Arts & Culture, Discovery

Antiquing with the Expert – Mitchell Owens

The Annual Charleston Antiques Show is famed for its showcase of fine art, delicate furniture, and elegant vintage decor all inspired by the historical heritage of Charleston and its unique Southern charm. This year, we are eager to embrace both the new and returning collectors and enthusiasts hungry for discovery. Belmond Charleston Place is especially looking forward to welcoming aesthetic aficionado Mitchell Owens, Decorative Arts Editor for Architectural Digest. Owens will be leading a tour of the Charleston Antiques Show on March 16th. We are thrilled he agreed to let us interview him in anticipation of his visit. You have written about generational shifts in attitudes toward antiques. As you look to the future, what trends do you expect to see in regards to baby boomers and millennials and their interest in antiques? Truly, one hopes that ‘younger’ shoppers will be able to shake off their apparent fear of the word ‘collector’ (too serious? too granny? too pretentious?) and instead simply allow themselves to appreciate beauty in all its forms—and then buy it. To open their eyes and realize that antiques of all kinds (many of them priced shockingly modestly, given the vagaries of the market) can coexist, beautifully, happily, and distinctively, with newer furnishings and art. Owens believes that the key to attracting younger shoppers is to reveal galvanizing examples of how living with what’s old has value to them. He commends the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, when only 30 years of age, was still “an unquestioned avatar of all things feverishly mod, set his Saarinen tulip table with château-worthy silver flatware, and antique blue-and-white porcelain plates. His dining room was bright, white, sunny, and fresh, yet its contemporary snap—its totally ‘with it’ character—gained depth and individuality through a young man’s balanced embrace of the then and the now.” Owning old things does not mean one must live in a museum. Using old things, on a daily basis, in of-the-moment surroundings, brings them back to life. Once they are alive again, they can’t be dismissed as old-fashioned, can they? Anyway, many of the very best things that we call antique actually were hip when they were brand new. Don’t forget that. I also believe that in February 2020, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens its long-staid British Galleries—which are being reconceived by the electrifying AD100 Roman & Williams design firm—there will be a kick-in-the-pants reappraisal of ‘brown furniture’ et cetera for many people. In addition to leading the Expert Tours during the Antiques Show, you are also a part of the Distinguished Speaker Series with Drayton Hall. Can you tell our readers what they can expect during your lecture, Connoisseur with a Crown: George IV—Collector, Tastemaker, Spendthrift? I don’t want to give much away, but I will expound the English style and collections of George IV in terms of sex, scandal, ambition, pretty things, and parliamentary outrage. How does the interest and conversation about antiques and antique shows vary in Charleston compared to other cities? What makes Charleston unique? A premier destination for embracing “old things”  is none other than Charleston. This aspect is what makes its antique show unique. In comparison to other cities, in Charleston, style traditions still passionately fuel public and private discourse. Thus, antiques remain an integral part of the landscape. The past remains present in Charleston—and powerfully so. It’s why nearly five million people from around the world visit the city every year, to step into history. Though it could also be the pimento cheese. How would you describe the aesthetic of Belmond Charleston Place? What details are your favorite? What about Charleston, in general? Spanish moss, side porches, historic houses painted in marzipan colors, and stiff drinks—what’s not to like about Charleston? As for Belmond Charleston Place, there is so much to admire, but, for me, it’s all about Charleston Grill’s crabcakes. Tell Chef Michelle Weaver to stock up on the lump crabmeat! Thank you so much to Mitchell Owens for bringing his unique perspective on antiques and collecting to Hidden Charleston. Don’t miss your chance to hear Mitchell speak in person while he’s in town, both during the Antiques Show and as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. For Tickets: 2019 Charleston Antiques Show: https://www.historiccharleston.org/blog/event/2019-charleston-antiques-show-general-admission/ Drayton Hall Distinguished Speaker Series: http://www.draytonhall.org/event/march-13-2019-distinguished-speaker-series-mitch-owens-of-architectural-digest-on-connoisseur-with-a-crown-george-vi-collector-tastemaker-spendthrift/
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Arts & Culture, Discovery, Sip & Savor

Catch Our Chefs at these Charleston Wine & Food Events

A city that celebrates decadent cuisine and Lowcountry fare, Charleston is at the forefront of one of the most storied culinary scenes in America. From time-tested recipes for generations to bountiful local ingredients, each world-famous chef and award-winning restaurant creates delectable dishes. Each year, locals and visitors come together to celebrate life’s indulgences at Charleston’s Wine & Food Festival. Now in its 14th year, the festival spans across five days, and welcomes top chefs, winemakers, authors, storytellers, artisans, and food enthusiasts from around the globe. Featuring more than 100 unique culinary experiences, our talented chefs are in the center of it all. From Executive Chef Michelle Weaver’s fine dining flare to Executive Chef Steven Manall’s fresh flavors, our Four Diamond chefs are participating in one-of-a-kind events. And to top it all off, Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ryan delivers something sweet on Opening Night. Read more to discover where you can taste our celebrated chef’s finest dishes. Executive Chef Michelle Weaver, Charleston Grill As Executive Chef of Charleston Grill, Weaver’s culinary aesthetic courses through a menu offering four themed options, each one like a tributary beckoning diners to branch out toward new exploits: Social & Shared, Roots & Stems, Waves & Marsh, Field & Pasture. Stick with a single direction or meander from one taste experience to the other – either way, you’re in for an elegant, unforgettable dining adventure. Opening Night—Wednesday, March 6, 2019 7:30-10PM Neighborhood Series: On the Wappoo—Friday, March 8, 2019 6-9:30PM Culinary Village, Main Stage—Saturday, March 9, 2019 3-4PM Executive Chef Steven Manall, Palmetto Cafe As the chef of the only Forbes Four Star restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch in the state of South Carolina, Manall never relies simply on portion size to satisfy his guests. Instead, he uses classic dishes as inspiration and adds unique flavors, preparations, and presentations. Blended—Friday, March 8, 2019 4:30-7PM Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ryan As the Executive Pastry Chef since 2008, Ryan has been taking desserts to new heights with a mix of traditional and contemporary approaches. Whether creating desserts for Charleston Grill, The Palmetto Cafe, or concentrating on Belmond Charleston Place’s catered events, he enjoys taking classic desserts and adding a modern twist. Opening Night—Wednesday, March 6, 2019 7:30-10PM Whether you’re a local or guest, the Charleston Wine & Food Festival is a great way to explore new tastes and flavors from around the country. From tasty wines to savory dishes, each event is designed to take you on the ultimate culinary journey. If you miss the chance to visit the festival, book a stay with us and explore the same great favors at any of our memorable dining establishments.   
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Arts & Culture, Discovery

The Outdoorsman’s Guide to Charleston

The picturesque Lowcountry offers visitors to Charleston an opportunity to explore one of the world’s most complex eco-systems. From the Atlantic Ocean with its abundant estuaries to the surrounding low-lying marshlands, Charleston is home to one of the most diverse and naturally beautiful landscapes in the country.

Get On the Water
Charleston offers arguably the best ocean, tidal and freshwater fishing of any kind. Spend an afternoon of inshore fishing on the plentiful shallow waters and coastal estuaries of the Lowcountry, teeming with a variety of game fish including redfish, flounder, black drum and even sharks. Or set out for a full-day of deep sea fishing. Providing a challenging adventure even for experienced anglers, catch marlin, tuna, sailfish, mahi-mahi, wahoo and many other species. Charters can be arranged for year-round fishing.

Set Your Sights on the Sky
Located on a historic rice plantation, Ravenel Caw Caw Interpretive Center offers a wide range of trails and nature-viewing opportunities. Noted for its rich bird life, Caw Caw is a birding hotspot for coastal South Carolina. In addition to bird spotting, visitors may catch a glimpse of waterfowl, songbirds, otters, deer, alligators, bald eagles and more. A variety of interactive exhibits, displays and programs can also be found at Caw Caw.

Hit the Trails
Seabrook Island Equestrian Center, located on nearby Seabrook Island, offers one of the few public equestrian trail systems in the Lowcountry. Pristine scenery awaits as you journey through scenic woods, marshes and tidal creeks on trails designed for beginner and advanced riders. Beach rides along the North Beach of Seabrook Island are also available. Open year-round schedule based on tides. Reservations required.

Explore the Great Outdoors
Grab a mountain bike and head to the old Santee Gun Club, now a protected wildlife management area. This 24,000-acre reserve features several dirt road trails through old rice fields, past freshwater cypress swamps and through pine woodlands. Parts of the reserve are open to the public for hunting during certain times of the year.

After exploring Charleston, retreat to Belmond Charleston Place, to relax in luxury.

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