Tuesday, September 30, 2014

birthday getaway to the grove park inn & spa

This past week Rob and I took a little getaway to Asheville, North Carolina to celebrate my birthday. Asheville is always one of our favorite spots to frequent each fall. It's a quick and easy drive from Charleston, the Smoky Mountains are always a beautiful sight, and it is enjoyable to experience the cooler mountain temperatures and the changing fall colors that we don't normally get to see here in Charleston.

When deciding where to stay it was an easy decision: The Grove Park Inn. The Grove Park, located just minutes from downtown Asheville, opened in 1913 and has since hosted many famous celebrities, literary greats and United States presidents. F. Scott Fitzgerald (who I also happen to share a birthday with) spent several years writing some of his greatest literary works from rooms 441 and 443 of the historic main inn at the Grove Park. The hotel is rich with history and the lobby still has the original beautiful stacked stone fireplaces from when it was built all those years ago. The Grove Park also has a beautiful outdoor area with expansive terraces that allow you to soak in the mountain views and catch breathtaking sunsets on a nightly basis. 

Our room was located in the Sammons Wing, just off of the main historic inn and the lobby. From our room we had the most beautiful view of the Inn's golf course and the Smoky Mountains, and the morning sunrise from our window was absolutely stunning. Upon arriving to our guest room I was so excited to find that the hotel had left a little birthday treat of chocolates and a card for my arrival. 

One of the greatest things about the Grove Park is the truly relaxing experience you can enjoy when visiting. There were several restaurants throughout the resort that you can dine at for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as several spots in the evenings for live music, appetizers, and drinks. One of our favorite restaurants at the hotel was Edison, we ended up eating there on two different occasions during our trip. Trust me when I say, this was the best grilled cheese I have ever tasted. And the beautiful outdoor seating area with gorgeous views and fireplaces makes it even better. 

On my actual birthday we spent the day at the Grove Park Inn Spa. Wow.  The spa is a truly amazing and tranquil experience at the Grove Park, and definitely my favorite of all the spas that I have visited. The subterranean spa features rock walls, arches, tunnels, and a variety of different water features, plunge pools, sauna rooms, and treatments. 43,000 square feet of pure relaxation was the perfect way to spend my 25th birthday. The heated pool on the spa deck allowed us to soak in the beautiful mountain view and refreshing mountain air, all while keeping warm. 

Overall, our experience at the Grove Park was wonderful and we hardly left the resort at all. There was no reason too. We did take a quick little drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The leaves were not changing quite yet, but regardless it was still just as pretty as any other season. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

callie's hot little biscuit

I can’t think of many better ways to spend an early Saturday morning than indulging in warm buttermilk biscuits, rich cinnamon butter spread, and a refreshing sweet tea topped with mint.

Over the weekend Rob and I found ourselves up and out of the house early, so we thought the perfect way to kill some time would be enjoying a nice breakfast- something we rarely have time to do during the week. We love our usual breakfast spots, but decided that we would try somewhere we have never been before since there have been so many new places popping up all around Charleston.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit seemed like a great option. The eatery has been receiving rave reviews and lots of coverage across social media. The small little storefront sits on Upper King Street, so we parked the car and enjoyed a short walk through the Farmer’s Market in Marion Square along our way.
While Callie’s is more of a take-and-go eatery, there is a bar along the left side of the store if you choose to dine in. Since we were in no rush we decided to enjoy our breakfast in the restaurant.

Upon entering the restaurant you are greeted with a refreshing and welcoming vibe, and aromatic smell of freshly baked biscuits. The store has a small area near the front door that serves the original frozen Callie’s biscuits, a Callie’s Biscuits cookbook, and other little Southern inspired tokens.

The beauty of Callie’s is that it’s simple. You can choose from a few different kinds of biscuits, and a couple of different options for fillings (cinnamon, fruit, etc.). Nothing over the top, it’s less about the frills and more about the delicious food you’re about to eat.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit started as a mother-daughter company out of North Charleston in 2005. The duo, Callie White and Carrie Morey, would package their biscuits and then send them frozen to grocers across the United States. With lots of success, they finally decided to open a storefront, and I for one am happy they did. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits opened at 476 King Street in July of 2014. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

featured listing: 267 marsh ibis trail

It's finally Thursday! Today is the kick off for college football season- woohoo!  I love when football season gets going, because I know that it's just a matter of time before I can begin pulling my boots,  leggings and sweaters out of the close. I for one have been enjoying the cooler temps here in Charleston, and fall is fully on the brain!

