Arts & Culture, Discovery, Sip & Savor

Wine, Dine, and Unwind at Charleston Wine + Food Festival

In a city filled with storied kitchens and award-winning chefs, mixologists, winemakers and restaurateurs, it comes as no surprise that the Charleston Wine + Food Festival is among one of the most sought after events of the year. Celebrating its 15th installment, the festival is fueled by top Charleston talent infused with inspiring talent from around the globe—this flavorful force brings together a curated five-day festival spanning the first full weekend in March. The Charleston Wine + Food Festival will feature more than 100 unique culinary experiences that will feed your mind, body, and soul. Consisting of dinners, lunches, brunches, signature events, cooking classes, excursions, and a large tasting experience in Marion Square, there’s something for everyone. As The Holy City plays host to chefs, farmers, beverage professionals, artists, and more, we invite you to experience the festival firsthand. Culinary Village Considered to be the heart and soul of the festival, wander through Marion Square, for up to five hours, as you taste and sip food and wines, indulge in retail therapy, watch chef demos, and more. Signature Events From historical venues to iconic Lowcountry settings, choose between an intimate or large gathering as you take in our local culinary heritage.  Our Pick: ‘Bourbon on the Base’-an event showcasing bourbons and open fire fare at the US Navy Base located in North Charleston. With more than a dozen chefs, including our very own Executive Chef Steven Manall from The Palmetto Cafe, and Bourbon distributors this event is the perfect place to unwind into the weekend. Signature Dinners Experience Charleston’s most celebrated dining rooms, award-winning chefs, and nationally acclaimed beverage professionals when you take part in a curated multi-course dining experience. Our Pick: ‘Peas + Love’ at the Charleston Grill featuring Executive Chef Michelle Weaver and guest chef Jamie Simpson. Veg out while indulging in a plant-forward tasting menu as you sip top Champagnes from the world’s most coveted Houses. Beverage Workshops Sample savory spirits in an intimate educational setting led by beverage professionals from around the world. Whether you want to learn about cool climate cabs or hoppy brews, there’s something for everyone. Brunches & Lunches Embrace the magic of the morning with Southern Shrimp and Grits or sink your teeth into a decadent brunch spread—whichever you choose, sip your way through each bite with a spicy Bloody Mary or a sweet tea mimosa in hand.   Excursions Stroll the soul food establishments or forage for the earth’s tastiest secrets and discover what makes Charleston the culinary capital of the South. Hands-On Classes Taught by acclaimed chefs, get involved in the cooking process as experts focus on curating creative cuisine for guests. We hope you’ll join food and wine enthusiasts from around the world, and celebrate their passions this March. For questions regarding the festival, we encourage you to contact them directly. And, if you choose our hotel as your base for your culinary adventure, contact our concierge team for any additional assistance. 
Continue reading
Arts & Culture, Discovery

