Monday, December 23, 2013

Charleston Day For Mom

What gift can you give to a women who has everything, wants nothing, and only wishes to give her everything to others.  If you listen carefully you may find your answer precisely.  

We gave the gift of Charleston to my mother this year, a day we'll never forget in our favorite town.  

Planning this day for my mother has taken some time and I have carefully listened with probing questions.  When she would talk about the blog, she mentioned she would like to see some of the new restaurants we've found around downtown Charleston.  I asked her some specific questions and it always came down to this.  Every trip she makes is to the City Market area and she wanted a new experience.  Don't misunderstand, the market is awesome and especially around Christmas time.  My mother just wanted to see a different scene, something new to her.

She didn't know what was in store for her for the day, not what we were doing nor where we were headed.  The only thing my mother was aware of was that I had the day planned and we would go from place to place in downtown Charleston by golf cart. 

We started out at the Palmer Home B&B on the Battery.  The home overlooks the Charleston harbor and it is the perfect place to stay if you are headed to Charleston.  Free breakfast on the porch and a wine and cheese at 4PM.  Plus, there is a pool!

This is a hidden gem and it is affordable.  The views from that porch while sipping something (be it coffee, lemonade, or a glass of wine) will never let you forget your visit to Charleston.  

If you are nice and you missed out on the Palmer Home B&B for this Charleston visit, go ahead and knock at the front door.  They may offer you a drink and let you look around.  We did...

How gorgeous is their tree and couldn't you see enjoying breakfast on the porch with this view? 

A 75 degree day in December...

Look at all of those boats out there!

These two are of the most amazing, interesting, and good-hearted people I know.  They are my life.  Hardworking, talented, honest, kind, loving, funny, and I could go on but words won't describe my mother nor my husband.

As these two look off at the view, I am staring in awe of my view of them.  Wondering how I got so lucky to have these two great people in my life?

A perfect beginning to a perfect day...

Next stop, Burbages!  Burbages is a local grocer located on Broad Street and known for their pimento cheese sandwiches.  I have read about their sandwiches and thought this would be a fun place to share a sandwich to see how good they actually are.  

They have snacks, wine and beer, and cooked food in the back.

Plus, they sell their famous sandwiches.  We had a couple of fresh pimento cheese sandwiches made at the counter.

They even sell some fresh produce.

The carriage tour rides past the store like clockwork.  

Wow!  Now I realize why the press is commenting about Burbage's pimento cheese!  It is incredible!  The perfect "caviar of The South," as they call it!  

Here is a recipe to give anyone outside of The Southern States and idea of what pimento cheese is.

We ate away on the golf cart and watched as the carriage tours passed by.

Next stop...

...sorry, this isn't Charleston.  This is the Palace of Versailles in France.  Why is this on the blog?  

A few years ago my mother, my husband (fiancĂ© at the time), and I rented a golf cart to tour the grounds of the Palace.  Once Mark drove off of the path into forbidden territory, the golf cart stopped and started speaking to us.  The golf cart voice forced us to reverse and basically said you have reached a forbidden area.  

I recreated this moment by prerecording a little voice prompting us to reverse.  It was in my best little French accent.  

We drove off onto the grass at the Battery park, secretly placed the cart in neutral, and pretended I couldn't drive.  The recording went off saying, "reverse!" "Beep beep beep!"  "You have reached forbidden territory!", etc.  I would play it for you but my accent is pretty embarrassing, it sounds more German then French.

It made for a good laugh.  The best part was that she fell for it completely, even with my bad French or a bad German accent.  

From the Battery, or Versaille grounds, we headed to a wine tasting...

Where?  Goat. Sheep. Cow. of course...

I have written about Goat. Sheep. Cow. before.  It is a cheese, charcuterie, wine, and gourmet grocery store.  

Contact the store to be placed on their email list if you would like to know when their next wine tasting is.   But you may always try their cheese and charcuterie!

You may ask the store to prepare a platter for you or you can make one for yourself.

Meet Molly Colson.  She is a Wine Consultant for Sour Grapes and she helped us with the tasting at Goat. Sheep. Cow.  

Try some Pinot Noir...

How about some Rioja...

Molly was the first stranger to recognize my blog!  How cool is that!  Once I explained the reason for taking all of the pictures,, she mentioned she had just read the blog the other day.

You'll want to head over to a wine tasting just to see the beautiful courtyard in back.  Then head inside to taste some cheese and meat!

We enjoyed another sandwich on the golf cart.  This one from Goat. Sheep. Cow. was sold to us with  a single description:  "Prosciutto ham with arugula, roasted tomato, and an addictive marinated feta cheese all on a baguette."

You HAVE to try this sandwich!!!!!!!!!!!

What is a day in Charleston without a little rooftop visit!  Back to the Market Pavillion.  

There was a little magic at the Market Pavilion that day.  Look who we stumbled upon...

Okay, it wasn't really snowing on this 75 degree day in Charleston, but this photo adds to the magic of the day.

We grabbed some more to eat.  The food at the Pavilion Bar was actually really tasty.  We ordered flatbread, a filet mignon kabob, and jumbo shrimp satays.  The restaurant downstairs, Grill 225, is a steakhouse, so the filet mignon kabob was outstanding. 

These cute pups put everyone in the holiday spirit...

So onto the Grand Finale, the Piece de Resistance...

Mom was prying as to what was next.  I only told her that it was dessert and then read off a list of the press reviews online:

Bobby Flay – “All time favorite dessert”
Martha Stewart – “The richest filling, and the best ingredients...”
The New York Times – “A little slice of heaven...”
Bon Appetit – “skyscraper high...light as a cloud”
Southern Living – “One of the South’s Grand Desserts”
Delta Sky – “...a thing of tearful beauty”
Charleston City Paper Editors’ Picks – “Best Slice of Heaven”
The Food Network – Featured on
Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Food Finds The Fine Living Network – Featured on The Martha Stewart Show
Turner South Original Programs Blue Ribbon – “Best Dessert Cake in the South” 

Well this peaked her interest.  

We arrived at the last stop and I asked her if she had heard of the coconut cake from Peninsula Grill (as it is featured on the food network and in many magazines).  

She looked at me and said, "Coconut?"  "I don't like coconut!"  

Well, she caught me off guard and stopped me in my tracks.  
Thinking, "I could have sworn her favorite was coconut but maybe..."

She laughed and laughed...  She got me back from the golf cart shenanigans.  

Her favorite is coconut and she was super excited!

 Penninsula Grill's Coconut Cake is twelve layers of coconut and fresh vanilla. The pound cake layer is topped with an icing of cream and butter, coated with coconut and simple syrup.  

These cakes can be delivered to family and friends for the holidays and brides love this cake too. 

Find it here:

Peninsula Grill is set in beautiful Planter's Inn with indoor and outdoor seating.  The restaurant has velvet walls.  Go have a feel but don't tell them I told you to! :)

We enjoyed our cake at the bar...

And the Grand Finale...

Count them, 12 layers...

I just want to point out that crumb wasted there on the bar, that is in the path of my husband's reach...

One was definitely enough for the 3 of us.  Delicious!

Hope you enjoyed our day.  We sure did!

Please don't forget to enter to win 5 bottles at your doorstep from  
Worth $75 in wine, all you have to do is enter!  Enter here by January 1st: