First Impressions, Charleston

There’s rather a cruel and unfair joke about Americans made by people on this side of the pond. People say that Americans don’t look past their own borders, that they couldn’t point out Paris on a map (and I don’t mean Paris, Texas), and that “Europe” is seen as one homogenous blob that you can “do” in a week.

Not only is that not true of any American I’ve met, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that us Euros are just as bad!

So many of us see “America” as New York, Florida (Disney), LA (Coachella) or perhaps Texas (cowboys and music) with a large, uninhabited space in between. In fact most responses to me visiting Charleston were along the lines of “where?

The US has so much more to offer than a once in a lifetime trip to see Lady Liberty. I have so many spots on my To-Do List that I don’t think I could possibly see them all in a lifetime, but I’ll give it a good go!

One of these places was Charleston, South Carolina. Somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of press back home, in fact I fell in love with the place through Julia, who moved here last autumn.

When she invited my fiancé (still not used to saying that!) and I to stay, we jumped at the chance. Thrilled to have her and Thomas as our guides.

Thrown into the depths of a warm spring, wearing

Cream jacket // Navy dress

Navy belt // White + navy bag

Striped shoes

After breakfast we headed downtown to Charleston’s historic neighbourhood.

Filled with some of the most beautiful houses you’ll ever see, shaded by oaks and palms.

Yellow jacket (sold out, similar 1/similar 2)

White shirt dress (also check out this one, and this one) // Basket

Heels

We strolled through the sun dappled streets, admiring the architecture, the impeccable design, the lush gardens, the way each house compliments its neighbour.

If Ralph Lauren were to design a town, it would be Downtown Charleston.

I wore the perfect camouflage!

Poor Julia and Thomas had come all the way up to Washington to meet us for some cherry blossom action, only to find the very best on their doorstep.

Though hopefully we made it up to them with our foodie finds.

The people of Charleston are utterly charming, every corner we turned someone would wish us a good morning, offer up a quick chat about the weather, let us snuffle their dog (ok, that was just me).

It was a lovely change of pace from London, where people look at me like I’m a serial killer for saying good morning!

And I was really very taken by everyone’s impressive window boxes.

I’m aware that I’ve reached peak Middle Age a little early. I’m fine with it.

We cruised down cobbled roads and side streets, chattering away and choosing houses.

All of Julia’s were pink.

All of mine had double porches.

But it wasn’t long until we stumbled upon one with my name all over it.

If you hand me a pen, I’ll add a comma between the names and move right in.


For lunch we checked out a local favourite, 167 Raw.

A little roadside seafood place with a small, shady garden where you can sit outside.

With guacamole, ceviche and chips.

And just a few… accoutrements.

Fried shrimp tacos.

Swordfish tacos.

Lobster roll, in the butteriest roll you’ll ever try! They pan fry the roll in clarified butter before stuffing it.

Really, really naughty. In the best possible way.

Tuna burger, a real highlight!

Oyster poboy, as delicious as it is pretty.

We walked off lunch beneath the trees, relieved to find a warm afternoon breeze dancing through the leaves.

Before pulling up a pew in the park.

And buzzing away as excitedly as the bees working away around us.

If Charleston has escaped your attention until now, stay tuned.

More tomorrow, and by the end of the week you’ll be looking at hotels!

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  • Rosie, this food looks amazing and that jacket is perfect. Need!

    • Rosie

      I pretty much live in it at the mo! It just seems to go with everything… I should probably mix it up a bit!

  • I’ve fell in love with Charleston, through Julia as well.
    Beautiful photography and you girls are stunning!

    Love from https://tbymallano.com/

    • Rosie

      She’s their very best ambassador!

  • You’re so so right about us Euros being just as bad – I would never even think to go to Charleston if I were going to the US, but it looks so so cute. Also, SO excited for your wedding day just because you’re going to look stunning !! xxx

    http://www.diaryofanexpatgirl.com

    • Rosie

      Ha, thanks Lexi! I really need to start planning, I just have no idea where to start and keep changing my mind on what I want. Bad bride! xx

  • Laura Torninoja

    You know I’ve never ever considered Charleston as a place to visit, but seeing your and Julia’s posts has definitely changed my mind! The place looks absolutely gorgeous – look like your having a great time too! 🙂

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Rosie

      It really is worth a trip! x

  • You are so right about the U S of A. There is SO much more to it than the view from the Empire State and Disney! I would love to discover more American gems, need to get planning some sort of road trip >:) Charlston looks gorgeous, V jel that Julia lives there! What a dream. Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

    • Rosie

      Road trip would be epic! Maybe right across in a vintage american convertible?!

  • The food in this post is too much! Those fish tacos look delicious! Love the dress you’re wearing too!

    http://www.duchessoffashion.co.uk

    • Rosie

      I could happily eat fish tacos all day errday!

  • Rosie

    It really is! Thanks Mia xx

  • Katie Harwood

    Ever since Julia moved there (I read her blog too) Charleston has just seemed to become more and more important on my USA to visit list! It looks amazing and I really just want to go to that Sugar bakeshop haha 🙂

  • I live in the US and I’ve STILL never been to Charleston! It’s been on my bucket list for years, but now I just need to make it happen! I’ve also heard really wonderful things about Savannah, Georgia (and that it’s similar to Charleston in some ways) and after some light research this weekend, I’m sold on a trip there too! 🙂

    26 and Not Counting

  • I will have to disagree on this one! =)

    My experience from staying in Maine was quite the opposite. I met people from different backgrounds and different age groups, none of whom had any idea where my native country was. They all have heard about London when I mentioned I live there, but not sure how many would be able to point it out on the map.