How to Spend Your Holidays in Charleston

Imagine sun-filled days and cozy nights, festive palmetto trees, and a city embellished with decorative lights, magnolia wreaths, and holiday charm. From magnificent holiday displays and lively performances to world-class shopping and family-friendly fun, escape to the Holy City this season and create magical memories with your loved ones.  Belmond Charleston Place Embark on an adventure to Belmond Charleston Place, and take in the magnificent holiday decor. Set between the iconic Georgian open-arm staircase, and beneath the glistening chandelier, you’ll find the awe-inspiring train display. The fully operational replica of the Venice Simplon-Oritent-Express train courses its way through 300 feet of track as it passes by European Alpine homes, churches, and hundreds of handcrafted trees. Throughout the lobby, you’ll also discover nearly 1,000 feet of garland, five Fraiser Fir trees and 100 wreaths. Teddy Bear Tea On Sundays in December, Belmond Charleston Place continues a beloved holiday tradition as children get dolled up for tea time at the Thoroughbred Club. Adults can partake in tea service, while kids enjoy teddy bear-shaped PB & Js, scones and cookies. Marvel at the custom-designed train display and enjoy live music and magic shows. Be sure to snag a keepsake picture from the professional photographer as a treasured souvenir.  Holiday Market at Marion Square The Holiday Market at Marion Square hosts a number of holiday vendors, in addition to favorite local artisans. Enjoy shopping, live entertainment, and activities for children, including photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, December 7-17, as you peruse your way throughout the park. From handcrafted jewelry and candles to local fashion designers and artists, find the perfect gift for your loved one at the Holiday Market.    Tree Lighting at Marion Square On Sunday, December 1 from 4:30-6:30PM, head down historic King Street, just steps from Belmond Charleston Place, and discover holiday cheer. Join the celebration of the lighting of the magnificent 64-foot Holiday Tree of Lights, the official City of Charleston Christmas tree, while enjoying live performances. Holiday Festival of Lights A quick drive off the peninsula will bring you to the magnificent Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park. Known as Charleston’s most cherished holiday tradition, the awe-inspiring spectacle features an estimated two million dazzling lights. As you course your way through the three-mile display of glimmer lights, guests explore holiday attractions, shopping, dining, and more. Open to the public November 15-December 31, be sure to drive through the dazzling display this holiday season.    Dock Street Theatre Spend an evening at the historic Dock Street Theatre, and enjoy family-friendly entertainment with shows like “Elf the Musical” or “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. Known as the first building in America built exclusively for theatrical performances, the theatre has been a part of Charleston history for centuries. The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place Find the perfect gift for your loved ones at The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. From luxury labels for men and women to children’s stores and accessories for all, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Continue reading
Arts & Culture, Discovery

Charleston’s Best Beaches

No Lowcountry vacation is complete without a trip to one of Charleston’s beautiful nearby beaches. Each beach has its own distinct charm, but all are guaranteed to make a great day trip and memory. Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and Folly Beach are all barrier islands located about 15 minutes from the downtown area. The popular summer days and even the months surrounding it offer perfect temperatures for swimming.  Even in the winter, you can find people sun bathing and combing the sand. The waters are known for being fairly mild with extremely gradual slopes.  Water coverage does, without a doubt, vary on the low and high tide times so check your charts.  If you fear little space to move and high-rise hotels, then you can breathe a sigh of relief; all three beaches, like the rest of downtown, pride themselves on staying laid back and local.

Sullivan’s Island is the smallest and most natural of the surrounding beaches. Located at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, the island is a mix between ultimate relaxation, natural landscapes, vibrant restaurants and shopping scene, and a touch of history. The views of Fort Sumter, Morris Island Lighthouse, and the Battery are unparalleled, and the occasional meandering cruise line is always a spectacle.

Concierge Tip: Visit Fort Moultrie on the eastern end of Sullivan’s Island for an unforgettable American history lesson.

Folly Beach is a great example of the classic beach town. The surfer-esque style is home to some of the best riding in the area, and great for those who enjoy some lively company. The beach stretches six miles, and has plenty of space to find a more secluded spot. While your heading north away from the crowd, you will arrive at what is called the Washout, named for the damage struck to the area from Hurricane Hugo in the late 80’s.  If you brought your surfboard, then this is the place to use it.  The area is most consistent in producing solid waves for more experienced riders.  Just outside of Folly Beach the area is dotted with fun restaurants and bars, perfect for post beach drinks and appetizers.

Concierge Tip: Visit the Folly Beach County Park at the west end of Folly Beach.  It features dressing areas, outdoor showers, and a swimming area with lifeguards on duty.  Perfect for kids!

Isle of Palms, also known as IOP, boasts beautiful white sand beaches and luxurious waterfront homes.  The beach area is about the same size as Folly, and has great places to rent kayaks, boats, stand up paddleboards and even charters. One major convenience of IOP are the public bathrooms, rinsing areas, and parking. After a day at the beach, visit some of the local restaurants, bars, and shops.

Concierge Tip: Keep up with the Isle of Palms Turtle Team for updates on where to search for nests and tracks. Take a look at the photo gallery as well to see the most recent turtle hatchings.

All three beaches are sure to please any visitor, with their laid back Southern attitude, and beautiful Charleston sun.  Just remember to leave the alcohol at home and be mindful of your pets, and you are sure to have a great time. While the beaches are a quick drive from the hotel, transportation to and from can be arranged by our masterful concierge team.

Continue reading