Category Archives: charleston

Old Towne Creek Park Charleston

On a beautiful Spring Wednesday, we sipped wine and enjoyed a sneak peak at the unopened Old Towne Creek Park in West Ashley.  Located along the banks of Old Towne Creek, just across from Charles Towne Landing, lies this new Charleston County Park.

Old Towne Creek Park Charleston

Old Towne Creek Park Charleston

Owned by the Ravenel family for years, Ashem Farm, produced vegetables and soybeans on its 55 acres.   The property’s long time owner, Emily Ravenel Farrow, was born here in 1915 and established the St. Andrew’s Parish Riding Academy on the farm.  When Miss Em married John Ashby Farrow the farm was dubbed “Ashem,” a derivative of both their names.   The couple used the place as a country retreat from their grand manse, the William Gibbes House on historic South Battery.

Ashem Farm Charleston

Asham Farm Charleston

Asham Farm Charleston

While the West Ashley area developed around the property, Mrs. Farrow ensured the protection of the farm by forming a conservation easement to the Historic Charleston Foundation, protecting both the land and buildings.  The easement permanently limited the potential subdivision and development of the valuable acreage which she willed to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.

Old Towne Creek Park Charleston

Old Towne Creek Park Charleston

Historic Charleston Foundation’s executive director, Kitty Robinson, said this of Miss Em:  “Mrs. Farrow loved Charleston. She loved the land. And she loved people. We can think of no greater tribute to her legacy than this: a public park that will allow future generations to experience the beauty and peace of the Lowcountry.”  A real lady, Miss Em passed away April 26, 2011 at the age of 96.  Check out the Lowcountry Land Trust’s interview with her here

Ashem Farm Charleston

Mr. H says:  The land, the air, and the planet is our legacy to our young-Enjoy!

Taste & Tour 2013 Kiawah House Tour

Come tour five extraordinary Kiawah Island home while sampling local culinary delights. Each of the five custom homes will feature a different restaurant providing culinary delights.

Tickets: $20 in advance online at or $25 the day of the event at Aubergine Home Collection located in the Freshfields Village.

Tour Poster and welcome

Mr. H says: It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home-Enjoy!

Friday Five: Shop Local

With the American Express Small Business Saturday to the Lowcountry Local First Buy Local Month , shopping in your community for the holidays is at the height of hip.  Here is a sampling of some local Charleston haunts to procure all the gifts on your list.

1. Open House-28 Windermere Boulevard

Featuring stationery, invitations, gifts, furniture, lighting, fine china, crystal and holiday décorOpen House Charleston SC

Open House also carries the fabulous locally made Rewined candles.  Handcrafted from a repurposed wine bottle filled with wine scented waxes.Rewind Candles

2. Charleston Cooks!-194 East Bay Street

Charleston Cooks! kitchen retail shop has your food and wine lovers covered.  You’ll find cookware, cookbooks, baking and bar essentials at this cooking emporium

Charleston Cooks

3. Charleston Flower Market-1952 Maybank Highway

Known for their gorgeous bouquets and arrangements, the Charleston flower market carries lovely gifts too

Charleston Flower Market

3. Croghan’s Jewel Box-308 King Street

For over a 100 years, Croghan’s Jewel Box has been Charleston’s go to place for gifts.  You’ll find not only breath-taking jewelry but a treasure trove of unique objects for the home and table

Croghans Jewel Box

5. Alpha Dog Omega Cat-40 Archdale Street

Since 1996, Alpha Dog Omega Cat has been indulging pets and their owners with the finest collection of luxury pet items, gifts and animal themed accessories

Alpha Dog Omega Cat Charleston

Mr. H says:  Money can buy happiness, you just need to know where to shop-Enjoy!

Comfortable Copper

Warm, rustic, refined.  Copper appears to be enjoying a resurgence in interior products.  Perhaps the copper petals forming this year’s Olympic torch has literally fueled this hot metal trend.

Copper’s warm red-orange color is at home in any decor

The metal’s distinct blue-green patina makes a desirable decorative statement

Forged copper lanterns have graced many Charleston front doors for centuries

Carolina Lanterns Tradd Street lantern

Carolina Lanterns is our go to local source for copper outdoor lighting

Carolina Lanterns Brunswick series

Due to its ever-increasing street value, copper is often seen as an accent

Mr. H says: Life should be like a precious metal, weigh much in little bulk-Enjoy!

Monday Blues

Last weekend, downtown Charleston was transformed, as Hibernian Hall was illuminated in electric blue.  This image conjured up other remarkable “blue” locations I’ve seen around the world.

Hibernian Hall Charleston SC

Glossy navy walls are cozy and dramatic

Both picturesque and panoramic: the Greek Island of Santorini


Crisp blue and white dining room

The dazzling mosaic tiles of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul Turkey

 Majolica pattern wallpaper creates a home sanctuary

Mr. H says: Owls are the only birds that can see the color blue-Enjoy!

