A Symbol of Southern Hospitality

A leisurely stroll along any of the charming and historic streets of the Charleston peninsula lend the eye and ear many enchanting sights and sounds. Glances to the left and right can reveal hidden gardens filled with sweeping ivy and the gentle sound of bubbling fountains. And there is always the faint clip, clop of horse’s hooves on cobblestoned streets. If you look closely enough, you may notice that one symbol in particular seems to pop up quite often, the pineapple. This has become ubiquitous to the Charleston area, but few know what the tiny emblem actually represents.


Sprinkled all over downtown, pineapples can be spotted on doors, atop gates, adorning houses and even on some pieces of jewelry. So what’s the deal with these little fruits, and why are Charlestonians so obsessed with them? It’s because the pineapple has historically served as a symbol of Southern hospitality. According to Levins.com, pineapples were often the main attraction of the large and decadent centerpieces commonly found at extravagant Southern dinner parties. The fruit therefore came to represent the warmth of friendship that was shared at gatherings, as well as the prestige of being in attendance. Some Charlestonians will also tell you that pineapples use to be given as presents on someone’s doorstep, as a sign of friendship. As architects and dignitaries began to pick up on the symbol and what it represented, pineapples were soon incorporated into many of the architectural details in Charleston.


The history of the pineapple explains the popularity of one of the most iconic, photographed spots in town. Visit the Pineapple fountain at Waterfront Park while sightseeing, or after a lovely dinner, as it’s a treat to see any time of day. If you visit the park during daylight hours you can snap a picture of the Charleston harbor behind the fountain, and as soon as the sun sets you can behold the pineapple lit up and glowing against a gorgeous starlight sky. The fountain is a landmark for many visiting the Charleston peninsula, and is a must-see experience.

Copy of IMG_8554

One of the best ways to understand what the pineapple truly represents is to visit Charleston for yourself. The city is known for making visitors feel right at home with its hospitable charm, and the pineapple is just a token of this feeling. The next time you visit the Holy City, take some extra time to notice the cheery way that locals greet each other. Charlestonians pride themselves on being welcoming to all who visit, and that is one reason why those who have experienced Charleston say that it is unlike any other city. In fact, Charleston has been consistently ranked by Travel + Leisure as one of the friendliest cities in the United States.

Because of the unique history of the pineapple, visitors and locals alike have come to sport jewelry that features this Southern symbol. Whether it’s a commitment to being hospitable to all, or a charming reminder of time spent in the Holy City, people seem to love all that the pineapple represents. If you want to add a piece of pineapple jewelry to your collection, you won’t have to look too hard, just venture down King Street and visit the many boutiques which feature a variety of pineapple-inspired pieces. The charm pictured below can be purchased from Pandora in The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place.


The Palmetto Cafe at Belmond Charleston Place especially prides itself on being welcoming to guests who dine here. As a token of this sentiment, and as a delightful end to your delicious meal, guests are served a candied pineapple slice that has been dipped in milk chocolate. Hoping that each guest feels the warmth and hospitality of Charleston when they visit, this pineapple treat is the perfect end to an exceptional dining experience.

0 CommentsLeave a comment

All Dressed Up for the Holidays

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and invitations to holiday soirées will soon follow. The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place have everything you need to truly shine at your next special event. Whether it’s a night out at the newly opened Gaillard Center, or a luxurious New Year’s Eve celebration, look no further than The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place for all of your formal attire essentials.

Shops_Formal_Blog (3)

1. A fancy evening in Charleston calls for a proper dress, and St. John has plenty of wonderful options to choose from. The Liquid Satin Twist-Neck Gown is great for the holiday season because of it’s rich emerald color. And with an elegant shoulder detail, the red Liquid Crepe Draped Gown is the perfect choice for a black tie event. You are sure to wow any crowd wearing either one of these show stoppers.

2. Anne Fontaine is known for its crisp white blouses, and the Ramona blouse is no exception. The black tuxedo-style necktie mixes masculine and feminine style for an elegant yet structured look. To soften the buttoned-up Ramona top, finish out your ensemble with the tulle midi skirt from The Resort Shop. Twist and twirl around the dance floor as the light catches the tiny rhinestones sprinkled around the hem.

3. For the modern woman who rocks a laid back style, the Rusalka Silk Jacquard Caftan by Calypso St. Barth is the perfect dress for you. Pair this flowing embroidered number with some simple gold jewelry, and you’re set for a trendy New Year’s Eve party with friends.

4. If you prefer to let your accessories take center stage, then add a pop of color to your evening attire with the Happy Hour Trina Turk clutch from The Resort Shop. Made with a durable neoprene material and leather inset metal frame, as well as a vibrant and fun hot pink color, this bag works hard and plays even harder.