    Having said that, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. The cliche you mentioned at the beginning in still valid, and yes it goes both ways.

    Greetings from Cyprus! xx

    Lucia | http://www.thevivalavita.com

  • Little Miss Notting Hill

    I’ve been following Julia and Thomas’ move to Charleston too and it just looks incredible, very excited to head there and visit – your pictures are so dreamy! x

    http://littlemissnottinghill.com/

  • Olivia

    I moved to Charleston a few years ago, and was so excited when I saw via Instagram you were here! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • What a charming little place 🙂

  • I teared up reading this post. I went to college in Charleston. 4 years playing on Sullivan’s Island and swing dancing downtown. My best friends were made there. We are going back in August for our friend’s wedding, and it going to be one amazing reunion. Thanks for the nostalgia. So excited to see more.

  • Peppermint Dolly

    I’ve been devouring Julia’s posts since they moved there, great to see you were over for visits!!

    Rebecca
    xx
    http://www.peppermintdolly.com

  • Carrie

    Oh what a wonderful post. Charleston is my birthplace and although being born to british parents and living most of my life in the UK, I still consider it my hometown. I would challenge people to find a city as welcoming and beautiful as Charleston and believe they would struggle. Your pictures are just wonderful and it has been so lovely to see those stunning streets through your lens. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip!

    Carrie x

    p.s. I will be sure to check out Julia’s blog too!

  • littleblackdomicile

    You two girls are as pretty as the architecture and I don’t say that too often in this business!-Laurel Bledsoe

  • Jacqueline Sin

    I admit – I am one of those people who have never heard of Charleston before this – but you are so right in saying that the whole town has a very chic Ralph Lauren vibe to it! <3 There are so many places in the US I would want to visit and hopefully, like you, I will get the chance to check them off one by one! xx

    Jacqueline | Sail Away to Neverland ♡

  • Charleston is so beautiful and their window boxes really are amazing! Glad you and your fiancé had a great time – I wish he wasn’t so mysterious!!

    http://www.shessobright.com

  • Abby

    One of the houses in your pictures is my college roommates family’s home! HA! I love Charleston and have been visiting for a long time (have another trip coming up!) It’s in my plan to split time between London and Charleston, but until then visiting will do!

  • Rach

    I’m with ya and there so much to see in U.S. outside of the well known cities. Glad to hear your trip to Charleston went well! It is on my bucket list to visit there!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  • Marina Jackman

    Rosie, Charleston is pretty much my favorite place ever!!! If you can make sure you go to Husk and Kaminskys!

  • That food looks absolutely incredible! Also I love your friendship with Julia — I’ve been reading her blog about as long as yours and I love the crossover when you two are together 🙂

    xx

    bombshell-to-be.blogspot.com
    brokegirlstyle.blogspot.com

  • Holli Robbins

    So happy to see you visited my town! Your initial impression is exactly what made me pack my bags and move here over four years ago. Hope you had a marvelous time. Looking forward to more posts on your trip here.

  • Love love Charleston & your food pictures are making me seriously hungry! I hope you went to Husk and Fig!! xx
    C’s Collection | http://chelseascollection.com

  • charleston is so so gorgeous and u r wearing the cutest shoes ever!!!
    http://www.thestyletune.com

  • It’s true that I didn’t know much about Charleston before Julia moved there but I’ve fallen in love with it and I’d love to visit some day. Such a charming place!

    http://www.memoriesofthepacific.com

  • Kari Guastella

    Charleston is easily my favorite city in the US. It’s so charming!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  • Jen

    Such a lovely post, Rosie! So happy you enjoyed your time. xx

    Jen | affecionada

  • Bec

    I adored Charleston! Spent hours wandering around admiring the houses and had the best choc chip cookies OF MY LIFE from the Brown Dog Deli: https://mybloggableday.com/2015/09/30/nashville-to-charleston-to-savannah/ I love the States and have been fortunate to travel extensively through the country, so many of the best places are little travelled to destinations (by international tourists at least) in between the big names. Great post!

  • This looks so cute! X
    http://www.thouhtsinstyle.com/

  • Charleston hasn’t been on my list but it really does look charming! Just my kind of food – love the look of the tacos.

  • Oooh I wasn’t planning on going any further south than DC, but you may have tempted me now… temptress you!

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

  • Annie

    I love, love, love 167 Raw. That Tuna Burger is to die for. So glad you enjoyed your time in Charleston! Such a beautiful little city.

    -Annie
    http://www.discoveringyourhappy.com

  • I love Charleston! It’s one of the most charming and beautiful places to visit in the US! Glad you’re showing it off! xo Bryn http://www.waketonroad.com

  • Athena Politou

    I’m a sucker for these classic American houses! Imagine what a joy living there would be! Seems heavenly!

    athenianchic.wordpress.com

  • Jade Dsa

    I NEED those shoes! They’re adorable!
    http://www.thatgoangirl.com