I don’t know if there is a magazine subscription that I’ve had longer than Garden & Gun. I can remember being just out of college and discovering it while waiting at a checkout line at a grocery store in North Atlanta where I lived at the time. Intrigued, I picked up a copy and justified the expense by skipping out on the coffee I had planned to purchase later that day. Fast forward 5 years and I’m just as smitten with Garden & Gun than ever before. Once a year Garden & Gun brings their magazine to life with the Garden and Gun Jubilee in Charleston and I decided this would be the year I finally attended!
I have been to Charleston quite a bit over the last few years. This trip in December marks my fifth time going and I consider it my personal Disney World. Every time I go, the city gets more magical, the restaurants cease to amaze me, and the houses charming in every season and every weather condition. I have now seen Charleston in its most wonderful glory (75 degrees, sunny and crepe myrtle clad) and it’s most treacherous (flooding rain causing my sister and me to wade through knee-deep water on Market Street), but through all these experiences I still cherish it as much as I ever could.
Each time I go to Charleston, I make it a point to stay at a new hotel. This time was no exception. I rang up the Spectator and asked to have a room booked for our stay. I had been lusting to stay at this beautiful art deco designed hotel for some time now, if not just for the spectacular wallpaper in the foyer, but also, I had heard that the service was unparalleled.
Walking into the Spectator we were greeted by a delightful butler who handed us a signature Spectator cocktail made of cold apple cider and whiskey. After escorting us to our rooms and telling us about the full butler service and showing us the complimentary snacks and drinks in the fridge, he left us to change and get ready for dinner. We had our sights set on the Ordinary and before we headed out we were invited to enjoy happy hour nibbles and a cocktail from their lounge downstairs.
After a delicious evening of oysters and well-balanced cocktails, we hit the hay early so as to wake in time for the Early Bird Breakfast and VIP sneak peek of the Jubilee.
When you walk into the Garden and Gun Jubilee for the first time you may find yourself overstimulated by things you can do. This three-day festival at Charlestowne has four different areas to explore with a market pantry in the front where you can enjoy a slice of Benton’s Bacon right next to Sid Mashburn, then as you head to the back you pass a delightful gathering of food campers then finish in the back with a stroll through the house filled with well-tailored clothing and a backyard artisanal market.
Day One of the jubilee for us started with a breakfast of biscuits and red eye gravy, then a stroll through the provisions market before heading back to the heart of Charleston for a walking tour. I’ve taken one historical walking tour before while I was in Beaufort and fell in love with that way of touring a city. Our guide Michael of Charleston Footprints who is an eighth generation Charlestonian showed us all the nooks, crannies and idiosyncrasies of Charleston. It was the perfect start to our Charleston Adventure.
But also quite a tiring one! We came back to the hotel and had a bath drawn to soak my feet and relax my muscles from all the walking. Then prepared to get ready for dinner with Jillian and her husband Edwin at Cannon Green. We ordered the menu and had a bottle of Chablis to wash it down!
Two nights of perfect meals and great company. Charleston is always a treat to visit.