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Charming Charleston

Traveling from Charleston through the Carolinas to Savannah and Sea Island recently, my time has been filled with incredible hospitality, camaraderie, art and history. This post gives me the opportunity to share treasures I encountered along the way beginning with Charleston.

Traveling from Charleston through the Carolinas to Savannah and Sea Island recently, my time has been filled with incredible hospitality, camaraderie, art and history. This post gives me the opportunity to share treasures I encountered along the way beginning with Charleston. My next post will detail the Carolinas (fabulous finds & famous plates) and part 3, Historic Savannah, Sea Island and the Cloisters.

I attended The Southern C Summit in Charleston where I was a guest of Steve McKenzies’ at his “Tablescaping through the Seasons” Workshop. This gave me a great reason (don’t you think?) to make it a tour!

My time in Charleston began with Holly Stuart of Holly Stuart Home. Holly and I met at a trade show a few years ago and I often use her fabulous place mats in my photo styling. If you haven’t seen them, you are really missing some beauties! The first night, she and her husband took me to dinner on Sullivan Island. Shown is Poe’s Tavern, and ode to Edgar Allan Poe who was a southern writer fond of the Charleston area. I felt as if I was on a tropical island and I was only 15 minutes from Historic downtown Charleston! I highly recommend if you get to Charleston.

The next morning was the tablescape workshop led by Steve McKenzie presenting 4 seasons of tablescaping. Betsy Riley, Editor of Atlanta Homes Magazine then critiqued the styling of each vignette for publication. The three professional takeaways from this workshop were: 1: less is more 2: take a long distance or framing shot and then a close up beauty shot (which allows the reader to better relate to the close up shot) and 3:Steve & Jill McKenzie and Betsy Riley are creative gems! Here are photos from the workshop. Our dishes are paired with Royal Crown Derby Mikado:

Next up, time at the lovingly renovated 1880’s Cigar Factory overlooking Charleston’s port. Formerly a cotton manufacturing facility and cigar factory, it is now home to Fritz Porter, Garden & Gun, and Mercantile & Mash. While visiting I was able to dine at Mercantile & Mash with a childhood friend of my daughter Sasha’s. We sipped coffee while catching up on CJ’s adventures post college, from working as an AP reporter in Haiti, time in New York, to now working at Garden & Gun. It was an honor to tour Garden & Gun’s headquarters, meet the staff & get a sneak peek of their upcoming issue which we are thrilled to say includes Sasha Nicholas!

That afternoon, Tara Guerard of Tara Guerard Soiree – hosted Eddie Ross for cocktails & Modern Mix book signing, which was first class and a whole lot of fun. Any of you who know Eddie appreciate his energy, brilliance, and genuine interest in others. After a big hug & getting my book signed, Eddie noticed that we both save our fortunes from our fortune cookies in our Iphone cases. We couldn’t stop laughing. Eddie lights up the room when he enters!

My final afternoon and evening were spent with Beth Walker, proprietress of Gryphon Estate Silver. If you aren’t already following @Gryphonestatesilver on Instagram, do yourself a favor! Beth graciously hosted me at Oak Grove, her family’s historic 18th century home on Wadmalaw Island on the way to Kiawah Island. She went above and beyond by arranging a photo shoot of Sasha Nicholas dishes with her gorgeous estate silver AND threw a “creatives” party with a number of fun and interesting Charlestonians. I introduced them to Pimms Cups as they told me their tales of historic preservation and antique dealing. Southern hospitality is alive and well! Here are some photos of Oak Grove, loving restored by Beth’s grandparents. When you enter the house, the vista in the distance is the water:

Photos of Sasha Nicholas dishes, Gryphon estate silver, and antiques from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall where Beth has a booth:

And finally, we walked out onto the dock and watched the sun set as we sipped Pimms in antique julep cups-a perfect way to celebrate my last night in Charleston. I am very excited to be returning to Charleston for a trunk show at Fritz Porter in the Cigar Factory in October. You are all invited! Stay tuned for details next time I post on The Splendid Dish of my finds in the Carolinas-hint: dishes of the rich and famous will be involved! 

Meaningful Wishes,

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