ADVERTORIAL • March 2019
From the cobblestones that arrived on UK ships to the Georgian architecture - Charleston’s connections to England run deep, making the new British Airways flights as much a reunion as a new beginning. Local magazine editor and writer, Stinson Carter, talks us through the version of this charming city that is just right for you
Charleston is as hip as it is historic. If you feel at home in Brooklyn, Shoreditch or Silverlake, then you’ll want to explore Charleston’s upper peninsula. Get a breakfast sandwich and coffee at The Harbinger Café or a smoothie at Huriyali Gardens, then stroll around the lake at Hampton Park, a local favourite that only tourists in the know would ever find. Pick up a bottle of wine from Monarch Wine Merchants or Graft to take back to your hotel. For indie shopping head to Indigo and Cotton (pictured) for him and Candy Shop Vintage for her. By night have a pre-dinner drink at apertivo bar Babas on Cannon, dinner at Italian bistro Renzo, followed with live music at The Royal American.
Maybe it’s the cobblestones, maybe it’s the gaslights, and maybe it’s the water surrounding everything, but Charleston is romantic to the core. And for the romantic traveller(s), Zero George is a luxury hotel in a compound of beautifully restored historic Charleston houses. Begin the day with coffee and pastries from One Broad Street, and stroll along the mansions of Rainbow Row to White Point Gardens. Have lunch at Chez Nous, a tiny local favourite French bistro hidden down an alley. Walk off your wine with an afternoon shopping stroll down King Street. Have a light dinner of raw oysters at The Ordinary (pictured), and a nightcap at The Citrus Club atop The Dewberry Hotel.
Charleston is packed with families with children, which means all the more patience for travellers arriving with theirs. The South Carolina Aquarium (pictured) is a beautiful harbourside building, with indoor and outdoor exhibits, that takes full advantage of its sweeping views, while the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is comprised of interactive exhibits that will absorb all of that excess energy you’d prefer your children didn’t release at restaurants. Sullivan’s Island is ideal for family beach days, and its Home Team BBQ is particularly amenable for children. Workshop, a gourmet food court on the Upper Peninsula, has a large outdoor dining area for kids to roam and a brewery next door from which parents can watch them play while sampling local microbrews.
Charleston’s history and culinary scene get all the attention in travel magazines, but the natural beauty of the area is the real star. And for those interested in getting up close and personal with the coastal splendour, rent a paddleboard or kayak at Shem Creek, or take a Coastal Expeditions ferry to Bulls Island – a wildlife preserve where alligators, bobcats, and waterfowl still reign. Skip the hotels altogether and rent a beach cottage and a surfboard at Folly Beach (pictured), and be sure to have dinner at Bowen’s Island, a rustic two-storey seafood shack on a tidal marsh that has been serving fresh seafood on paper plates since 1946.
Downtown Charleston is an eight-square-mile open-air museum. Sure, the Charleston Museum is the oldest in America, and Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter are must-sees for military history buffs, however, you don’t need to be in a museum to experience the history here. Everywhere you look, the layers of history in Charleston are visible – so find a local guide, put on your walking shoes and go explore. Stay at the circa 1886 Wentworth Mansion for a dose of history par excellence, which in addition to elegant rooms has an observation tower with 360-degree views of the peninsula. If you’re feeling bold, take the Haunted Jail Tour by Bulldog Tours. For the best examples of antebellum plantations, Drayton Hall (pictured), Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation are all in close proximity on the Ashley River within a 20-minute drive of downtown.
British Airways has launched a twice weekly service to the city of Charleston, direct from Heathrow. To find out more, click here