5. Arrive prepared for a long night on the town with a Minimergency Kit from Lou Lou Boutique. The kit is packed with 17 fashion fix essentials, including dental floss, earring backs, and double sided tape. Pop it inside the gold clutch from Lou Lou Boutique and rest assured knowing that nothing can set your evening astray.

6. To add a personalized touch of sparkle to your outfit, grab these stackable rings from Pandora. Go with a rose gold stack for a delicate detail, or be bold with a mix of gold and silver. You can’t go wrong picking and choosing from the selection of rings at Pandora, so have fun creating the perfect combination for you.

7. With all the class from a simple black suede pump, and the unexpected excitement of a clear-stone embellished heel, the Demi Heels from Kate Spade are anything but ordinary. These trendy shoes are fabulous for mixing whimsical details into your formal attire, and making a classic staple a little more fun.

8. A fresh, glowing face is one of your finest accessories, and L’Occitane has everything you need to put your best face forward. Prepare for a fancy night out with the Crème Divine “miracle” cream and Peony Tinted Lip Balm, and leave your skin hydrated and luminous with the perfect rose-colored pout.

9. For the man in your life, a clean shaven face is a necessity for a formal evening. Send him to The Art of Shaving for a visit with their in-house Master Barber and indulge him in some much needed pampering before your night on the town. You can also pick up a shaving kit so that he can recreate the experience at home.

10. If your special event will be a family affair, stop by Pink Chicken New York for this darling little girl’s dress. The adorable combination of pink, ruffles and sequins are any girl’s dream to wear on a fancy night out with mom and dad.

The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place are the best place to find a perfect outfit for your next formal affair, and with a variety of stores, and an exceptional level of quality items there truly is something for everyone. Be sure that you’re following @TheShopsBCP on Instagram to get the newest looks and offers!

0 CommentsLeave a comment

Downtown Discovered: The French Quarter

IMG_8818 (1)

Downtown Charleston, also known as the Historic District, offers a host of smaller neighborhoods within the city center, each with a unique personality and experience for visitors. Our previous post in this series had us exploring picturesque South of Broad and now the French Quarter, also known as the Art District, beckons.

Named the French Quarter in 1873, the area is roughly bordered by Market Street to the north, Broad Street to the south and extends from the Cooper River westward to Meeting Street. Most of the French Quarter is located within the area that comprised the original colonial walled city of Charles Town, the only walled city built by the English in North America.

Concierge Tip: The only above-ground portion of the city’s earliest defenses still visible is located on the site of the Old Powder Magazine, Located on Cumberland Street, this National Historic Landmark was completed in 1713 and housed the community’s store of gunpowder. Open Monday-Saturday for tours.

The name “French Quarter” was derived in the 1800s when preservation efforts began to protect warehouse buildings on the Lodge Alley block, largely occupied by French Merchants. Local vendors also sold their wares, including meat, vegetables and fish, at the city market. Built between 1804 and 1830, the land was ceded to the city by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney for the express use that it remain as a public market for perpetuity. The current Market Hall was erected in 1841, after the previous building was destroyed by fire. Recognized as one of the oldest in the country, the Charleston City Market is a beloved institution for locals and visitors, especially since it’s home to more than 50 sweetgrass basket weavers who carry on this Lowcountry tradition.


Concierge Tip: Following a $5.5 million makeover, the City Market now houses vendors and food purveyors. Grab lunch and then make your way down Church Street. One of the most photographed spots in the city, St. Philips Episcopal Church is home to the oldest congregation in the state of South Carolina. Notice the church’s foundation in the middle of Church Street. Locals say that the church was built this way so that even if you were not a believer, when you rode down Church Street you had to acknowledge the presence of God. Also worth a visit are the Circular Congregational Church and the French Huguenot Church, the only such congregation in the United States, both located on Meeting Street.

Places of Interest:
While the historic French Quarter is small, art and culture abound. The first building in the country designed for theatrical use, the Dock Street Theater, is located on Church Street. First opened in 1736, the theater still produces performances every year. The area is also home to numerous art galleries. Spend the afternoon browsing Gallery Row, located on Broad Street before visiting those located on Church and State Streets. Currently closed while it undergoes a multimillion dollar renovation, the Gibbes Museum of Art is slated to reopen in the spring of 2016 with a renewed focus on American Southern art.


Concierge Tip: Our restaurants, The Palmetto Cafe and Charleston Grill, are filled with art by local artists, included notable painter Robert Lange. Lange’s studio is open daily, and private tours can be arranged here and at a variety of other studios. If you find yourself here on the first Friday of March, May, October or December, enjoy the French Quarter Art Walk which is free and open to the public. Galleries open their doors for patrons to mingle with artists over refreshments. Stroll among gas lit lanterns and discover the works of more than 500 artists of various styles and mediums.

0 CommentsLeave a comment