It seems spring is the perfect time to visit Charleston.
While the rest of the world is slowly waking up from winter (or slipping into autumn, hello down there!), everything is already in full swing in South Carolina.
The trees are heaving with blossom, the azaleas are blooming, wisteria creeps its way up crisp white walls. There’s a warm breeze and evenings are warm enough to sit out on the porch with a nice glass of wine.
Not too hot, not at all cold, and the bugs haven’t woken up yet.
Leaving you footloose and fancy free to explore!
White jacket (on repeat at the moment!)
White espadrilles // Lemon bag (sold out – similar)
Accompanied by our halves (who are as firm friends as we are, which is ideal!) we took a tour of some of Charleston’s oldest buildings.
Soaking up the idyllic peace and quiet of the old town.
Striped top // Floral skirt
Yellow bag (similar) // Chloe flats
No cart for us! We strolled on our own two feet.
It’s so easy to get everywhere in Charleston, it seems a shame not to!
Plus you get more time to stop and peer into secret gardens and little side streets.
Charleston is a phenomenally green town. The pavements are shaded by oaks and palmetto trees, every garden bursts with azaleas and there are little parks dotted around for whiling away the warmer afternoons.
For lunch we made our way to Chez Nous.
An adorable little French style café.
Serving up Mediterranean classics, from an ever changing menu.
We spoiled ourselves with a little chilled rosé.
And indulged in some classic cacio & pepe pasta.
If you’re not familiar, cacio e pepe is the pasta dish taking the foodie world by storm!
A traditional Roman dish, it’s basically buttery cheesy peppery pasta.
Delicious? God, yes!
No-one knows why its popularity has suddenly exploded, it’s been around in Rome forever and a day. But hey, I’m not complaining!
We skipped dessert and headed over to Jeni’s for ice cream.
Really. Really. Really good ice cream, as it happens.
Chocolate and lavender for Julia, really creamy lemon frozen yogurt with creamy coffee for me – sounds like an odd combo, I know! But it really worked!
Fuelled on sugar, we set off to enjoy the rest of the dwindling afternoon.
And as one final indulgence for the day… I treated myself to some of my favourite shopping.
And not just any old basket shopping.
These are made of sweetgrass and no two are alike. Handmade by the Gullah, decedents of African slaves, who are responsible for much of The South’s soul food and culture. It was an art that was almost lost for good, but still survives in Charleston.
Using an indigenous bulrush, the women sit and weave throughout the day. They start with a knot and wind the bundled grass around it. Despite using the very same materials, each and every basket is unique. No two artists follow the same design, and you can even buy roses made from the leftovers.
The craft is passed down through the generations, it’s a tradition they’re fighting to keep alive.
The sweetgrass baskets have since become the souvenir to take home.
Should you visit Charleston (and you should!) be sure to stop by a stall for a chat with the weavers and pick one up for mum.
After all, you can never have too many baskets, and those weavers have some stories to tell!
Baskets of them, in fact.
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