Bachelorette Party Lowcountry Style

Angela:

If you've ever been out in downtown Charleston past 9pm on a Friday or Saturday night, then you have most likely encountered a bachelorette party on the loose! Before becoming a local, my first trip to Charleston was for a destination bride-to-be party. Having been a bridesmaid well over a dozen times (what can I say, I was in a large sorority in college), I feel that I have planned and attended my fair share of these celebrations. Emily and I thought it would be fun to list out some of the more creative ideas for celebrating this momentous occasion in our lovely city.

Personal Yoga Instruction: We hired a yoga instructor from Serenity Tree Yoga to lead a sunrise session on the beach in front of the beach house that was rented. Pro tip: Do not attempt this activity after a hard night of partying (pretty sure we lost some ladies after the first up-dog).

Hire a Personal Chef: I have made this move multiple times and find that in the long run it is cheaper and time saving. Just think, no need to corral 15 women in and out of a busy restaurant or split the bill 15 ways! Charleston is such a great culinary goldmine that finding a personal chef to hire is easy, check out Yelp's top 10 list and find the best fit for your occasion.

Still not sold on the personal chef idea? Make reservations at the R Kitchen to get a similar experience!

Check out a Plantation Tour: The Lowcountry is surrounded by a number of beautiful plantations. It may be a bit off the beaten path, but an afternoon sipping tea at the Charleston Tea Plantation followed by vodka tasting at the neighboring Firefly Distillery is sure to please!

Follow @Charleston_tea on Instagram:

Shopping: One could not have a proper trip to Charleston without King Street Shopping! Plan your trip accordingly and come for the Second Sunday on King. Or if you feel like making the trip to Mount Pleasant, Gwynn's will not disappoint.

Follow @gwynnsofmtp on Instagram:

All Types of Bars: Rooftop Bars, Dance Club Bars, Bars with homemade pastry (poptarts from The Belmont), Artisanal Bars, and the list goes on. One idea, reserve a Private Room at the Cocktail Club, this place takes you back in time where you can share a punch bowl with the ladies and sip in style. Check out Eater Charleston for a list of all the hottest places.

Follow @cocktailclubchs on Instagram:

Feeling adventurous? Maybe a weekend Cruise to the Bahamas! Find a full list of cruises leaving from Charleston here.

Other Tips:

  • Know the dress code for the establishments you will be visiting. We once had to leave a lady behind because she wore flip flops where they were not allowed. Along the same lines, ladies, note that Charleston streets are cobblestone! We recommend that you rickshaw everywhere to save those precious ankles.

  • Know that some very nice restaurants turn into raging booty-shaking nightclubs after a certain hour in the night. One of my first client dinners ever was running long and our nice quiet table suddenly turned into a spring break video, yikes!

  • Hire professional transportation and reserve it in advance if you are not staying within walking distance. There are a number of fun ways to get around including SC Bar Car, The Pink Party Bus, or The Charleston Cool Bus just to name a few.
    Just for fun, here's a throw back to when Charleston had a little black cab company that would roll out the red carpet (and I had long hair):

For the Morning After: Consider hitting up the Bloody Mary Bar at 39 Rue-De-Jean brunch or if you're really suffering, we've heard good things about Renew IV Spa on King Street (no appointment necessary). If anyone tries Renew, let us know what you think!  Curious minds want to know...

Lowcountry Gift Guide 2016

Yes, we know it's hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us, but have no fear. We're providing our second annual gift guide below, featuring great gift ideas for under $50. Last year's gift guide has held the test of time, with items from Rewined Candles and King of Pops, so feel free to trek back for additional ideas.

