Sip & Savor

The Conductor Holiday Cocktail

The holiday season creates an enchanting atmosphere at Belmond Charleston Place. With festive decorations and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) train display, the hotel magically comes alive. Located on the lobby level, The Thoroughbred Club features special holiday drinks, available for a limited time. The Conductor, created in honor of the hotel’s VSOE train display, wraps the sweet smell of holiday treats into a must-try drink.

The Conductor:

1.5 oz. Wild Turkey American Honey, infused with vanilla bean and cinnamon
1 oz. Hoodoo Chicory liquer 
1 oz. lemon juice
1 round lemon slice, for garnish
Granulated sugar, for garnish

Rub a lemon slice along the rim of a martini glass, then dip the glass into a dish of sugar. Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Stir,  then strain liquid into the glass.  Garnish with lemon slice.

For the bourbon infusion: Place one vanilla bean and and one cinnamon stick in the Wild Turkey American Honey bottle and let it infuse for at least a week. Strain before using. 

With an intimate setting and live music, The Thoroughbred Club is the perfect spot for a group gathering or to cozy up with a loved one. Stop by to indulge in this holiday drink or create it at home for your next holiday party. Toast to the season!

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Discovery

Downtown Discovered: Harleston Village

While downtown Charleston is most often known for its historic district, a variety of unique neighborhoods exist within the city center. From picturesque South of Broad to the artistic French Quarter, there’s plenty here for guests to delight in. In our next installment of Downtown Discovered, we will explore the diverse and lively Harleston Village.

Location:
Stretching from King Street, west to the Ashley River, Harleston Village is bordered by Calhoun Street to the north and Broad to the South. Frequently called Harleston’s Green, the area was part of a grant made to John Coming in 1671 and later inherited by John Harleston. Streets named for prominent men of the period, including Lord Charles Greville Montagu and Lt. Gov. William Bull, still bear their names today.

Concierge Tip:
Originally developed in 1770, the neighborhood is a mix of Antebellum houses and upscale modern townhouses situated along tree-lined streets. Be sure to stroll past the most famous homes in the area, the 1802 Gaillard-Bennett house at 60 Montagu Street and the 1800 William Blacklock house at 18 Bull Street. The Gaillard-Bennett house boasts 10,000 square feet of Georgian/Adam details plus one of the most impressive formal gardens in Charleston while the Blacklock House is a National Historic Landmark. 

History:
Founded in 1700, the same year as the initial development of Harleston Village, the College of Charleston is the oldest education institution south of Virginia, and the 13th oldest in the United States. Also located in Harleston Village and owned by the College of Charleston, the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture holds regular exhibits, tours, lectures and workshops dedicated to educating the community on the history and culture of African Americans in the Lowcountry.

Concierge Tip:
A hub of learning in historic Charleston, Harleston Village is also home to the American College of the Building Arts, the country’s only four-year liberal arts college educating and training artisans in the traditional building arts. While staying at Belmond Charleston Place, be sure to stop into the Thoroughbred Club for tapas, served on trays created by local blacksmithing students. 

Places of Interest:
From college students to families to the elderly, you are likely to see numerous people outside enjoying the various parks in the neighborhood. Colonial Lake, a tidal lake currently undergoing a $5 million revitalization, is the perfect place for afternoon strolls. You will see walkers, joggers, bikers, kids and dogs at this family-friendly spot. Located near the Medical University of South Carolina, Cannon Park was previously a sawmill pond before becoming a convention hall, museum and hospital. A fire destroyed the hall in 1981, leaving behind its four grand columns, still visible today.

Concierge Tip:
Grab a cup of coffee from the minimalist-chic Second-State Coffee, before heading out to explore Harleston Village. Make sure you stop to see the Old City Jail on Magazine Street, home to pirates, gangsters and even ghosts! By day, the Old City Jail houses the American College of the Building Arts and at night, is open for haunted walking tours. In case you’ve scared up an appetite, visit Queen Street Grocery, established in 1922 and home to irresistible crepes and hot pressed sandwiches. Once you’ve had your fill, head down Broad Street and wind around to the City Marina, for stunning views of the Ashley River. End your day with a cocktail at Salty Mike’s while watching the sun set! A perfect end to an ideal Lowcountry day.

 

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Discovery

Interview with Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s Inaugural Poet Laureate

Charleston is well known for its blossoming culture and arts scene; from its well-preserved historic architecture, unique but approachable dining experiences, live music in cozy bars like the Thoroughbred Club, or the countless art galleries lining our historic streets, Charleston’s creativity resonates throughout the city. One art form in particular has come to the forefront of much of this creative spirit, and it is mostly due to Marcus Amaker, a creative who has spent his life dedicated to the arts and music. We reached out to Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s Inaugural Poet Laureate, to hear a little bit about what inspires him and some tips on how you can experience Charleston’s creativity.
How and when did you first get into poetry?
Vinyl. I first got into poetry the second that I heard music, as a child. My parents were very aware of giving me experiences with art and music. There was always vinyl around our house, and we were always going to concerts. Vinyl packaging was essential to my love of the written word, because lyrics were printed on all of my favorite album sleeves.

You are currently the City of Charleston’s Inaugural Poet Laureate. Why was this position created and what does it entail?
This position was created to promote literacy in our schools and to be an advocate of the arts. I am so honored to have the title. I’m now at the table for important decisions involving our arts scene. I’m asked to write poems for events and do a lot of workshops in schools. Connecting with students has been the most rewarding part.

You have had so many artistic endeavors over the course of your career. What inspires you to be constantly creating? 
Everything goes back to music. Listening to it, creating it, seeing it live. Music is the key to everything I do. The poems I write are songs without instrumentation. The graphic design that I creative has visual keys and rhythm. I’m totally plugged into sound and song.

You have produced poetry books, videos, workshops of all kids, what do you have in the works currently?
I’m currently working on a few new albums and producing our city’s first poetry festival. The albums are experimental electronic works, using analogue machines. The poetry festival will be in the fall of this year and will involve workshops and public displays of poetry plus events for all ages.

How does Charleston inspire your creative process?
Once settled in Charleston, it was impossible to not be inspired by this city. I feel the stories of our ancestors every time I walk down the street. I am in touch with the ghosts of our past and aware that we have to keep history alive, while moving forward. I can thank Charleston for an awakening that I would not have had in any other city

How can visitors get involved in the art scene?
There are so many entry points to our art scene. I love Redux Contemporary Art Center. They are putting on progressive shows using all kinds of mediums. The Halsey Institute is also an amazing spot for anyone looking to check out the visual arts.

What is your favorite spot in the Charleston area right now and what would you suggest for visitors to do while they are here?
My favorite spot in Charleston is the Upper Deck Tavern. The best dive bar in town. I’d love for visitors to visit the upper peninsula and go to Hampton Park. It’s the most beautiful park in the city, and there’s a wealth of history there. The Denmark Vessey statue is remarkable.

Do you have a poem you would like to share with our readers?
“the last word”

one day, 
someone will write
the last poem about injustice
and it will become 
our new national anthem. 
only history books
will hold the memory of hatred
and museums will be built
for the artifacts
of our awakening

one day,
someone will have
the last conversation about politics
because we realized 
there were problems 
that our politicians couldn’t fix. 
policies not built
to cure our addiction to division, 
no governing body
that compared to the bodies 
of the enlightened.

one day,
this poem won’t be
a manifesto for dreamers. 
we will wake up from nightmares
of our own making
and reject our attraction 
to darkness;
our love affair
with conflict.

You can stay up-to-date on Amaker’s upcoming events and and projects at his website.

Pictured above: The second edition of Mantra featuring new graphic design, poetry and artwork. Among the new poems in the book is “Reimagining History” – written with Marjory Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina. “Reimagining History” was commissioned by Charleston, SC Mayor John Tecklenburg for his inauguration.

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