Every April and October we head to High Point, North Carolina to attend the worlds largest furniture market. For years, our design friends have told us that we needed to take the time to go soak in the city of Charleston in South Carolina while so nearby. This April, we did exactly that— see what we found and why we are so glad we made the trek.
Charleston is so much more than cobblestones and seersucker. It is the home of our dear friend Michael Tuohy, who used to be the executive chef at the Golden 1 Center, the Grange in Sacramento and the renowned Dewberry Hotel. During our 48 hours in Charleston, Chef Tuohy took us on a special culinary tour and we also squeezed in some architecture and shopping. And charming it is.
The Dewberry: Inside and out, The Dewberry is a manifestation of founder John Dewberry’s vision of “Southern Reimagined.” As much a setting as it is a state of mind, the hotel was brought to life over eight years by a team of architects and designers who shared Dewberry’s mission to present Charleston from a uniquely personal perspective. The result is a thoughtfully imagined juxtaposition of past and present that redefines what is possible when historic preservation is paramount. We love that it’s home to the Garden & Gun flagship shops and has a house car and bicycles available to take you about town.
RTW is a polished women’s boutique offering stylish clothing, handbags & shoes from international designers. We visited at the recommendation of our dear friend at the Ruralist which also took us on an excursion to the Cigar Factory.
Cigar Factory: The Cigar Factory was constructed in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility with the latest technological advances of the day, such as electricity, steam heat and a fire safety system. After surviving the devastating Earthquake of 1886, the Cigar Factory changed hands and was leased in 1903 to the American Cigar Company, producer of famous RoiTan and Certified Creamo cigars.
After many renovations, The Cigar Factory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and shortly thereafter, they welcomed Johnson and Wales, the famed culinary school, which became the largest tenant. In 2014, Roi-Tan Investments, a group of local investors and Federal Capital Partners, a privately held real estate investment company based out of Maryland, purchased the Cigar Factory. The property has been transformed into a first class, mixed-use building that includes unmatched creative work/office space, signature restaurants and event space, high-end retail and abundant parking.
We loved visiting Fritz Porter, a one-of-a-kind design collective, where a collection of our favorite fabrics and wallcoverings complement curated antiques and rare finds for the home.
SIP and EAT
Husk: Centrally located in historic downtown Charleston, Husk transforms the essence of Southern food. Executive Chef and Low Country native Travis Grimes, reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in the South. We learned at Husk, there are some rules about what can go on the plate. If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door. The restaurant is as casual as it is chic, evoking a way of life centered on seasonality and the grand traditions of Charleston life—one lived at a slower pace, preferably with a cocktail and late afternoon breeze on the piazza.
Goat. Sheep. Cow. North.’s menu is a combination of exceptional curating, crafting and cooking. The varied cheese, charcuterie, and combo boards showcase those impressive skills, as does their wall of wine and cold case displays. Each menu item represents products from each of the restaurant’s name animals and provides a solid bang for your cheese-loving buck—in fact, the salad and French onion soup I enjoyed with Cava was one of my favorite Charleston meals.
Those looking for something more substantial might appreciate the signature grilled cheese, muffuletta, or any one of the special daily sandwiches. The welcoming, refined space features an extensive wine list, with dozens of by-the-glass and whole bottle options, as well as a beer and cider selection. Whether it’s your choice to sip and sample or gorge yourself on cheese, it’s hard to do much better in the burgeoning Half Mile North neighborhood.
The Ordinary is a Southern seafood hall and oyster bar located in an old bank in Charleston on Upper King Street. The menu celebrates the “merroir” of the Coastal Carolinas and the East Coast, supporting local and regional fishermen, crabbers, oystermen, farmers and producers.
From the same team behind FIG, The Ordinary’s approach aims to pair great food with great drink and friendly, detailed service—they do so against the backdrop of a historical Charleston bank building—with vault intact—that has been transformed into a high energy, bustling American brasserie.
Millers All Day: These guys and gals celebrate everybody’s favorite meal by shining a spotlight on small batch grains, perfectly turned eggs, delicious proteins, craft cocktails, and gentle surprises designed to delight even the most hardboiled diner. Located on Lower King Street, just a pinch north of Broad, Millers is guided by co-owners Greg Johnsman of Geechie Boy Mills’ fame, and Nathan Thurston, a celebrated chef specializing in all flavors Southern. And their interiors are a whole lotta fun, too.
You can’t miss Charleston‘s Historic District. Rainbow Row is one of the cities most iconic string of homes but you should also visit the Dock Street Theater for its architecture.
Have you visited Charleston before? Leave some of your recommendations below. We’d love to check out your favs on our next visit!