3 Little Beads Oyster Pendant, $52 (ok, just over $50!)
Known for their original painted oyster pendant, this company describes their designs as delicately fierce handcrafted jewelry.  | Online Shop

Bittermilk, $20
Hand-crafted cocktail mixer compounds | Retailers

Bulls Bay Saltworks Gift Box, $30
Salt, sustainably harvested from Bulls Bay | Retailers

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, $40
Carrie Morey founded Callie’s Charleston Biscuits in 2005 with the goal of making the tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits of her mother accessible across the country | Retailers

Cirsea Ice Cream Pint Club Connosiuer, $50
Eclectic ice cream flavors made by hand | Retailers

Color Coloring Book Bundle, $30
Celebrate the unique qualities of Charleston and use your imagination to add in the real energy of these special places - the people! - as you color the town | Online Shop

CSA Gift Card, All prices
Give the gift of local fruits and veggies with a gift card for any amount to one of the local Community Supported Agriculture groups in the Lowcountry, like Ambrose Family Farm or Boone Hall Farm. | CSA List

Fiber Art Workshop Woven Wall Hanging, $42
Handmade weavings, felted wildflower arrangements and terrariums, and felted jewelry | Online Shop

Firefly White Lightening Moonshine, $20
Firefly Distillery is located on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina, thirty miles south of Charleston. It is the largest distillery in the state and has become a top destination in the Charleston area. We recommend visiting the distillery to pick this gift up and staying for a tasting. | Distillery or local liquor stores

Geechie Boy Mill Holiday Breakfast Sampler, $50
On their Edisto Island farm, the Johnsmans, owners of Geechie Boy Grits, operate historic working mills, creating grits used in the country’s finest restaurants, includingJames Beard award-winning chefs in nearby Charleston and around the nation.  | Retailers

Heritage by Sean Brock, $25
In Chef Brock’s much-anticipated first cookbook, this James Beard Award-winning chef presents all of the sublime dishes that have made him one of our country’s most acclaimed chefs | Local bookstore or Amazon

Mac & Murphy Gift Card, $50
Card and accessories gift shop located in the Cannonborough neighborhood | Online Shop

Nostalgic Graphic Shrimp Boat Children's Tee, $31
Vintage inspired tees that capture the memorable moments of childhood | Retailers

Peninsula Grill Coconut Cake, $12 per slice or $130 for full cake (16 servings)
With its twelve towering layers of delicious, Southern perfection, the Peninsula Grill Ultimate Coconut Cake® caused a sensation when it first appeared on the Peninsula Grill menu Valentine's Day 1997. Praise from Bon Appétit, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, TODAY Show, and Vogue—in addition to other esteemed culinary and travel media outlets, made the fresh vanilla and coconut infused dessert famous. | Online Shop or Peninsula Grill

So Twisted Up Headband, $12
Headbands and wraps with fun colors and designs that stay on securely with a "hidden" wire | Online Shop

Suite 33 Cosmetic Case, $45
Designer, Emily Papuga has created a collection of throw pillows and accessories using patterns inspired by iconic places and pieces of our #1 city. | Online Shop

Sweeteeth Chocolates, $6-$8
Sweeteeth creates artisan chocolates using traditional, handcrafted techniques. Their operation in North Charleston, is devoted to the small-batch production of finely crafted chocolate bars and bon-bons, with an emphasis on high-quality chocolate couverture and innovative flavor pairings. | Email sweeteeth@evopizza.com or spot them at many different food spots like Ted's Butcherblock or Caviar & Bananas

What's your favorite gift to give from the Lowcountry? Does you family have a tradition of giving certain gifts each year?

Farewell Summer: Labor Day To-Do List

Angela:

Summer is nearing its end and the relentless heat is subsiding (just barely). The end of summer means different things to different people. To parents, it’s that busy time that the kids go back to school. To the kids, it’s the bittersweet end of break freedom. To everyone else, it's the end of a glorious summer.  The last days of summer are marked by the Labor Day holiday weekend and we've made a list of things to-do to end summer with a bang! If you're planning to move here or have recently relocated, you'll notice there's never a day your calendar can't be filled with something fun! (Note: Be sure to read to the end for our giveaway!)

Labor Day Weekend To-Dos:

I'm planning to spend at least part of my holiday weekend on the beach. One of the best parts about living in Charleston is that there's always a beach nearby!
Photo: @angelawicke

Get your tickets to the 8th Greater Lowcountry Jazz Festival, September 2-4.
Photo: @lowcountryjazzfest

Set sail on the Palmetto Breeze, Friday, September 2nd for the Firefly Friday Charleston Harbor Sunset Sail benefiting the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Photo: @palmetto_breeze

You don’t want to miss the Labor Day weekend fireworks on Folly Beach, September 4th at 9 p.m. near 3rd Block West.
Photo: @edgeofamerica

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Other upcoming Lowcountry events to check out:

Photo: @chasriverdogs

As always, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has a great ongoing calendar here

*Now for the giveaway- Leave a comment with your favorite Lowcountry Labor Day activity for a chance to win two free general admission Riverdogs tickets to this season's last regularly scheduled game on Thursday, September 1 at 6:35 p.m. Giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31 at 12 p.m.

 

Cheers at Deep Water Vineyard

Angela:

It’s been nine weeks since I gave birth to our first child, little Ruby. To say that I am still adjusting to life as a Mom would be an understatement, so when I was invited out to Wadamalaw Island for lunch at a friend’s house followed by a wine tasting at the neighboring vineyard, I felt torn between wanting to attend while leaving my baby for the first time.

Ultimately, what new mother can turn down an opportunity to let her hair down and drink wine on a Saturday afternoon?  I was excited because I’ve never actually been out to Wadamalaw Island. (Note: GPS doesn’t work great when you get to the edges of John’s Island. Keep right on Maybank Hwy. and you will drive to the end of the Island where the vineyards are on the left.) I didn’t realize how remote the island was. I was relying on my GPS to get me to my friend’s home and ended up taking the very scenic route, passing the cutest little Post Office and Ambrose Farms. At first, when I was driving up what my friend would call her driveway (I would compare it to driving alone in the woods similar to the beginning of a horror movie), all I could think was “Who would live this far out?” until the trees cleared and I was in front of a stunning home right on the water with breath-taking views. When I stopped to look, there seemed to be a beautiful view, no matter where we were on the island. After a wonderful lunch on her back porch, we made our way to Deep Water Vineyard (formerly Irvin House Vineyard) just a few short miles down the road.

Photo Credit @stefaniwilkens

On Saturdays, the vineyard hosts a Weekend Wine Down, with food and music. I was surprised at how many people were there. It seemed to be the gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. For $5.00 we were given a ticket to the next scheduled wine tasting and for $6.00 more we decided to check out the neighboring Firefly Distillery tasting room. 

We gathered in a cute souvenir shop and were called into the “tasting room” promptly at our 2:30pm ticketed time. Not only did we sample five different wines, we also learned about the history of the vineyard and Wadamalaw Island, and got to take home a complimentary wine glass. The wine is made of muscadine grapes, the only grape truly native to the U.S. Growing up in the south, I associate these grapes with afternoon snacks picked fresh from my Granny’s yard, when walking home from school. As it turns out, they don’t make a bad wine.

After we finished the wine tasting, we crossed the patio/afternoon dance floor and entered the Firefly tasting room. This was a different experience from the wine tasting (and rightfully so). We stood at a bar and raised a shot glass, when the bartender would call out a Firefly vodka, whiskey, or moonshine that we might like to try (disclaimer: they do limit you to five tasting pours). This room was rowdy and full of fun, whereas the wine tasting was a little more sophisticated.

All of this “tasting” made me hungry, so I made a beeline for the advertised meatloaf cupcakes. These did not disappoint! Meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes, bbq sauce and bacon, enough said. All of the food looked equally as tasty. Some of the ladies in our group shared this delicious fruit and cheese platter.

Photo Credit @Stefaniwilkens

Once I pulled my face out of the meatloaf cupcake, I took a look around and realized that there was so much more than the tastings. There were farm animals, gardens, and art. Since I assumed all was well on the home front (I hadn’t received any frantic calls from my husband to come home immediately, little did I know that my cell phone didn’t have service), I decided to walk the grounds and explore. I really can’t say enough about how much fun I had on my first day away from baby. In hindsight, if I had known that the cell phone service was so limited on Wadamalaw Island, I may not have gone, but perhaps it was good for me (and Daddy) that I wasn’t easily accessible.

Deep Water Vineyard and Firefly will definitely be a place that I take visiting family and friends in the future. Cheers to next time y’all!