Blue Owl

Festival of Wreaths

The 6th annual Festival of Wreaths wrapped up last night and it was my pleasure to participate in memory of eleven year old Harper Drolet, who sadly lost her battle with cancer on September 31, 2011.  My thoughts go out to her parents Jamie and Amy.

Charleston Festival of Wreaths

The event was held at the Charleston Place hotel which as always is decked out for the holidays.

Charleston Place Hotel

Seaside Holiday was our theme this year

J. Rhodes Interior Design "Seaside Holiday"

Past wreath themes have included Old Glory

Old Glory Wreath

Purple and Gold

J. Rhodes Interior Design holiday wreath

And Mr. H’s personal favorite Dog Bones

Dog bones wreath

Mr. H says:  “Gifts of time and love make the best presents”-Enjoy!

Friday Five: Svelte Sips

Swank new cocktail bars are popping up all over town.  Here’s a round-up of  fabulous places to enjoy a libation in Charleston and one that’s a little further afield.

1-The Cocktail Club-479 King St. Charleston: Enjoy a handcrafted cocktail in one of the three unique lounges.  Original beams and doors factor into the interiors in this circa 1881 building.

The Cocktail Club Charleston

2-Suede Supper Club-816 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant: This vast restaurant, bar and nightclub offers lush VIP rooms.  Velvet ropes included.

Suede Supper Club

3-J. Paulz-1739-Maybank Hwy.  James Island:  “Bringing life to Maybank Highway” with tapas, sushi, and infused cocktails in an upscale atmosphere.

4-The bar at HUSK-76 Queen St. Charleston-Enjoy a classic cocktail in this freestanding bar next to the renowned restaurant.  The cozy second floor lounge features original exposed brick walls and rough-hewn ceiling beams.

5-BAR7, Studiestræde 7, 1455, CopenBar at Huskhagen, Denmark.  I couldn’t resist including this unexpected find where we stopped for lunch in an uber cool interior.

Mr. H says: Friends don’t let friends hang out in ugly interiors-Enjoy!

Friday Five: Remarkable Restaurants

Marvelous restaurants abound on the Charleston peninsula and one is certain to find an outstanding meal in the city.  While the fare is always superb here are five with striking and diverse interiors.

1. McCrady’s (2 Unity Alley) structure was originally built in 1788 and at one time actually housed a tavern.  Exposed brick walls and dark stained beams acknowledge its former life in this cozy place.

2. The über cool Cypress (167 East Bay Street) would be right at home in Manhattan and the three-story wine wall is an oenophilia’s dream.

3. Coast Bar and Grill (39-D John Street), housed in a former indigo warehouse, has an eclectic beach bar vibe.

4. Peninsula Grill (112 North Market) Posh. Plush. Polished.  Sumptuous dining amidst velvet lined walls.

Peninsula Grill Charleston

5. Al fresco dining at 82 Queen (82 Queen Street).  A turn of the century courtyard is the perfect place to decamp for lunch.

Mr. H says: Dining can happen at a spiritual level when the food, the wine, the service and the ambience all work together-Enjoy!

Charleston Harbor Cruising

Aboard the Palmetto Breeze Monday night we got a water view of the beautiful Charleston Harbor.

An amazing Shem Creek waterfront house

Shem Creek home

Castle Pinckney

Castle Pinckney

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse

Sullivan's Island lighthouse

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (aka Cooper River Bridge)

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

The Schooner Pride

Sailboat in Charleston Harbor

Mr. H says: Any wind is the right wind when you don’t have a direction-Enjoy!

Friday Five: Staying Cool

Hot.  That’s the Charleston forecast for at least the next 126 days.  Here are five ways to stay cool in style this summer:

1-Turn on the Ceiling Fans-We all know the efficiency of using a fan but have your heard?  Lowcountry Lighting is having a ceiling fan sale when you buy one you get one ½ off through August 31st!

Wicker ceiling fan

2-Misting Patio Umbrellas-Enjoy the outdoors in the hottest of temps with a market umbrella that features misters on the ends of the ribs.   Refreshing mist cools the air 10 degrees.

Misting Patio Umbrella

3-Freezer Mugs-Keep those drinks cold with these ingenious mugs.  Double wall plastic has liquid that freezes keeping drinks cool without ice.

Freezer Mugs

4-Close the shades-Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your summer home warmer.  Simple roller shades, in a chic pattern, is a fashionable way to keep things cool.

Window Roller Shades

5-Eat some spicy food-Scientists believe that spicy foods make you sweat without actually raising your body temperature. Capsaicin, a chemical found in things like hot peppers, will make your skin is damp thus cooling you with evaporation.

Here’s a spicy Cooking Light recipe: Thai Shrimp Salad with Spicy Sour Dressing

  • 4 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 12 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot chile sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 1 1/4 cups vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted cashews, unsalted

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add shrimp to pan during last 3 minutes of cook time. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain.

Combine juice, sugar, hot chili sauce, and fish sauce in a large bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pasta mixture, lettuce, and next 4 ingredients (through cilantro) to juice mixture; toss to coat. Place about 2 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 4 teaspoons cashews.

Mr. H says-It’s hard to remain elegant in such hot weather-Enjoy!