New Year, New You

Hoping to make a few lifestyle changes in 2015? Look no further! With Charleston’s local produce, fun fitness opportunities and unique social events, the Lowcountry is the perfect setting for becoming the best version of yourself. This year, kick that long list of crazy resolutions to the curb and try implementing these simple lifestyle changes instead. From your friends at Belmond Charleston Place, this is your 2018 bucket list for health and happiness in the Holy City.

Get Fit

Whether your ideal day of fitness consists of an hour of intense cycling or a jog with picturesque views, Charleston has many resources for getting an enjoyable workout. For cardio amongst Southern scenery, jog the Ravenel Bridge or the Charleston Battery. If hitting the gym is more your style, try joining one of the many fitness centers located downtown, such as Pure Barre or Revolution.

Concierge tip: Follow our customized jogging map for the ultimate cardio experience while enjoying the best parts of Charleston.

Spend More Time Outdoors

This year, take advantage of Charleston’s seaside location by hitting the water for a more unique way to work out. Located off of Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant, Shem Creek is your one-stop-shop for water activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding. While you’re there, enjoy some of the Lowcountry’s best seafood at nearby restaurants.

Eat Local

Treat your body well in 2018 by providing it with the nutrients and fuel that it needs. Skip the processed food and head to restaurants with natural, farm-to-table menu items made with locally grown produce. Also, check out Lowcountry Local First to learn more about where to find yummy farm fresh food in Charleston.

Meet New People

The Spring offers many fun and exciting opportunities for stepping out of your comfort zone and socializing with Charleston locals. From Charleston Fashion Week to Boone Hall Plantation’s Lowcountry Oyster Festival and the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, Charleston’s Spring schedule is the perfect excuse to step outside and enjoy a weekend filled with sipping, shopping and socializing.

Treat Yourself

Last but certainly not least, treat yourself in the new year! It is essential that you find some “me time” this year, to unplug and unwind. Try a calming massage or rejuvenating facial at The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place for the ultimate relaxation experience.


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Southern Cuisine History: Hoppin’ John

The New Year is here and it is time for sticking to resolutions and a big helping of Southern tradition.  Hoppin’ John is a dish consisting of rice and black-eyed peas and often served with collard greens.  It is said to bring luck and prosperity in the New Year to those who eat it.  Although hoppin’ John, as we know it today, is a traditional Southern New Year’s meal, it has a rich and diverse history and many potential influences.  Around 500 AD, the Talmud listed black-eyed peas as a dish to serve during Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year, as a symbol of good luck.  In the mid-1700s many Jews came to the United States and settled in Georgia and around the time of the Civil War the practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck on New Year’s Day had spread to non-Jews. Eating beans on New Year’s Day was also a tradition in France and Spain during the Middle Ages.  French and Spanish settlers likely brought this tradition with them.  African bean and rice dishes are believed to be the primary influence on the development of hoppin’ John in the south.  Southern slaves often prepared a humble combination of rice and beans, both abundant in the American South, that eventually became known as hoppin’ John.

Although no one really knows where the name of this dish originated, there are many theories.  One theory says that the dish earned its name from children hopping around the table before they could eat their beans and rice.  Another story says that a hobbled man, known as Hoppin’ John, sold the dish on the streets of Charleston, SC.  An old South Carolina custom involving inviting a guest to eat by saying “Hop in, John” has also been hypothesized as being the origin of the dish’s name.

Just as there is uncertainty surrounding the name of the dish, theories regarding how hoppin’ John came to symbolize prosperity or how eating it would provide good luck for the coming year are limited.  Many suggest that the peas are meant to symbolize the wealth of coins and the collard greens that are commonly served with the dish represent paper money.  Another aspect of the tradition involved burying a coin in the dish and whoever got the coin in his or her dish was assured good luck throughout the year.

This Southern tradition has spread throughout the country.  Many different versions exists using different types of beans or peas.  Here in South Carolina hoppin’ John typically consists of rice and black-eyed peas and is cooked with bacon, pork fat, or ham hock for flavor and served with a generous helping of collard greens and the promise of a prosperous New Year.

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