exterior of the buildings. All amount to a beautiful experience of intrigue and relaxation.
Many writers, Yelpers et al have mentioned this place as a great place to grab a bold Bloody Mary. It even made EATERS best Bloody Mary list. This multiple ingredient Bloody Mary was synergistic. The best addition was a subtle garnish of Prosciutto which I was later corrected that it was Berkshire Pork Butt. Which was cold-smoked over seven days. So, why do I care about the other ingredients?
The BM itself was small in stature but packed with flavor. It is is said to be 28-30 ingredients. I will attempt to dissect what I could discern. Obviously, handmade tomato juice (only to find out it is Heirloom Tomatoes . Again, impressed), Olive juice, Worcestershire, Cayenne, a Pickled Green Bean, smoked Pepper, obligatory Celery Salt, Celery Seeds, generous Pepper, Lime Juice and God knows what else. Who let the dogs out! I read they make their own hot sauce which does not surprise me in the least as this was a farm to table fresh place. A little pricey but I get it. It’s a handcrafted drink (and only one of many others!) and it was well worth the stop. I mean, who can say they had Berkshire Pork Butt in their Bloody Mary as a garnish? This Girl can! Overall, the ambiance, the historical setting, sitting and wondering whom have passed here before, enjoying a favorite libation, great service made…. it was all worth while for a short lived jaunt to a great city. It cannot be beat. #BecauseImHappy #Clap Along
I am sad my tour was so short as when I returned I found many more great treats to try at this website:
Charleston Proud Mary’s: http://charlestonmag.com/features/proud_marys
All I can say is….I’ll be back….but when it is warmer and I can walk destination to destination.
As a final, PSA….Sage advice from someone who lives without this in California: