Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kettler Travel Journal: Charleston

Epic Weekend with Epic Friends

That about sums up our way-too-short trip to Charleston. Some of our closest friends live on the West Coast, which means we don't get to see them much, which also means when we find out they will be within a 5 hour vicinity, we jump right on the opportunity to see them! They decided to bring a small West Coast crew to "tour" The South.

The Crew

Meet Jessica and Corey, our adorable friends! They live in Portland and San Francisco, respectively and are major foodies just like us!

Kettler Travel Journal Charleston

Meet Dan, Crissy and Isis (also from Portland) - our new awesome friends!

Kettler Travel Journal Charleston

It was a jam-packed weekend with several memorable moments, like this one:

Kettler Travel Journal Charleston
Ryan and Isis attempting the Gangum Style dance in front of Kaminsky's.

The Old South

We had the opportunity to tour one of the oldest working plantations in the area, Boone Hall Plantation, which is right outside of Charleston. A lot of history spurs from this property and (for the ladies out there) this is the location where The Notebook was filmed and where Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively just got hitched! Pause for teenage girl shrieks.

There was a beautiful little butterfly garden that we frolicked through, and massive live oak trees that we climbed on. I love this L.L. Bean catalog shot we got:

Kettler Travel Journal Charleston

The Butterfly Cafe featured homemade ice cream (that we eagerly devoured) before heading into Charleston for some afternoon fun. Some of the group parted ways to take advantage of the beautiful golf courses in South Carolina, while the rest of us decided to walk through the Straw Market and get an official tour of Charleston on a horse-drawn carriage (is there any other way?!?!). 

Kettler Travel Journal Charleston


The Straw Market is a historical landmark in Charleston. Formerly known as the Slave Market, this served as the market where slaves would purchase goods for their master. The market is speckled with old tradition and new culture. Gullah woman mark the entrances and exits with the traditional craft of basket weaving, while a variety of vendors bargain food, clothing, jewelry and gifts. 

Kettler Travel Journal Charleston

Next on the agenda was to hop on a horse-drawn carriage for a historical tour of the city. For those that have been going to Charleston for years and not done this, DO IT! I was amazed at some of the history I learned about the city. I mostly enjoyed the facts about the architectural past of the beautiful, rather large homes that fill the city. From wealth and wars, to fires and earthquakes, this city has retained its dedication for its past. Charleston may be steeped in history, but they have pushed the curve in the culinary field. 

The Food

We dined, and we dined well in Charleston. Here is a little preview for the food porn addicts of the world:

Crispy Fried Oysters
Crispy fried oysters with coleslaw, arugula and Old Bay aioli.

Honeycrisp apple salad
Honeycrisp apple salad, shaved fennel, pecans, smoked blue cheese, baby arugula salad with sherry honey vinaigrette.

Beef carpaccio
Beef Carpaccio, arugula, herb aioli, soft boiled egg, black truffle vinaigrette and toast.

Trout with butternut brussels hash
Grilled Sunburst Farms trout with roasted butternut-Brussels sprouts hash,  dressed micro greens with a citron vinaigrette.
smoked pork belly
Crispy smoked pork belly, black pepper cider gastrique and corn relish.

quail sausage grits okra
Stuffed South Carolina quail, housemade sausage, corn grits, okra, watermelon pickle, honey thyme reduction.

seafood pirlou
Seafood Pirlou, shrimp, mussels, scallop, grouper, country ham, Charleston rice, corn, okra, stewed tomatoes.
mocha salted caramel cake
Mocha, salted caramel cake with fresh whipped cream.

And we drank, we drank VERY well!

lavender martini
Lavender Martini - Stoli Vanil, lavender syrup and lemon.

Barn Raiser: local honey infused Maverick bourbon, ginger ale, orange bitters, orange twist.

Cosmopolitan and sweet tea vodka cocktails.

Espresso, extra strong!
For those considering another vacation, I highly recommend Charleston and it's surrounding area. There are so many things to do there, especially with the culinary scene setting the bar pretty high for tourist spots! 


  1. Fantastic post. I love Charleston but have never done the carriage ride. I will definitely do that next time which may be sooner rather than later after this article.

    1. Thanks Mama Rose!! It is certainly worth it.

  2. Epic Street Dancing, Mr. Kettler HA! I need to get to Charleston for a Honey Bourbon...and Lavender Cocktail YUMMM!! #parched