Today, I wanted to share a great new listing in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina- 267 Marsh Ibis Trail


This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home is located in the Long Point Road subdivision of Grassy Creek, a neighborhood that offers stunning marsh views, Charleston-style designed homes, a community dock with water access and a great pavilion area with an outdoor fireplace that is perfect for entertaining, as well as a play area for children. 

267 Marsh Ibis Trail features a flowing open floor plan and a gourmet kitchen that was recently used as a set for the national column and video series, "The Desperate Chef" (how awesome is that?!). The kitchen features top-of-the-line appliances and lots of counter space, as well as a built-in wine rack and ceramic farmhouse sink. 

Just off of the kitchen the floor plans open into the living room and eat-in dining area. The downstairs features hardwood floors as well as a bedroom and full bathroom that can be used as a guest suite. 

Upstairs you'll find a beautiful porch overlooking the neighborhood and 2 additional bedrooms with private bathrooms. This home is loaded with lots of upgrades and extras! 267 Marsh Ibis Trail has surround sound wiring in the living room, a central vacuum system, large mudroom, fenced in back yard and screen porch. 

267 Marsh Ibis Trail is offered by The Boulevard Company. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

lowcountry quote

"Charleston has a landscape that encourages intimacy and partisanship. I have heard it said that an inoculation to the sights and smells of the Carolina lowcountry is an almost irreversible antidote to the charms of other landscapes, other alien geographies. You can be moved profoundly by other vistas, by other oceans, by soaring mountain ranges, but you can never be seduced." -Pat Conroy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

caviar and bananas barbecue event

Last Wednesday Rob and I were invited to attend the C&B-BQ event at Caviar and Bananas. The store sits across from the College of Charleston campus, and just one block off of Charleston’s famous King Street, making it an ideal location.

Upon walking into Caviar and Bananas, you are greeted by an establishment that is a blend of high-quality grocery products and healthy grab-and-go foods that use fresh ingredients.

One of the reasons I frequent Caviar and Bananas is the coffee bar, which is open all day and serves a variety of specialty coffees, lattes and teas, as well as breakfast items and pastries. In addition to the coffee bar though, you will find a prepared foods case at the back of the store full of tasteful creations such as Asian BBQ meatballs, seared freshly caught salmon, and smoked chicken pecan salad. The store also has a salad station, sushi bar, and sandwich counter complete with gourmet cheeses.

The evening of the event I had the pleasure of talking with owner Margaret Furniss, during which I learned that Caviar and Bananas is a husband and wife team. Margaret and her husband, Kris, opened the store after moving to Charleston, South Carolina from Manhattan. Living in New York City is any foodie’s dream, so the inspiration to start Caviar and Bananas came from the couples time spent in the city.

The Second Annual C&B-BQ event was held with Executive Chef Scott Roule and Guest Pit Master Wes Sellew.
When creating my plate for the evening, I had the choice of a meat and two sides. My decision for the meat wasn’t hard, with a choice of dry rubbed baby back ribs, Eastern Carolina pulled pork, or barbeque chicken I chose the pulled pork (mouth watering, yet?). Next came the selection of the sides, a much harder decision for myself as all of these options sounded amazing. My choices were triple cheddar mac and cheese, cole slaw, baked beans with bacon, hickory smoked deviled eggs, cheddar-jalapeno corn fritters or heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese vinaigrette. After much pondering, I chose the triple cheddar mac and cheese and heirloom tomato salad. Finally comes my favorite part, the choice of barbeque sauce. Being a vinegar fan myself, I opted for the tree pepper vinegar sauce from the choices of smoked jalapeno barbeque sauce or sweet Kansas City style sauce.

To say it was delicious would be an understatement. The food was absolutely fantastic and I am still dreaming about the heirloom tomato salad. While Caviar and Bananas might only host this barbeque event once a year, make sure you stop by for their latest tasteful creations.